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

State Bar of Texas Coronavirus Public Resources Page — Texasbar.com/COVIDHelp

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

SCOTUS will hear arguments by telephone conference in several cases because of COVID-19 — The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it will have oral arguments by telephone conference in May for several cases because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. — ABA Journal

Gov. Abbott announces $50M in small business loans in Texas from Goldman Sachs, LiftFund (video) — Goldman Sachs and the LiftFund are helping Texas provide $50 million in loans to small businesses to help during the COVID-19 pandemic. — KVUE – Austin

Seeking their share of coronavirus relief funds, these Texas firms wasted no time — At least three midsize Texas firms have successfully applied for a Payroll Protection Program loan after they quickly sought the relief in an effort avoid laying off employees. (Subscription required) — Texas Lawyer

Harris County lawyers’ association calls on judges to halt unnecessary in-person hearings — Harris County’s largest association of criminal defense attorneys on Monday called on local judges to halt in-person court appearances to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. (Subscription required) — Houston Chronicle

Many Texas prisoners have been approved for parole but can’t walk free yet. Advocates say coronavirus should change that. — Relatives of Texas prisoners approved for parole question why their loved ones have to stay in disease-prone facilities while completing programs they say could be done virtually and from home. — The Texas Tribune

‘Not our best days’: The fiscal crisis coming for legal aid — The Texas Access to Justice Foundation, which doles out that state’s IOLTA money, is bracing for a 75% reduction, according to Betty Balli Torres, the organization’s executive director. (Subscription required) — Law 360

Commentary: Layoffs and unemployment basics during the coronavirus pandemic — During this time of grave uncertainty, it is critical for lawyers to play their “counselor” role. We must help our clients navigate these complex employment issues, while keeping the client’s long-term business in mind. (Subscription required) — Texas Lawyer

Federal appeals court allows medication abortions in Texas during coronavirus pandemic — The appeals court’s latest ruling comes after abortion providers and state officials have battled over what access to the procedure should be allowed during the public health crisis. — The Texas Tribune

Coronavirus slows investigation into Austin police racism allegations — San Antonio lawyer Lisa Tatum is close to finishing her review, and city staffers hope to have more information soon, city spokesman David Green said. — Austin American-Statesman

‘We’d have to abandon our daughters’: Pandemic delays international adoptions — And while the U.S. State Department is continuing to process adoption visas, many families have petitioned the government to grant emergency exceptions for the visas in light of the health crisis. — NPR

Houston Volunteer Lawyers develop guide to drafting holographic wills — HVL’s new instructions, available at makejusticehappen.org, advise on drafting legally enforceable, handwritten wills, allowing people to do stopgap estate planning while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. — Texas Bar Blog

San Antonio Bar launches San Antonio Legal Services Association — The San Antonio Bar Association has launched the San Antonio Legal Services Association, or SALSA, making its Community Justice Program an independent organization. — Texas Bar Blog

Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program to host virtual legal clinic — DVAP, a joint initiative of the Dallas Bar Association and Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, and Hunton Andrews Kurth will host a virtual clinic from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 16. — Texas Bar Blog

Texas Psychological Association offers pro bono mental health services during coronavirus pandemic (video) — TPA Pro Bono Project: COVID-19 aims to support the mental health needs of individuals seeking help. — KVUE – Austin

Lawyer files complaint alleging Williamson County judge violated shelter-in-place order — A lawyer has filed a complaint against Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell alleging that he violated the county’s shelter-in-place order. — Austin American-Statesman

Kansas Supreme Court upholds order limiting church services to 10 people or less — On Saturday, the Kansas Supreme Court upheld Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s order limiting church services to 10 people or less. — ABA Journal

Florida officials deny pressuring law firm to drop coronavirus records case — The Florida governor’s office pushed back against claims that it exerted back-door pressure on the Miami Herald’s counsel to withdraw from the newspaper’s planned public records lawsuit over unreleased coronavirus data. — Courthouse News Service


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.