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

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

Texas judges will be able to conduct court online as coronavirus spreads — More than 3,000 judges across the state will have access to video conferencing to conduct court proceedings during a public health crisis. — KVUE – Austin

Gov. Greg Abbott closes bars, restaurants and schools as he anticipates tens of thousands could test positive for coronavirus — Abbott disclosed that estimate hours after he took sweeping action to stop the virus’ spread. — The Texas Tribune

Texas Supreme Court coronavirus advisory — March, 19, 2020 — In a third emergency order Thursday morning the Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals amended their original joint order to establish court proceedings may be conducted “away from the court’s usual location with reasonable notice and access to the participants and the public.” — Texas Bar Blog

Coronavirus updates in Texas: Supreme Court halts evictions statewide — The Texas Supreme Court issued an order Thursday halting eviction proceedings statewide until April 19, effective immediately. At the end of the period, the chief justice can choose to renew the order. — The Texas Tribune

The high demand for lawyers amid the coronavirus pandemic — From advising employers how to respond when an employee tests positive for coronavirus to counseling employees afraid of catching it at the office, lawyers are working around the clock to help clients navigate the uncharted legal waters sparked by the rapidly spreading COVID-19. — ABA Journal

Senators sold off their stocks ahead of coronavirus economic crash, reports say — Reports on Thursday revealed Sens. Richard Burr, N.C., and Kelly Loeffler, Ga., sold off significant amounts in stocks shortly before financial markets plunged because of the coronavirus pandemic. The senators are reported to have had knowledge about the spread of coronavirus ahead of their sales. — USA Today

7 types of tech tools to help lawyers set up virtual offices — If you’re one of those lawyers or staffers telecommuting, then you’re undoubtedly struggling to identify the tools your “virtual” law firm needs to get up and running quickly so that you can work remotely from home and continue to serve your clients’ important legal needs. — ABA Journal

“Zoom”ing into a new era — Our clients trust us to make sure we are capable of assisting them with their legal problems, and given our current circumstances, attorneys need to make sure we are able to rise to that occasion. — Texas Bar Blog

What lawyers can do to take care of themselves during the coronavirus crisis — Being a lawyer in Texas was already difficult. We start our path to become lawyers in the 96th percentile for anxiety. Almost half of 13,000 attorneys have admitted to suffering from depression during their practice. And that is all before the COVID-19 virus devastated our world. — Texas Bar Blog

Can companies be held liable when their employees fall ill with the coronavirus? — In an effort to combat COVID-19, companies across the country have shuttered operations, required employees to work remotely and limited services and business hours. — ABA Journal

Coronavirus pauses many Texas court proceedings. For some, that means more time in jail. — Courts have slowed across the state, and jury trials are on hold. Defense attorneys worry the outbreak could leave their clients sitting in jail waiting for justice — and vulnerable to catching the virus. — The Texas Tribune

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals stops another scheduled execution because of the coronavirus — Tracy Beatty requested the court stay his execution, set for next week, after the court halted this week’s execution. — The Texas Tribune

Sheriff Gonzalez is seeking compassionate release of some inmates at the Harris County Jail — Sheriff Ed Gonzalez likens the situation to three massive ships docked in downtown Houston. An outbreak of COVID-19 in this setting could be catastrophic to the region and overwhelm hospitals’ limited capacity to treat patients. (Subscription required) — Houston Chronicle

Disaster planning for Texas appellate practitioners — The Texas Constitution mandates that “[a]ll courts shall be open, and every person for an injury done him, in his lands, goods, person or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law.” (Tex. Const. art. 1, § 13). — Texas Bar Blog

Doc review during coronavirus: Contract attorneys are suffering in silence — Thanks to a global pandemic, law firms have made remote work plans for their employees to flatten the curve and stop the rapid spread of COVID-19. Contract attorneys, however, are facing a much different reality in this time of disease. — Above The Law

What the coronavirus can teach us about fighting insurance fraud — It is vital that insurers share more information, avoid fraud-spreading practices and never surrender to scammers. (Subscription required) — Texas Lawyer

Calls for Trump administration to release migrants from detention increase amid COVID-19 pandemic — Fear and anxiety within the immigrant community is spreading as detainees fear an outbreak of the new coronavirus in detention facilities. — The Texas Tribune

Coronavirus updates in Texas: Tech student with coronavirus violated quarantine protocols, officials say — Our staff is closely tracking developments on the new coronavirus in Texas. Check here for live updates. — The Texas Tribune

Attorneys push to postpone 12th Man Foundation lawsuit depositions amid coronavirus pandemic — Attorneys for longtime Texas A&M donors who have sued the university’s 12th Man Foundation have asked a Brazos County judge to delay foundation attorneys, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, from requiring in-person depositions by their clients next month. (Subscription required) — Houston Chronicle

As COVID-19 mandates virtual law classes, nonprofit creates list of volunteer online speakers — If you have any interest in being a guest law school speaker, now is the time, provided that you’re comfortable doing it online. — ABA Journal

Commentary: An American health care lawyer’s perspective on the emergence of COVID-19 — As a cynical health care lawyer, when I first read “mystery virus” in the headline, I was not only alarmed, but I also was unconvinced that this new threat would leave the rest of the world unscathed. — ABA Journal

Judge defies order to delay hearings, denies issuing warrants for no-shows — A Cleveland municipal judge held hearings for all defendants this week, despite a court order to delay hearings for those who are not in jail in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. — ABA Journal


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.