Texas Supreme Court Issues Emergency Order Regarding COVID-19, Potentially Extending All Applicable Statutes of Limitation:

On Friday, March 13, 2020, the Texas Supreme Court issued its “First Emergency Order Regarding the COVID-19 State of Disaster.” (Misc. Docket Nos. 20-9042 & 20-007. The Order can be accessed here: https://www.txcourts.gov/media/1446056/209042.pdf). The Order gives Texas courts the authority ...Read More

Texas Supreme Court Issues Emergency Order Regarding COVID-19

Houston, TX – On Friday March 5, 2021, the Texas Supreme Court issued its thirty-sixth “Emergency Order Regarding the COVID-19 State of Disaster” allowing courts across the state to open for in-person proceedings. See Misc. Docket No. 21-9026. However, the ...Read More

Jurisdiction May Determine Fate of COVID-19 Business Interruption Coverage Litigation

Oakland, CA – Since March 2020, hundreds of businesses across the United States have filed lawsuits against their insurance carriers for coverage related to COVID-19 under their business interruption insurance policies. The scope of coverage under all-risk policies depends on ...Read More

Returning to work after COVID-19: DOL’s new Rule on Fluctuating Workweek Method Provides Needed Clarity on Incentive- Based Pay

Houston, TX – On June 8, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor promulgated a new rule that lets employers provide flexible-hour workers with incentive-based pay on top of their fixed salaries without sacrificing the reduced overtime rate for fluctuating workweeks. ...Read More

COVID-19 and Employment Law Issues

Houston, TX – Although most coverage of COVID-19 litigation has centered on business interruption policies and force majeure clauses in commercial contracts, an avalanche of employment-related claims against employers is sure to follow. And as businesses lay-off workers, cut hours ...Read More

The Department of Labor Has Issued Guidance and Relief for ERISA-Governed Employee Benefit Plans Due to the COVID-19 Outbreak

Oakland, CA – Recognizing that the COVID-19 outbreak may impede plan and plan participants’ efforts to comply with various requirements and deadlines under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security ...Read More

CARES Act: Significant Changes to FCRA Credit Reporting Obligations

On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) was signed into law in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act includes significant changes for credit reporting agencies or any institutions that furnish information ...Read More

Travelers, the Plaintiff-insurer in California Business Interruption Coverage Litigation

Oakland, CA – Much time and attention has been focused on the seemingly ever-increasing number of business interruption insurance coverage lawsuits policyholders have filed across the country in the last few weeks. However, insurance coverage battles related to losses from ...Read More

The Impossibility Doctrine in Texas & COVID-19

Houston, TX – Regardless of whether a contract contains a force majeure provision, a party’s non-performance may still be excused by the common law doctrine of impossibility. 1. The impossibility doctrine in Texas. The impossibility defense is an excuse to ...Read More

Pre-denial Business Interruption Coverage Suits in California

Oakland, CA – We previously highlighted that many businesses are not first waiting for coverage determinations before suing their insurers. Now, in a single day, five lawsuits were filed seeking business interruption coverage for losses related to COVID-19, this time ...Read More

California Judicial Council Adopts New Rules to Adapt Judicial Proceedings to Statewide Social Distancing Directives

Oakland, CA – Knowing that courts cannot operate as usual in light of the escalating COVID-19 pandemic, the California Judicial Council amended its Rules of Court to accommodate statewide court closures and restrictions. The sweeping changes come on the heels ...Read More

California Authorities Issue Guidance Regarding How to Address COVID-19 Concerns in the Workplace

Oakland, CA – In light of the global pandemic and increasing cases of COVID-19 in California, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), the agency tasked with enforcement of the state’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), recently ...Read More

California Relaxes Rules for Mass Layoffs in Wake of COVID-19 Crisis

Oakland, CA – On March 17, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-31-2020, temporarily suspending some of the notice requirements employers must follow prior to planned workforce reductions. Ordinarily, the California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, which applies ...Read More

California OSHA Issues COVID-19 Guidance to Employers

Oakland, CA -For employers continuing their business operations during the health crisis, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) has issued Interim Guidance to ensure the health and safety of working employees. Cal/OSHA’s regulations require protection for workers ...Read More

Texas Supreme Court Issues Emergency Order Regarding COVID-19, Extending All Civil Statutes of Limitation

Houston, TX – On Wednesday, April 1, 2020, the Texas Supreme Court issued another “Emergency Order Regarding the COVID-19 State of Disaster” mandating that Texas trial courts toll all deadlines for the filing or service of any civil causes of ...Read More

Business Interruption Coverage Suit in California

Oakland, CA – We previously offered an initial analysis of business interruption insurance because, as anticipated, it would become the forefront of COVID-19-related litigation. Unsurprisingly, business interruption coverage suits for coronavirus-related losses are already being filed, now in California. In ...Read More

Texas COVID-19 Insurance Update: Certain Deadlines Extended

Houston, TX – On March 20, Governor Abbott suspended certain claim-handling deadlines under the Texas Insurance Code. Yesterday, the Commissioner of Insurance determined that the COVID-19 pandemic is a disaster under Texas Insurance Code Section 542.059(b). The Commissioner’s Bulletin can ...Read More

California Insurance Regulator Calls for 60-day Insurance Premium Grace Period Due to COVID-19 Outbreak

Oakland, CA – Citing widespread interruptions and loss of income for many California consumers and business caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has issued a Notice requesting that all insurers doing business in California grant policyholders ...Read More

Many California Courts Reducing Operations in Response to COVID-19 Spread

Oakland, CA – On March 12, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order in further response to the spread of the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-2019). Among other things, this Order mandates compliance with state and local public health officials ...Read More

COVID-19, Economic Turmoil, and Financial Services Litigation

Houston, TX – At the nadir of the Great Recession, a small group of attorneys dedicated to the principle of client-first service decided to leave the relative comforts of Big Law and present our clients with a simple proposition: we ...Read More

Force Majeure Provisions in Texas: A Creature of Contract

1. Introduction Houston, TX – The threat of COVID-19 has quickly changed—and in some cases halted—America’s day-to-day routines. Businesses and consumers wonder how the economic slowdown may impact their obligation to continue making payments or perform on the contracts they ...Read More

Legal Update: States Restrict Telemarketing in Wake of COVID-19 Pandemic

Houston, TX – New York’s emergency COVID-19 declaration triggered a recently enacted New York law prohibiting unsolicited telemarketing calls during an emergency. See N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law §§ 399-pp(7)(f), 399-z(5-a) (2019). Louisiana’s emergency order triggered a similar ban. See La. ...Read More

Business Interruption Insurance in the COVID-19 Era: Specific Policy Language Will Matter

Oakland, CA – In our continuing examination of legal issues surrounding COVID-19, we offer this analysis of business interruption insurance, which will undoubtedly be at the forefront of COVID-19-related litigation. Businesses are reviewing their insurance contracts for coverage to limit ...Read More