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

Coronavirus update: MCLE deadlines extended, new court orders issued — State Bar of Texas President Randy Sorrels and Executive Director Trey Apffel sent the following message to members on Monday. — Texas Bar Blog

Texas Supreme Court orders online-only voting for State Bar elections; extends voting period — The Texas Supreme Court issued its sixth Emergency Order Regarding the COVID-19 State of Disaster on March 22. — Texas Bar Blog

COVID-19 nixes paper ballot option in Texas Bar election, but lawyers will get 60 days for online ballots — The State Bar of Texas elections for president-elect will move 100% online this year because of the impact that the COVID-19 is having on a New York-based election vendor. (Subscription required) — Texas Lawyer

OCA issues Zoom and YouTube support information for courts, judges — The Office of Court Administration is providing judges the ability to stream and host court proceedings via Zoom and YouTube. — Texas Bar Blog

Texas moving to virtual courts to avoid coronavirus spread (video) — Texas inmates may soon resolve criminal cases without leaving jail, thanks to remote video technology the state has recommended in light of the coronavirus pandemic. — Austin American-Statesman

Here are the judicial runoffs that were just waylaid by coronavirus — Moving the runoff election from May 26 to July 14 impacts at least 30 judicial candidates in 15 races spread across Texas. (Subscription required) — Texas Lawyer

Dallas firms adjusting to stringent ‘stay home stay safe’ order — As of 11:59 p.m. on Monday, everyone in Dallas is ordered to shelter in place, although some essential activities and business are exempt from the order, including certain legal services. (Subscription required) — Texas Lawyer

Coronavirus hits Houston: What you need to know for March 24 — Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo officially issued a “stay-at-home” order closing businesses and restricting movement in Harris County. — Houston Chronicle

Police across Texas are enforcing social distancing, but they’re hesitant to make arrests — Law enforcement agencies are focusing instead on education or issuing warnings. — The Texas Tribune

Suit seeks release of immigrant families due to virus risk — Detention centers housing families in Texas and Pennsylvania can’t provide adequate social distancing, lawyers say. — Politico

Trump order makes it crime to stockpile supplies — President Donald Trump has signed an executive order making it a crime to excessively stockpile personal protective equipment that is needed by medical personnel fighting the coronavirus pandemic. — The Associated Press

How coronavirus is disrupting the death penalty — The first delay came in Texas, where an appeals court pushed back the scheduled March 18 lethal injection of John Hummel. — The Marshall Project

Counselor at Texas prison tests positive for COVID-19 — A counselor who works in a Texas prison has tested positive for COVID-19, marking the first time the disease caused by the novel coronavirus has been reported in the country’s largest prison system. — The Associated Press

Tenants ask for rent relief as pandemic shuts down business — Apartment renters, retailers and business owners seek forbearance. — The Dallas Morning News

Can my landlord ask if I am sick with coronavirus? — Although landlords can technically ask such a question, renters should know they are not obligated to answer, said Evan Stone, an intellectual property attorney who also specializes in landlord-tenant law. — Denton Record-Chronicle

Feds: Virus frauds spread, preying on Medicare recipients — Scam artists are preying on older people’s fears by peddling fake tests for the coronavirus to Medicare recipients, a federal law enforcement agency warned on Monday. — The Associated Press

What alternatives to the July bar exam are being considered in light of COVID-19? — Given that COVID-19 restrictions prohibit large gatherings for the foreseeable future, administration of the July 2020 bar exam seems unlikely. — ABA Journal

Federal student loan payments suspended with no interest during COVID-19 pandemic — During the COVID-19 national emergency, borrowers can suspend federal student loan payments for at least 60 days with 0% interest. — ABA Journal

Completion of 2020 US Census extended into August amid coronavirus pandemic — The 2020 U.S. Census will be extended by two weeks as the coronavirus wreaks havoc on the bureau’s ability to send workers into the field. — Reuters

Coronavirus pandemic causes surge in Texas layoffs, unemployment claims (audio) — The state’s workforce commission has seen a surge of unemployment claim filings and numbers are expected to continue rising a statewide order prohibiting eating and drinking at all restaurants and bars. — Texas Public Radio

Even in rural West Texas, coronavirus shutdowns hit home — “No one’s going to come out of this unscathed,” said David Beebe, a local justice of the peace and restaurant owner. — Courthouse News Service


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