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Howard & Spaniol, PLLC’s COVID-19 Blog

As everyone adjusts on a seemingly-daily basis to the consequences of the current pandemic, Texas appellate decisions will—by necessity—take time to evaluate the legal consequences of a global disease. After all, the nature of legal process necessitates that law lag reality. This blog has as its humble aim to be a central repository for developing jurisprudence that addresses the legal import of a disease that has taken people from their families, let alone their businesses, legal obligations, and fulfilling their contracts. We mean not to diminish the personal consequences of this calamity, but instead to provide commentary and citation to new cases that will govern lawyers and businesses alike as a means to provide, in our small way, a path forward.

In this blog, we will focus on procedural and commercial issues that may impact lawyers and businesses. We will cover how courts are maneuvering the procedural morass created by a lack of access to in-person hearings and evidence, how courts view “force majeure” provisions of contracts in light of what was, to many contracting parties, an unexpected event, and a multitude of other issues that were (and, at least to the authors, are) difficult to foresee. We hope the following is helpful and invite any questions. Please feel free to contact us.

COVID-19 and the date and location of a party deposition

In re Berrenberg, No. 08-20-00104-CV, 2020 WL 4218795 (Tex. App.-El Paso 7/23/20, orig. proceeding) shows the effect of the COVID-19 epidemic on a discovery-dispute familiar to any litigator – the…

Coronavirus is not a substitute for a supersedeas bond.

Judgment-debtor requested a writ of mandamus requiring a trial court to vacate post-judgment discovery and deposition. Judgment-debtor “claim[ed] that compelling her compliance with post judgment discovery will endanger her health,”…

Coronavirus does not excuse a delay of ten months.

Where there “is no dispute that realtor’s motions [to dismiss and for summary judgment] were properly filed” on June 7, 2019, and the real parties in interest “referenced the challenges…

Patience is a virtue, even with imminent harm.

Courts are adapting to the “new normal,” just like the rest of us. But realtors, having not received a hearing by teleconference or videoconference on their request for temporary injunction,…