Best Practices for Litigating in the Virtual World

As the majority of the United States legal community continues to work from home, many courts are proceeding with cases virtually. Hearings that would have required in person attendance are now being held telephonically or over videoconference, and depositions are expected to move forward over video or teleconference. But a virtual court appearance should not be treated any different than an in person court appearance. In a recent case, a judge in Florida admonished an attorney for appearing on a video conference in bed, showing the dangers of approaching virtual court differently than when physically present. Read more…

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Implications of the Decision in MDS Inc. v. Factory Mutual Insurance Company (FM Global), 2020 ONSC 1924 on Business Interruption Claims Arising from the COVID-19 Pandemic. Read the full article.

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The Court of Appeal Considers the Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on Contractual Relationships

By Jean-Pierre Sheppard, Sara Laraichi and Sydney Warshaw, from our Business Law Practice Group

April 18, 2020 — As of April 16, 2020, there have been some 27 published judgements rendered by Quebec courts and tribunals that mention COVID.

One decision is of particular interest as it addresses the impact that COVID-19 could have going forward. In Naimer c. Naimer, 2020 QCCA 567, Justice Geneviève Marcotte of the Court of Appeal ruled on April 8th to grant part of the Respondents’ Application for safeguard order. Respondents sought to force a share purchase agreement. Justice Marcotte held that the financial climate created by the unique COVID-19 crisis favoured ordering that the transaction go forward.

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Health Measures Plan for the Reopening of Construction Sites

By Xavier Morand Bock, from our Litigation Group

April 10, 2020 — Though the Quebec government has just extended the suspension of non-essential activities, including the operation of construction sites, until May 4th, it is essential that construction companies begin planning for the implementation of safety measures at their sites, so that their future operations can be carried out safely.

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On March 17, 2020, the Ontario Superior Court began restricting the matters that would be heard amidst COVID-19 concerns. For civil and commercial matters in Toronto, the Court will only be hearing matters related to outstanding warrants or urgent and time sensitive motions that pose a risk of immediate and significant financial repercussions if they are not dealt with. This leaves an important question unanswered: what is considered urgent? Read the full article.

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Coronavirus ‘Civil Authority’ Coverage May Hinge On Science

Law360 (March 18, 2020, 9:04 PM EDT) — A New Orleans restaurant recently filed the first of a potential wave of lawsuits seeking insurance to cover losses from government-mandated closures due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, and disputes over this “civil authority” coverage may center on the unsettled science on how long the virus can linger in properties. Read more…

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Federal Paid Sick Leave Passed By The Senate California Suspends Warn Act Orange County Reigns In Shelter-In-Place Order

Developments around the COVID-19 pandemic continue to move fast and significant changes in the relevant laws continue to evolve. This Client Alert covers three recent developments, including the passage by the United States Senate of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, California’s temporary suspension of the California WARN Act, and significant softening of the Orange County Public Health shelter-in-place regulations. As always, we encourage you to reach out to any member of team listed at the end of this Alert with any questions you may have on these fast moving topics. Read more…

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Coronavirus Freezes Most Litigation Filings in New York State Courts, So Look Elsewhere for TROs and Preliminary Injunctions

For any attorney about to rush into New York State court to seek an injunction or temporary relief with regard to a violation of a non-compete or other restrictive covenant, or with regard to misappropriation of trade secrets, think again about venue.

By Administrative Order, dated March 22, 2020, Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks has decreed that until further notice, New York State courts are accepting no filings unless the filings concern an emergency matter (as defined in the Order’s Exhibit A).  Neither restrictive covenant nor trade secret matters count as “emergencies.”

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Aviation Update: Common themes in times of crisis

The Aviation (Enforcement and Recovery) team has been advising clients on issues arising from the current crisis. Three main themes emerge from the current challenges in the airline sector:

1.) Airline insolvency risk.  A number of leasing companies have claims for unpaid rent and maintenance rent. These claims can be pursued by:

  • applying security deposits and enforcing other security; and/or
  • issuing proceedings in the High Court – which will effectively come to halt if the airline then goes into a formal insolvency process; and/or
  • Instigating insolvency proceedings against the airline; and/or
  • Exercising proprietary rights such as arresting and taking possession of the aircraft, with the assistance of a court order or injunction in the relevant location.

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Will the coronavirus pandemic affect your litigation?

Count the United States courts among the institutions taking precautions to curb the spread of coronavirus as confirmed cases of COVID-19 eclipsed 100,000 worldwide.

On March 6, a court in the Central District of California granted in part a joint request for a stay of litigation in UPL NA, Inc. v. Tide International (USA), Inc. as discovery efforts were being “severely impacted by the outbreak of coronavirus.” Read more…

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