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Depositions Go Virtual During Pandemic, May Remain That Way

May 22, 2020, 5:44 PM

Here are the day’s top coronavirus stories from the team at Bloomberg Law:

  • REMOTE WORK: While the technology required to take virtual depositions has existed for more than a decade, litigants and courts have been slow to adopt the practice and some have said it has very real limitations. But as courts have closed across the country due to the pandemic, more litigants are giving it a shot.
  • PROPERTY TAXES: California lawmakers and regulators are taking on the question of whether the outbreak is a disaster worthy of quick property tax relief, but the question will likely get settled in court whether they decide or not.
  • NLRB COMPLAINTS: Workers at two U.S. companies have filed cases with the National Labor Relations Board challenging changes to their working conditions spurred by the pandemic.

Editor’s Top Picks

Deloitte Sued Over Pandemic Unemployment Website Data Breaches
Deloitte Consulting LLP was hit with two suits by people who claim their personal information was exposed on state websites the firm built to administer supplemental virus unemployment benefits.

Vail Resorts Sees Virus Closure Suit Dropped After Credit Offer
The Vail Corp., which reached out to season pass holders late last month, saw the dismissal of a class action alleging the company kept customers’ fees after shutting down its ski resorts due to the public health emergency.

Modell’s to Keep Bankruptcy in Coma While Stores Stay Shut
Modell’s Sporting Goods, Inc. plans to extend its Chapter 11 bankruptcy suspension for the third time as the outbreak keeps non-essential businesses shut.

Florida Will Try Remote Jury Trials to Cut Civil Case Backlog
Florida will try holding civil jury trials remotely to address a backlog of cases stalled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Almost Half of Mortgage Borrowers in Forbearance Kept Paying
A large number of Americans who asked to postpone their loan payments ended up paying anyway, adding to a growing body of data that suggests households are steeling themselves for tougher times ahead.

U.S. Jobless-Claims Data Become Trickier as Economic Gauge
For decades, the U.S. jobless-claims report has provided a straightforward, routine read on the labor market every Thursday. Now it carries a variety of asterisks.

Nursing Homes to Get $4.9 Billion From HHS to Combat Virus
Skilled nursing facilities will receive $4.9 billion in aid to address critical needs such as labor, scaling up their testing capacity, acquiring personal protective equipment, and a range of other expenses directly linked to the pandemic.

Small Facilities Making Virus Drugs Get New Reporting Procedures
Drug manufacturers that make small batches of Covid-19 drugs for hospitals that can’t find them elsewhere will have to update the FDA more frequently about their operations under a policy change announced Friday.

Cannabis Binge in Quarantine Lifts Hope for Federal Legalization
More than 20 states deemed medical or recreational sales “essential” businesses during the shutdown, and Americans are using more weed than usual while they’re quarantined. Advocates say the crisis will push the federal government to follow the lead of 33 states and legalize cannabis faster than it would have.

INSIGHT: Zooming and Attorney-Client Privilege
The use of videoconferencing like Zoom is skyrocketing, but the legal profession must keep in mind the accompanying risks to the privacy of client data and attorney-client privilege, Jenner & Block attorneys write. They examine common videoconferencing practices and pitfalls that could lead to waivers of attorney-client privilege.

INSIGHT: The ‘Bridgegate’ Ruling Has Implications for Covid-19 Fraud
The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling tossing the convictions in the “Bridgegate” scandal adds to a line of high court decisions narrowing the reach of federal corruption laws, writes Jones Day partner Yaakov Roth. He says the specially timely given the vast government spending in response to Covid-19 and the inevitable allegations of fraud that may lead prosecutors to overreach.

Click here for updates on how federal courts are operating during the pandemic.

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Editor’s Note: The Bloomberg Law news team has been closely covering the legal, regulatory, business, and tax implications of the coronavirus pandemic. This daily email highlights the top stories of the day, across practice areas. To unsubscribe, please adjust your Bloomberg Law newsletter settings. For assistance, contact our help desk at 888-560-2529 or help@bloomberglaw.com.

To contact the reporter on this story: Molly Ward in Washington at mward@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Meghashyam Mali at mmali@bloombergindustry.com