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

Judges, attorneys seek ways to alleviate court system back-up — Both prosecutors and defense attorneys agree the system can’t handle much more of a back-up and they have got to find a way to get things moving. — KPRC – Houston

Conference center courtrooms? Harris County judges searching for space for socially distanced voir dire — The courts in Houston, preparing for a June 1 reopening, are also installing sneeze guards and sanitation stations, and rearranging furniture 6 feet apart. (Subscription required) — Texas Lawyer

The lawyer’s role in protecting cybersecurity in the courts — Houston-based attorney Rachel V. Rose, who specializes in cybersecurity looks at the duties of lawyers and offers ideas for conducting safe video meetings. — Bloomberg Law

How DLA Piper moved over 3,000 staff to working from home in 36 hours — Even though the firm’s administrative and support staff were using the technology to manage the flow of work assignments, not all attorneys were. — Law Sites blog

Nearly 300 federal suits stem from pandemic; 101 ‘business interruption’ cases filed; what’s next? — Nearly 300 federal lawsuits filed in the months of March and April stem from the COVID-19 pandemic, a number that is likely to continue to expand. — ABA Journal

Judge refuses to step down from case of Dallas salon owner, who cited his Facebook post — Dallas salon owner Shelley Luther’s recusal motion alleged that Judge Eric Moyé had a “pre-existing bias towards anyone who protested stay-at-home orders.” (Subscription required) — Texas Lawyer

Social distancing, creative scheduling in store at Galveston County Justice Center — District court judges starting Monday will begin holding limited dockets each day, albeit with heavy social distancing guidelines in place, 122nd District Court Judge John Ellisor said. — Galveston County Daily News

Border wall land grabs accelerate as owners shelter from pandemic — The government filed 13 lawsuits in March alone to access and acquire land, the highest single-month total since Mr. Trump took office, according to the Texas Civil Rights Project. — The New York Times

‘We don’t exist’: Texas domestic workers fight for inclusion in labor laws — Domestic workers already lacked contracts, wage protections, and health care benefits. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. — Texas Observer

As Texas inmates’ lawsuit over coronavirus response winds through courts, infections among prisoners surge — Judges questioned both the inmates’ arguments and state’s positions in a Thursday hearing. — The Texas Tribune

Trump claims broad powers he does not have — “It’s not that the president doesn’t have a remarkable amount of power to respond to a public health crisis. It’s that these are not the powers he has,” said Stephen Vladeck, a University of Texas School of Law professor. — The Associated Press

With naturalizations on hold, potential new voters sit on sidelines — An estimated 860,000 people were set to become citizens — with many also expected to become first-time voters. — KUT – Austin

IRS rule shift lets workers make benefits changes midyear — if their employer agrees — The new guidance applies to both employers that buy health insurance to cover their workers and those that pay claims on their own, called self-insuring. — NPR

Colleges face student lawsuits seeking refunds after coronavirus closures (audio) — The students claim that when campuses shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic, they should have been entitled to more of their money back. — NPR

The continuing impact of COVID-19 on child custody: Must I exchange my child for summer visitation? — Amid the rapidly evolving coronavirus pandemic, parents who share custody of their children continue to face new challenges. (Subscription required) — Texas Lawyer

Can businesses require you to wear a mask or facial covering? (video) — Randy Erben, an attorney, constitutional expert and adjunct professor at the University of Texas Law School, breaks down the nuances of masks and other protections. — KHOU – Houston

Texas sports fans will soon be allowed to attend outdoor pro games, Gov. Greg Abbott says — Starting Friday, most Texas counties will be able to host in-person spectators for outdoor sporting events in venues. But occupancy will be limited to 25%. — The Texas Tribune


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.