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The Legal Brief

BEWARE 6-PERSON CIVIL JURY PROPOSALS IN THE COVID-19 ERA

In March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 epidemic, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, like most jurisdictions, suspended all civil jury trials until June 1, 2020. Now that this period has expired, the Supreme Court has left it to the discretion of individual judicial districts to resume civil jury trials when they can “be conducted consistent with prevailing health and safety norms.”

The…

CALIFORNIA CONSUMER PRIVACY ACT: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE JULY 1ST ENFORCEMENT (Second In A Series)

As we discussed in this series’ first entry, the uncertainty caused by COVID-19 forced many companies to shift focus to immediate financial and operational issues to keep their businesses afloat, which may have resulted in certain initiatives (such as corporate compliance matters) being put on temporary hold. However, the pandemic did not affect the July 1, 2020 enforcement deadline for the…

What Green Phase Means for Pennsylvania Businesses

On June 5, 2020, Allegheny County is moving into the green phase, allowing for some semblance of normalcy to return, but some restrictions will remain in place. On March 19, 2020, Governor Wolf ordered that all non-life sustaining businesses close, On May 15, 2020, the Governor Wolf transitioned Allegheny County and other southwestern Pennsylvania counties to yellow phase. 

Who Can Open in Green…

Data Privacy/Data Security Laws Are Set to be Enforced - Are You Ready? (First In A Series)

Almost all businesses have been impacted in some way by the COVID-19 pandemic. Uncertainty, often coupled with an abrupt business interruption, forced many executives to put their company’s initiatives on temporary hold. The pandemic did not affect the July 1, 2020 enforcement deadline for the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) and the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (“CMMC”),…

Higher Education Institutions the Target of Class-Action Lawsuits Amidst COVID-19 Response

In March, many higher education institutions made the difficult decision to send students home to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus and implemented distance learning techniques such as video lectures and online modules to finish the current semester. Forty-one states followed up with orders forcing most non-essential businesses to close or restrict access. Now, after students were sent home…

Craving the spa, gym time, or a haircut: What are you willing to waive in return?  

As a result of Governor Justice’s most-recent Executive Order, West Virginia businesses are beginning to reopen. For those of us who have not had a haircut, gone to the gym, or shopped in a retail store since March, this is good news. We can now stop watching YouTube videos on how to cut and dye our own hair. We can also stop fretting over whether we should purchase a Peloton or set up a home…

What is required for a valid waiver in Kentucky?

Kentucky is one of the minority of states that generally requires pre-injury waivers to specifically refer to negligence or clearly intend to bar negligence through other language.1 Kentucky courts use a specific test when determining whether to uphold a pre-injury release. Such a release will be upheld only if:

  1. it explicitly expresses an intention to exonerate by using the word “negligence;” or …

What is required for a valid waiver in Colorado?

Contractual waiver of liability clauses are recognized under Colorado law, but are construed narrowly and “closely scrutinized” to make sure that the agreement was fairly entered into and that the intention of the parties is expressed in clear and unambiguous language. Raup v. Vail Summit Resorts, Inc., 233 F. Supp. 3d 934, 942 (D. Colo. 2017), aff’d, 734 Fed. Appx. 543 (10th Cir. 2018); citing …

Business Invitees and Express Waivers in Indiana

On May 1st, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announced Indiana’s “Back on Track” plan, a five-stage roadmap to reopen the state for business. As businesses begin reopening under this plan, they must take steps to keep employees and customers safe from communicating Covid-19 and safeguard against potential liability if a customer contracts the disease at the business location. An express waiver or…

Business Invitees and Waivers in Pennsylvania

Over the past few months, we have become accustomed to the New Normal of our personal and professional lives in the midst of the novel coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 disease (collectively, “COVID-19”). As certain governments are starting the process of rolling back shelter-in-place and business shutdown orders though, we all are concerned with best practices for getting back to business…

USPTO Revises Deadlines in Light of Pandemic

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) temporarily revised statutory deadlines as authorized by the CARES Act, moving many deadlines to June 1, 2020, if the filing delay was due to COVID-19 related circumstances. The party requesting the extension must include a statement that:

A practitioner, applicant, patent owner, petitioner, third-party requester, inventor, or other person associated…

Pennsylvania Executive Order Grants Civil Immunity to Healthcare Providers – Important Limitations and Takeaways

Last week, Governor Wolf issued an executive order on May 6, 2020, effective immediately, intended to provide healthcare practitioners with protection from liability while conducting emergency services activities or disaster services activities related to the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 emergency response (“COVID-Services”). The Executive Order designates certain individual healthcare practitioners…

 

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