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Gawthrop’s COVID-19 Resource Portal

Gawthrop Greenwood will continue to update this news feed with new developments and resources during the COVID-19 crisis. Please be sure to refresh the page between visits. You can also sign up for our newsletter by emailing kristen@nousoma.com

July 2, 2020

June 18, 2020

June 5, 2020

May 28, 2020 – Pennsylvania’s Judicial Emergency to end June 1

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has declared that the statewide judicial emergency will end as of June 1, 2020. Notwithstanding, the President Judges in each county are authorized to extend or declare local judicial emergencies should they deem it necessary to protect the health and safety of their court personnel, court users, and members of the public. Attorney Salvia Yi clarifies further powers of the President Judge per the Court’s Order.

May 14, 2020 – Delaware Extends Judicial Emergency until June 13

Delaware has announced that it is extending the state’s judicial emergency until June 13th.  Courts remain closed to the public. Filings are being accepted and conference calls continue to be accepted. Read the complete Order from the Delaware Supreme Court.

May 8, 2020 – Limited Civil Immunity and Relaxed Licensing Now Available for Health Care Workers and Their Employers

Governor Wolf has issued an Order that enables health care providers and certain residential facilities within the Commonwealth to more efficiently respond to the COVID-19 crisis. This Order carves out limited, civil immunity for certain categories of providers. To maximize the number of medical and care personnel who can respond to this crisis, the Order also temporarily removes Pennsylvania-specific licensing requirements for certain categories of providers. Attorney John Rafferty outlines the provisions and advises employers to proceed with caution.

May 7, 2020 – Update to Safe Harbor Deadline for PPP Loans

The SBA is now extending the safe harbor repayment deadline date to May 14, 2020 for PPP borrowers who applied for the loan before the April 24, 2020 guidance was issued by the SBA regarding good faith certification, and who wish to return their PPP loan. Attorney Gordon Prince provides the update.

May 6, 2020 – Chester County Register of Wills Limited Reopening

The Chester County Register of Wills is now open to the public for all filings. However, if filings can be done by mail they should continue to be filed that way for the continued safety of all individuals. Additionally, Estate Probates and Marriage License Applications will be accepted by appointment only. Here is the complete announcement from the Register of Wills:  https://www.chesco.org/168/Register-of-Wills-Orphans-Court.

May 6, 2020 – Individual Businesses Can Apply for Up to $25,000 in Grant Funding in Chester County

The Chester County Commissioners have announced that they’ve set aside $5 million to provide funding for small businesses and agricultural enterprises in Chester County that were unable to take advantage of federal and commonwealth COVID-19 response programs. Grants of up to $25,000 will be available to individual businesses through the Chester County Main Street Preservation program, and applications are due Monday, May 11, 2020. Here’s more on the business requirements and application process.

May 5, 2020 – Limited Chester County Court Re-Opening on May 18, 2020

While Chester County Courts are closed through May 31, 2020, Administrative Court Order 9 expands the ability to have non-emergent in-court proceedings beginning as early May 18, 2020 to reduce the backlog of cases. Attorney Lauren Dentone lists the types of cases that are eligible.

April 30, 2020 – Keep It or Return It? Appropriate Handling of Government Funding During COVID-19

The SBA is now saying borrowers should account for whether they have access to other forms of liquidity before certifying, in good faith, that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan is necessary to support the ongoing operations of the business. This applies to public and private companies. Attorney Gordon W. Prince outlines the regulations, as well as the potential ramifications for businesses.

April 28, 2020 – Chester County Offers Video Conferencing Option for Some Civil, Family Court and Orphans Court Cases

IMPORTANT: Clients with pending civil, family court and Orphans’ Court matters may not have to wait for Pennsylvania Governor Wolf’s Emergency Order to be lifted in order to resolve their legal disputes. While Chester County Courts remain physically closed through May 31, 2020 for non-emergency cases, thanks to an increase in technological support, video hearings and depositions are now a possibility. Attorney Lauren Dentone outlines the eligible cases as well as next steps for our clients.

April 27, 2020 – Golf, Fishing and Other Recreational Activities Reopening in Pennsylvania

Governor Wolf has announced he will be relaxing the restrictions for outdoor recreational activities beginning May 1, 2020. With that modified order, golf courses, marinas, guided fishing trips and privately owned campgrounds are permitted to reopen statewide.

April 23, 2020 – Governor Wolf to Accelerate Re-opening of Construction Activities

While May 8, 2020 is designated as the general partial re-opening of businesses in certain regions of Pennsylvania, a special dispensation for construction is currently set for May 1, 2020. Attorney Stephen R. McDonnell concisely outlines the Governor’s plan.

April 23, 2020 – House to Vote on Bill that Replenishes Funds for Small Business Loans and Grants

Today the House is expected to vote on the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which adds additional funds to the PPP, economic injury disaster loans and emergency grants. Attorney Gordon W. Prince examines the new bill as well as the likelihood for another round of major relief legislation.

April 18, 2020 – Corporate Restructuring and Commercial Bankruptcy in the Age of COVID-19

What are your options for negotiating new terms with lenders, vendors and employees as you grapple with the shutdowns? Here’s a closer look at restructuring options as well as bankruptcy law during COVID-19 with attorneys David deBruin and Michael Merlie.

April 16, 2020 – Analysis: PA Supreme Court Rejects Latest Challenge to Gov. Wolf’s Business Shutdown Order

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf reportedly plans to veto a bill that would allow more businesses to open in Pennsylvania. As that action develops, here’s an analysis of the latest challenge to the Governor’s business shutdown, and the PA Supreme Court’s decision regarding it. Attorney Robert C. Jefferson, IV explains the the Court’s decision and what it means.

April 8, 2020 – COVID-19: A Message for Landlords

No eviction complaints may be filed by a landlord against a tenant at this time and any pending evictions are put on hold until after April 30, 2020. So, as a landlord, should you consider offering a payment plan to tenants who are struggling? Attorney Salvia Yi weighs in.

April 8, 2020 – Update for Small Businesses Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

An employer of fewer than 50 employees may deny an employee leave under the FFCRA if the employee is critical to business operations, if the labor pool at the business is too small to take over the employee’s duties, or if paid leave would cause the business to operate in the red. But very few businesses will be able to take advantage of this exemption. Attorney Gordon W. Prince outlines the rules.

April 2, 2020 – CARES Act and Retirement Accounts

The Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes provisions that provide assistance to retirement plan participants and sponsors as they work through the coronavirus outbreak. For some, the rules regarding retirement plans have changed. Attorney Kari Springer explains.

April 1, 2020 – CARES Act and Expanded Unemployment Pay

With the unprecedented increase in applications for unemployment benefits, the FAMILIES FIRST CORONA VIRUS RESPONSE ACT (FFCRA) and the CORONAVIRUS AID RELIEF AND ECONOMIC SECURITY ACT (CARES) provide expanded unemployment compensation for workers. Those who stand to benefit: gig workers, independent contractors, the self-employed, and others whose work history might not otherwise qualify. Here’s a round-up of what it all entails, from attorney Stephen R. McDonnell.

March 31, 2020 – CARES Act for Small Businesses

This is it: Your small business cheat sheet on the CARES Act and how your business can take advantage of it. Attorneys P. Kristen Bennett and Gordon Prince break it down for you in this comprehensive yet easy-to-understand guide. Questions? Give us a call at 610-696-8225.

March 30, 2020 – What Does the Stimulus Check Mean for Your Taxes?

What does the stimulus check mean for your taxes? Attorney Kari Springer provides an overview of how direct payments work in 2020, and the impact of those payments on future tax years.

March 27, 2020 – Emergency Finance and Tax Provisions in Pennsylvania

Today, Pennsylvania Governor Wolf signed into law HB 1232 (Act 10 of 2020), which includes emergency finance and tax provisions.  Among other things, the Act extends the filing and payment deadlines for state income tax and local income tax to coincide with the federal filing deadline of July 15, and waives the requirement for calculation of interest penalties from April 14 through July 16.  More from our attorney Patrick McKenna here.

March 27, 2020 – What Small Businesses and Employees Need to Know About Emergency FMLA and Paid Sick Leave

On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which addresses employee leave taken between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 in response to COVID-19. Gawthrop Greenwood attorney Gordon Prince breaks it down for you.

March 25, 2020 – Chester County Family Court Guidance for Custody Orders During COVID-19

In the confusion and uncertainty that is COVID-19, the family law practitioners of Gawthrop Greenwood are here to answer your questions regarding any potential impact to child custody exchanges during this period of “Stay at Home.” Gawthrop Greenwood attorney Lauren Dentone outlines the latest guidance.

March 25, 2020 – Small Businesses & the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act

For those wondering how the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (E-FMLA) affects small businesses under 50 employees, we urge you to take advantage of the following resources and of course reach out to us at 610-696-8225 with further questions:

Department of Labor Guidance: Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employer Paid Leave Requirements

Tougher Read: Families First Coronavirus Response Act

March 23, 2020 – Essential vs. Non-Essential Businesses

Here is Delaware’s list of essential and non-essential businesses as of 3/22/2020.

Here is Pennsylvania’s revised list of essential and non-essential businesses in response to waiver requests as of 3/21/2020.

March 21, 2020 – Income Tax Filing Deadline Extended in PA

The Department of Revenue today announced the deadline for taxpayers to file their 2019 Pennsylvania personal income tax returns is extended to July 15, 2020. Read More

March 20, 2020 – Is Your Business Exempt from the PA Governor’s Order?

Pennsylvania Governor Wolf’s order shuts down physical locations of all non-life sustaining businesses starting yesterday evening. Along with health service businesses being exempt, so are the following: beer distributors, grocery stores, farms, oil and gas, wholesalers, transportation and port activities/businesses. A list of exempt businesses is accessible here.

We understand from an announcement today that the Commonwealth has set up a process where you can request a waiver from the order, so a business can keep physical locations open.

Businesses are permitted to continue virtual or telework operations as long as social distancing measures are used. View the actual order here.

The order will be enforced starting tomorrow, March 21, 2020. Penalties may include suspension of business license or liquor license, fines or even imprisonment.

March 20, 2020 – DE Federal Courthouse closed until further notice

The J. Caleb Boggs U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building in Delaware is closed until further notice after an attorney was confirmed to have COVID-19. Click here to read the announcement. As always, please contact your attorney with any questions about navigating the court system during the COVID-19 crisis.

March 19, 2020 – PA Supreme Court Orders All State Courts to Close ‘Through at Least April 3’

All Pennsylvania courts will close starting today at close of business, including appellate courts, through at least April 3. Click here for the order from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. As always, please contact your attorney with any questions about navigating the court system during the COVID-19 crisis.

March 19, 2020 – Office Operations for PA Register of Wills / Orphans’ Court

Pennsylvania’s Register of Wills / Orphans’ Court will only be open to the public for processing Marriage License Applications and Petitions for Estates by appointment only.  Any true Emergency Petition will also be accepted at the counter. All other services accepted by mail. Here’s the complete announcement.

March 18, 2020 – New Castle Co. Register of Wills Operating Appointment-Only By Phone and Other Electronic Means

The New Castle Co. Register of Wills is operating, but is closed to walk-in service. Here’s how to make an appointment to interact by phone.

March 18, 2020 – Pennsylvania Judiciary’s Information Hub

The Pennsylvania Judiciary is providing updates regarding county-by-county court operations and proceedings. Click here to access the UJS Coronavirus Information page for PA.

March 17, 2020 – Coronavirus and Business Contracts: What’s the Law?

Published in the Daily Local News, Gawthrop Greenwood attorney Gordon Prince outlines the major issues concerning business contracts during the COVID-19 crisis.

March 17, 2020 – Delaware Superior Court Suspends Jury Trials, Chancery Court Postpones In-Person Hearings

As the coronavirus threat continues, the Delaware Superior Court has suspended all criminal and civil trials through April 15 and the Chancery Court has ordered that all hearings and trials either be conducted electronically or be continued for the next 30 days.

Read the complete press release & further announcements on the Delaware Judiciary Response to Coronavirus Disease

March 16, 2020 – Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Declares General Statewide Judicial Emergency

The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania released the following information today. We encourage you to contact your attorney with any questions you may have:

“Amid COVID-19 mitigation efforts, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court today declared a statewide judicial emergency effective until April 14, 2020.

With the emergency declaration in place, county president judges are authorized to declare individual county judicial emergencies through April 14, 2020, should they deem it appropriate to protect the health and safety of staff, court users and the community.

Specifically, counties operating under local judicial emergencies shall have the authority to:

  • Suspend time calculations for the purposes of time computation relevant to court cases or other judicial business, as well as time deadlines, subject to constitutional restrictions;
  • Authorize additional uses of advanced communications technology to conduct court proceedings, subject to constitutional restrictions; and
  • Take any action permitted pursuant to Rule of Judicial Administration 1952(B)(2), including restrictions or temporary closures of court facilities.

The emergency declaration specifically authorizes president judges to suspend the operation of Rule of Criminal Procedure 600 within a judicial district, for the length of the judicial emergency. The Supreme Court Order, however, does not affect a criminal defendant’s right to a speedy trial under the United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions.

Judicial Districts operating under the emergency declaration will arrange for the provision of essential judicial services, including arraignments and bail establishment hearings and protection from abuse act proceedings.

Additional information about the impact of COVID-19 on court operations is available online, at @pennsylvaniacourts and @PACourts.”

Gawthrop Greenwood

Gawthrop Greenwood, PC has offices in West Chester, PA and Wilmington, DE serving clients throughout the greater mid-Atlantic region and nation. For more than a century, the firm has stood behind its core principle of providing high-quality legal services with personal attention. Gawthrop Greenwood’s diverse portfolio of clients comprises entrepreneurs, businesses, and governmental entities that entrust the firm with their representation in a wide range of matters including mergers and acquisitions, commercial litigation, estate and tax planning, land use and development, and domestic relations. A complete listing of the firm’s practice areas and attorneys, as well as a variety of legal resources, can be found at www.gawthrop.com.

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