COVID-19 has shaken us all, and it has had an unprecedented impact on how businesses operate worldwide. While therapeutics and vaccinations will in all likelihood rid us of the pandemic sometime in the foreseeable future, even then, the collateral damage left in the wake of the outbreak will be far and wide. This is particularly true in terms of potential legal exposure on the part of companies hit hard by the novel coronavirus.
As you know, Michelman & Robinson has been at the forefront of COVID-19-related legal issues since the infancy of the pandemic—our comprehensive commentary featured in the many associated alerts you have received—and we continue to be the go-to firm for those navigating the myriad problems that have arisen due to the public health crisis. That being said, we have important news to announce.
By virtue of our demonstrated expertise around the legal and operational problems that the coronavirus has presented, together with the overwhelming demand for such nuanced representation, the firm has assembled a first-of-its-kind and standalone COVID-19 Practice Group made up of an inter-disciplinary team of M&R attorneys—all subject matter pros—singularly focused on piloting clients through the panoply of challenges stemming from COVID-19 and what is sure to be its troubling aftermath. We are equipped to provide advice and counsel in connection with all of the following areas of law:
We now offer full-service consultation in connection with the Paycheck Protection Program, as well as related audit representation. The firm also handles appeals of adverse SBA rulings on PPP eligibility and loan forgiveness, lender negligence claims, and most other PPP-related hurdles facing borrowers across industries.
Labor & Employment
COVID-19’s impact upon the labor and employment landscape cannot be understated, both operationally and in terms of employee-initiated litigation. Our team of employment specialists is well versed in all of the following issues as they specifically relate to the coronavirus:
- Health and safety (OSHA, etc.)
- Workplace procedures, manuals, and employee policies and training
- Telecommuting and electronic use policies
- Employee reintegration
- WARN Act
- Americans With Disabilities Act
- Family and Medical Leave Act and related state leave claims
- Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage and hour law
- Worker’s Compensation
- Risk mitigation (releases and waivers, potential torts, invitee and licensee issues)
- Wrongful termination litigation
- Regulatory and municipal compliance
- Operations (equipment, signage, etc.)
White-Collar Defense & Investigations
PPP fraud has captured its share of headlines, and our white-collar defense attorneys are sought after to handle these and similar regulatory enforcement cases on behalf of corporations, boards of directors, executives, and other individuals. In doing so, our white-collar pros navigate the prosecutorial process in cases involving the U.S. Department of Justice, the Small Business Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Internal Revenue Service, and various state attorney generals’ offices.
Whether a result of supply chain and production line interruptions, travel bans, customer drop off, or any of the other countless business-facing consequences of COVID-19, contract litigation will be a mainstay in state and federal courts nationwide for the foreseeable future. M&R’s powerhouse commercial and business litigators are poised to handle these cases as they always do—thoroughly, strategically, and without mercy.
Perhaps no space has been as severely effected by the slew of COVID-19-related business closures and economic downturn as commercial real estate. Our real estate practitioners (litigators and transactional attorneys) are sought after for their work in commercial lease negotiations (and renegotiations), financing, foreclosure actions, as well as the remaining gamut of complex commercial real estate litigation.
Insurance law is in our DNA, and no firm is as equipped to handle the range of COVID-19-related insurance issues—from business interruption claims and Directors & Officers liability policy disputes to worker’s compensation and coverage questions—as we are.
Bankruptcy & Restructuring
On the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn, more businesses than ever are weighing their options in terms of bankruptcy (Chapter 7 liquidation or Chapter 11 reorganization) and similar types of relief. Debtors require sophisticated, experienced legal counsel to assist them through the difficult process. For their part, creditors nationwide (including landlords) and trustees seek guidance as well to protect their rights, as bankruptcy petitions continue to spike. Toward these ends, clients throughout the country lean on M&R’s extraordinary bankruptcy and restructuring attorneys for representation.
Cybersecurity & Privacy
COVID-19 has done nothing to minimize the threat of cyber attacks, including privacy and data breaches. In fact, wrongdoers around the globe are using the pandemic as cover for phishing and ransomware attacks that place confidential and sensitive personal and corporate information at risk. Rest assured, M&R’s cybersecurity and privacy professionals work diligently to protect our clients’ security environments, maximize uninterrupted use of networks, prevent unauthorized access and cyber incidents, and otherwise minimize cybersecurity and privacy risks and exposure.
M&R’s COVID-19 Practice Group Is at Your Service
For years to come, businesses across the U.S. and internationally will face issues and litigation triggering the need for representation from counsel with in-depth experience in all of the foregoing areas of law—this as a consequence of the pandemic and its outsized influence on day-to-day operations and, more broadly, our global economy. Rest assured, our new COVID-19 Practice Group is dialed-in and uniquely situated to successfully handle these matters on your behalf, whether they play out in the courtroom, boardroom, or workplace.
This blog post is not offered, and should not be relied on, as legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice in specific situations.