Mayer Brown partner Nicole Saharsky comments in the Bloomberg Law article “Zoom Courts Will Stick Around as Virus Forces Seismic Change,” which explores the future of virtual court proceedings post-pandemic.

“Ideally you want it to just be a conversation between you and the judge during oral arguments about your side of things and why your

On April 15, 2020, Senators Corey Booker (D-NJ) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) sent letters to numerous leading banks urging them not to charge customers overdraft and non-sufficient fund (NSF) fees during the COVID-19 pandemic.  According to the letters, “banks should be ensuring that consumers will not be faced with any overdraft charges that compounds their already fragile financial state, and provide them some relief as they manage ongoing expenses, including rent and mortgage payments, utility bills, and other essentials.”  Senators Booker and Brown did acknowledge in the letters, however, that “[s]everal banks have announced that they will temporarily waive or refund overdraft fees for their customers.”

Continue Reading Senators Booker and Brown Urge Banks Not To Charge Overdraft And NSF Fees During Pandemic

Mayer Brown announced that the firm has filed a lawsuit on behalf of 3M Company in federal court in California against Utah-based Rx2Live, LLC for an alleged deceptive price-gouging scheme directed at Fresno, California-based healthcare provider Community Medical Centers, Inc. (CMC).

The lawsuit asserts that Rx2Live falsely claimed that it could source millions of 3M

Today, a federal judge in Maryland denied an emergency motion seeking to block Bank of America from applying eligibility restrictions to its lending under the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”). The motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction was filed by four small businesses, which had alleged that Bank of America only accepted applications for PPP loans from small business checking customers that were already borrowers at the bank or that were not also borrowers at any other bank. The businesses alleged that these limitations violated the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), which established the PPP, and the Small Business Act (“SBA”).

Continue Reading Maryland Federal Court Denies Attempt to Block Bank of America’s Eligibility Restrictions for Paycheck Protection Program Loans

The UK’s Health and Safety Executive (“HSE”) has introduced new guidance which requires employers to make a report of new cases of COVID-19.  The consequences of failing to report can be very severe: an unlimited fine or even a custodial sentence in the most serious cases.

Read more on MayerBrown.com.

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Pursuant to his powers under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act), 42 U.S.C. § 247d-6d, the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services has issued a declaration that significantly limits potential legal liability arising from the design, testing, manufacture, labeling, distribution, administration, and provision of medical products intended to diagnose and treat COVID-19.

The declaration means that, subject to certain limitations, persons covered by its terms “shall be immune from suit and liability under Federal and State law with respect to all claims for loss caused by, arising out of, relating to, or resulting from the administration to or the use by an individual of a covered” product. 42 U.S.C. § 247d-6d(a)(1).

The scope of the immunity granted is broad. It “applies to any claim for loss that has a causal relationship with the administration to or use by an individual of a covered” product, “including a causal relationship with the design, development, clinical testing or investigation, manufacture, labeling, distribution, formulation, packaging, marketing, promotion, sale, purchase, donation, dispensing, prescribing, administration, licensing, or use of such” a product. 42 U.S.C. § 247d-6d(a)(2)(B).


Continue Reading HHS Declaration Limiting Legal Liability Arising From Medical Products and Services Intended To Diagnose and Treat COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on global securities markets. Following some stark public examples of the potential misuse of material nonpublic information (“MNPI”) when trading securities, the leaders of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Division of Enforcement issued a strong warning yesterday against violating US insider trading laws. The SEC Enforcement Division Co-Directors, Stephanie Avakian and Steven Peikin, invoked the Coronavirus when bluntly admonishing:

[I]n these dynamic circumstances, corporate insiders are regularly learning new material nonpublic information that may hold an even greater value than under normal circumstances. This may particularly be the case if earnings reports or required SEC disclosure filings are delayed due to COVID-19. Given these unique circumstances, a greater number of people may have access to material nonpublic information than in less challenging times. Those with such access – including, for example, directors, officers, employees, and consultants and other outside professionals – should be mindful of their obligations to keep this information confidential and to comply with the prohibitions on illegal securities trading. Trading in a company’s securities on the basis of inside information may violate the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws.
Continue Reading Profiting Off Pandemic: The SEC Issues a Sharp Reminder About Companies’ Obligations Regarding Insider Trading and MNPI

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia have adopted certain measures intended to encourage “social distancing” in an effort to limit human contact and thus slow down the spread of the virus. Cities and states have adopted various measures to try to achieve this goal, including by closing schools and/or limiting or prohibiting large gatherings (such as by cancelling concerts, plays, museums, and eating in restaurants and bars). Some governments are also acting to protect people who get sick and cannot work or who are laid off. Several states have recently taken even more aggressive action.

In just the last week, some jurisdictions have issued orders advising their residents to stay in their homes (i.e., “shelter in place” orders). Other states have imposed strict limits on which businesses can remain open and/or have imposed requirements that “nonessential” workers stay home. As of now, these types of restrictions are in effect in, among other places, California, New York, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Connecticut. At present, these types of orders reach one in four Americans. As a result, businesses and workers have been confronted with the critical issue of whether they can operate and who, if anyone, can leave home to work on premises.

These actions are similar to many of those that have been taken by other jurisdictions, such as in China, Italy, and France. As governments have imposed these tight restrictions, they have also recognized the need to allow certain businesses to continue to operate as necessary to provide essential goods and services. These orders have been imposed quickly, responding to the immediate needs of each community, and thus neither the orders nor the exemptions to the orders allowing certain activities to continue are consistent across jurisdictions or always well-defined.

This Update provides guidance on the scope of essential services or businesses in five US jurisdictions that have adopted restrictive measures to fight the spread of the virus: CA, NY, IL, OH and PA. Alerts covering additional jurisdictions across the globe, and updates regarding these jurisdictions, will follow.


Continue Reading Who or What Is an “Essential” Business or Service That May Be Exempt from Shelter in Place or Stay at Home Orders?

As COVID-19 continues to spread exponentially around the world, individuals and businesses alike are struggling with the social and economic fallout of this pandemic. To protect the public, governmental bodies worldwide have enacted emergency mitigation measures, up to and including complete quarantine and “shelter-in-place” mandates. Several US cities and states have ordered non-essential businesses—such as gyms and bars—to close, and limited restaurants to take-out or delivery only. As a result, businesses face losses from decreased patronage, supply chain disruptions, employees stuck at home, and an increasing frequency of voluntary and involuntary closures.

Continue Reading Louisiana Restaurant Files First Lawsuit Seeking Business Interruption Insurance Coverage for COVID-19–Related Losses

Opportunistic plaintiffs’ lawyers have already filed over a dozen COVID-19-related lawsuits from class actions alleging violations of federal securities laws based on statements about the development of a vaccine for the virus to suits claiming that companies were negligent in responding to the disease outbreak. The COVID-19-related lawsuits that would interest the business community fall into the four causes of action discussed below (i.e., securities fraud, false advertising, negligence, and contract). While it remains to be seen whether any of these lawsuits truly have merit, there are still some lessons to learn from them. Accordingly, this post discusses the pending COVID-19 litigation and offers tips on how companies might avoid it—taking into account the allegations in the various lawsuits.

Continue Reading COVID-19: What Types of Lawsuits Are Being Filed?