News

2020

Meet Dave Finkel

SHJ is pleased to welcome summer associate Dave Finkel to our team. Dave is a rising 3L at the University of Chicago Law…

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A Practitioner’s Guide to COVID-19-Related Force Majeure Disputes

A Practitioner’s Guide to COVID-19-Related Force Majeure Disputes

The predicted wave of force majeure litigation related to COVID-19 has now become reality. Lawsuits are increasingly being filed by parties to contractual disputes and practitioners are increasingly being called upon to evaluate such disputes. This article is intended to provide in-house lawyers and business executives with a guide for evaluating these disputes from their inception.

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Government-Mandated Closures: Who is Liable If Businesses Fail?

Government-Mandated Closures: Who is Liable If Businesses Fail?

As U.S. companies struggle with government-mandated closures—including re-openings followed by rollbacks in states like Texas, Florida, and California—a growing number of businesses, especially in the hospitality and entertainment sectors, are closing their doors for good. In this grim scenario, business owners may be wondering if litigation is possible when government-enforced suspensions cause their businesses to fail.

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Guidance for MSLP Lenders: How to Minimize Litigation Exposure

Guidance for MSLP Lenders: How to Minimize Litigation Exposure

While the Main Street Lending Program (“MSLP”) was designed to ameliorate economic harm caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it leaves lenders open to possible litigation exposure if borrowers fail to satisfy their obligations. How can lenders protect themselves and minimize the level of risk?

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Meet Fatima Aslam 

SHJ is pleased to welcome summer associate Fatima Aslam to our team. Fatima recently graduated from the Georgetown University Law Center with an LL.M. in International Business and Economic Law and a Certificate in International Arbitration.

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Checklist: Managing Force Majeure

Checklist: Managing Force Majeure

In a turbulent economy, circumstances often arise in which a party seeks to avoid contractual obligations by invoking a force majeure provision in the relevant agreement. The following checklist offers a preliminary way forward.

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Do Masks Compromise Witness Credibility?

Do Masks Compromise Witness Credibility?

As American society copes with the COVID-19 pandemic, masks and face coverings have become the focus of legal mandates, political protests, and nonstop commentary—in some instances, even violence. But beyond the public health guidance and ideological debates, trial lawyers face a new and unique question: Could whether a witness is wearing a mask impact their credibility in the eyes of a jury?

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Dan Hinde Appointed Chair of Texas Bar Oversight Committee

SHJ partner Dan Hinde has been named Chair of the State Bar of Texas Pattern Jury Charge Oversight Committee for 2020-21. The committee is responsible for vetting and approving all proposed changes and updates to the nine-volume Texas Pattern Jury Charges (PJCs) published by the State Bar.

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PPP Agent Fees: A Guide for Accountants, Attorneys, and Consultants

PPP Agent Fees: A Guide for Accountants, Attorneys, and Consultants

The troubles affecting the federal government’s Payroll Protection Program (PPP) have been well documented. One critical issue is the fact that, while PPP lenders have been receiving their fees, PPP agents have not. This article examines three recently filed class actions, analyzes other litigation concerning the CARES Act, and provides guidance to PPP agents on how to protect their rights and receive their fees.

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Genetic Typing Could Answer Key Questions in COVID-19 Tort Litigation

Genetic Typing Could Answer Key Questions in COVID-19 Tort Litigation

The current crisis is already spawning tort suits seeking damages for illness or death allegedly caused by negligent or reckless exposure. Former DOJ trial counsel Adam Dinnell has successfully used genetic typing, a form of “fingerprinting” that differentiates between thousands of different genetic types of a particular pathogen, as evidence in similar cases involving Legionnaire’s Disease.

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Schiffer Hicks Johnson Spring 2020 Newsletter

No one could describe the first quarter of 2020 as “business as usual.” Our spring newsletter offers timely insight into pressing COVID-19 issues, from genetic typing in tort litigation to cyberattacks, involuntary quarantines, and emerging trends in force majeure.

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Genetic Typing Could Answer Key Questions in COVID-19 Tort Litigation

Genetic Typing Could Answer Key Questions in COVID-19 Tort Litigation

The current crisis is already spawning tort suits seeking damages for illness or death allegedly caused by negligent or reckless exposure. Former DOJ trial counsel Adam Dinnell has successfully used genetic typing, a form of “fingerprinting” that differentiates between thousands of different genetic types of a particular pathogen, as evidence in similar cases involving Legionnaire’s Disease.

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Update: Force Majeure Provisions in the Age of COVID-19

Update: Force Majeure Provisions in the Age of COVID-19

As the COVID-19 crisis and its economic fallout intensify, contractual parties have increasingly invoked force majeure provisions to excuse performance of contracts. This article offers an update on emerging global trends in force majeure and the evolving considerations businesses should apply in evaluating force majeure provisions found in existing as well as new contracts.

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