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Afternoon Briefs: Find COVID-19 resources on new ABA website; law firms aid coronavirus fight

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ABA coronavirus task force launches website with resources

The ABA Task Force on Legal Needs Arising Out of the 2020 Pandemic is providing lawyers with resources on a new website. The online clearinghouse includes information on emerging legal issues, court access, public benefits, practice tools and pro bono mobilization. The chair of the task force is James Sandman, the former president of the Legal Services Corp. (ABA press release, the task force website)

Law firms aid in efforts to fight COVID-19

Two BigLaw firms are helping in the fight against COVID-19 by doing legal work to aid health care. Hogan Lovells helped win government approval for the New England Patriots to send its team plane to China to pick up 1.3 million N95 masks and deliver them to Massachusetts and New York. A cross-practice pro bono team worked around the clock to get the job done. Hogan Lovells “tore through the bureaucracy with their knowledge and skill around international trade,” said Patriots owner and Kraft Group CEO Robert Kraft in a statement. O’Melveny & Myers, meanwhile, built the legal framework to allow California to expand hospital capacity by acquiring two hospitals facing bankruptcy. The deal adds more than 500 hospital beds to Los Angeles and Daly City. “Addressing health care issues of this magnitude can typically take months, but our O’Melveny team worked with the state’s team around-the-clock to find solutions in a matter of days,” said David Deaton, chair of the firm’s health care practice, in a press release. (The American Lawyer, Bloomberg Law, Hogan Lovells press release)

Law firm bucks trend with virus-related bonuses

While many law firms are cutting pay and furloughing employees, Hueston Hennigan is taking the opposite tack. The law firm is providing $1,000 bonuses to staff to help with any unexpected expenses and $500 technology bonuses to lawyers working remotely. (Law360, Above the Law)

Top Tennessee court to consider whether makers of opioids can be sued as drug dealers

The Tennessee Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether makers of opioids can be sued under a state law targeting drug dealers. Several prosecutors throughout the state have sued under the law, including six prosecutors whose suit is before the high court. Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery III, meanwhile, has filed a series of lawsuits in state court against makers of opioids and distributors under consumer protection and public nuisance laws. He is also participating in negotiations for a nationwide settlement of opioid litigation against Purdue Pharma that is being pursued by a team of state attorneys general. (The Knoxville News Sentinel)

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