COVID-19 Update: FAQ and Other Information for Clients

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Illustration of computer monitor with six people video chattingPlease join KHF Managing Member Edward T. Kang (panelist) and Member Kandis L. Kovalsky (moderator) for an upcoming CLE, Next-Level ADR — The Future is Now for Arbitration in Complex Cases, during the NAMWOLF Virtual Annual Meeting, on September 16, 2020 from 4:00-5:00 PM ET.

The notable reasons for taking the arbitration route as opposed to heading to the Courthouse have only been exacerbated in recent months. We’ve seen what technology can (and can’t) do, what happens when the courthouse calendar gets further backlogged, and resources are slim. Where is arbitration heading in the legal profession?

Edward and Kandis will be joined by fellow panelists Nelson C. Bellido, Managing Partner of ROIG Lawyers in Miami, Florida; Marcus Wester, Senior Litigation Counsel, Harley-Davidson Motor Company; and Ingeuneal C. Gray, VP, Commercial Division, American Arbitration Association.

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On Monday, August 24th KHF Associate Tianna Kalogerakis joins Judge Ann M. Butchart, Anjelica Hendricks, Stephen Kulp and Jennifer Coatsworth to present a CLE on professional inclusion. The CLE, Professional Inclusion: Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Rule 8.4(G), Prohibiting Discrimination “In The Practice of Law,” will address the June 8, 2020 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling, diversity training on the same and a lawsuit recently filed to prevent its implementation.  The CLE is moderated by Amanda J. Dougherty and is co-hosted by the Philadelphia LGBTQ Bar Association and the Barristers Association of Philadelphia. 50% of the proceeds will be donated to the National Black Justice Coalition.

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Diverse group of business people with arms foldedA recent decision out of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan underscored the RICO “proximate cause” inquiry highlighting yet another, often overlooked, complexity in litigating such cases.

In the July 23, 2020 edition of The Legal Intelligencer Edward T. Kang, managing member of KHF wrote “Civil RICO and Proximate Cause: A Tool for Defendants and Challenge for Plaintiffs.

In March 2018, I authored a column on civil RICO claims brought under 18 U.S.C. Section 1962(a) and (b). In that space, I explained the complexity of those sections within RICO cases. A recent decision out of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan underscored the RICO “proximate cause” inquiry highlighting yet another, often overlooked, complexity in litigating such cases.

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In the July 23, 2020 edition of The Washington Post, national sports reporter Adam Kilgore gets Edward Kang’s take on how can the Washington NFL team’s internal review be independent? Legal experts weigh in..

An inherent question looms over the Washington NFL team’s investigation of its workplace culture: If owner Daniel Snyder is paying the law firm tasked with inspecting his franchise, how can the ensuing report be considered independent, as Snyder insists it will be?

The article centers on Snyder’s hiring of D.C. attorney Beth Wilkinson to conduct an internal review of the team’s culture, in the aftermath of a Post report about 15 women who alleged sexual harassment while working for the franchise.

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Laptop with various paper coming out of itWhile it is likely that businesses will think to add force majeure clauses to future contracts, there is also reason to believe the specific language of these clauses could be modified. Likewise, there are other changes to be expected in post-pandemic contracts.

In the July 2, 2020 edition of The Legal Intelligencer Edward T. Kang, managing member of KHF wrote “The Future of Business Contracts Post-COVID-19.

Recently, I authored a column on force majeure clauses. In that space, I explained how many businesses have recently been turning to force majeure clauses in their contracts for protection in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. While it is likely that businesses will think to add force majeure clauses to future contracts, there is also reason to believe the specific language of these clauses could be modified. Likewise, there are other changes to be expected in post-pandemic contracts.

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Businessman in suit on green background.When nonresident members of a corporate group, usually the parent company, should expect to be subjected to the jurisdiction of Pennsylvania courts when one of the entities, usually the subsidiary, is based or does business in the state.

In the June 18, 2020 edition of The Legal Intelligencer Edward T. Kang, managing member of KHF wrote “Piercing the Corporate Veil of Corporate Groups to Establish Alter Ego Jurisdiction.

Last June, in this space, I authored a column about Pennsylvania law on substantive and procedural aspects of piercing the corporate veil of companies to reach the assets of their shareholders or the assets of a parent company in corporate groups. In early January 2020, I wrote a column about the development of Pennsylvania law on establishing personal jurisdiction over registered nonresident businesses since the Supreme Court’s decisions in. In this case, I address the intersection of those two related columns in cases involving corporate groups. That is, when nonresident members of a corporate group, usually the parent company, should expect to be subjected to the jurisdiction of Pennsylvania courts when one of the entities, usually the subsidiary, is based or does business in the state.

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Businesswoman waving with right hand and holding briefcase in left.On June 5, 2020, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (“PPP Flex”) was signed into law. PPP Flex was designed to limit some of the restrictions and provide clarification for the original Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”).

Notably, PPP Flex grants borrowers additional time to incur costs that count towards PPP loan forgiveness, reduces the portion of cost that must be allocated to payroll cost, and provides additional exemption from the Coronavirus Aid Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act”), the legislation that authorized PPP.

The CARES Act provides that some or all of the borrower’s PPP loan maybe forgiven based on the cost and payments made during what is called the “Cover Period.” The Cover Period begins when the PPP loan is disbursed or, if the borrower elects, from the start of the first regular payroll after the PPP loan is first disbursed. The Cover Period was originally set to be eight (8) weeks; however, under the PPP Flex, the Cover Period may be extended to the earlier of twenty-four (24) weeks after the loan origination or December 31, 2020. Nothing precludes an existing PPP loan borrower from using the original 8-week Cover Period. Under PPP Flex, the percentage that the borrower must use for payroll costs to be eligible for forgiveness was reduced. With the SBA’s final interim rule setting the percentage at 75%, legislators have reduced the amount to 60%, such that now 40% of the loan may be used (during the Cover Period) for certain permitted non-payroll costs such as mortgage interest, rent and utilities. PPP Flex also extends the original 6-month deferral period to up to 10 months after the applicable Covered Period, and extends the maturity date of unforgiven portions of the loans to five (5) years from the date of the forgiveness application.

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In the January 5, 2018 edition of The Legal Intelligencer, Edward Kang, Managing Member of KHF, writes A Primer on International Chamber of Commerce Arbitration for Litigators.

Arbitration, whether compulsory or voluntary, is commonplace these days as a less expensive and more efficient resolution to litigation than trial. Litigators in Pennsylvania are familiar with the Court of Common Pleas Compulsory Arbitration Program for cases with an amount in controversy of $50,000 or less. For cases with a larger amount in controversy, parties will often agree to arbitrate with a company offering a private arbitrator, such as AAA, JAMS and ADR Options.

In cases involving international disputes, the arbitration venues commonly found in contract include, the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), Swiss Chamber’s Arbitration Institution (SCAI), Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), German Institution of Arbitration (DIS), Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC), Vienna International Arbitration Center (VIAC), International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), and the International Court of Arbitration for the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

The number of international arbitrations has been increasing due largely to the growing number of courts in foreign countries recognizing and enforcing foreign arbitral awards. An ICC arbitral award, for instance, can now be enforced in China, where its courts refused to recognize and enforce foreign arbitral awards against its citizens on many occasions.  It is becoming increasingly likely for practitioners to face a dispute over a contract providing for arbitration before one of these international forums. This is true even with smaller cases involving an amount in controversy under $50,000.

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ETK-2017-Head-Shot-200x300-1In the November 2, 2017 edition of The Legal Intelligencer, Edward T. Kang, managing member of the firm, writes on the liability attorneys face in regards to nonclients.

In Pennsylvania, traditionally, if lawyers or other professionals, such as accountants, performed their professional duties negligently, they could only be held liable to those with whom they were in direct contractual privity—in other words, their clients. Others who may have suffered damage because of that negligence—for example, a party to a transaction relying on the other party’s lawyer’s faulty opinion letter, or a bank relying on an opinion letter prepared by a borrower’s lawyer while extending credit to the borrower—would be without a claim in tort.

In much of the country, however, courts will extend the liability of professionals to cover nonclient third parties injured by the negligence of professionals in certain situations. This liability is typically found under a theory of negligent misrepresentation, adopted from Section 522 of the Restatement (Second) of Torts. Section 522(1) provides: “One who, in the course of his business, profession or employment, or in any other transaction in which he has a pecuniary interest, supplies false information for the guidance of others in their business transactions, is subject to liability for pecuniary loss caused to them by their justifiable reliance upon the information, if he fails to exercise reasonable care or competence in obtaining or communicating the information.”

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