Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The last two years have provided legal professionals with a crash course in the remote practice of law. Attorneys and judges have been forced to navigate COVID-19 protocols and adapt to the rapidly changing legal landscape in the digital age. While the pandemic created an abundance of new technological challenges, it also impacted one of the oldest standards in our judicial system—service of process.

Continue Reading Service of Process: An Overlooked Challenge of Litigation During COVID-19

On April 20, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced a nationwide coordinated law enforcement action to combat health care-related COVID-19 fraud. In line with the announcement, the federal government has continued throughout this year to focus its enforcement on fraud in the COVID-19 space, particularly on misuse of Provider Relief funds and COVID-19 testing fraud.

Continue Reading The Department of Justice Continues to Target COVID-19-Related Fraud

Due to the large-scale shutdowns triggered by the Coronavirus pandemic (“COVID-19”), many businesses were unable to operate fully, or not at all. Litigants across the country have sought to be relieved of their obligations under contracts as a result of the pandemic-related disruptions, under legal theories including impossibility, frustration of purpose, and force majeure. As recently decided cases demonstrate, proponents of these theories have faced uphill battles.

Continue Reading Mission (Im)possible: Recent Cases Hold That Pandemic-Related Disruptions Do Not Relieve Contractual Performance

As we wrote recently, the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) was critical in helping small businesses stay afloat amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant government restrictions on commerce. By now, most borrowers know that a crucial step in ensuring that they retain the benefits Congress intended is to submit a PPP loan forgiveness application. Unfortunately, in the process of applying for forgiveness, some borrowers have encountered difficulties when their lenders disagree that they are entitled to apply for forgiveness in the full amount of their PPP loans. In 2021, the United States Small Business Administration (“SBA”) provided a partial solution to this problem by creating the PPP Direct Forgiveness Portal.

Continue Reading Borrower/Lender Disagreements in PPP Loan Forgiveness Applications

The Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) was critical in helping small businesses stay afloat amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant government restrictions on all manner of commerce. Now, as more businesses have applied for PPP loan forgiveness, some will receive notice that the United States Small Business Administration (“SBA”) is denying forgiveness of those loans. Small businesses whose PPP loans are denied will receive a letter that looks like this.

Continue Reading Succeeding in PPP Appeals

The Court didn’t waste time getting to a controversial matter, the applications for stays of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA’s”) COVID-19 mandate concerning alternatives of mandatory testing, masking, or vaccination directed at employers and the Department of Health & Human Services (“DHHS”) mandate directed at health care facilities and their workers.

Continue Reading Supreme Court Acts on COVID-19 Mandates, Allowing DHHS to Go Forward but Blocking OSHA: SCOTUS Today

Readers of SCOTUS Today, especially employers, might appreciate seeing an article that I co-wrote concerning the Supreme Court’s rejection of a petition to enjoin New York State’s vaccine mandate applicable to health care workers: Supreme Court Lets New York’s Vaccine Mandate for Health Care Workers Stand.”

This action is consequential on its face because while future litigation by health care workers and others is certain, no fewer than six Justices have indicated support for a major mandate that allows for very limited exemptions. This marks the second time that the Court has rejected such a petition.

Continue Reading Vaccine Mandates and the Free Exercise of Religion: The Supreme Court May Have Tipped Its Hand – SCOTUS Today

We recently participated in what the New Jersey Law Journal called the “first complex civil jury trial to be conducted in person since the COVID-19 pandemic.” Although the case settled shortly after opening statements, this experience taught us that New Jersey courts are ready to try complex civil cases safely and responsibly with new COVID protocols that may force trial attorneys to depart from their usual practices. We published an article in the New Jersey Law Journal about this experience that may be of interest to our readers.

Continue Reading What an In-Person Trial Looks Like in a Socially Distanced New Jersey Court

Although insurers largely have continued to have success in federal court defeating COVID-19 business interruption lawsuits, one judge – Judge Stephen Bough of the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri – continues to be pro-policyholder. As we previously reported, last year he refused to dismiss several suits brought by policyholders