Coronavirus Legal News Briefing — April 27, 2020

Coronavirus Legal News Briefing — April 30, 2020

Originally published by Amy Starnes.

Editor’s Note: The State Bar of Texas is providing this collection of important links, blog posts, and media stories to keep its members and the public informed of the latest news and resources related to the novel coronavirus outbreak and its impact on the legal community.

Important links

State Bar of Texas Coronavirus Legal Resources Page — Texasbar.com/coronavirus

State Bar of Texas Coronavirus Public Resources Page — Texasbar.com/COVIDHelp

Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program Well-being Resources page — Texasbar.com/remote-well-being

Texas AG helped donor fight virus lockout — Records reviewed by The Associated Press show that an exclusive group of Texans stood to benefit when Attorney General Ken Paxton urged a small Colorado county to reverse a public health order during the coronavirus outbreak. — The Associated Press

Texas voters sue over age restrictions for mail-in ballots — Citing the threats of the coronavirus, six Texas voters filed suit in federal court Wednesday challenging restrictions that limit age eligibility for voting by mail to those 65 and older. — The Texas Tribune

Many law firms that applied for paycheck protection loans are still waiting; Texas lawyer sues — One Houston lawyer was so frustrated by delays that he filed would-be class action lawsuits against three banks on behalf of himself and other clients. — ABA Journal

Small Business Administration temporarily limits stimulus loans to small lenders — The Small Business Administration briefly closed applications for emergency small business loans to all but the nation’s smallest lenders on Wednesday. — UPI

Tips for minimizing law firm liability during COVID-19 — As with any significant upheaval, this sudden and radical transformation of the legal profession creates new risk management challenges for law firms. (Subscription required) — Law360

Big Business wants immunity from Covid-19 lawsuits — At issue is how to balance protecting businesses from lawsuits, while enabling justice for customers and workers who in a time of rapidly rising unemployment may not have the option of leaving their jobs for something safer. — The Associated Press

Texas Supreme Court approves July Bar Exam, sets alternative September testing date — The Texas bar examination set for July will continue as scheduled, but an additional testing date also will be offered in September. — Texas Bar Blog

McLennan County judges, court officials prepare for return of jury trials — As Texas and county officials prepare to resume more work under whatever the new normal will look like, judges are realizing McLennan County courtrooms were not built with social distancing in mind. — Waco Tribune-Herald

Supreme Court to begin live oral arguments; here’s how it works — For the first time in its history, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments by telephone conference. All nine justices and counsel will participate remotely starting Monday, May 5. — Court TV

COVID-19: Are your constitutional rights quarantined too? — The leading case about restrictions during public health emergencies is the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1905 decision in Jacobson v. Massachusetts. — Tilting the Scales blog

Shared custody in the time of COVID-19: A Q&A with Susan Myres — Houston attorney Susan Myres, president of the AAML, discusses shared custody and the challenges divorced/separated parents face during the time of COVID-19. (Subscription required) — Texas Lawyer

Working from home does not excuse employers from safety responsibility — It is imperative that all employers who employ home workers understand that they still have an obligation to keep all workers safe and they also must keep their Workers’ Compensation insurance in force. — Workplace Safety blog

How opening businesses again will impact your unemployment. Q&A with Texas Workforce Commission (video) — BoShould you go back to work if you fear getting sick? Here are 17 questions we asked the man in charge of Texas unemployment benefits. — KVUE – Austin

Federal government sued for denying stimulus checks to Americans married to undocumented immigrants — The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, is alleging that a provision in the $2.2 trillion stimulus package known as the CARES Act that denies the benefit to mixed-status families in unconstitutional. — The Texas Tribune

Judge affirms White House plan to suspend visas for child migrants — A U.S. district judge in Oregon declined late Wednesday to block a White House plan to suspend immigration visas for children of permanent migrant residents due to the coronavirus crisis. — UPI

While volunteering in a NYC pop-up hospital, this Texas law grad learned he had passed the bar — For three weeks, John Kiraly, a May 2019 graduate of the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law, has volunteered with a Florida-based private humanitarian company, Comprehensive Health Services. (Subscription required) — Texas Lawyer

Google zooms in on Zoom with a freebie — Google on Tuesday made its business videoconferencing service free to all users, ramping up competition for Zoom as people flock online to stay connected during the pandemic. — Agence France-Presse

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Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.



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