The View From My Office: How Hanna & Plaut is Handling COVID-19

March 16th, 2020 By Catherine Hanna

In keeping with CDC guidance, Hanna & Plaut attorneys and staff will be working from home for the next two weeks. Many Hanna & Plaut attorneys already work from home several days out of the week so we know that our remote capacity is good and we will be available to handle your cases productively and efficiently. We expect to have a skeleton crew on hand to handle phone calls and filing deadlines, but you can always reach attorneys by email and our cell phone numbers are generally included in our email signature lines as well. Don’t be shy! Feel free to reach out to discuss any questions or concerns you might have or just to share how you are doing in this strange new world.

Of course, the CDC’s guidance regarding social distancing affects our court system as well. There is no place more crowded than the Travis County Courthouse in the morning and early afternoon. We will be reporting to you individually on how these closures will affect specific cases. Meanwhile, information regarding the Texas Supreme Court’s Emergency Order can be found here.

Travis County civil courts have suspended all non-emergency hearings, including trials, for four weeks. That order can be found here.

The United States District Court for the Western District of Texas has also continued all civil and criminal bench and jury trials scheduled to begin on any date from now through May 1, 2020. That order can be found here.

We know that there will be significant legal issues raised by this pandemic.

The Insurance Law Section of the State Bar of Texas is co-sponsoring a free webcast on “Benefits and Challenges of Invoking Force Majeure Clauses in the Age of the Coronavirus” from 11 a.m. to noon CDT on March 18. See the link below for more information or to register.

Claims Journal has a good round-up of insurance implications here.

There are many things we don’t know as we look forward to the coming weeks. Please do know that we are here for you and will continue be here for you as we navigate this crisis.