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

Check the Office of Court Administration’s website for court closures or delays reported to the OCA

State Bar coronavirus update: 2 free webinars planned; no live meetings until at least May Like you, we at the Texas Law Center in Austin continue to adjust our lives and operations to the new realities of the coronavirus pandemic. — Texas Bar Blog

Texas officials link man’s death to coronavirus, first such case in state — The man, in his late 90s, had symptoms consistent with the new coronavirus, and a test later came back positive for COVID-19, officials said. — The Texas Tribune

Here are the latest updates from Texas courts regarding coronavirus — Stay abreast of updates and notices of courts’ responses to coronavirus. — Texas Lawyer

Texas lawyers brace for business changes as coronavirus leads to court cancellations — What are trial lawyers supposed to do with the sudden free time that opened when their hearings and trials got canceled because of COVID-19? To answer the question, Texas Lawyer distributed an online survey to trial lawyers to ask how court cancellations have impacted their cases, law firms and work lives. (Subscription required — Texas Lawyer

San Antonio attorney Mikal Watts sues Princess Cruise Lines over COVID-19 outbreak — The lawsuit, brought on behalf of a Missouri couple who were passengers on the Grand Princess, alleges gross negligence over the cruise line’s “lackadaisical approach” to ensuring the safety of its passengers of the ship, quarantined off the coast of California. The suit is the first to be filed by a firm other than Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers, which filed four similar cases last week. (Subscription required) — Texas Lawyer

Coronavirus updates in Texas: Dallas, Houston closing bars; officials report at least 69 cases in state — Our staff is closely tracking developments on the new coronavirus in Texas. Check here for live updates. — The Texas Tribune

Public health experts, some lawmakers say Texas’ patchwork strategy to coronavirus response is a problem — While most states have mandated the closure of schools, bars and restaurants; deployed their militaries; or diverted state resources to COVID-19 response, Texas is largely leaving it up to schools and local governments to decide how to proceed. Some say the approach can undermine response efforts. — The Texas Tribune

Texas exploring all vote-by-mail ballots for May runoff — Texas is not making any moves to delay the May 26 primary runoff as of now, even as other states have opted to postpone elections. (Subscription required) — Houston Chronicle

Abbott suspends Open Meetings Act over coronavirus pandemic — Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday suspended portions of the Texas Open Meetings Act, the law that ensures public access to and participation in government meetings, amid the coronavirus pandemic. — Austin American Statesman

Four coronavirus cases connected to Houston rodeo cookoff tent, organizer says — Only after the rodeo closed March 11 did team president Roy Garivey find out the bad news: A Patton Village police officer who tested positive with the virus had been in its tent on the night of Feb. 28. — Houston Chronicle

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals stops an execution because of coronavirus — John Hummel’s lawyer requested a stay of execution in a unique court filing Friday, but Tarrant County officials opposed it. — The Texas Tribune

Social distancing has upended the financial lives of countless Texans. And many don’t know what’s next. — Officials say they have to prioritize public health over economic concerns. Meanwhile, people who can’t work from home navigate a public health crisis while facing financial uncertainty. — The Texas Tribune

Amid coronavirus concerns, Justice Department continues “remain in Mexico” hearings in immigration courts — It was business as usual Monday on the Migrant Protection Protocols docket in federal immigration courts, and groups that work in them are raising concerns about the risk to migrants and court staff. — The Texas Tribune

SCOTUS delays arguments while other courts suspend trials or close over COVID-19 concerns — The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it will delay oral arguments as other courts were delaying trials or even closing in response to concerns about the new coronavirus. — ABA Journal

Coronavirus could be tipping point for tech competence in law — The numbers suggest that a sizeable portion of the legal profession is poorly equipped to deal with an extended situation of working remotely and virtually. — Above The Law

Pandemically challenged: teleworking in COVID-19 and what you need to know — At the start of February 2020, I began writing an article through the Texas Young Lawyers Association that would encourage law firms to consider the increasing trend of teleworking. Turns out, that future is now. Like, right now. — Texas Bar Blog

ABA cancels more April and May meetings amid COVID-19 pandemic — The ABA has canceled several more meetings as a result of the coronavirus. — ABA Journal

Harris County Law Library halts “in-person” services and expands virtual services — The Harris County Law Library will expand virtual services and temporarily suspend-in person services for two weeks starting March 16 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. — Texas Bar Blog

Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas announces changes to some locations — Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas has closed offices in six locations and their related counties—Dallas, Denton, Fort Worth, McKinney, Waxahachie, and Weatherford—through March 27 to the public in response to Gov. Greg Abbott’s state of disaster declaration. — Texas Bar Blog


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