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Paul Zimmerman
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House Contemplates Revisions to the Paycheck Protection Program

This week, the United States House of Representatives is set to take action on a bipartisan bill coined the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (the Flexibility Act). Introduced by Reps. Dean Phillips (D-MN) and Chip Roy (R-TX) on May 15, the law, if passed, would make certain substantive changes to the PPP, as described below. (Read More)

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Hoteliers Beware: a Return to Business Post-Pandemic Brings With It Potential Legal Liability

Without question, tourism—and by extension, hospitality—has been one of the industries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. This remains the case even as stay-at-home orders begin to be phased out and states gradually reopen for business. Long story short: hotels will continue to feel the economic sting of COVID-19 for the time being as non-essential travel is still discouraged by the Center for Disease Control, if not altogether prohibited in some places by virtue of cross-border restrictions, among other things. (Read More)

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California Insurance Commissioner Extends Order for Insurers to Partially Refund Premiums

This is an update to Michelman & Robinson's previous report about California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara’s bulletin (Bulletin 2020-3) to insurance companies requiring the return of premiums to businesses and consumers in an effort to provide financial relief during the coronavirus crisis. By way of a new bulletin (Bulletin 2020-4issued today (May 15, 2020), Commissioner Lara has extended his prior mandate directed at all admitted and non-admitted property and casualty and workers’ compensation carriers doing business in CaliforniaM&R explains the scope of Commissioner Lara’s updated directive here. (Read More)

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SAFE Banking Act for Cannabis-Related Businesses Included in the HEROES Act

Michelman & Robinson previously reported that federal assistance could be on the horizon for legitimate cannabis-related businesses and their service providers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. If Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have their way, that help could come sooner rather than later, as legislators have baked provisions into the pending HEROES Act aimed at providing cannabusiness's access to financial services, like banking. (Read More)

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U.S. House Democrats Introduce HEROES Act, a New $3T Stimulus Package

This week, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced the HEROES ACT, a new $3T coronavirus stimulus package that, if passed, will grant further economic relief—this time to a wide array of industries and Americans still suffering from the impact of COVID-19. The House official government website has posted the proposed bill, which can be found here. For those who would rather not read the 1,815-page legislation, which is expected to meet with plenty of Republican opposition in the Senate, Michelman & Robinson summarizes the major provisions below. (Read More)

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The Many Questions Surrounding COVID-19-Related Workers’ Compensation Claims

COVID-19 has divided the workforce. There are employees who can work remotely, lowering their exposure to the disease and greatly reducing the chance of workplace injury. And then there are those on the front lines who must continue to work on location, such as first responders and employees in the health care, food service, and delivery industries. In either case, workers can and are becoming sick, and as businesses begin to reopen on-site before widespread testing is available, it is inevitable that even more employees will catch COVID-19. This begs the question: will employees who come down with the illness give rise to a spike in related workers' compensation claims? (Read More)

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U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Challenge to Scope of Anti-Injunction Act in Micro-Captive Insurance Company Transactions Case

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case of great consequence when it comes to judicial review of IRS guidance that arguably concerns tax collection or assessment. At issue in CIC Services LLC v. Internal Revenue Service is the scope of the Anti-Injunction Act and, more specifically, what constitutes the collection or assessment of taxes for purposes of the statute. (Read More)

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A 2008 Redux: IRS Provides Temporary Cash/Stock Dividend Relief for Publicly Offered REITs and RICs

This week, the Internal Revenue Service issued Revenue Procedure 2020-19, which temporarily reduces to 10%—from 20%—the amount of cash that must be distributed to publicly offered REIT or RIC shareholders in cash/stock election dividend distributions. (Read More)

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NAIC Issues Business Interruption Data Call in the Wake of COVID-19

Late last week, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”) issued a letter online to all property and casualty insurers on behalf of insurance regulators nationwide regarding a data call to collect information related to business interruption insurance and COVID-19. Carriers can expect to receive the letter directly on—or shortly after—Friday, May 8, 2020. In the meantime, Michelman & Robinson breaks down the information included in the correspondence and answers questions about the data call, the information requested, and who is affected by the NAIC’s outreach. (Read More)

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PPP Guidance Issued by the SBA and U.S. Treasury at Odds With the CARES Act—Michelman & Robinson Files First-of-Its-Kind Lawsuit Challenging FAQs

Click here to read the lawsuit.

There continues to be significant backlash about the Paycheck Protection Program and loans being taken by not-so-small businesses like Ruth’s Hospitality Group (operator of the Ruth’s Chris Steak House chain), Auto Nation, and even the Los Angeles Lakers, which has put U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the defensive. On the heels of his recent comment that PPP borrowers improperly certifying their needs for relief under the CARES Act will suffer “severe consequences,” comes Mnuchin’s statement last week that, “for any loan over $2M, the Small Business Administration will be doing a full review of that loan before there is loan forgiveness.” (Read More)