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Coronavirus Thought Leadership Connection

As part of our efforts to provide you with knowledge regarding the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we’re aggregating a selection of links to related blog posts by our attorneys. Check this page frequently for new content.

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DISCLAIMER: In addition to being subject to our standard Disclaimer and Terms of Use, the information contained in the following blog posts may not reflect the most current developments, as the subject matter is extremely fluid and constantly changing. Please continue to monitor this site for ongoing developments. Readers are also cautioned against taking any action based on information contained herein without first seeking advice from professional legal counsel.

Don’t Let Your Business Partner Use the Pandemic as an Excuse to Keep You in the Dark

By David C. Roberts (Re: Business Law, Minority Owners, Shareholder Disputes, Business Divorce Litigation, Minority Owners, New Jersey)

In many places, COVID-19 is making a comeback, or never actually left. But as far as an effective excuse to keep business partners in the dark, the pandemic has been hanging around for far too long. » Read More

Pennsylvania Governor Issues Additional Updated Guidance for Hospitality Businesses Conducting In-Person Service (Second Update)

By Benjamin R. MacLuckie, Matthew B. Andersen, and Theodore J. Zeller III (Re: Liquor Law, Food and Beverage, Hospitality, Restaurants, Dining, Delivery, Pennsylvania)

Recently, Governor Wolf and the PLCB issued guidance for hospitality businesses beginning to serve customers inside (green) or outside (green and yellow). We covered that guidance in our last blog post, “Pennsylvania Governor Issues Updated Guidance for Hospitality Businesses Conducting In-Person Service.” » Read More

EEOC: What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws

By Annmarie Simeone (Re: Labor and Employment Law, Discrimination, EEOC, Individuals with Disabilities)

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency responsible for enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws, today updated its Technical Assistance Questions and Answers, “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.” » Read More

Pennsylvania Governor Issues Updated Guidance for Hospitality Businesses Conducting In-Person Service

By Matthew B. Andersen (Re: Liquor Law, Food and Beverage, Hospitality, Restaurants, Dining, Delivery, Pennsylvania)

Last week, Governor Wolf and the PLCB issued guidance for hospitality businesses beginning to serve customers inside (green) or outside (green and yellow). We covered that guidance in our last blog post, “Critical Compliance Tips from Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s Guidance for On-Premise Sales During COVID-19 Crisis.” » Read More

Co-Op Remote Closings: The Way of the Future

By Pamela H. Muschler (Re: Real Estate, New York, Cooperatives (Co-ops), Apartments, Closings)

Prior to the pandemic and its ensuing shutdown orders, co-op apartment closings would typically occur at the office of the cooperative’s transfer agent, usually the managing agent or more often the cooperative’s legal counsel. All parties would come together in a conference room and the closing would be finalized in a couple of hours or less. » Read More

COVID-19-Related Litigation Explodes Leading into May and June 2020

By Steven A. Karg (Re: Class Action Defense, Consumer Fraud, MDL and MCL Aggregated Litigation, Price Gouging)

As a follow-up to our April 23, 2020, blog post, “Be Prepared for an Onslaught of Coronavirus-Related Lawsuits, we are sharing the “COVID-19 Impact Analyzer” report from Lex Machina® on general and COVID-19-related case filing statistics for covered jurisdictions and courts with the permission of Lex Machina®. » Read More

Government Provides Relief in the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act

By William L. Brewer, Douglas R. Brown, and S. Graham Simmons, III (Re: Business Law, Small Business, Coronavirus Relief, Loan Forgiveness, Paycheck Protection Program)

Although brief in length, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (the “Act”) that was signed into law by President Trump on June 5, 2020, clarifies how borrowers can use Payment Protection Program (“PPP”) loans made pursuant to the CARES Act and grants borrowers much-needed flexibility in the requirements for PPP forgiveness. » Read More

When Can I Visit My Mother in Her Nursing Home Again?

By Shana Siegel (Re: Elder Care Law, Senior Citizens, Assisted Living, Nursing Homes)

For at least the last eleven weeks, nursing home residents have been separated from their families. Some family members have gotten creative – visiting through windows, on ladders, via Zoom, and from parking lots. But many have had no way to reach their loved ones except by relying on staff to give them updates. » Read More

Defending Coronavirus-Related Lawsuits in the U.S. – A U.S. Class Action Perspective

By Steven A. Karg (Re: Class Action Defense, Consumer Fraud, MDL and MCL Aggregated Litigation, Price Gouging)

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way that companies must do business to survive. This change occurred over an extremely short period of time, with little notice, and while companies had limited resources. This unusual situation caused companies to make decisions on an expedited basis with limited opportunity for careful contemplation and forced them to set priorities quickly. » Read More

Critical Compliance Tips from Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s Guidance for On-Premise Sales During COVID-19 Crisis

By Theodore J. Zeller III and Matthew B. Andersen (Re: Liquor Law, Food and Beverage, Restaurants, Dining, Delivery, Pennsylvania)

As we outlined in our post last week, Governor Wolf issued guidance for retail food and alcohol businesses in green counties (permitted to have 50% of capacity inside and outside dining) and yellow counties (permitted to have 50% of capacity outside dining beginning on June 5). » Read More

House Passes Bill to Relax PPP Forgiveness Conditions

By William L. Brewer, Douglas R. Brown, and S. Graham Simmons, III (Re: Business Law, Small Business, Coronavirus Relief, Loan Forgiveness, Paycheck Protection Program)

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on May 28, 2020, to relax the terms and conditions for forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, just before the eight-week covered periods for early borrowers are coming to an end. The Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act, H.R. » Read More

No Rent Abatement for Small Businesses in New Jersey: Landlord/Tenant Trials Remain Suspended Through June 14, 2020

By Timothy P. McKeown (Re: Real Estate Law, Small Business, Rent, Landlord/Tenant Disputes, New Jersey)

One of the questions frequently asked when the lockdown began over two months ago was from small business owners who wanted to know whether they had the right to suspend their rent payments. In response, the New Jersey Legislature introduced a bill on April 9, 2020, that would authorize Governor Murphy to permit emergency rent suspensions for a small business tenant economically distressed as a result of the pandemic. » Read More

Pennsylvania to Permit Outdoor Dining on June 5 in Yellow Phase Counties and Issues Guidance for Dine-In Service for Green Phase Counties on May 29

By Matthew B. Andersen (Re: Liquor Law, Food and Beverage, Restaurants, Dining, Delivery, Pennsylvania)

Yellow Phase – Outdoor Dining

Beginning June 5, restaurants and retail foodservice businesses located in counties designated as being in the yellow phase are permitted to add dine-in service in outdoor seating areas so long as they strictly adhere to the requirements of the guidance, including maximum occupancy limits:

  • Indoor areas, including bar areas of restaurants and retail foodservice businesses must be closed to customers except for through-traffic.

» Read More

Special Needs Spotlight Series: Taking Control – Harnessing Anxiety & Turning It Into a Plan

By Norris McLaughlin, P.A. (Re: Special Needs Law, Estate Planning, Life Care Plans, Guardianship, Health Care Decision-Making, Caregivers)

The law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., is pleased to present the Special Needs Spotlight Webinar Series. In this introductory session, “Taking Control – Harnessing Anxiety and Turning it Into a Plan,” Shana Siegel, a Member of the firm and Chair of its Elder Care & Special Needs Law Practice Group, spoke with Trish Colucci Barbosa, RN and Care Manager at Peace Aging Care Experts, LLC, and Elizabeth McKenna, CFP and Chartered Special Needs Consultant at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. » Read More

Resumption of Ambulatory Surgery Centers Elective Surgery and Invasive Procedures in New Jersey

By Svetlana (Lana) Ros (Re: Health Care Law, Physicians, Ambulatory Surgery Centers, Elective Procedures and Surgeries)

On Friday, May 15, 2020, Gov. Murphy issued Executive Order 145, allowing physicians and dentists to resume elective surgeries and invasive procedures as of Tuesday, May 26. This is long-awaited news by both patients and doctors. However, before Ambulatory Surgery Centers (“ASCs”) start scheduling and performing elective procedures and surgeries, the ASC needs to comply with the directives of the New Jersey Department of Health. » Read More

Resumption of In-Office Elective Surgery and Invasive Procedures in New Jersey

By Svetlana (Lana) Ros (Re: Health Care Law, Physicians, Dentists, Elective Procedures and Surgeries)

On Friday, May 15, 2020, Gov. Murphy issued Executive Order 145, allowing physicians and dentists to resume elective surgeries and invasive procedures as of Tuesday, May 26. This is long-awaited news by both patients and doctors. However, before practices start scheduling and performing elective procedures and surgeries, they should ensure that the practice complies with the directives of the New Jersey Department of Health or the Division of Consumer Affairs, depending on where the procedure will be performed. » Read More

COVID-19, Cooperatives, and the Collection of Maintenance and Rent

By Dean M. Roberts (Re: Business Law, Real Estate, Cooperative Management, Commercial Tenants, Shareholder Maintenance, Rent Collection, New York)

This blog post is a brief summary of the current status of the Housing Court in New York City and how that may affect the ability of cooperatives to collect maintenance from shareholders and rent revenue from commercial tenants for the balance of this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. » Read More

Learning From the Past: Legionnaires’ Disease and Reopening Your Business After COVID-19

By Hon. Rebecca L. Warren (Ret.) (Re: Business Law, Real Estate, Corporate Operations, Public Utilities)

In 1976, as our country was celebrating its Bicentennial, the American Legion was fittingly hosting its convention in Philadelphia, the birthplace of our nation. Tragically, many Legion convention attendees were sickened and some later died after contracting a mysterious respiratory ailment. » Read More

Rent Guarantee Insurance – A Solution for Landlords?

By John F. Lushis, Jr.  (Re: Business Law, Real Estate, Landlords, Commercial Rent, Insurance Coverage)

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on both insurance companies and their insureds with a multitude of claims having already been made and denied. Parties that have been especially hard hit financially by the pandemic are the owners of retail shopping complexes that have multiple tenants, many of which have had to close because they are “non-essential” businesses under government emergency orders. » Read More

Are Your Commercial Loans Immune to COVID-19?

By John F. Lushis, Jr.  (Re: Business Law, Real Estate, Lenders, Borrowers, Commercial Loans)

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact in numerous economic sectors including commercial loans. At this point, there are more questions than answers. Outlined below are key matters that both lenders and borrowers will need to consider. » Read More

Pennsylvania Taproom and Restaurant Guide to Reopening

By Theodore J. Zeller III (Re: Liquor Law, Food and Beverage, Taprooms, Restaurants, Bars, Pennsylvania)

Finally, there may be a light at the end of the quarantine tunnel for many licensed businesses that have had to close due to Governor Wolf’s shut down of non-essential businesses. On April 22, Governor Tom Wolf expanded on his plans for the reopening of the Pennsylvania economy with a “target date” of May 8.  » Read More

Special Needs Spotlight Webinar Series

By Shana Siegel (Re: Special Needs Law, Estate Planning, Health Care Decision-Making, Life Care Plans)

Every parent of a child with special needs worries about what will happen if (or when) they predecease their child. But a story I read last weekend sent chills up my spine. It was about a mother in Bergen County who died from the coronavirus, leaving her 30-year-old son with Down syndrome. » Read More

PPP Loan Forgiveness and Employees Who Refuse to Come Back to Work

By Patrick T. Collins (Re: Labor and Employment Law, Unemployment, Layoffs, Furlough, Coronavirus Relief)

Many employers have found themselves in the following situation. First, they were required to furlough or layoff employees due to COVID-19. Second, the employers were fortunate enough to obtain a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which in turn allowed the employers to offer jobs back to their laid-off employees. » Read More

Form I-9 Announcements: COVID-19 Temporary Policy for Identification Documents

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, Employers, Form I-9, Employment Verification, Coronavirus Relief)

The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled many states to issue stay-at-home orders, which has called for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to issue a temporary policy regarding the expired List B documents used for the renewal of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. » Read More

New Provider Relief Fund Application Portal Now Open

By F. Peter Lehr (Re: Health Care Law, Hospitals, Physicians, Providers, CARES Act, Coronavirus Relief)

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Congress set aside $100 billion to reimburse health care providers for lost revenue and increased costs stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. These funds are being disbursed by the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). » Read More

Don’t Let Your Business Partner Use the COVID-19 Pandemic to Hide Misconduct

By David C. Roberts (Re: Business Law, Minority Owners, Shareholder Disputes, Business Divorce Litigation, Minority Owners, New Jersey)

Many business owners reading this article are facing a severe COVID-19-related economic downturn and simply struggling for survival. However, this does not describe all businesses. Some have been, and remain, closed completely. Some are better able to adapt to a remote environment than others, and some may even thrive in this environment. » Read More

The Pandemic Effect: Supply Chain and Distribution Channels

By Oren M. Chaplin and Daniel R. Guadalupe (Re: Business Law, State of Emergency, Company Shutdowns, Corporate Operations, Business Continuity, Supply Chain, Distribution Channels)

Time to learn from the past. If COVID-19 taught us anything, it is that businesses need to be ready with alternative sources of supply and distribution. Yes, we can focus on what we discussed in our previous article, “The Pandemic Effect: Sale of a Business,” like force majeure, impossibility of performance, and frustration of purpose, but it is better (and healthier) to prepare your business as though this will happen again, because experts say it will.» Read More

“Governor, Can I Take Your Order?” – Pennsylvania House Votes to Allow Mixed Drinks To-Go but Will Governor Make It Law?

By Matthew B. Andersen (Re: Liquor Law, Food and Beverage, Restaurant Licensees, Hotel Licensees, Delivery, Pennsylvania)

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Pennsylvania restaurants and hotel licensees that are permitted to sell mixed drinks and cocktails for on-premises consumption have lost a significant amount of business due to the on-premises sales prohibition. While there have been reports of restaurant licensees in Pennsylvania selling mixed drinks and cocktails to-go, that is not currently legal under the Pennsylvania Liquor Code. » Read More

COVID-19 and New Jersey’s Immigrants: Frontline Undocumented Immigrant Workers, Financial Ruin, and Health Risks Bring Extreme Harm and Anxiety

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, Undocumented Immigrants, ICE Enforcement, COVID-19 Testing, Coronavirus Relief, New Jersey)

A recent report analyzing “the experiences of low-wage immigrant workers and families in New Jersey during the first month of the COVID-19 crisis,” found that “immigrant communities have experienced extreme harm” as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes limited access to health care services, no unemployment compensation, and pervasive employer conduct—all of which have led to increased anxiety, insecurity, and COVID-19 infection spread in immigrant communities. » Read More

Inside the CARES Act: Paycheck II the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act

By S. Graham Simmons, III (Re: Business Law, CARES Act, Small Businesses, SBA Loans, Paycheck Protection Program, Coronavirus Relief)

For those who have been following the latest with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, it was a busy end to last week! We’ve previously issued an analysis of the CARES Act of 2020 through our “Inside the CARES Act” series on the Norris McLaughlin Biz Law Blog, but this past week saw the passage of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (Paycheck II), as well as updated FAQs from the Treasury Department and additional guidance from the Small Business Administration (SBA) in another Interim Final Rule issued on Friday, April 24. » Read More

DEADLINES LOOM FOR HHS ALLOCATION OF $100 BILLION CARES ACT RELIEF FUND FOR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS

By Sandra Jarva Weiss (Re: Health Care Law, Hospitals, Physicians, Medicare, COVID-19 Testing and Treatment, Coronavirus Relief)

(Updated April 24, 2020, 10:45 AM)  On April 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) issued guidelines on how the $100 billion that Congress included in the CARES Act for hospitals and other health care providers (“Provider Relief Funds”) would be allocated and the timetable for health care providers to apply for such funds.» Read More

Additional $480 Billion in Coronavirus Relief Package Approved Including $310 Billion for Payroll Protection Program and $75 Billion for Health Care Providers Treating COVID-19 Cases

By Sandra Jarva Weiss (Re: Health Care Law, Hospitals, Physicians, Medicare, COVID-19 Testing and Treatment, Coronavirus Relief)

After a two-week impasse with Democrats and Republicans proposing competing COVID-19 pandemic relief bills, the Senate (on April 21, 2020) and the House (on April 23, 2020) approved a total of $480 billion of additional funds for various COVID-19 pandemic relief programs, including additional funding to the Payroll Protection Program, health care providers treating COVID-19 patients, and state and federal agencies for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.» Read More

Be Prepared for an Onslaught of Coronavirus-Related Lawsuits

By Steven A. Karg (Re: Class Action Defense, Consumer Fraud, MDL and MCL Aggregated Litigation, Price Gouging)

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way that companies must do business to survive. This change occurred over an extremely short period of time, with little notice, and while companies had limited resources. This unusual situation has caused companies to make decisions on an expedited basis with limited opportunity for careful contemplation and forced them to set priorities quickly. » Read More

Your State Store Won’t but Your Local Breweries Will

By Theodore J. Zeller III and Matthew B. Andersen (Re: Liquor Law, Food and Beverage, Breweries, Retail Licensees, Distribution, Shipping, Delivery)

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Pennsylvania state stores have shuttered and buying alcohol is limited, at best. In addition, fans of Pennsylvania craft breweries, like ourselves, have been shut out of visiting our favorite taprooms. Prior to this, there were some breweries that shipped directly to consumers across the state through well-planned and set up third-party shipping services. » Read More

President Trump Bans Certain Immigrant Green Cards for 60 Days

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, U.S. Citizenship, Visa Applicants, Green Card Holders, Skilled Workers, Employers, Travel Restrictions)

As promised, last night, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order that limits the ability of certain future immigrant visa applicants to enter the United States as lawful permanent residents, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The President’s Executive Order, the “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. » Read More

Do the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Apply to Immigrant Employees?

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, Undocumented Immigrants, FFCRA, CARES Act, Coronavirus Relief, Labor and Employment, Family Leave, Medical Leave, Sick Time, Employee Benefits, Employer Tax Credits)

The COVID-19 pandemic has expanded the eligibility of American employees for employment-related benefits, including medical leave and unemployment compensation. As the Norris McLaughlin employment law blog, Norris in the Workplace, first reported, President Donald Trump, on March 18, 2020, signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), “which provides paid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act and paid sick leave for absences resulting from COVID-19.” » Read More

Do Your Due Diligence: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Warns Main Street Investors About COVID-19-Related Fraud

By Oren M. Chaplin (Re: Business Law, Cannabusinesses, Investors, Investment Fraud, Mergers & Acquisitions, Purchase and Sale)

On April 10, 2020, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned Main Street investors about COVID-19-related fraud. The SEC continues in its efforts to ferret out questionable capital raising initiatives as can be shown through an April 21, 2020, litigation release pertaining to an alleged fraud involving investments in marijuana-related companies. » Read More

USCIS Urges COVID-19 Testing and Treatment With ICE Updating Enforcement Policy to Reduce Fear of Arrest and Spread of Coronavirus

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, Undocumented Immigrants, ICE Enforcement, COVID-19 Testing, Coronavirus Relief)

With testing for the COVID-19 pandemic expected to increase across the United States and a determination to test the entire U.S. population to determine COVID-19 immunity before a true reopening of the economy, the nearly 44.7 million immigrants lawfully in the United States and over 16 million undocumented immigrants living under the radar have expressed concerns as to their ability to seek testing and treatment, if at all. » Read More

The Pandemic Effect: Sale of a Business

By Oren M. Chaplin and Daniel R. Guadalupe (Re: Business Law, State of Emergency, Company Shutdowns, Corporate Operations, Business Continuity, Breach of Contract, Agreements, Mergers & Acquisitions, Purchase and Sale)

Among the many transformational changes caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the way lawyers and clients approach the sale or acquisition of a business unquestionably will change forever. This article is not about any business sale or acquisition disrupted by the pandemic but about looking forward. » Read More

President Trump Expected to Sign Executive Order to “Temporarily Suspend Immigration to the United States”

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, Travel Restrictions)

Shortly after 10:00 p.m. last night, President Donald Trump announced—through Twitter—that he “will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States,” because of the “attack” from the COVID-19 pandemic on the United States and “to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens.” » Read More

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update for Pennsylvania Food and Beverage Businesses

By Matthew B. Andersen and David C. Berger (Re: Liquor Law, Food and Beverage, Hospitality, Restaurants, Bars, Hotels, Taverns, Breweries, Wineries, Distilleries, Pennsylvania)

This blog post will contain the latest updates for restaurant, bar, hotel, tavern, brewery, winery, and distillery licensees related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Pennsylvania (Latest Update: April 20, 2020, 3:45 PM). Below the updates, we included some compliance tips to think about if you choose to or are forced to close your food or beverage business. » Read More

CBP Announces 90-Day Postponement of Import Duty, Tax, and Fee Payments for COVID-19 Impacted Businesses

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, Homeland Security, Customs & Border Protection, Import Duties, Taxes, Fee Payments, Coronavirus Relief)

On Sunday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Customs & Border Protection (CBP) announced that President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order that allows CBP to grant a 90-day postponement of certain duties, taxes, and fees that would have otherwise been due to CBP by importers across the United States. » Read More

DHS Temporarily Amends Certain H-2A Visa Requirements During COVID-19 National Emergency

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, H-2A Visa, Agricultural Employers, Farmers, Foreign Employees, Skilled Workers)

On April 15, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), along with the support of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announced a temporary final rule changing certain H-2A visa requirements. This rule will enable U.S. agriculture employers to continue employing lawful-related employment. » Read More

$30 Billion Is Being Infused Into the Health Care System: Who Is Receiving Money and What You Should Know If You Keep It

By Svetlana (Lana) Ros (Re: Health Care Law, Hospitals, Physicians, Medicare, Coronavirus Relief)

Beginning April 10, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), assisted by UnitedHealth Group, began distributing the $30 billion to health care providers and health care systems. These payments are not loans and will not need to be repaid. » Read More

Protocols and Procedures When a Shareholder Dies

By Dean M. Roberts (Re: Business Law, Shareholder, Real Estate, Estate Planning, New York)

While the death of a shareholder is a serious issue for boards of directors and their managing agents, the current COVID-19 crisis has greatly heightened the issue and this blog post is a brief outline of issues arising from the death of a shareholder and actions the cooperative can and should take .» Read More

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Impracticability and Frustration of Purpose as Defenses to Breach of Contract Claims in Pennsylvania

By John F. Lushis, Jr.  and Barbara L. Hollenbach (Re: Business Law, Real Estate, Breach of Contract, Lease Agreements, Purchase and Sale, Construction, Pennsylvania)

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has created a new normal in a multitude of economic sectors, including commercial transactions. From commercial leases to loan agreements to construction and supply contracts, questions are surfacing about the rights, liabilities, and defenses available to parties to a contract in view of the pandemic. » Read More

Impact of COVID-19 Stimulus Checks on Property Tax and Rent Rebates for Pennsylvania’s Older Adults and Residents With Disabilities

By Hon. Rebecca L. Warren (Ret.) (Re: Elder Care, Elder Law, Senior Citizens, Disabilities, Estate Planning, Real Estate, Property Tax, Rent, Pennsylvania)

As part of the COVID-19 relief packages provided by the federal government, qualified United States citizens and resident aliens will be receiving an “Economic Impact Payment,” also being referred to as the “Stimulus Check.” » Read More

Remote Notary Services Get A (Temporary) Green Light in New Jersey

By James H. Laskey (Re: Business Law, Real Estate, Public Services, Notaries, Essential Businesses, New Jersey)

The days of physical closings for complex business transactions with everyone on both sides of the transaction gathered in a single conference room in front of stacks of documents feverishly signing multiple copies (and inevitably overlooking something) seem like ancient history now. » Read More

If Not Now, When? New Legislation Simplifies Estate Planning in the Time of Coronavirus

By Shana Siegel (Re: Elder Care, Elder Law, Estate Planning, Health Care Directives, Wills, Notaries, Power of Attorneys, New Jersey)

New Jersey Governor Murphy has just made it easier to complete your estate planning during this coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Many law firms, like ours, are offering Zoom meetings and phone consultations to comply with the social distancing measures. We email and mail documents to our clients. » Read More

More Changes in New Jersey Employment Law

By Patrick T. Collins (Re: Labor and Employment Law, Family Leave, Medical Leave, Sick Time, Employee Benefits, Unemployment, Layoffs, Coronavirus Relief)

Yesterday we reported that New Jersey’s legislature has once again approved a series of bills that seek to provide relief to New Jersey residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among these bills are two that significantly impact employers. We are updating our report to advise you that Governor Murphy has signed both of the employment-related bills into law. » Read More

Pennsylvania Passes Senate Bill 841 to Allow Public Meetings and Notary Services via Telecommunication

By F. Peter Lehr (Re: Pennsylvania, Municipalities, Public Services, Notaries, Essential Businesses)

On April 14, 2020, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 841, which allows public entities and notaries to conduct business remotely during the statewide disaster emergency precipitated by COVID-19. The legislation is a culmination of separate State House and Senate bills to allow public entities, including counties, municipalities, and municipal authorities, to utilize telecommunication services for meetings and notary services during the COVID-19 pandemic. » Read More

More Changes in New Jersey Employment Law Potentially on the Way

By Patrick T. Collins (Re: Labor and Employment Law, Family Leave, Medical Leave, Sick Time, Employee Benefits, Unemployment, Layoffs, Coronavirus Relief)

New Jersey’s legislature has once again approved a series of bills that seek to provide relief to New Jersey residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among these bills are two changes that significantly impact employers. » Read More

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing Available for Undocumented Immigrants in New Jersey

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, Undocumented Immigrants, Identification, Social Distancing, COVID-19 Testing, New Jersey)

Officials in New Jersey, like the rest of the country, are urging people with symptoms of COVID-19 to get tested. 500,000 unauthorized immigrants in New Jersey are at a crossroads, as many do not have health insurance. However, many immigrant advocates say there are options for undocumented immigrants who need COVID-19 testing. » Read More

Small Business Reorganization Act: The Vaccine for Small Businesses Suffering From the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Melissa Anne Peña (Re: Business Law, CARES Act, Small Businesses, Bankruptcy, Coronavirus Relief)

Timing is everything. On February 19, 2020, the Small Business Reorganization Act (SBRA), which added a new subchapter to the United States Bankruptcy Code, became effective. Commonly referred to as Subchapter V, the SBRA was enacted in an effort to reduce the cost and expense of small business bankruptcy reorganizations .» Read More

Pennsylvania Establishes $450 Million Loan Program to Assist Hospitals in the Fight Against COVID-19

By F. Peter Lehr (Re: Health Care Law, Hospitals, CARES Act, Coronavirus Relief, Pennsylvania)

On April 10, 2020, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced the creation of a state loan program, entitled the Hospital Emergency Loan Program, or HELP for short, to assist hospitals that are facing unprecedented challenges from COVID-19. The loan program will provide immediate financial support to hospitals in Pennsylvania for working capital in order to retain health care personnel and acquire personal protective equipment. » Read More

New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control Adapts to COVID-19 Realities

By Andrew D. Linden (Re: Liquor Law, Food and Beverage, Breweries, Wineries, Distilleries, Social Distancing, Hand Sanitizer, New Jersey)

While other states, such as Pennsylvania (which has essentially reverted back to Prohibition) have significantly curtailed activities in the alcoholic beverage industry, New Jersey has amended a number of if its strict regulations in an effort to support alcohol beverage operations in our state. » Read More

Executing New Jersey Estate Planning Documents During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Nicholas J. Dimakos and Shauna M. Deans (Re: Estate Planning and Administration, Trusts, Wills, Power of Attorney, Guardianship, Health Care Directives, Notaries, New Jersey)

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered our daily lives. Social distancing measures advanced by the CDC (i.e., maintaining six feet of distance, no group gatherings, wearing masks outside, setting aside documents traveling in the mail for 2-3 days to allow the virus to die on surfaces) are designed to slow the spread of the virus by flattening the curve and keep us safe. » Read More

Preparing for Illness in the COVID-19 World

By Lori Kayne (Re: Estate Planning and Administration, Elder Law, Health Care Decision-Making)

My symptoms for the suspected COVID-19 illness began three weeks ago with a fever, fatigue, nausea, and a loss of my sense of smell and taste. While I was one of the extremely fortunate patients who ultimately did not struggle with shortness of breath, the fear that I could become short of breath at any moment was real and the anxiety almost crippling at times. » Read More

Governor Wolf Approves Temporary Limited Suspension of Rule Requiring Physical Presence of Notaries for Estate Planning Documents

By Barbara L. Hollenbach and Judith A. Harris (Re: Estate Planning and Administration, Trusts, Wills, Power of Attorney, Guardianship, Health Care Directives, Notaries, Pennsylvania)

On April 2, 2020, Pennsylvania Governor Wolf approved a temporary and limited suspension of current law 57 Pa.C.S. § 306, which requires the physical presence of notaries, for estate planning documents that require notarization or for which notarization is considered best practice. » Read More

Small Business and Consumer Debt Collection Emergency Relief Act of 2020

By Jerome F. Gallagher, Jr. (Re: Business Law, Small Businesses, Bankruptcy, Lenders, Debt Collections, Coronavirus Relief)

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced Senate Bill No. 3565 entitled “Small Business and Consumer Debt Collection Emergency Relief Act of 2020” (the “Bill”), which proposes several far-reaching amendments to the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. » Read More

Operational Guidance for Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Adjustment During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Timothy P. McKeown (Re: Real Estate Law, Land Use, Municipal Planning, Zoning Boards, New Jersey)

On April 2, 2020, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Local Government Services (DLGS) issued guidance to municipal planning and zoning boards to ensure continuity of land use application procedures and due process while simultaneously adhering to the COVID-19 social distancing and health measures. » Read More

Inside the CARES Act: COVID-19 Impact Upon Retirement Plans/Accounts

By Oldrich Foucek, III (Re: Business Law, Retirement Plans, Coronavirus Relief)

At 880 pages, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act covers a lot of ground, offering COVID-19 relief and benefits to a broad swath of the population. Among its significant provisions are those related to workers’ retirement funds. Specifically, the CARES Act makes employee-favorable changes to existing law regarding: » Read More

COVID-19 and Impracticability and Frustration of Purpose as Defenses to Breach of Contract Claims in Pennsylvania

By Barbara L. Hollenbach (Re: Business Law, Real Estate, Breach of Contract, Lease Agreements, Purchase and Sale, Construction, Pennsylvania)

In addition to any defenses to performance that may exist under force majeure provisions contained in a contract, Pennsylvania courts recognize impracticability of performance and frustration of purpose as defenses to breach of contract claims. However, the availability of impracticability and frustration of purposes defenses in any particular case is dependent upon the language of the contract and the facts and circumstances of the case. » Read More

Gov. Murphy Temporarily Expands Scope of Practice for Advanced Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants, While Also Providing Broad Civil Immunity to Health Care Professionals Aiding With the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Svetlana (Lana) Ros (Re: Health Care Law, Physicians, Nurses, Professional Liability, Telehealth)

As the number of positive COVID-19 cases in New Jersey is expected to continue to rise and in anticipation of the need to expand the New Jersey health care system’s capacity, Gov. Murphy issued Executive Order 112 on April 1, 2020 (“Order”). » Read More

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