Cabin Fever? Try CLE

The top 10 things to do if you become bored being in quarantine:

10.  Train your dog, parrot or hamster to do helpful chores.

9.    Take up a new hobby like sewing (masks for healthcare workers) or knitting (sweaters and blankets) for the homeless.

8.    Buy the most complicated Lego set online or a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle and build/assemble it. (Note: Anything that says “So easy a child can assemble it” usually means ONLY a child can figure out how to assemble it!)

7.    Find those old board games you mothballed when you started playing online video games.

6.    Play Bingo remotely with as many people as you can using video conference technology.

5.     Convince all your neighbors to open their windows and rotate who picks the song everyone must sing every hour on the hour.

4.    Get cultured (no, not yogurt). The Metropolitan Opera is streaming nightly.

3.    Learn to play an obscure instrument like a zither, contrabass balalaika, crwth, hardanger fiddle or a lur.

2.    Since no one is going for haircuts or to beauty salons, try out a new hairstyle and experiment with your hair differently every day.

                             OR

1.     You could tune in online for one or more Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses offered as part of Rimon’s Complimentary CLE Webinar Series 2020.

 

COVID-19: May the Force (Majeure) Be With You

The strain of of the corona virus pandemic is not only a threat to our health and safety, but it is also creating economic hardship for people, businesses and entire industries.

As the ability to perform obligations under existing contracts are being strained, whether for supplies, paying rent or making payroll, parties to agreements are doing more than exercising self-help or looking to the government for assistance. They are also calling their lawyers to find out if anything in their contracts will allow them to legally extricate themselves from the obligations that may have seemed routine only a few months ago.

One of the primary areas of contractual inquiry has focused on the force majeure or excusable delay clause that is ‘boilerplate’ in many agreements. Force majeure literally translated from the French means ‘superior force’ and refers to situations in which some external intervening event has impaired a party’s ability to perform its obligations under the contract and allows that party’s performance to be excused.

For some insight on how effective, applicable and even understandable these so-called ‘standard clauses’ are, you can take a look at my Insight Note: Managing Contract Risks & Remedies in a Time of Coronavirus.

You might also check out a similar Insight Note from my partner and colleague, Juan Zuniga entitled:  Memo on Force Majeure and COVID-19 which goes into great detail as to how the law in California might be interpreted in light of the current health crisis.

In fact, you can find all of the recent Insights from Rimon Law professionals on our Insights & Analysis page and once again a reminder that Rimon lawyers and legal professionals are always available to help.

 

Paycheck Protection Program & Disaster Relief Loan Information Released (Updated)

Following up on our post yesterday (US Chamber of Commerce Issues Coronavirus Small Business Guide), you can find the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Information Sheet for Lenders and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Application Form (and accompanying instructions) just released by the US Small Business Administration.

The SBA has established a streamlined process for disaster loan assistance that you can access online at COVID-19 ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN APPLICATION.

As noted previously, the lawyers at Rimon Law are following these developments closely and while you may already be deluged with summaries, information bulletins and alerts, we are and remain available to help any time across a broad spectrum of businesses, industries, relationships, activities and transactions that have been affected by the COVID-119 pandemic.

 

US Chamber of Commerce Issues Coronavirus Small Business Guide

Part of the recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act is designed to help small businesses keep workers employed during this pandemic crisis and the consequential stress facing the economy. In fact, the CARES Act has allocated $350 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program, an initiative that will provide loans to small businesses that are 100% guaranteed by the Federal government.
The United States Chamber of Commerce has issued a guide to help small businesses understand who is eligible, in what amounts these loans will be available and what criteria will determine whether the loans will be forgiven. You can read the summary right here: Corona Virus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide & Checklist.
As always, I and all of the legal professionals at Rimon continue to remain available to assist during these challenging times.

IRS Issues Coronavirus Tax Relief Guidance

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has set up a special Coronavirus Tax Relief section on its website, in order to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by COVID-19 obtain information regarding their tax and filing obligations, all of which have been affected by the pandemic.

While there is no information as of now regarding details of any stimulus or relief package, there is valuable information describing some temporary adjustments and suspensions of certain compliance programs, details of the Treasury’s extension of the deadlines for filing and federal tax payments to July 15, 2020 and a number of other releases providing tax-related guidance as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

IRS will update the information as it becomes available, so check back frequently as developments unfold.

The legal professionals at Rimon are available to help and as always, if we can’t help you – especially in these challenging times – we will assist you in finding someone who can!  Stay safe and following the recommendations of your national, state, provincial and local authorities to keep yourself, your family, colleagues and friends healthy and prevent the spread of this infection.

US Dept. of Labor Issues FFCRA Guidance

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division released its initial guidance providing information describing how to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) which takes effect April 1, 2020. The guidance includes links to information for employees and employers, as well as links to questions and answers and other useful information about the FFCRA.  The DOL has a separate Coronavirus Resources webpage, providing a large number of references and links to additional information.

The US DOL has also released an FFCRA Poster that every covered employer must post in a conspicuous place on its premises, although the guidance does allow an employer to satisfy this requirement by emailing or directly mailing the notice to employees or by posting the notice on an employee information internal or external website.  Although there is no legal requirement at this time to post the notice in other languages, DOL is currently working on translating the notice.

The legal professionals at Rimon are available to help and as always, if we can’t help you – especially in these challenging times – we will assist you in finding someone who can!  Stay safe and following the recommendations of your national, state, provincial and local authorities to keep yourself, your family, colleagues and friends healthy and prevent the spread of this infection.

Friday the 13th

To all our readers who enjoy an extra bit of trivia today, many people have heard the word “triskaidekaphobia” used in connection with the fear of the number 13 generally. But did you know that there is actually a word meaning fear of Friday the 13th?  It’s “paraskevidekatriaphobia,” which is derived from the Greek words Paraskeví (Παρασκευή, in English that is Friday), and dekatreís (δεκατρείς, which in English is thirteen).

There is no clear origin of the reasons why Friday the 13th has become associated with bad luck and made people superstitious.  Some attribute it to the fact that there were 13 individuals present in the Upper Room on the 13th of Nisan, the date of Jesus’ last supper and crucifixion and the night before his death (Good Friday).  Another historical connection may relate to Friday, October 13, 1307 –   the day Philip IV of France arrested hundreds of the Knights Templar— an event referenced in Dan Brown’s 2003 novel The Da Vinci Code.

That said, from a historical view, until sometime in the 19th Century, the unlucky attribution to both Friday and the number 13 together has never been substantiated.

Happy Friday the 13th !

During this time of year our thoughts turn gratefully to our relationships and to all those who have helped enrich our lives personally and helped make our business progress and professional growth possible.  To all my family and friends, loved ones, colleagues, connections and contacts, the holidays and new year seem like perfect times for me to say ‘thank you’ and express appreciation to each of you.

There are so many things we can be thankful for and among them I count your friendship and support, as well as your contributions to my growth as a person and professional – in short, our relationship, whether near or far, close or casual, constant or sporadic.

In the year ahead, I look forward to being better at staying in touch with many of you whose time and schedules have not intersected with mine as often as I might like;  to facing challenges together and in the process, learning and growing; to listen more to those who mean well, to ignore those who don’t and to try and have the wisdom to know the difference.

Most of all to appreciate the countless blessings around us every day that we far too often take for granted. Thank you!

I wish each of you a new year filled with health, happiness and prosperity.

Best wishes,

Joe Rosenbaum

Random Acts of Kindness

It was raining when a man driving down a rural road saw an old woman stranded up ahead. He slowed his car and noticed she was hunched over the back of her Mercedes. The car was slightly tilted and the woman looked troubled. He realized she probably had a flat tire and so the man decided to pull over and help.
The old woman, who was very wealthy and wary of strangers, was concerned about the man approaching her. Was he going to hurt her? Why would someone, a complete stranger, be so ready to come to her aid on a rainy, dreary day in the middle of nowhere? But she knew she couldn’t fix the flat tire by herself and was stranded, so having little choice she thought she would let him take a look at it.
“Please don’t worry ma’am, I’m here to help you,” the man said. “My name is Bryan Anderson and I live not too far from here” and before the elderly woman knew it, he was getting the spare tire from her trunk and switching it out in record time. The old lady thanked the man and offered to pay him. Of course, he never considered taking any money and instead simply smiled at her and said, “All I ask is that you just think of me the next time you see someone in need. Just remember me and pay the kindness forward.” The man waited only a brief moment to be sure she could start the car and then he was gone down the road. The old lady was so astounded and impressed with the man’s generosity she almost felt dizzy. She drove her Mercedes half a mile up the road, saw a diner and decided to stop and freshen up a bit having been out in the rain and perhaps grab something to eat before continuing onward.
As she entered, she was greeted by a lovely smiling face. The waitress welcomed her in and even offered her a towel to dry her hair, which had gotten wet from the rain. At that point, the old lady noticed the waitress seemed to be about eight months pregnant. Though she must have been tired and weary at the end of what must have been a very long day for her, the waitress looked to be the most pleasant person on Earth.
The old lady ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and some lemonade and as she sat at the counter, noticing the waitress smiling and helpful to everyone, she remembered what Bryan Anderson had said to her. She had previously thought perhaps to look him up and reward his kindness – he said he didn’t live far away, but then she had a better idea. So she got the check, paid it quietly and left. When the waitress went to retrieve the check, she saw a $100 bill. She looked everywhere for the old lady, sure that she had probably made a mistake – she was wet and tired. But the old lady was gone – she had already driven off.
As the waitress cleared the table she saw four more $100 bills inside the napkin and it was only then, when the waitress turned the napkin over, that she noticed a handwritten note scribbled on the back. It said simply, “I have been where you are and someone very kind once helped me the way I’m helping you now and he asked me to remember his kindness. So all I’m asking you is to also remember to pay the love forward.” The waitress’s head was spinning. With the baby coming next month, it would be a tight few weeks and the money would certainly help. She folded the bills, put them in her pocket, and finished her shift.
Hours later, the waitress finally made it home after her long day. She climbed into bed and told her husband, who was half asleep beside her, the story of this kind old lady. Thinking of how lucky they truly were, she leaned over and kissed his forehead, and said simply, “I love you, Bryan Anderson.”