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

Activists and pastors sue Texas governor over stay-at-home order — Activists and pastors filed a lawsuit against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott over his stay-at-home order Thursday, saying it violates their constitutional rights. — The Hill

Trump unveils three-stage process for states to end coronavirus shutdown — President Donald Trump laid out new guidelines on Thursday for U.S. states to emerge from a coronavirus shutdown in a staggered, three-stage approach meant to revive the U.S. economy even as the country continues to fight the pandemic. — Reuters

At least 19 more law firms cut pay and furlough employees; will partners ultimately benefit? — More and more law firms are cutting salaries, reducing partner compensation, and furloughing or laying off employees because of the novel coronavirus. — ABA Journal

Insurers balk at claims related to businesses’ virus closures — It is possible that the denials are “a knee-jerk reaction” on the part of insurance providers, said Randy Sorrels, president of the State Bar of Texas. (Subscription required) — Houston Chronicle

Texas small-business owners scramble as federal relief fund runs out — Many businesses without accountants, lawyers or other professional help failed to get their applications in for the Paycheck Protection Program funds before the money was depleted. — The Texas Tribune

Helping small businesses survive COVID-19 is ‘as or more important’ than work for paying clients — “Obviously, the stuff we do for our paying clients is important, but this is important to real individuals and small businesses. In some ways, (the pro bono work) is as or more important.” — Reuters

Federal judge orders Texas prison to provide hand sanitizer, face masks for inmates — The Houston judge issued a temporary order against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice at a geriatric prison after older inmates sued the prison system over its handling of the coronavirus. — The Texas Tribune

COVID-19 checkpoints at state and local borders bring lawsuit, ACLU warning — Some states and local communities are instituting checkpoints at their borders, either to warn drivers that they must quarantine or to keep out nonresidents. The checkpoints are raising constitutional questions. — ABA Journal

Analysis: Coronavirus could threaten local property tax limits — The coronavirus disaster could have a side effect in a seemingly unrelated area: New limits on increases in local property taxes can be suspended when disasters strike. And epidemics, under state law, are disasters. — The Texas Tribune

Texas is running out of money to pay unemployment benefits. People will still get paid, but businesses may see tax hikes as a result. — Texas Workforce Commission officials say the state will run out of money in May or June. Other economists predict that could happen in as soon as three weeks. — The Texas Tribune

Millions of US citizens won’t get help from stimulus checks because their spouses or parents are unauthorized immigrants — U.S. citizens and authorized immigrants in mixed-status families are left out of federal aid because of restrictions against unauthorized immigrants. — The Dallas Morning News

At least seven Texas detention center employees who tested positive for COVID-19 were not officially reported by ICE — Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it is not obligated to report contractors’ employees who have tested positive. Meanwhile, the agency confirmed its first positive case in Texas detention centers and continued facility transfers. — The Texas Observer

Dallas Bar Association launches free basic planning forms webpage for emergency responders — The Dallas Bar Association has created a webpage offering basic planning forms for police, fire, and medical personnel. — Texas Bar Blog

Support available for survivors of sexual assault — The Texas Access to Justice Foundation’s Legal Aid for Survivors of Sexual Assault is providing free legal help to assist with legal issues stemming from sexual assault. — Texas Bar Blog

Alternate dates selected for July Bar Exam; TX Supreme Court to announce decision by May 1 — The Texas Board of Law Examiners reports it continues to accept applications and prepare to administer the July 2020 Texas Bar Exam as scheduled. — Texas Bar Blog

New law school graduates face strong headwinds — The Covid-19 pandemic has caused some states to postpone this year’s bar exam, others to cancel it, and complicated 2020 law school graduates’ efforts to start a career and pay off their student loans. — 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.