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The Content Rundown

Female Disruptors: How Chrysta Castañeda Has Shaken Up the Legal and Energy Industries, via the Castañeda Firm. As a part of Authority Magazine‘s series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, Chrysta Castañeda participated in a Q&A about her experiences as an oil and gas litigator, her trial involving T. Boone Pickens’ Mesa Petroleum, and her current run for Texas Railroad Commissioner.

Insurers Are Refusing to Renew Unless Insureds Agree to Infectious Disease Endorsement, by Amy Stewart Law’s Beverly B. Godbey. With the COVID-19 pandemic raging all around us, most policyholders are focused on filing claims for business interruption and extra expense under their property policies – and well they should be – those claims are timely and appropriate. However, insureds should not be distracted from other important business coverages like commercial general liability (CGL) and umbrella excess (UMB), which may be coming up for renewal. Insurance coverage attorney Beverly B. Godbey explains why policyholders need to pay attention to the terms of renewal.

Federal Government Ramps Up Their COVID-19 Fraud Efforts (Part 2 of 2), by by the Law Offices of Dan C. Guthrie, Jr.’s, Dan Guthrie. In part two of this series, white collar defense attorney Dan Guthrie explains what you can do to protect yourself (or your business) and how to respond if you are under investigation for fraud related to COVID-19.

Chrysta Castañeda Named a ‘Trailblazer’ by National Law Journal, via The Castaneda Firm’s Chrysta Castaneda. Chrysta Castañeda has been selected as a “Trailblazer” by The National Law Journal, citing her $146 million verdict on behalf of the late and notable T. Boone Pickens and his company, Mesa Petroleum Partners, her run for the Texas Railroad Commission, and her recent book, “The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens.”

From the Frying Pan to the Fire? Reopening Restaurants and the Controversial Face Mask, by Clouse Brown’s Megan Smale. As restaurants around the country re-open, they must develop practices that minimize health risks, comply with local laws, and try to do so in a way that is welcoming to their much-needed customers – many of whom may have different points-of-view on what “welcoming” looks like. Executive employment attorney Megan Smale explores some of the recent restaurant controversies in this blog post.

Federal Government Ramps Up Their Anti-Fraud Efforts (Part 1 of 2), by the Law Offices of Dan C. Guthrie, Jr.’s, Dan Guthrie. In the first part of this series, white collar defense attorney Dan Guthrie describes the government’s current prosecution priorities and why it’s important to stay informed about COVID-19 fraud investigations. “I have been a practicing white collar defense lawyer for more than 35 years,” writes Dan, “and I have never seen the government respond as swiftly or vigorously to fraud as they are right now.”

Ohio Court Rules Bitcoin is Covered Property in Case of First Impression, by Amy Stewart Law’s Robert Fountain. In this blog post, Robert Fountain discusses Kimmelman v. Wayne Insurance, a case that arose when plaintiff James Kimmelman submitted a property insurance claim for stolen bitcoin. While Kimmelman is one of the first cases to grapple with the classification of cryptocurrency under an insurance policy, writes Robert, we anticipate the cautious cryptocurrency insurance market will gradually adapt policies to clarify the extent of coverage, if any, provided for cryptocurrency-related losses.

Ohio Court Rules Bitcoin is Covered Property in Case of First Impression, by Amy Stewart Law’s Robert Fountain. With the global economy increasingly tethered to the internet and digital technology, businesses are constantly encountering novel cyber risks. While the hesitance of many insurers to underwrite such exposures has presented challenges for businesses seeking coverage for cyber exposures such as the recent wave of ransomware attacks, another challenge for policyholders is the lack of consensus—both in the law and in policies—on the coverage provided for particular risks. Insurance coverage attorney Robert Fountain discusses this trend in his blog post.

D Magazine Selects Jennifer Spencer for Best in Dallas Honor, via Jackson Spencer Law. For the second consecutive year, D Magazine has selected Jennifer Spencer for inclusion on its annual list of the Best Lawyers in Dallas. The 2020 list recognized her work in the area of labor and employment law. “I’m honored to be included on the list once again,” said Jennifer. “Now more than ever, the city needs attorneys who will advocate for its workforce. A resource like D Magazine’s list provides our clients with the reassurance that they’re working with trustworthy and effective counsel.”

Oil and Gas Litigator Chrysta Castañeda Reflects on Mesa Petroleum Case, via The Castañeda Firm. Following the landmark decision on behalf of client T. Boone Pickens’ Mesa Petroleum Partners, litigator Chrysta Castañeda and author Loren Steffy teamed up to write a book about the experience, The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens. Recently, she and Loren participated in a Q&A with The Texas Lawbook, and Chrysta reflected on her experience in an article published by Oilman Magazine.

What to Know About Bringing Employees Back to the Workplace, by Grable Martin Fulton, PLLC’s Heather Kramer. As some states, including Texas, begin reopening for business, employment attorney Heather Kramer answers your questions about employer obligations and employees’ safety and protections in the firm’s latest FAQs relating to COVID-19. Employers who plan ahead for these issues will be best positioned to adapt to the post-pandemic landscape and the “new normal.”

Can Creditors Hold Business Owners Personally Liable for Debts?, by Grable Martin Fulton, PLLC’s Brian Farlow. The full impact of the various government orders directing businesses to cease or limit operations in light of the current pandemic will be felt for months to come. As a result, writes litigator Brian Farlow, many business owners facing closure are concerned about how to proceed if the business’s liabilities exceed its assets, and whether creditors can hold them personally liable. Learn more about the corporate veil in this Texas Bar Today Top 10 blog post.

COVID-19 Rules Could Lead to Major Litigation for Employers, by Jackson Spencer’s Jennifer Spencer. Attorneys are predicting an upswing in COVID-19 employment litigation in the coming months. In this Texas Bar Today Top 10 blog post, labor and employee advocate Jennifer Spencer explores some of the types of FFCRA lawsuits that employment attorneys expect to see.

Adriana Lopez-Ortiz Discusses Leadership with Austin Life Magazine, via Grable Martin Fulton. Grable Martin Fulton corporate attorney Adriana Lopez-Ortiz was recently featured in Austin Life magazine, where she discussed leadership in business, her advice for the next generation of female entrepreneurs and her professional inspirations. “The opportunity to tip the scales of justice enough to influence a result for good—that’s what motivates me every day,” says Adriana.

Forshey Prostok L.L.P. Earns Prestigious 2020 Bankruptcy Recognitions, via Forshey Prostok L.L.P. Forshey Prostok L.L.P. is proud to be consistently listed among the top bankruptcy firms in Texas, and to have its individual attorneys recognized for their expertise in bankruptcy and restructuring. Most recently, the firm was recognized in the 2020 edition of Chambers USA, one of the most prestigious and competitive ranking services.

Cultivating Change :: Insurance Trends as Cannabis Becomes Mainstream, by Amy Stewart Law’s Katie Glenn. Estimates show that 25 (non-admitted) insurance carriers are providing coverage to cannabis-related businesses, including coverage for cultivation, dispensaries and retailers, infused products, and landlords, writes insurance coverage attorney Katie Glenn. As cannabis-related businesses continue moving into mainstream markets with the support of legislators, the insurance industry seems motivated to meet the risk-transfer needs of the blossoming industry.

Clouse Brown Founders Make Repeat Appearances on D Magazine’s Best Lawyers List, via Clouse Brown. Employment law specialists and Clouse Brown PLLC founders Keith Clouse and Alyson Brown have both been named to D Magazine’s annual list of the Best Lawyers in Dallas for their work in employment law. This is Keith’s tenth consecutive year on the list (and his twelfth overall) and it is Alyson’s second appearance on the list.

Three Amy Stewart Law Principals Named D Magazine’s 2020 Best Lawyers in Dallas, via Amy Stewart Law. Congratulations to Amy Stewart Law managing principal Amy Elizabeth Stewart and principals Beverly B. Godbey and LaDawn H. Nandrasy, who were named to D Magazine’s 2020 list of the Best Lawyers in Dallas. Amy and Beverly were both recognized for their work in insurance law, while LaDawn was included on the 2020 list for appellate law. This year marks LaDawn’s eighth year on the list, Amy’s ninth year and Beverly’s eleventh.

No “Policy-Language Exception” to the Eight-Corners Rule, by Amy Stewart Law’s LaDawn H. Nandrasy. In March 2020, the Supreme Court of Texas confirmed that the so-called “eight-corners rule” is still a settled feature of Texas insurance law. In Richards v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 19-0802, the court analyzed the permissibility of a “policy-language exception” to the eight-corners rule. Under that rule, an insurer’s duty to defend is determined by considering the “four corners” of the third-party plaintiff’s pleading in light of the “four corners” of the insurance policy, without regard to the truth or falsity of the allegations in the pleading. Board-certified appellate expert LaDawn H. Nandrasy explains.

Why Executives Need Independent Counsel, by the Law Offices of Dan C. Guthrie, Jr.’s, Dan Guthrie. Corporate executives often mistakenly assume corporate counsel will represent their interests in the event of a federal investigation or lawsuit. However, the reality is that corporate counsel represents only the corporation and not the executives. Typically, corporations will try to blame individual executives to escape or mitigate corporate exposure when serious trouble with the federal government arises. In this blog post, white collar defense attorney Dan Guthrie highlights this frequently misunderstood situation and reminds executives to remain vigilant and to proactively protect themselves during corporate investigations.

Take These Steps Today to Help Your Company Survive the Current Crisis, by Forshey Prostok’s Jeff Prostok (originally published by The Texas Lawbook). The oil and gas industry was already facing a squeeze before Saudi Arabia initiated a price war with Russia and the COVID-19 pandemic hit. But, with demand lower because of shelter-at-home orders and many worksites screeching to a halt, those oil and gas companies, or any economically distressed company, must take steps now to ensure that they have the capital and knowledge to last the next few months and beyond. Bankruptcy attorney Jeff Prostok explains what to do next.

The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens – The Best Three Minutes I’ve Ever Worked For Free, by The Castañeda Firm’s Chrysta Castañeda (originally re-published by The Texas Lawbook). In this excerpt from her book, The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens, litigator Chrysta Castañeda explains how a pivotal three minutes ended up changing the course of her representation of – and relationship with – legendary oilman T. Boone Pickens.

The CARES Act and a Permanent Shift, by Grable Martin Fulton, PLLC’s Shannon Chapman. On Friday, March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law. This $2 trillion coronavirus economic stimulus bill is an important tool in our ability to sustain industries, and to help families bridge the financial strain. Transactional attorney Shannon Chapman outlines this massive bill and how its provisions provide immediate relief for small businesses and individuals.

Christina DiPintoChristina takes traditional legal marketing copy and upcycles it into snackable, click-able and shareable digital content. As Muse’s newsletter guru, she creates custom newsletters for clients from development to distribution. If you’re looking for a snappy headline or engaging email, send her a note at christina.dipinto@muselegalpr.com.

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