Quinn Emanuel shuts down New York office after partner tests positive for coronavirus
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A partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan in New York has tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the firm to close the office as a precaution this week.
The firm did not name the attorney, but according to Law.com, he is the first known BigLaw partner to contract the coronavirus in the United States. An attorney at Lewis and Garbuz, a Manhattan trusts and estates law firm, also tested positive for the illness last week.
Law360 has additional coverage.
“Our No. 1 concern is for the health and well-being of all staff,” Quinn Emanuel said in a statement provided to Law.com. “With that in mind, we are taking several steps, including implementing a work-from-home period for the New York office that will run from March 9 through March 13. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep the staff updated.”
John Quinn, founding partner of the 800-plus attorney firm, also told Law.com on Sunday that the partner belongs to a religious community in Westchester County, where other infections have been reported. He has been resting at home since March 2.
“His symptoms are reportedly very minor, and he actually feels better than he did,” Quinn said. “We’re hoping and expecting that he’s going to be perfectly fine and that nobody else is going to get infected and that nobody’s else family is going to be affected.”
But Quinn also told Law.com “you can’t rule out the possibility he had the virus before he started to stay home.” He said the firm is contacting everyone who recently interacted with the partner.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency in New York on Saturday as cases there continue to spread, while several law firms and legal organizations across the country have canceled events and warned against travel.
The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also announced cancellations for this week.
“In light of the concerns about community spread of the COVID-19 virus throughout the Circuit, the Court has cancelled its en banc hearings and all non-case related meetings scheduled for the week of March 9th,” the court said on its website. “At the discretion of the three-judge panels, there may be additional cancellations for next week as well.”
The court added that while all scheduled oral argument hearings will go forward, counsel who want to appear remotely can file a motion for that relief.