It’s been a crazy ride for several weeks. In some ways, the practice of law is the same. In some ways, it’s different. Sometimes it just feels different. In spite of the photo, I’ve been able to work in my satellite office and have been the only one here.
Litigation slowed but is picking back up with hearings being held via Zoom and telephone. I hear that our hard-working state court judges are ready, willing, and able to take on matters in this fashion. They are public servants, and they want to do their jobs.
Some of the other salient issues during this pandemic:
PPP Loans; Employee Layoffs; Unemployment Issues
I’ve advised employers on laying off employees. Then bringing them back when financing comes in. There is potential exposure for employers every step of the way.
I’ve counseled private businesses on how to not run afoul of PPP Loan Certifications (dreaded question 31, now alleviated for loans under $2 million).
Both employers and employees have lots of unemployment questions, unsurprisingly.
And all the regular employment law issues do not go away in a pandemic. I’ve had the honor to represent or consult with several nursing professionals.
I’ve represented both commercial landlords and tenants for work out agreements I would have never thought possible. Both sides are being reasonable and working in earnest to compromise, which is great to see. Professionalism and respect for one another go a long way to working out deals. It’s not always just dollars and cents.
Noncompete and Trade Secret Litigation; Employers and Executives
On behalf of an employer, I geared up for a major injunction hearing for a Noncompete at the BLS, to be held via video conference. The matter is now on hold. I was actually working on a weekend. During the pandemic.
I’m helping several executives who have been terminated. Some are dealing with issues related to company trade secrets that they needed to have access to while working at home. This could pop up more as everyone is working remotely. How are companies protecting trace secrets?
I’ve helped several other executive-level employees with contracts and noncompetes.
I represented another employer to resolve a declaratory judgment complaint about a noncompete.
It’s interesting how many noncompete and trade secret issues are coming up. Maybe it’s just a function of so many people being terminated and a certain percentage have noncompetes and were privy to trade secrets and proprietary business information.
LLC and Partnership Buyouts and Dissolutions
It’s an interesting time to split up a business, but sometimes shareholders and partners just need to go their separate ways. This economy makes business valuation challenging. I haven’t seen an uprising in these matters, but it has been steady.
Business marches on! I have worked on several business contracts, including oversea supplier contracts and technology service contracts. Some businesses remain optimistic and are prepared for this new economy. American enthusiasm is great to see.
Real Estate Deposits
I’ve handled several disputes between buyers and sellers of real estate when the deal has failed and the parties are fighting over the deposit. This indicates to me that more transactions are being put into question, either because of financing issues or buyers getting cold feet.
Mediations By Zoom or Phone
Many mediations are now being conducted by Zoom or even by phone. I have several scheduled. Let’s see how they go.
We can all get through this and lawyers can still practice law during the pandemic and the upcoming “new normal.” We can embrace the challenge and look forward to helping our clients. My family and friends have fortunately remained healthy. I know that others are dealing with tragedy and many frontline heroes are putting themselves at risk. As lawyers, all we can do is to show kindness and respect to clients and opponents alike and be cognizant of what they may be dealing with.
By Adam P. Whitney
CONNECT WITH ADAM
RELATED PRACTICE AREAS
ADAM’S RECENT POSTS
Losing your job is one of the most difficult things a person can go through. As someone who has been working in employment law for over 25 years, I can tell you that this is especially true for executives, professionals, and other high-level employees. If you have...
If you are a “foreign” Limited Liability Company, such as a Delaware LLC, you must register in Massachusetts if you do business here. See Mass. Gen. Law c.156C, §54. That’s not difficult, but it does take a bit of effort and yearly filing fees. You must also have a...
Private businesses will be back. It has to be. By definition, entrepreneurs are resilient and versatile. If your business is closed or running a skeleton operation, this is the time to think about how the world will be changed when things get back to “normal.” I...
If your business is either closed or running a smaller operation, now may be the time to step back, do some planning, and get your “house” in order. It’s a good time to evaluate your focus and your customer base. Do 80% of your revenues come from 20% of your...
GUEST POST BY BRANDON SLOANE On February 26, 2020, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a final rule clarifying the standard for determining joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRB’s ruling is significant for any...
GET IN TOUCH
Law Office of Adam P. Whitney265 Franklin Street, Suite 1702
Boston, MA 02110
ABOUT THE FIRM
Business Litigation and Employment Law
Outside General Counsel
Shareholder / LLC / Partnership Disputes
No attorney-client relationship is established by your use of this site. You must not send or share any confidential information about you or any legal issue without Attorney Whitney's express written permission. The content of this website may be considered advertising for legal services under the laws and rules of professional conduct. The content does not constitute legal advice. The content is for information purposes only. Legal advice cannot be provided unless you hire my firm and we perform a full review of the legal matter and the most current, applicable law. The law in your state may be different than Massachusetts, so the information in the content may be completely irrelevant if you are outside of Massachusetts.