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

Texas prepares for a pandemic first: a jury trial by Zoom — With jury trials on hold throughout the United States because of the coronavirus pandemic, court officials in Texas are preparing to try something new: let jurors hear a case through Zoom. — Reuters

Abbott can do what he’s doing, legal experts agree — Their responses in a nutshell: Abbott is operating well within the legal parameters set forth in the statutes he frequently cited in his 15 executive orders issued since the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic. — Austin American-Statesman

Analysis: Why Gilstrap is getting ready for trial — and not on Zoom — In the Eastern District of Texas, Chief Judge Gilstrap told Law360 that he anticipates the court allowing jury trials to resume at the start of June. (Subscription required) — Law360

Texas Supreme Court puts expansion of voting by mail on hold — The state Supreme Court’s order comes one day after a state appeals court had allowed the expansion to stand while a legal case was appealed. — The Texas Tribune

Texas Supreme Court ends coronavirus protections against evictions, debt collections — Chief Justice Nathan Hecht said Friday the changes were made as the state continues efforts to reopen the economy. — Austin American-Statesman

The hunt for a leaker at the Harris County District Attorney’s office — While the rest of Houston’s legal community was adapting to COVID-19, DA Kim Ogg was determined to find who leaked an internal document—with devastating consequences. — Texas Monthly

Business liability protections face steep political and legal obstacles — However, advocacy groups say corporate immunity is a decades-long attempt to neuter tort law, while legal experts say carve-outs for “gross negligence” are meaningless. — Courthouse News Service

US employers wary of coronavirus ‘immunity’ tests as they move to reopen (video) — U.S. employers have cooled to the idea of testing workers for possible immunity to the coronavirus as they prepare to reopen factories and other workplaces. — Reuters

Lesson from the latest fizzled COVID-19 M&A case: Sue now — If you’re involved in a deal that is at risk of cratering as a result of the COVID-19 economic disaster, there are two important and intertwined lessons in a recent ruling. — Reuters

Sotomayor statement highlights ‘disturbing allegations’ in geriatric inmates’ COVID-19 suit — The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request by inmates in a Texas geriatric prison who alleged inadequate efforts to contain the novel coronavirus. — ABA Journal

Immigrants languish in detention as immigration courts close from coronavirus fears — With no notice, the courts on St. Mary’s Street that hold hearings for detained immigrants were shut down indefinitely May 1. (Subscription required) — San Antonio Express-News

JC Penney files for bankruptcy, a crushing one as it was making progress to fix itself — The Plano-based department store retailer has fought off bankruptcy rumors in its long history but was able to avoid it until the pandemic. — The Dallas Morning News

Just a chat: Calls offered for older adults staying home (video) — The program being offered by the city of Plano is among those that have popped up across the U.S. during the pandemic to help older adults with a simple offer to engage in small talk. — The Associated Press


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.