Editor’s Note: The State Bar of Texas is providing this collection of important links, blog posts, and media stories to keep its members and the public informed of the latest news and resources related to the novel coronavirus outbreak and its impact on the legal community.

Important links

State Bar of Texas Coronavirus Legal Resources Page — Texasbar.com/coronavirus

Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program Well-being Resources page — Texasbar.com/remote-well-being


State Bar coronavirus update: travel authorization for lawyers, Zoom resources, and free CLE — State Bar of Texas President Randy Sorrels and Executive Director Trey Apffel sent the following message to members on Friday. — Texas Bar Blog

Judicial Branch posts YouTube channel directory — The Texas Judicial Branch published a YouTube channel directory listing of courts convening via Zoom. — Texas Bar Blog

Law firms and bar associations provide resources for coronavirus and opportunities to help — Law firms and bar associations across the state are coming together to provide up-to-date information about COVID-19 and to provide help for those affected by the pandemic. — Texas Bar Blog

Billable hour expectations remain the same, though work volume is ‘trending lower,’ survey says — Ninety-six percent of lawyers and legal staff members who responded to an online survey said their workplaces had announced a move to remote work by March 24. — ABA Journal

Texas to require 14-day quarantine for all travelers from Louisiana, add same restrictions for fliers from other hot spots — Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Miami, California and Washington state also join the 14-day quarantine list. — The Dallas Morning News

As local officials shrink jail populations due to coronavirus, Abbott blocks release of some inmates who can’t pay bail — Abbott’s order bans release without paying bail for inmates who are accused of or have been convicted in the past of violent offenses. Defendants with cash could still walk free. — The Texas Tribune

Virus could spur avalanche of tort and employment litigation — The insurance industry is bracing for a tidal wave of claims related to the Covid-19 outbreak, and experts say the new viral disease puts claimants — and the industry — in uncharted waters. — Courthouse News Service

Pro bono lawyers face new world of remote work due to virus — The coronavirus pandemic is upending how attorneys routinely interact with pro bono clients, making it rare or impossible to meet face-to-face in legal clinics, courtrooms, and prisons. — Bloomberg Law

For Big Law, is COVID-19 the great recession all over again? (podcast) — Keith Wetmore, former chairman at Morrison & Foerster, and Bill Brandt, who has helped handle workouts and restructurings for nearly 40 law firms, had big roles during the 2008 recession. Here’s their perspective on the major challenges law firms are facing now. — Law.com

Cybersecurity lawyer who flagged the WHO hack warns of ‘massive’ remote work risks (audio) — Cybersecurity experts warn that those remote setups invite new hacking risks. — NPR

Decision about releasing July bar exam materials will come in May, NCBE says — The National Conference of Bar Examiners, which develops and produces the attorney licensing tests used by most U.S. jurisdictions, will announce in early May whether its tests will be released for the July bar exam. — ABA Journal

Commentary: Execution of legal documents and COVID-19 — With the COVID-19 Virus and Emergency Orders in place, one might ask, “Is there a provision for relaxing the requirement that documents be executed before a Notary Public?” — The Huntsville Item

Austin company looking to dock paychecks for those receiving stimulus checks (video) — Austin labor attorney Austin Kaplan said he believes the company would be in violation of that law if it docked some paychecks to the amount described in the agreement. — KXAN – Austin

The stimulus check won’t be in the mail for Americans who owe child support (video) — But back taxes or late student loan payments don’t disqualify people from getting the full amount they’re eligible for. — NBC News

Out of sight, child abuse in Texas thought to be on the rise — Families are stuck at home, confronting stress and fear. And with many schools and day care centers shuttered, child welfare workers can’t rely on teachers to help detect abuse. — The Texas Tribune

The novel coronavirus is leaving foster children with nowhere to go — The foster care system, built on frequent movements of children from one home to another and regular in-person supervision, has been especially wracked with confusion and dread by the coronavirus crisis. — ABA Journal

Evictions in Texas are halted, but what happens to renters when the suspension lifts? — Most states give tenants the right to make good on missed rent payments before an eviction court date, but that’s a protection Texans don’t have, Texas Tenants’ Union Executive Director Sandy Rollins said. — The Dallas Morning News

Texas’ Attorney General says cities and counties can’t restrict gun sales under emergency orders — Gun sales can continue even as cities and counties curb nonessential business in light of COVID-19, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said. — Houston Public Media


To keep up on the latest legal news from around the state, sign up for the State Bar of Texas’ Daily News Briefing by clicking here.