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.
State Bar of Texas Coronavirus Legal Resources Page — Texasbar.com/coronavirus
Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program Well-being Resources page — Texasbar.com/remote-well-being
Gov. Greg Abbott tells Texans to stay home except for essential activity in April — He also said that schools would remain closed until at least May 4 as the state increases its efforts to stop the spread of the new coronavirus. — The Texas Tribune
The not-so-new world of remote depositions — What is new is the temporary suspension of the requirement that the deposition officer, aka certified shorthand reporter, be in the physical presence of the witness. — Texas Bar Blog
How scams multiply during the COVID-19 crisis and why lawyers are not immune — If someone you don’t know—and have no connection to—contacts you to file a lawsuit, proceed with caution. It could be one of many scams that are easier to pull off than ever before, thanks to the novel coronavirus pandemic. — ABA Journal
Texas State Law Library provides update on resources available during COVID-19 pandemic — The law library has established an online portal for asking questions of the librarians, who remain on hand to answer any questions by phone or email. — Texas Bar Blog
A conservative Houston lawyer is saying the COVID-19 stay-home order violates rights — “I do have a passion for religious liberty and a passion for individuals being able to freely worship,” said Jared Woodfill, founding partner in Woodfill Law Firm in Houston. “I think it’s a sacred right.” (Subscription required) — Texas Lawyer
Harris County’s misdemeanor judges won’t follow Abbott’s order limiting jail releases during coronavirus — The judges are under a federal court order to release low-level defendants without collecting bail payment after the county’s cash bail practices were found unconstitutional. — The Texas Tribune
Federal court order restricts certain cases — In an effort to reduce the need for in-person appearances in court, the chief federal judge for the Southern District of Texas signed off on new orders restricting certain cases from having to appear. — The (McAllen) Monitor
San Antonio judge struggling to recover from coronavirus — “I took all the precautions and I still became infected,” Justice Luz Elena Chapa of the 4th Court of Appeals said. (Subscription required) — San Antonio Express-News
Could the immigration courts get more chaotic? Coronavirus adds to stress — Attorneys and even judges are in an uproar over the refusal to close the courts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. — The Dallas Morning News
McLennan County courts convert to videoconferencing with COVID-19 restrictions — McLennan County’s two felony court judges, Matt Johnson and Ralph Strother, have set up videoconferences in an attempt to keep their dockets moving somewhat and to assist in easing the jail population. — Waco Tribune-Herald
Texas abortion ban can go back into effect, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rules — Texas will again be allowed to implement its temporary ban on abortion, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday afternoon. — CBS News
Nonprofit AccessLex Institute sets up emergency fund for law students during pandemic — A $5 million law student emergency relief fund has been established by the AccessLex Institute, which plans to distribute $25,000 each to ABA-accredited, nonprofit schools. — 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.