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COVID-19

MVP Law COVID-19 Response

Last Updated: 1:35 pm 6/17/2020

MVP Law is actively following the COVID-19 outbreak and is taking all appropriate precautions to keep our employees safe and healthy in this uncertain time. Our top priority is the safety of our employees, clients, and vendors at all times of the year, but especially during this response to coronavirus.

Social distancing and self-quarantine are two ways we are actively managing our operations to keep our workforce healthy. Last week, we started aggressively moving forward to increase our remote desktop solution to support all employees of the firm needing to work remotely. Most of our attorneys have had the ability to work remotely, but this solution will support our paralegals and secretaries who will be able to work from home if needed. We have implemented a self-quarantine policy and have confirmed to our employees that whether they are in the office or working remotely (or waiting to get set up to work remotely) their jobs are secure, and their pay checks will continue. Many of our day to day operations are digitally based and the remote desktop solution will allow as many of our employees to work remotely as necessary.

MVP is also tracking the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” in the event that it is signed into law and will have updates on the effects of this Act. Our employment attorneys are ready to answer any questions from employers regarding COVID-19, their internal polices or anticipated legislative changes. UPDATE: The FFCRA has been signed into law. Read the summary provided by MVP here: FFCRA Update
Contact Ryan Denk, Greg Goheen or Chuck Dunlay with any employment related questions  

We are monitoring Court closures and working to keep all of our clients advised on any impacts to their matters during this time. Another great tool for Court updates and closures across the United States can be found HERE

The following Courts in our jurisdiction have released these decisions:

KANSAS
MISSOURI
IOWA
ILLINOIS
NEBRASKA
OKLAHOMA
ARKANSAS

Kansas:

  • Supreme Court of the State of Kansas
    • On June 16th, new administrative orders were signed regarding safe operations of the Court by Chief Justice Marla Luckert
      • Where possible, hearings should continue to take place through video or audio conferencing
      • When necessary for a right to a speedy trial, a jury trial may be held in person and additional guidelines are being developed by the Ad Hoc Jury Task Force
      • Courtroom capacities are limited to the number of people who can keep a social distance of 6 feet
  • Kansas Department of Labor
    • All hearings are to be conducted via teleconference
    • All KDOL courts are closed to the public effective March 18, 2020
  • Tenth Judicial District of Kansas, Johnson County
    • While the Court remains open, as of March 30th ALL hearings that are conducted within the existing Administrative Orders from the Kansas Supreme Court and the 10th Judicial District Court will be conducted remotely
    • Johnson County Jury Trials have been cancelled through May 1, 2020
    • All in-person appearances for civil matters scheduled through March 27, 2020 will be continued unless the hearing may be conducted via video or teleconference.
  • Twenty-Ninth Judicial District of Kansas, Wyandotte County
    • Open for business inclusive of filings and telephone calls
    • Jury trials, both civil & criminal, through April 19, 2020 have been continued
    • All other proceedings will continue as normal
    • Trials scheduled April 20, 2020 or later will be evaluated on a weekly basis
    • Requests for continuances need to be sent to the specific division

Missouri:

  • Supreme Court of Missouri
    • Suspends all in person proceedings from March 17, 2020 until April 3, 2020
    • Exceptions include civil or criminal jury trials in progress as of March 16, 2020
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri
    • All civil and criminal jury trials are continued through March 29, 2020.
    • All trial-specific deadlines in criminal cases are continued through March 29, 2020.
    • All grand jury proceedings are continued through March 29, 2020.
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
    • On May 29, a new Order was adopted related to case administration during the COVID-19 pandemic
    • All civil and criminal jury trials scheduled to begin on or before July 5, 2020 are continued
    • All non-essential in-person hearings will be continued
    • All proceedings shall be conducted by means other than in-person meetings wherever possible by law
    • Requirements for in-person participation in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) have been suspended and the ADR may take place by any remote means agreed upon by both parties.
    • Motions for other relief in civil cases allowed
    • Restrictions are in place for entering any Eastern District of Missouri courthouse
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Missouri
    • Counsel may appear by telephone for scheduled court hearings
    • Restrictions are in place for entering any Eastern District of Missouri courthouse
    • All §341 Meetings of Creditors scheduled for March 23, 2020 through April 10, 2020 are being continued.
  • Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation
    • All DWC offices are closed to the public
    • All in-person docket settings/trials are cancelled through April 17, 2020
    • You may not meet clients and attorneys at DWC offices
    • Routine matters should be handled by email and teleconference
    • Settlements – a tele-conference will satisfy the Division’s requirement that an unrepresented employee appear before the Division; notarized signatures of employees are no longer required by the Divsion
    • Urgent matters that may require in-person settings, such as hardship mediations and hearings, will be accommodated as available
  • Kansas City Workers’ Compensation Division
    • Suspends all walk-in settlements & conferences for 90 days
    • Can still file conference request and will be scheduled on the next available docket
  • Jackson County & Jasper County
    • All jury trials scheduled through March 30th are continued and will be rescheduled to a later date
    • Judicial officer & division is responsible for notifying if dockets are being postponed or continued
    • Individual hearings on specific criminal, civil, domestic & probate will continue as scheduled unless the judge assigned takes action pursuant to the administrative order
  • Wright/Douglas/Ozark Counties
    • Business as usual, extra cleaning of courtrooms
    • Judges are being asked to prioritize and civil jury cases are considered second priorities
  • Maries/Pulaski/Phelps/Texas Counties
    • Increasing video conferencing availability
    • Judges are scheduling to reduce crowding in court rooms
    • Otherwise business as usual
  • Vernon County
    • Vernon County Commission Courthouse closed as of March 16, 2020 until further notice
  • St. Louis
    • All jury trials are cancelled and will resume on April 13, 2020
    • Videoconferencing is strongly encouraged if possible in specific criminal, domestic and probate cases that are proceeding as scheduled
    • Hearings that are presently scheduled from March, 16 until April 13, 2020 will be continued for two weeks from the date of the currently scheduled hearing.
  • St. Clair/Henry/Bates Counties
    • Business as usual
    • Courts are taking extra precautions for cleaning and crowd reduction
  • Pike & Lincoln County
    • Jury & Grand Jury trials through April 17, 2020 are being continued and will be rescheduled
    • Same protocols as Jackson & Jasper County
  • Liberty, MO
    • Municipal Court Hearings for March 19 & March 20, 2020 have been rescheduled to August 13 & August 14, 2020
  • Jefferson County
    • All in-person proceedings are suspended until April 3, 2020
      • Excludes civil and criminal jury trials that are already in progress
  • Greene County
    • Reduce crowding and additional cleaning measures
    • Extra video equipment is being acquired, but otherwise business as usual
  • Christian County
    • All matters not requiring immediate attention will be continued after May 1, 2020

Iowa:

  • Iowa Supreme Court
    • Any criminal trial not already in progress and is scheduled to begin before April 20, 2020 will be continued
    • All civil nonjury trials and other hearings set to commence before May 4, 2020 shall be continued or conducted by telephone at the discretion of the district court.
    • Any mediation set to occur at a courthouse before May 4, 2020 will be continued or directed to occur by videoconference or telephone
    • Any statute of limitations, statue of repose, or similar deadline for commencing an action in district court is tolled from March 17th, 2020 to May 4, 2020.
    • The Iowa Judicial Branch Building in Des Moines is closed to the public effective March 18, 2020
  • Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC)
    • In-person hearings are suspended through September 14, 2020
    • Currently scheduled in-person hearings will be held via CourtCall
    • Must file a motion to continue at least 24 hours prior to scheduled start timeof the hearing.
      • Continuances will be held June 22, 2020 through December 18, 2020 in Des Moines, regardless if a road venue was previously booked
    • DWC will pay for all fees with conducting hearings via CourtCall between March 18, 2020 and June 16, 2020
  • NOTE: This does not impact telephone hearings

Illinois:

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
    • All cases scheduled for oral argument from March 30, 2020 through the end of April 2020, will be argued telephonically by counsel.
    • The courtroom will be closed to the public. Arguments will be recorded and posted on the court’s website. If all parties agree among themselves to waive oral argument, they may jointly file a motion with the court seeking permission to do so.
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
    • All deadlines in civil cases are extended by 21 days from the current deadline
    • Civil case hearings, trials, and settlement conferences scheduled from March 17, 2020 until APril 3, 2020 are stricken from the calendar to be re-set on or after April 6th
    • District Court Clerk’s Office at Dirksen U.S. Courthouse, Chicago, will be closed to the public after 4:30 p.m. March 20, 2020
    • The District Court Clerk’s Office in the Stanley J. Roszkowski U.S. Courthouse in Rockford will continue to be closed to the public
    • The Court suspends any and all courtesy-copy requirements
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois
    • All civil matters, including trials, hearings, and settlements conferences are continued
    • All grand jury proceedings will proceed pending further Order of the Court
    • The federal courthouses in East St. Louis and Benton are closed to the public through April 7th, 2020
    • Filings will continue to be processed in civil and criminal cases via the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system
    • In all civil cases, all deadlines, whether set by the Court, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures, or Local Rules, are extended 30 days from the current deadline set. This extension does not apply to deadlines the Court is not permitted to extend.
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
    • All civil and criminal jury trials through May 18, 2020 are continued
    • The United States Courthouses in Springfield and Urbana are closed to the public, the Courthouse in Peoria shall remain open with limited staff
    • The United States Courthouse in Rock Island/Davenport is closed to the public
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Illinois
    • Members of the public without an attorney should only hand delivery emergency filings to the clerk’s office.
    • Hearings set on March 19th, 2020 or after will be held telephonically
    • Parties that have a trial or evidentiary hearings should contact the court to determine if the hearing can be continued.
    • All case success hearings are cancelled until further notice.
  • Illinois Supreme Court
    • Chief Judges of each circuit may continue trials for the next 60 days and until further order of this Court
  • Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission
    • Regular operations suspended through the end of April 2020
    • All cases are continued to their next regularly scheduled 90-day continuance date
    • The Commission will continue to conduct previously set Emergency Motion Calls for EMERGENCY motions, only.
    • Statutory filing deadlines and statutes of limitations will NOT be affected by these measures.
  • First Judicial Circuit
    • All civil matters, including jury trials, and some criminal matters are postponed until further notice.
  • Second Judicial Circuit
    • All matters set for trial in the Second Judicial Circuit of Illinois are continued for a period of 60 days from the entry of M.R. 30370 issued by the Supreme Court of Illinois dated March 20, 2020.
    • All criminal matters set for trial in the Second Judicial Circuit of Illinois are continued for a period of 60 days from the entry of M. R. 30370 issued by the Supreme Court of Illinois dated March 20, 2020.
  • Third Judicial Circuit, Madison County
    • Only essential court matters and proceedings shall continue to be heard int he Third Judicial Circuit in order to protect the health and safety of court patrons, judges, and the general public.
    • All non-essential court matters and proceedings shall be continued or, where possible, conducted remotely via telephone(or video in limited circumstances) or other electronic means.
    • Arbitration and Commission review is suspended through March 31, 2020
    • All docketed items scheduled in the next 30 days have been continued
    • Rescheduling will be handled by assigned judges
    • Grand jury proceedings will not be held on March 19 and 26, 2020
    • Update for CMC and Motion Settings for Judges Ruth, Smith & Dugan including new dates can be found HERE
    • Asbestos Litigation
      • All depositions shall be conducted telephonically – requirements of Rule 206(2)(4) shall be waived by the parties, subject to objection by a party
        • All writings or exhibits shall be electronically exchanged 24 hours prior to the deposition and provided to the court reporter
      • Jury Trial Call – docket call conducted remotely and any case advancing to jury trial will only do so after telephonic consultation with the Court and all parties
      • Pre-Trial Dockets
        • Target cases and status for upcoming trial week – notices shall be electronically sent
        • Mandatory Settlement Conferences – encourged to work towards a resolution remotely, the Court will be available telephonically for any necessary participation
  • Fifth Judicial Circuit
    • All non-emergency hearings currently scheduled through April 7, 2020 are vacated and continued
  • Seventh Judicial Circuit, Sangamon County
    • Postponed all civil jury trials and other non-criminal matters
  • Tenth Judicial Circuit
    • It is expected that no member of the public will be allowed in the Peoria County Courthouse for the weeks of March 23, 2020 or March 30, 2020, absent specific order
    • In addition, routine or complex ( absent jury trials) matters may still be heard remotely by phone or video conference per prior A.O.’s and the presiding judge/courtroom clerk approval. 
  • Cook County Judicial Circuit
    • Many criminal and civil cases in the Circuit Court of Cook County will be postponed for a 30-day period starting March 17, 2020 due to the spread of the coronavirus, through April 15, 2020.
  • Illinois Appellate Court, First District
    • The clerk’s office will remain open for business during regular business hours. 
  • Illinois Appellate Court, Second District
    • The clerk’s office will remain open for business during regular business hours.
  • Please visit http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/Administrative/covid-19.asp for additional Court closures or guidance

Nebraska:

  • U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska
    • All civil and criminal matters presently scheduled for an in-court appearance before any district, magistrate, or bankruptcy judge between March 17, 2020 and July 3, 2020 are continued. (Updated 5/14)
    • This does not affect hearings that are currently scheduled to be held by video or telephone conference
    • Case-by-case exceptions to the continuances extended by this General Order may be ordered for non-jury proceedings at the discretion of the Court, upon motion from the parties or on the Court’s own motion after consultation with counsel.
  • Nebraska Supreme Court
    • Attorneys must inquire about the health of trial litigants and witnesses, applicable to all courts in Nebraska
    • Any party that meets the definition of having an elevated risk of infection shall not attend any proceeding without prior authorization from the Court.
  • Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court
    • Open for business
    • If there is a trial that involves more than 10 people – lawyers must contact the trial judge immediately
    • General Order 2020-05 from Chief United States District Judge John Gerrard does not apply to Workers’ Compensation Court
  • Eighth Judicial District Court
    • All in-person hearings for civil and probate cases which are not emergent or involve statutorily mandated time limits are continued
    • In all case types, the use of written filings is encouraged to keep cases progressing
    • Non-evidentiary and evidentiary hearings may be heard via telephone or videoconference with approval from the Court
    • In-person evidentiary hearings may be ordered and heard at the discretion of the Court

Oklahoma:

  • Oklahoma Supreme Court
    • All district courts to cancel jury terms through May 15, 2020
    • Subject only to constitutional limitations, all deadlines and procedures whether prescribed by statutes, rule or order in any civil, juvenile or criminal case shall be suspended through May 15, 2020
    • In any civil case, the statute of limitations shall be extended through May 15, 2020
    • All courthouse across Oklahoma are closed to the public except for emergencies permitted by local orders.
    • Tulsa continued next two jury trials (March & April) and excused jurors
  • Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission
    • Additional Guidelines for in-person trials starting June 1st can be found HERE
    • All commission dockets will be stricken in Oklahoma City and Tulsa until April 30, 2020
    • WCC & CEC have continued with office closures in Oklahoma City and Tulsa for the week of March 23 – March 27.
    • Oklahoma City offices of WCC reopened on March 30, 2020 in very limited capacity, the Tulsa offices have remained closed to the public.
    • Adopted from the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s Emergency Order, all deadlines and procedures whether prescribed by statute, rule or order in any workers’ compensation claim under the jurisdiction of the WCC shall be extended until May 15, 2020.

Arkansas:

  • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • All in-person proceedings in all appellate, circuit, and district courts are suspended from March 18, 2020 to April 3, 2020.
    • Jury trials that were in progress before March 18, 2020 will continue to proceed
    • All judges and court clerks are encouraged to utilize all available technologies to continue handling judicial matters
    • All summons for people to participate in jury panels are suspended until May 1, 2020
    • Filing deadlines are not effected and are still enforced
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Arkansas
    • Authorized the use of video teleconferencing or telephone conferencing for events specified in the CARES Act
    • Felony pleas or sentencing may be conducted over videoconference after consultation with all parties
  • Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission
    • The AWCC is currently closed to the public
    • All in-person hearings and pre-hearing conferences will be postponed through May 29, 2020.
    • Each Judge will consider any Joint Petition that is filed in any case whether there is an emergency or not – all that is necessary is that the claimant lives out of state, is unable to attend the hearing in person due to medical conditions, or is unable to attend in person due to COVID-19.
    • The parties and/or their attorneys should send both the Judge & the Judges’s assistant all necessary documents and relevant information by email.

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit:

  • Federal Court of Appeals with jurisdiction including Kansas and Oklahoma
  • The Byron White U.S. Courthouse located in Denver, CO is closed to the public until further notice.
  • The requirement to submit paper copies of briefs, appendices, and petitions for rehearing en banc is temporarily suspended.

We will continue to update about Court Closures as more information becomes available. This situation is evolving quickly and we are getting notices about closures throughout the coming days. Please see the linked webpages for more information and to confirm the status of the Court as we may not have had the opportunity to update this page with the information changing so swiftly.

MVP is proactively responding to coronavirus and we are here to provide assistance as we navigate this novel virus together. We are confident in our ability to continue to provide quality legal work even during the temporary disruption caused by the response to this virus.

Disclaimer and warning: This information was published by McAnany, Van Cleave & Phillips, P.A., and is to be used only for general informational purposes and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. This is not inclusive of all exceptions and requirements which may apply to any individual claim. It is imperative to promptly obtain legal advice to determine the rights, obligations and options of a specific situation.