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  • Distressed Real Estate During COVID-19: Options Beyond PPP Loans Back to Site Load in Main Window
    08/12/2020

    As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses across the country have faced severe economic hardship. Congress has responded with initiatives such as the Paycheck Protection Program and the Main Street Lending Program (MSLP), but these programs have not been designed with the commercial real estate market in mind. Recently, Representatives Van Taylor (R-TX), Al Lawson (D-FL) and Andy Barr (R-KY) introduced the “Helping Open Properties Endeavor Act of 2020” (HOPE Act) to provide assistance to this sector. If the bill becomes law, it will work in conjunction with existing provisions of the Main Street Lending Program to lend strong support to commercial real estate owners.

  • New Stimulus Measures Taking Shape Back to Site Load in Main Window
    08/01/2020

    SUMMARY

    Senate Republicans and House Democrats have both put forth proposals aimed to counteract the economic effects of COVID-19 on the American economy. There are areas of agreement between the proposals, but significant disagreements remain.

  • The Pillsbury Industry Insights Podcast Back to Site Load in Main Window
    04/13/2020

    Join host Joel Simon and guests as they discuss important and emerging topics impacting the financial services industry in 15 minutes or less. 

  • Senate Republicans Unveil Proposed COVID-19 Liability Shield Back to Site Load in Main Window
    07/30/2020

    Senate Republicans have recently unveiled their proposed liability protection measures intended to be included with the next Congressional COVID-19 pandemic response bill. Republicans have long signaled that providing businesses a federal liability shield is a top legislative priority for future relief bills, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office has now released the text of the SAFE TO WORK Act, a legislative measure that could provide key liability protections for an array of businesses and organizations for COVID-19-related lawsuits. While the measure will likely face partisan opposition to its enactment, if passed, the liability shield would preempt many of the state law measures currently in place, and provide uniform protections for not just businesses, but also nonprofits, state and local governments, schools, and other organizations currently facing unknown liability risks from the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Oregon COVID-19 Law Halts Foreclosures, Expands Borrower Protections Back to Site Load in Main Window
    07/28/2020

    On June 30th, 2020, Oregon governor Kate Brown signed into law HB 4204, providing sweeping protections to mortgagors and putting a moratorium on foreclosure proceedings. This law also requires all lenders operating within the state to provide written notice by mail to every borrower by August 29, 2020 of the protections added by the bill. This law applies to all lenders who hold a collateral interest in property or a retail installment contract within the state of Oregon, regardless of the lenders’ location. These protections will remain in place until 90 days after the end of the state’s COVID-19 “emergency period,” which is currently ends on September 30th but is likely to be extended.

  • Virginia Adopts COVID-19 Workplace Safety Mandates Back to Site Load in Main Window
    07/23/2020

    After it recently announced plans to issue the first statewide Coronavirus workplace safety rules in the U.S., the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) has published emergency temporary regulations under the authority of the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) Program. The regulations, which are expected to take effect during the week of July 27, 2020 after being published in a Richmond newspaper, will remain in effect for six months. Violations of these standards will subject Virginia employers to penalties under the existing VOSH penalty standards, which range from up to $13,047 for serious and certain other violations, to up to $130,463 for willful and repeated violations. This alert summarizes key provisions of the regulations, but Virginia employers should review the detailed regulatory requirements in full.

  • Tour de Force: When Is COVID-19 the Cause of Nonperformance? Back to Site Load in Main Window
    07/21/2020

    As discussed previously, whether a Force Majeure Clause excuses nonperformance depends, among other things, on whether the event falls within the clause’s scope and is the cause of the nonperformance or delayed performance.

  • Going Dark: Deregistration in the COVID-19 Era Back to Site Load in Main Window
    07/18/2020

    In the wake of the recent economic downturn and resulting liquidity concerns, companies subject to public reporting requirements are reconsidering whether the advantages of a public listing outweigh the burdens of ongoing reporting and compliance obligations. Deregistration, or “going dark,” is an increasingly appealing alternative for companies seeking to avoid Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reporting obligations and associated costs.

  • Virginia Adopts First COVID-19 Workplace Safety Mandates Back to Site Load in Main Window
    07/17/2020

    The Nation’s First Coronavirus Workplace Safety Rules
    On Wednesday July 15, Virginia’s Department of Labor and Industry’s Safety and Health Codes Board (the Department) announced the first coronavirus-related workplace safety regulation in the United States (Workplace Rules). This mandate follows an executive order issued by Governor Ralph Northam in late May that directed the Department to create infectious disease regulation. The Workplace Rules will require businesses under the jurisdiction of the Virginia Occupational Health and Safety Administration to implement safety measures to protect those who have been exposed to and infected by COVID-19 at the workplace. The Workplace Rules will likely come into force toward the end of July once they are published in a newspaper of general circulation. They will then remain in effect for a period of six months, after which they could become permanent if adopted through legislative enactment.

  • Court Holds COVID-19 Executive Order Triggers Lease‚Äôs Force Majeure Clause, Excusing Some Rent Obligations Back to Site Load in Main Window
    07/17/2020

    This is the sixth in a series of alerts on insolvency topics affecting real estate. In this alert, we evaluate the decision, In re Hitz Restaurant Group, where the Bankruptcy Court ruled that the Illinois Governor’s Executive Order, temporarily barring on-premises food service and consumption, triggered the force majeure language, thereby partially absolving the tenant-debtor from paying its rent. We conclude that Hitz will likely be limited to the facts and force majeure language presented, and that similar force majeure language may not be interpreted in other cases as it was in Hitz.

  • New Privacy Laws in California and New York Are on a Collision Course with the COVID-19 Technology Boom Back to Site Load in Main Window
    07/14/2020

    Stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic have already led to a dramatic increase in the reliance on technology—and the generation and collection of extensive personally identifiable information (PII)—for myriad personal and professional purposes. As businesses now contemplate how to safely welcome customers, guests and employees back to their physical premises, the collection of PII is only likely to increase in the form of virus and antibody testing, temperature taking, video monitoring to ensure social distancing, contact tracing via location tracking, and similar preventative measures based on the collection of biometric and other personal data.

  • Supply Chain Threats and Cybersecurity Compliance Issues on the Horizon Back to Site Load in Main Window
    07/16/2020

    U.S. government agencies continue to implement new rules to guard against supply chain threats and mitigate cybersecurity risks. We have previously discussed regulations aimed at excluding, and in some cases removing, Chinese-origin equipment from U.S. telecommunication networks and supply chains. In addition to discussing recent developments related to those regulations, this alert examines how the Department of Defense (DoD) and other agencies plan to mitigate cybersecurity risk at the contractor level.

  • The Limited Pandemic Federal Liability Protections Back to Site Load in Main Window
    07/14/2020

    With the continued public health threat posed by COVID-19, many businesses that have remained open or that are planning their reopening face legal risks of civil liability relating to employees and consumers who are injured as a result of the coronavirus contracted on their premises. As part of the federal pandemic response, the federal government has included legislation and issued administrative declarations providing limited liability protections aimed specifically at health care providers and manufacturers and distributors of health care products used for the current public health crisis.

  • DoD Memorandum Discusses Contractor Reimbursement for COVID-19 Expenses Back to Site Load in Main Window
    07/14/2020

    A memorandum released on July 2, 2020 by Acting Principal Director for Defense Pricing Kim Herrington provides guidance on some of the action taken by the Department of Defense (DoD) in its efforts to support its contractors with reimbursement for the related impacts and costs incurred by DoD contractors in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The memorandum highlights the possibility of contractor cost recovery for measures that may have been taken by industry to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and allow facilities to remain open and productive during the pandemic. It further directs contracting officers to use their experience and skill to find innovative solutions to both protect government interests and ensure the continued health of the defense industrial base.

  • The Economic Recovery: States Offer Varied Liability Protections for Businesses Back to Site Load in Main Window
    07/14/2020

    Pre-pandemic, well-advised business owners could have a good understanding of their potential liabilities to customers and employees for safety and health risks in their workplace. Now, in the midst of a pandemic, businesses are uncertain what their potential liabilities may be to customers or employees who contract COVID-19 and suffer harm as a result. Instead of clear and uniform guidelines for proper precautions, businesses face evolving and difficult-to-apply laws and guidance, and a correspondingly increased risk for lawsuits.  

  • Impact of Remote Working on End User Computing Solutions and Services Back to Site Load in Main Window
    07/10/2020

    Twitter and Square have announced that all of their employees may remain working from home “forever.” Facebook expects half of its 48,000 employees to be working remotely in the next five to 10 years. And it is not only leading tech companies that are contemplating a major shift toward remote working. A recent Gartner survey of 317 CFOs and finance leaders revealed that 47% of respondents will move at least 10% of their on-site employees to permanent remote positions, while 74% will move at least 5% of their previously on-site workforce to permanently remote positions. Overall, the Gartner survey showed that 48% of employees will likely work remotely at least part of the time after COVID-19.

  • SBA Discloses Identities of PPP Borrowers Back to Site Load in Main Window
    07/07/2020

    SBA, in conjunction with the Department of the Treasury, announced in a June 6, 2020 press release that it would disclose “detailed loan-level data” regarding all of the 4.9 million PPP loans made to date. Recent legislation, which we summarized here, extended the deadline to apply for new PPP loans to August 8, 2020.

  • Congress Approves Extension of PPP Back to Site Load in Main Window
    07/02/2020

    Both the House and Senate passed legislation by unanimous consent to amend Section 1102(b) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to extend the PPP until August 8. The legislation would grant eligible applicants an additional five weeks to apply for PPP loans.

  • Pillsbury Environmental and Natural Resource Lawyers Quoted in Bloomberg Law on PFAS Standards Back to Site Load in Main Window
    07/02/2020

    In two recent articles, Pillsbury Environmental and Natural Resources partner, Chris McNevin in Austin, and special counsel, Reza Zarghamee in Washington, DC, were quoted on the topic of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) chemical disposal and standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Tour de Force: Do the Current Economic Conditions Caused by COVID-19 Constitute a Force Majeure Event? Back to Site Load in Main Window
    07/01/2020

    Past Economic Crises Typically Have Not Constituted Force Majeure Events

    In most jurisdictions, courts have been reluctant to find that an extreme economic downturn, such as the Great Recession of 2008 or the earlier post-9/11 downturn, constitutes a force majeure event excusing performance of a party’s contractual obligations. For example: