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Coronavirus Legal News Briefing — May 12, 2020

On Behalf of | May 12, 2020 | CORONAVIRUS, Courts, Diversity, Firm News

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

Ransomware attack affects access to Office of Court Administration websites — The network will remain disabled until the breach is remediated. In the meantime, a temporary website has been established. — Texas Bar Blog

Texas attorneys defend judge who sentenced Dallas salon owner to jail — Attorneys across the country have stepped up to defend a Dallas district judge in the court of public opinion from what they call unfair criticism. (Subscription required) — Texas Lawyer

Using Rule 11 to keep your case moving during COVID-19 — Remember when Rule 11 was used just to memorialize a discovery extension? Meet the new and improved Rule 11. — Disputing blog

Texas’ rules for mail-in voting won’t work during pandemic, a new lawsuit argues — A group of Texas voters and civic organizations claim that four Texas absentee voting rules are unconstitutional during a public health crisis. — The Texas Tribune

Pandemic not ‘disastrous’ enough for property tax relief — The Texas state attorney general ruled that Covid-19 wouldn’t trigger the relief the state offered after Hurricane Harvey, which in some cases resulted in property tax savings of 10% to 30% on the value of real estate. — Bloomberg Tax

Why exotic dancers and other gig workers are seeing employment law gains, COVID-19 losses — “The coronavirus is exposing the dangers of being a gig worker—you have no benefits, no health care, and no one to speak for you,” says lawyer Michael P. Maslanka, a labor and employment law expert in Texas and a professor at the University of North Texas at Dallas College of Law. — ABA Journal

Strip clubs, other ‘disfavored’ businesses entitled to emergency loans in pandemic: U.S. judge — A U.S. judge ruled on Monday that strip clubs cannot be blocked from obtaining emergency federal loans during the coronavirus pandemic, and declared invalid a rule barring a wide range of businesses from obtaining those loans. — Reuters

LA courts requiring mandatory usage of face masks by judges — All Los Angeles County Superior Court bench officers such as judges and commissioners are required to wear face masks in public areas inside courthouses and in courtrooms. — Courthouse News Service

Face coverings: Q&A for US employers — For employers, questions abound about obligations related to face coverings. — The Employer Report

Minority-owned small businesses were supposed to get priority. They may not have (audio) — A new report from the Small Business Administration’s inspector general found that businesses owned by people of color may not have received loans as intended under the Paycheck Protection Program. — NPR

COVID-19 cases at a Texas immigration detention center soared. Now, town leaders want answers. — Coronavirus infections continue to rise at migrant detention facilities in towns with limited resources. — The Texas Tribune and ProPublica

Will filing for unemployment hurt my green card? Legal immigrants are afraid — “What I’m seeing is a lot of clients who are eligible to apply for unemployment are simply too afraid to do so,” one immigration lawyer tells NPR. — NPR

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