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New York City Enacts Law Affecting Enforceability of Certain Commercial Lease Guaranties for COVID-Affected Businesses
Haynes and Boone, LLP, May 2020

On May 26, 2020, the Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, signed a broad COVID-19 relief package into law, to supplement existing federal and state relief measures. The new legislation included several amendments to the Administrative Code of the City of New York (the “Code”) that affect commercial landlords and tenants, including N.Y.C. Council Int. No. 1932-A (“Local Law 1932-A”)...

Insurance Recovery During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Navigating Your Policy's Microbe and Pollution Exclusions
Haynes and Boone, LLP, May 2020

As corporate policyholders continue to submit claims to their insurers for business interruption and related losses sustained from the COVID-19 pandemic, insurers appear to be denying such claims routinely where the policies at issue contain exclusionary language specific to viruses — whether in stand-alone virus exclusions or other types of exclusions...

Unique Estate Planning Opportunities Amid COVID-19 Due to Depressed Markets and Historically Low Interest Rates
Haynes and Boone, LLP, May 2020

The historically low interest rates recently announced by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and the depressed value of certain assets offer opportunities for estate planning techniques that can reduce the cost of transferring wealth to younger generations. The federal estate and gift tax exemption for 2020 is $11,580,000 per person ($23,160,000 for a married couple)...

FERC Publishes 2020 Summer Energy Market and Reliability Assessment
Haynes and Boone, LLP, May 2020

On May 21, 2020, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Offices of Energy Policy and Innovation and Electric Reliability jointly published and released their 2020 Summer Energy Market and Reliability Assessment. The report provides an overview of key market events and data for the nation’s ISOs/RTOs as well as a discussion on reliability in the various power regions for summer 2020. The report includes the following key items that are summarized below...

COVID-19 and OSHA: Why Employers May See More Inspection Activity and More Injuries and Illnesses Being Recorded as Work-Related
Haynes and Boone, LLP, May 2020

On May 19, 2020, OSHA issued two revised enforcement policies with respect to in-person workplace inspections, and an employer’s obligation to record occupational injuries and illnesses, specifically cases of COVID-19. As phased re-openings of businesses are occurring throughout the United States, OSHA explained that it revised its policies to ensure that employers are protecting the health and safety of their workers...

State Attorneys General Are Focusing on Price Gouging Laws and You Should Too
Haynes and Boone, LLP, May 2020

State Attorneys General across the nation are warning consumers about price gouging during the COVID-19 pandemic and offering easy online tools to report violations. Consumers have gotten the message. Texans, for example, have sent over 10,000 complaints of price gouging to the state AG’s office during the pandemic.1 Price gouging laws have been enacted by nearly 75 percent of states...

Mexico: Amendment to the Federal Strategy for Reopening of Activities
Haynes and Boone, LLP, May 2020

The order described below is a follow-up to the order establishing the strategy for the reopening and return to social, educational, and economic activities, including additional industries to those considered essential, published on May 14, 2020 (the “Order”). (Our alert on the Order can be found here...

Three Tips for Healthcare Providers in Recovering Business Interruption Loss from the Public Health Crisis
Haynes and Boone, LLP, May 2020

Much of the media coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic over the last two months has focused on the loss of business sustained by restaurants, hotels and retail. Little attention has been paid to healthcare providers—at least those who are not valiantly staffing emergency rooms and intensive care units treating those patients stricken by the coronavirus...

Shut-In and Cessation of Production: Current Considerations for Oil & Gas Producers
Haynes and Boone, LLP, May 2020

With the recent significant decline in commodity prices, and physical transportation and storage curtailments, due in large part to reduced demand related to the COVID-19 pandemic, producers are evaluating many of their producing oil and gas wells to determine whether some level of reduced production is appropriate...

Mexico: CENACE Publishes an Order to Suspend Pre-Commissioning Tests of Wind and Solar Power Plants
Haynes and Boone, LLP, May 2020

Within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Center for Energy Control (“CENACE”) notified users of the Market Information System of its “Order to guarantee the efficiency, quality, reliability, continuity and security of the National Electric System, motivated by the recognition of the epidemic of the illness caused by the SARS-CoV2 virus (COVID-19),” (the “Order”), via the Public Area of the Market Information System of its official web

CARES Act and Multifamily Housing
Haynes and Boone, LLP, May 2020

On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”). The CARES Act, among other things, aims to provide relief to tenants and borrowers who participate in HUD’s housing programs. This alert highlights those provisions that address such multifamily housing...

Mexico: Federal Strategy for Reopening of Activities
Haynes and Boone, LLP, May 2020

The order described below is a follow-up to the order published on April 21, 2020 (the “Order”), that extended the immediate suspension of all non-essential activities in the public, private, and social sectors until May 30, 2020. (Our alert on the Order can be found here)...

SBA Issues New Guidance on Certification of Necessity Safe Harbor
Haynes and Boone, LLP, May 2020

On May 13, 2020, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) issued an update to the Frequently Asked Questions document (“FAQs”) relating to its Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), originally published on April 2, 2020 and updated regularly thereafter, providing additional guidance on the PPP Certification of Necessity Safe Harbor...

Is There a Law in China Similar to the US Defense Production Act?
Haynes and Boone, LLP, May 2020

Although there is no law or regulation in the People’s Republic of China that explicitly parallels the US Defense Production Act of 1950 (“DPA”), as an economy with many remaining elements of state control, there are ample administrative measures, regulations and judicial precedents in China allowing the government to overrule outstanding production plans and contracts by mandating, controlling, allocating and prioritizing production of critical supplies...

The Impact of COVID-19 on Media and Entertainment Industry Transactions
Haynes and Boone, LLP, May 2020

As recently reported in the Los Angeles Times, the media and entertainment industry has been significantly impacted by the new normal presented as a result of COVID-19.1 Production studios, live theaters, cinemas, concert venues, and other media and entertainment companies are considering all of the ramifications of reopening business operations. The industry must also address long-term implications of COVID-19 for business growth through new business models and processes...

The Best Offense is a Good Defense - Considering a Rights Plan in Light of COVID-19
Haynes and Boone, LLP, May 2020

Boards of directors of public companies have a lot on their minds today as they navigate the unprecedented circumstances resulting from the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic—from precipitous drops in revenues as businesses are shuttered, to supply chain disruption, to difficulties in making debt payments, to labor challenges, among many others...

Checklist Part II: OSHA and Safety Issues Regarding COVID-19 When Returning to Work
Haynes and Boone, LLP, May 2020

As more employers re-open or are in the process of re-opening for business, they are following the current guidance for preventing the spread of coronavirus infection in the workplace by, among others, ensuring good hygiene practices, requiring social distancing, and screening employees for the COVID-19 illness...

Could Retention of PPP Loan Funds Create False Claims Act Liability?
Haynes and Boone, LLP, May 2020

The Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) is intended to provide nearly $700 billion of economic relief to small businesses adversely affected by COVID-19...

Federal Reserve Board Announces Revised Terms for the Main Street Lending Program
Haynes and Boone, LLP, May 2020

On April 9, 2020, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Board”) announced the establishment of the Main Street Lending Program (“Main Street Loan Program”), an up to $600 billion lending program for mid-size businesses...

Looking for an Alternative to the PPP? Taking a Second Look at the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program
Haynes and Boone, LLP, May 2020

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (“EIDL”) program is an existing loan facility offered by the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) under Section 7(b) of the Small Business Administration Act of 1953. The purpose of the EIDL program is to extend low-interest credit to small businesses that are impacted by disasters...

SBA Releases Paycheck Protection Program Guidance on Capping Loan Amounts for Corporate Groups and Provides Additional Clarity on Loan Eligibility and Forgiveness
Haynes and Boone, LLP, May 2020

On April 29 and April 30, 2020, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) provided additional guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) through the issuance of a new PPP Interim Final Rule (the “Corporate Group Rule”), which supplements the first PPP Interim Final Rule, published on April 2, 2020, and the subsequent interim final rules issued since that date, as well as issuing updates to the Frequently Asked Questions&nbs

Protecting Your Company from Coronavirus-related Premises Liability Claims
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

Businesses preparing to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic and the essential businesses that have remained open through the pandemic should make a good faith effort to implement health and safety measures recommended by the federal, state, and local authorities to protect themselves from potential premises liability claims from third-parties such as customers and other non-employees entering the premises...

New York Remote Notarization
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

In light of the social distancing orders put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Executive Order 202.7 on March 19, 2020 which authorized notary publics to notarize documents remotely. The initial order was in effect through April 18, 2020; however, Executive Order 202...

President Signs Additional Appropriation for Small Business Relief
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

President Trump signed H.R.266, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (the “PPP/HCE Act”) this afternoon following passage of the bill by both houses of Congress. The PPP/HCE Act provides additional funding for small business loan and grant programs administered by the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic...

New Law Provides $100 Billion of Additional Healthcare Funding for COVID-19 Response
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

Today, the federal government enacted the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (the “PPP/HCE Act”) to provide additional funding for loan and grant programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The PPP/HCE Act modifies and increases funding for the Paycheck Protection Program and the Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, as discussed in greater detail here...

COVID-19 Negative Oil Prices and Force Majeure
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

The negative pricing for West Texas Intermediate oil (“WTI”) on Monday has raised alarm bells for many of our clients in the exploration and production and midstream industries. This article will clarify the issues for these companies and explain the forces at work that have created this situation. The root cause of the current dilemma arises from the dramatic drop in demand starting with the onset of the COVID-19 virus on the United States...

False Claims Act Compliance Concerns in the Wake of COVID-19
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

In response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has passed several new laws to provide trillions of dollars of funding to affected businesses and individuals. But this also means there are new compliance considerations for entities receiving federal funds, especially as it relates to the False Claims Act’s “false certification” theory of liability...

Checklist for Return to Work (or Reinstatement) for Employees Impacted by COVID-19
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

Employers are now confronted with the next COVID-19 challenge: safely bringing employees back to work. The recent federal guidelines for “Opening Up America Again” specifically refer to recommended practices for employers...

Mexico: Extension of the Term of the Extraordinary Measures of the Health Emergency Declaration (COVID-19)
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

We have previously reported on the order that adopted the extraordinary measures under the COVID-19 health emergency declaration, published on March 31, 2020 (the “Order”), and the Technical Guidelines regarding certain essential activities described in Order, published on April 6, 2020...

What Texas Licensed Healthcare Facilities Need to Know About Resuming Nonessential Surgeries
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

We recently discussed how the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) allocates $100 billion to the Public Health and Social Service Emergency Fund, to be distributed as relief funds to hospitals and other healthcare providers on the front lines of the coronavirus response (“Provider Relief Fund”)...

What Healthcare Providers Need to Know About Receiving Payments Under the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), a historic $2 trillion relief package signed into law on March 27, 2020, seeks to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on several industries...

Special Alert: SBA Releases Additional Guidance via New Interim Final Rule, Update to Frequently Asked Questions on Paycheck Protection Program Loans
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

On April 14 and April 15, 2020, the Small Business Administration ("SBA") provided additional guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) through the issuance of a new Interim Final Rule (the “New Rule”). This rule supplements the first PPP interim final rule published on April 2, 2020, as well as issuing updates to the Frequently Asked Questions document (“FAQs”) originally published on April 2, 2020...

IRS Extends April 15 Payment and Filing Date For Estate Taxes and Exempt Organizations Due to COVID-19 Emergency
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

The IRS issued Notice 2020-23 on April 9, 2020, which amplifies Notice 2020-18 and Notice 2020-20 (see our prior coverage here) and provides additional relief to affected taxpayers. In this Notice 2020-23, the IRS determined that any person (i.e...

Trading Agreements and COVID-19: Addressing Force Majeure, Market Disruptions, and Traders Working Remotely
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

The nearly global response to the spread of the deadly Coronavirus has led to governmental authorities at all levels issuing “stay-at-home orders,” “orders to close non-essential businesses,” and bans on gatherings of 10 people or more. The resulting shut-down, as well as the impact of widespread remote-working practices and displacement of personnel, may disrupt or interrupt trading and hedging activity...

Federal OSHA's New COVID-19 Enforcement Guidance
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

On April 13, 2020, Federal OSHA implemented its nterim Enforcement Response Plan for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)(“Enforcement Plan”), which provides instructions and guidance to Area Offices and OSHA investigators for handling COVID-19-related complaints, referrals, and severe illness reports...

FTC Is Scrutinizing COVID-19 Advertising As Consumer Complaints Soar
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is devoting significant resources to combat deceptive COVID-19 advertising in a range of industries as consumer complaints to the FTC pick up steam. Companies are shifting marketing spend to cover COVID-19 messaging and should be mindful of the FTC’s increased scrutiny. Through April 9, 2020, the FTC has received 15,006 consumer complaints relating to COVID-19 advertising and business activities...

OSHA Relaxes Requirement for Work-related Assessment for COVID-19 Recordkeeping for Certain Employers
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

OSHA requires that covered employers record certain work-related injuries and illnesses on their OSHA 300 log. Under OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements, COVID-19 is a recordable illness, and employers are responsible for recording cases of COVID-19, if all of the following are met: The case is a confirmed case of COVID-19; The case is work-related, as defined by 29 CFR 1904.5; and The case involves one or more of the general recording criteria set forth in 29 CFR 1904...

English Law COVID-19 Q&A Series - Ship Refit and Repair Contracts
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

Does the Covid-19 pandemic (or actions taken to counter the spread of Covid-19) constitute a Force Majeure in a refit/ repair contract? Is there any implied right of relief for the contractor or the owner? Under English law, unlike civil law systems, a force majeure is neither defined nor automatically applicable to commercial contracts...

English Law COVID-19 Q&A Series- Drilling Contracts
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

Does the COVID-19 pandemic (or actions taken to counter the spread of COVID-19) constitute Force Majeure and is there any implied remedy (e.g. implied force majeure relief) arising as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic? Under English law, unlike civil law systems, force majeure is neither defined nor automatically applicable to commercial contracts...

COVID-19 Force Majeure Under Long-Term LNG Contracts
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

In their March 3, 2020 Law 360 article, our colleagues, Rob Patterson and Shu-Shu Wong, commented on the trend of certain buyers evaluating the feasibility of invoking force majeure as an excuse for not performing their purchase obligations under their liquefied natural gas long-term sale and purchase agreements (LNG SPAs) due to the COVID-19 outbreak...

Treasury and Federal Reserve Board Announce Establishment of the Main Street Business Lending Program
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

On April 9, 2020, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Board”) announced the establishment of the Main Street Business Lending Program (“Main Street Loan Program”), an up to $600 billion lending program for mid-size businesses...

SBA Releases Additional Guidance via Updates to Frequently Asked Questions on Paycheck Protection Program Loans
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

On April 8, 2020, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) provided additional guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) through an update to the Frequently Asked Questions document (“FAQs”) originally published on April 2, 2020 and subsequently updated on April 6th and 7th...

Definition of Essential Activities by the Secretary of Communications and Transport under the Extraordinary Measures of the Health Emergency Declaration (COVID-19)
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

We have previously reported on the Order that adopted the extraordinary measures under the COVID-19 health emergency declaration, published on March 31, 2020 (the “Order”), and the subsequent Technical Guidelines regarding certain essential activities described in the Order published on April 6, 2020. (These alerts may be found here and here, respectively...

COVID-19 or Oil Price Crash? Competing Causes for Termination for Force Majeure
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

On 8 March 2020, Saudi Arabia initiated a price war with Russia which has caused a major fall in the price of oil. This is disastrous for an industry that had only just recently recovered from the 2014 crash and companies are now looking at how to best get through another difficult downturn...

The USPTO Extends Certain Trademark Deadlines Through April
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

The USPTO has provided twoavenuesfor relief to trademark owners impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: Applicants and registrants can claim the benefit of a30-day grace periodon many types of filings with deadlines between March 27, 2020 and April 30, 2020.1The requesting party must make the case that COVID-19 hasmaterially interferedwith meeting the deadline or paying the requisite fee. This alert mostly will elaborate on this grace period measure...

Force Majeure Issues Impacting the Power Sector
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

The power sector has responded rapidly to the Coronavirus pandemic by following Emergency Operations Plans, some of which specifically include responses to epidemics. The reliability of the grids across the United States have been maintained and power providers are necessary to the continued functioning of the country...

Latest Guidance on Quarantine and Self-isolation Procedures for the UK Oil and Gas Industry
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

Companies operating in the oil & gas industry in the UK can find the most up-to-date information and guidance relating to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic on the websites of Oil & Gas UK (“OGUK”), Step Change in Safety and the Health and Safety Executive (“HSE”), amongst others. OGUK & Step Change in Safety OGUK is continuing to publish the latest information and guidelines relating to COVID-19 on its website...

COVID-19 Advice: Post-Default Enforcement Against Equity Collateral
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

The pledge of equity interests of a privately held company as collateral is a common occurrence in a wide variety of financing structures. What is not as common perhaps is for secured creditors to analyze, at the initial stages of a transaction, the road maps that may serve to mitigate any meaningful delays or diminution in the value of such collateral in a foreclosure scenario...

Extraordinary Measures of the Declaration of Health Emergency (COVID-19): New Technical Guidelines
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

Effective on April 6, 2020, an Order was published to establish the technical guidelines (the “Technical Guidelines”) for the activities described in Article 1, Section II, sub-sections (c) and (e) of the order that adopted extraordinary measures to deal with the health emergency caused by the SARS-CoV2 virus” (the “Order”). (We published an article on the Order, which may be foundhere...

English Law COVID-19 Q&A Series: Shipbuilding Contracts
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

Under English law, unlike civil law systems, a force majeure is neither defined nor automatically applicable to commercial contracts...

Employers Providing Face Masks Should Review Their Health and Safety Obligations
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

In its continuing efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, on April 3, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) recommended that the general public wear, on a voluntary basis, “cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission” of coronavirus...

CARES Act Relief Checklist: Considerations in Deciding What Relief is Right for Your Business
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) offers relief to businesses affected by COVID-19 through various programs, including forgivable loans and federal income tax credits. However, the CARES Act prevents businesses from claiming certain benefits that are considered duplicative...

Keep Calm and Notary On: How to Meet Your Notary Needs in Texas While Social Distancing
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

With most of the country working from home, many are wondering how to get their documents notarized. Thankfully, several states, including Texas, have authorized online notarization ceremonies. Under the new telecommunications statutes, individuals can have documents notarized from a healthy distance. Historically, Texas required both in-person notarization and the filing of the original notarized document, which precluded any possibility of a telecommuting notary...

The Trump Administration Again Expands Its Use of the Defense Production Act to Combat the Coronavirus Pandemic
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

On April 2, President Trump moved to use the Defense Production Act of 1950 (“DPA”) to expand the authority of the Department of Homeland Security to intervene in the private sector to order and prioritize production of supplies and equipment needed to address the coronavirus pandemic...

Insurance Recovery & The Corona Effect: Responding To Coverage Defenses For Business Interruption Claims
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

While the financial impact of quarantines and shelter-in-place orders will inevitably reach into every industry and every corner of the economy, companies in the hotel, restaurant, travel, retail and manufacturing sectors have already sustained significant business interruption losses. Much of the commentary from insurers and even some government agencies has been presumptively negative about the prospects for coverage...

Offshore Contractor’s Guide through the English Law Issues Arising from the Latest Oil Price Collapse and COVID-19
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

Introduction: The new reality As a result of the sudden and dramatic fall in the oil price that had occurred between June 2014, when oil had been trading at prices of around US$115 per barrel of Brent crude, to January 2015 by which time it had fallen to around US$35 per barrel, I was prompted to prepare a “Guide for Contractors”. Parties in the offshore oil and gas sector, and in particular contractors in the industry, were facing turbulent and unpredictable times...

Bridging the Gap - An Overview of SBA Loans under the Paycheck Protection Program
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

LATEST UPDATE - April 3, 2020 In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the President signed H.R. 748, known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act on March 27, 2020. The bill provides more than $2 trillion of aid to individuals and the public and private sector...

CMS Continues to Make Sweeping Regulatory Changes to Facilitate COVID-19 Response
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

Federal and state agencies continue to deliver tools and information to help healthcare providers respond to the COVID-19 pandemic since the President declared the COVID-19 outbreak a national emergency. The declaration gave the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) authority to temporarily waive or modify certain requirements of federal healthcare programs...

Keep Calm ... and Investigate Rumors LP Default Risk and Fund Finance 2.0
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

During the Great Recession, fund finance professionals spent a lot of time analyzing and speculating about the impact of the financial crisis on fundraising, the potential for the failure of limited partners to honor their capital contribution obligations to funds, and the strength of facility structures and documentation. That makes the current scene familiar to many of us...

Treasury Releases Guidance on CARES Act Relief to Airlines and Aviation Workers
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

On March 30, 2020, the Department of the Treasury published guidelines and procedures for passenger and cargo air carriers (together, “Air Carriers”) seeking relief under the recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act...

What Franchise and Hospitality Companies Should Know! A Guide to CARES and Other Relief Programs
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic is impacting every business sector across the globe. Many new resources, however, including the new Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, provide franchise and hospitality businesses with opportunities for relief. The following information is intended to aid franchise and hospitality companies in understanding options available to them during this time...

Call for Creatives: United Nations Opens Submission Process for COVID-19 Messaging Work
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

The United Nations has issued a “Global Call to Creatives” (the “Call”) asking content creators, influencers, advertisers, and others to help in translating public health messages “into work that will engage and inform people across different cultures, languages, communities and platforms...

CFTC Provides Final Guidance on Actual Delivery of Digital Assets
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

On March 24, 2020, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or the “Commission”) unanimously approved its final interpretive guidance (“Final Guidance”) regarding retail commodity transactions involving certain digital assets...

An Overview of the Midsize Business Loan Program under Title IV of the CARES Act
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the President signed H.R. 748, known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act on March 27, 2020. The bill provides more than $2 trillion of aid to individuals and the public and private sector...

Treasury Department and SBA Provide Preliminary Guidance and Sample Application for Paycheck Protection Program Loans
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

On March 31, 2020, the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration (“SBA”) released initial guidance and a sample application form for the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), the small business loan program established pursuant to theCoronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act signed by President Trump on March 27, 2020...

New York Department of Financial Services Clarifies Executive Order on Consumer Forbearance
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

Last week, we reported on Executive Order No. 202.9 issued by Governor Cuomo, and some of the important questions posed by that Executive Order. We suggested that the implementing regulations by the NYS Department of Financial Services (the “DFS”) would likely clarify these points, and this has turned out to be the case. On March 24, implementing regulations were released by the Superintendent of Financial Services, Linda A...

Environmental Compliance in the Coronavirus Era
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2020

Many regulated entities are struggling to comply with certain environmental reporting, monitoring and settlement agreement requirements because of the impact of shelter in place orders, supply chain disruptions, and social distancing requirements relating to the COVID-19 pandemic response...

Texas PUC Issues Three Orders in Response to COVID-19 to Assist Residential Ratepayers
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT or Commission) issued three orders on March 26, 2020, establishing a new COVID-19 Electricity Relief Program for residential customers and modifying certain regulatory requirements applicable to retail electric providers (REPs) and electric utilities, including transmission and distribution utilities (TDUs)...

Business Tax Provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”). This historic $2 trillion relief package received bipartisan support and is part of the third wave of federal government support as the nation copes with the acute economic fallout from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The CARES Act, among other things, aims to provide significant aid to businesses and employees...

Employee Benefits/Executive Compensation Changes Made by the CARES Act
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

Employee Benefits Newsletter March 31, 2020 Authored by: Alexis Blair, Cathy Currie, Kirsten Garcia, Jesse Gelsomini, Brian Giovannini, Tyler Hubert, Chris Kang, Charles Plenge, Scott Thompson, Tiffany Walker, and Susan Wetzel EMPLOYEE BENEFIT/EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION CHANGES MADE BY THE CARES ACT On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”)...

Oil & Gas Workers Given “Key Worker” Status by the British Government
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

The British government has adopted stringent measures to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus effective from 23 March 2020[1], including a nationwide lockdown, closure of non-essential shops and public venues and mandatory social distancing. The general rule is that people should stay at home, but workers can travel to and from work if they cannot perform their work from home[2]...

Relief for Employers and Workers under the CARES Act
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid,Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act into law. The CARES Act, which injects trillions of dollars into the economy, provides relief to employers and workers, alike...

Breaking Tax News - IRS Extends April 15 Payment and Filing Due Date For Gift Taxes Because of COVID-19 Emergency
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

Breaking Tax News - IRS Extends April 15 Payment and Filing Due Date For Gift Taxes Because of COVID-19 Emergency 03/29/2020 Authored by: Jennifer R. Lan,John M. Collins,Jamie L. Carter,J. Mitchell Miller The IRS issued Notice 2020-20 on March 27, 2020, thereby superseding certain provisions of Notice 2020-18 related to filing and paying gift taxes (see our prior coverage here)...

Congress Provides COVID-19 Relief to Airlines and Aviation Workers
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The $2 trillion bipartisan legislation serves as a third round of federal government support in the wake of the economic fallout from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Among other things, the Act provides significant relief to air carriers and aviation employees. We outline some of the key provisions below...

Clearing Through the Smoke: Understanding the Short- and Long-Term Impact of COVID-19 on R&W Insurance
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

The impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) across the globe remains a significant concern in every aspect of business – and the representation and warranty (R&W) insurance market is no different. The following Frequently Asked Questions are designed to address some of the more common questions that have arisen since the outbreak of the pandemic.As always, advice in this area is fact-sensitive...

IRS Relief for Filing and Paying Income Taxes (Not Applicable to Gift or Estate Taxes)
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

The IRS issued a notice offering a special two-month deferral for federal income tax payments and federal income tax returns that are due April 15, 2020 (Notice 2020-18) (see our recent alert). This relief applies to all taxpayers, without requiring a written form (for example, no form 4868 or 7004 is required); the relief applies to individuals, trusts, estates, partnerships, LLCs, associations, and corporations...

CFTC Issues No-Action Relief for Certain Derivatives Market Participants in Response to COVID-19
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

The CFTC recently published several no-action letters issuing temporary relief to certain market participants in response to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak, which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020...

How will the COVID-19 Outbreak Affect my Ongoing Arbitration
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

Thousands of disputes are dealt with by way of international arbitration every year and it is inevitable that when most countries started introducing social distancing measures, a number of arbitrations were either part heard or just about to start and will have been derailed, at least to some extent...

Please Mr. Postman: Energy Trading Contract Notice Issues in the Time of COVID-19
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

COVID-19 and the sweeping government actions to curtail the effects of the virus have disrupted business activities across the globe, requiring businesses to carefully examine their existing contracts and in certain cases deliver important notices thereunder, such as notices of force majeure...

COVID-19 Impact on Renewable Energy Asset Development
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic and the sweeping government action to curtail its effects across the globe has disrupted global supply chains and may continue to do so for quite some time. These constraints will strain project development timelines across the renewable energy industry...

FTC Announces Temporary E-Filing Procedures for Hart-Scott-Rodino Filings During COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

Last week, in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the Premerger Notification Office of the Federal Trade Commission (the “PNO”) announced temporary e-filing procedures for the submission of HSR filings and a temporary suspension of early termination requests. Key Takeaways: As of March 17, 2020, the PNO and the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) will accept only electronic submissions of HSR filings (no paper or DVD filings)...

Oh, and One More Thing, Cybersecurity: A COVID-19 Checklist
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

As if businesses did not have enough to worry about during this COVID-19 pandemic, it’s times like these when cybersecurity risk is at its peak. Distracted employees may be psychologically vulnerable to attack, and shifting quickly and unexpectedly to a remote workforce can create technology and control risks. It’s a perfect storm for cyber risk...

Approaching Electronic Signature Platforms
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

Due to the expanding impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), physical distancing and remote work policies have increased adoption by companies of electronic signature platforms such as DocuSign, Adobe Sign, SignNow, and others (hereinafter, the “platforms”) in handling internal approvals and also executing commercial documents...

Several States Adopt CISA Guidance Giving “Essential Critical Infrastructure” Exemption for Energy Sector under COVID-19 “Shelter-in-Place”
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

Several state and local governments have issued “shelter in place” orders and undoubtedly more will follow. All have various exemptions for “essential businesses” and many rely on exemptions outlined in the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”) guidance on critical infrastructure workers...

Preventive Measures Issued by the Mexican Ministry of Health Related to COVID-19
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

On March 24, 2020, Mexico’s Ministry of Health issued preventive measures, sanctioned by the President, that must be implemented by the public and private sectors for the mitigation and control of health risks associated with the disease caused by the SARS-CoV2 virus (COVID-19)...

Senate Passes Stimulus Bill
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

In the wake of the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus outbreak, Congress sought to pass a stimulus bill designed to mitigate the negative impact on the U.S. economy of measures taken to slow the spread of the virus.Hopes of a quick passage of the bill dimmed on March 21, when the Democrat and Republican negotiators in the Senate could not agree on worker protections or stock buyback restrictions for businesses that received funding, among other issues...

COVID-19 Restructuring and the WARN Act
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

As the world changes in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, many employers will be forced to consider restructuring workforces, closing facilities and other employment-related options. But despite the unexpected nature of these difficult options, employers must nonetheless be aware of their notice requirements under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) and state mini-WARN acts...

COVID-19 Employee Benefit and Executive Compensation Questions
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

In light of the recent economic developments stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers are evaluating their employee benefit plans and how employee and employer costs will be impacted. The following summary provides a list of questions we have been receiving from clients over the past week, along with action items to help employers address these issues. Health and Welfare Plans and Fringe Benefits 1...

COVID-19: Impact on Your M&A Deals Under English Law
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

Having begun as a fairly localized issue in the centre of China, the COVID-19 outbreak has spread rapidly across borders, significantly impacting the global economy and causing havoc in financial markets. The impact has been across all sectors, from transport and tourism to manufacturing, technology, energy, retail and beyond...

COVID-19 OSHA Guidance: Hazard Assessments at Workplaces Considered Essential Businesses Under Shelter in Place Orders
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

Several state and local governments have issued “shelter in place” orders and undoubtedly more will follow.All of them have various exemptions for “essential businesses” and many rely on these exemptions as outlined in the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”) guidance on critical infrastructure workers...

FDA Increase Supplies in Response to COVID-19
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

FDA Takes Action to Increase U.S. Supplies in Response to COVID-19. The FDA took action to increase U.S. supplies to support the U.S. response to COVID-19 by providing instructions to manufacturers importing personal protective equipment and other devices. The FDA is engaging the import trade community during this pandemic to facilitate the entry of needed products, including PPE, into the U.S...

FDA Warns Consumers About Unauthorized Fraudulent COVID19 Products
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

FDA Warns Consumers About Unauthorized Fraudulent COVID-19 Products.The FDA issued a Consumer Update advising consumers to be beware of fraudulent coronavirus tests, vaccines and treatments. The FDA has seen unauthorized fraudulent test kits for COVID-19 being sold online. Currently, the FDA has not authorized any test that is available to purchase for testing yourself at home for COVID-19...

Defense Production Act Authority and the Coronavirus Outbreak
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

With the coronavirus outbreak, attention has been focused on the Defense Production Act of 1950 (“DPA”)[1], a statute dating back to the time of the Korean War, which authorizes the President in times of national emergency to: Make direct purchases and purchase commitments of critical supplies and services; Interrupt the normal flow of goods, even when under contract, by requiring U.S...

FDA Revised Guidance on Postmarketing Adverse Event Reporting for Medical Products and Dietary Supplements During a Pandemic
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

The FDA revised its guidance on postmarket adverse event reporting for medical products and dietary supplements during a pandemic to apply the guidance to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The FDA acknowledges that companies, and the agency, itself, may be hit with workforce shortages during a pandemic at the same time that adverse event reporting for products deployed for the pandemic may increase...

HHS Extends PREP Act Immunity to COVID-19 Countermeasures
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

The U.S...

FDA Issues "Immediately in Effect" Guidance to Accelerate Availability of COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

The FDA issued immediately-in-effect guidance to accelerate the development of certain laboratory tests for the urgent need caused by SARS-CoV-2. The FDA provides recommendations, among others, for serological tests, puts forth a policy for states to take responsibility for tests, and announces enforcement discretion for commercial manufacturers using new commercially developed tests prior to the FDA granting an emergency use authorization, under certain circumstances...

FDA Issues Temporary Guidance on Food Supplier Verification Audit Requirement
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

To help prevent disruptions in the food supply-chain during the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA issued a temporary policy for Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) supplier verification onsite audit requirements. The policy states that the FDA will temporarily not enforce FSMA supplier verification onsite audit requirements if other appropriate supplier verification methods are used instead...

Interagency Statement Encourages Financial Institutions to Work with Customers Impacted by the Coronavirus Disease 2019
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

On March 22, 2020, several federal financial institution regulatory agencies and state banking regulators issued an interagency statement encouraging all financial institutions to work constructively with borrowers impacted by the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”)...

Texas Supreme Court Reaffirms Broad Construction of Eight-Corners Rule
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

In a unanimous decision, the Texas Supreme Court held on March 20, 2020 that an insurance policy’s omission of an express duty to defend “groundless, false or fraudulent” claims does not preclude application of the Eight-Corners Rule. InJanet Richards, et al. v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 19-0802, ___ S.W.3d ___ (Tex...

Potential Government Relief for Hospitality Industry - Including Franchised Businesses
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

Seemingly overnight, flights and hotels emptied, and state and local governments began ordering restaurants, gyms, bars, and other “non-essential” businesses to close or to significantly curtail operations. Unemployment skyrocketed, and businesses began calling out for relief. In response, the government has proposed multiple initiatives to help stabilize businesses hit hard by current events, especially those in the hospitality industry, many of which are also franchises...

SBA's COVID-19 Disaster Loan Program
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent agency of the federal government established to provide assistance and protection in the interest of small businesses. Among its funding programs, the SBA Disaster Assistance program provides low interest loans to help businesses and homeowners to recover from declared disasters – usually for events such as hurricanes or floods...

COVID-19 – An Opportunity to Show the Adaptability and Strength of the Finance Market?
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

  Co-authored by MV Credit Partners LLP As the world watches the spread of COVID-19 across all continents, global economies are reacting to the impact and trying to foresee eventualities to mitigate the inevitable loss. There are some industries that will undoubtedly be more effected than others, and as with any economic crisis this will have a knock-on effect...

FTC Announces Temporary E-Filing Procedures for Hart-Scott-Rodino Filings During COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

Last week, in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the Premerger Notification Office of the Federal Trade Commission (the “PNO”) announced temporary e-filing procedures for the submission of HSR filings and a temporary suspension of early termination requests. Key Takeaways: As of March 17, 2020, the PNO and the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) will accept only electronic submissions of HSR filings (no paper or DVD filings)...

Health Law Vitals - COVID-19 Edition - March 2020
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

Regulators Expand Opportunities for Telehealth Services Under COVID-19 Shadow By: Phil Kim, Kayla Cristales, and Jennifer Kreick As the COVID-19 pandemic surges and the social distancing imperative continues, regulators have responded with various guidelines and policies that impact and expand the opportunities for telehealth services...

Regulators Expand Opportunities for Telehealth Services Under COVID-19 Shadow
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic surges and the social distancing imperative continues, regulators have responded with various guidelines and policies that impact and expand the opportunities for telehealth services.Telehealth, telemedicine, and related terms generally refer to the exchange of medical information from one site to another through electronic communication to improve a patient’s health...

HIPAA Guidance During COVID-19
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

Amidst continuing COVID-19 concerns, regulators issued certain waivers of HIPAA requirements and penalties as well as additional guidance applicable during this public health emergency. HIPAA Enforcement Discretion for Telehealth...

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Issued Executive Order relating to COVID-19
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

This morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York issued Executive Order No. 202...

FFCRA - Temporary Non-Enforcement - Employer Payroll Tax Credit
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), the Department of Treasury, and the Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently issued preliminary guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA” or the “Act”) regarding (i) a temporary non-enforcement period during the first thirty (30) days of the Act; and (ii) more detail on how the employer payroll tax credit will work for the employer funding portion of the paid sick and child

Providing Essential Supplies to Americans in the Time of COVID-19
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

In less than a week, SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that leads to COVID-19, has upended American lives and livelihoods.But while many are taking an unwanted break from business as usual, “essential businesses” are working overtime to rise to the critical call of keeping Americans healthy, safe, and fed while the nation shuts down and the virus spreads. First, each business must determine whether – and to what extent – it is essential...

Breaking Tax News for 3/21/2020 - IRS Extends April 15 Payment and Filing Due Date Because of the COVID-19 Emergency
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

In IRS Notice 2020-18, the IRS extended the deadline for specified U.S. federal income tax payments and federal income tax returns due April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020.IRS Notice 2020-18 supersedes IRS Notice 2020-17 which only extended the deadline for specified tax payments (see our prior coverage here). The extension applies to any person with a federal income tax payment and/or federal income tax return due April 15, 2020...

Virtual and Hybrid Annual Shareholder Meetings During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

As the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic continues, many public companies are examining how best to accommodate their upcoming annual shareholder meetings in light of complying with government orders and recommendations limiting public gatherings and non-essential travel. Accordingly, many corporate executives are now considering moving their annual shareholder meetings to a virtual or “hybrid” format in light of current public health and safety concerns...

IRS Extends April 15 Payment Due Date Because of the COVID-19 Emergency
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

In IRS Notice 2020-17, the IRS extended the deadline for certain U.S. federal income tax payments due April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020, up to certain limits depending on the taxpayer. IMPORTANTLY, as of now,this extension does not apply to the filing of any tax return or information return.All tax returns and information returns due on April 15, 2020 are still due on April 15, 2020 unless the due date is extended as provided by law...

New York Enacts COVID-19 Sick Leave Act
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

On March 18, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed a bill to provide immediate assistance to New Yorkers impacted by COVID-19.The act provides paid and unpaid leave to employees “subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by the state of New York, the department of health, local board of health, or any governmental entity duly authorized to issue such order due to COVID-19...

Employment Issues under the Families First Coronavirus Act of 2020
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Act that aims to provide emergency supplemental relief to Americans affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.The Act, among other things, aims to provide such relief by addressing three employment-related areas: (1) emergency paid sick leave to employees, (2) emergency leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, and (3) support for unemployment insurance...

Employer Checklist for Responding to a Positive COVID-19 Test
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

  So long as COVID-19 remains a pandemic, every employer must face the new reality that there is a good chance an employee will test positive for COVID-19.  Employers should consider the following checklist when handling an employee testing positive for COVID-19: Treat positive test results and “suspected but unconfirmed” cases of COVID-19 the same. If the source of infection is known, identify if it was at the workplace or outside...

COVID-19 and OSHA
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

As employers weigh their measure of response to COVID-19, the employers must recognize that The General Duty Clause of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), 29 U.S.C. § 654(a)(1), requires employers to furnish each worker with “employment and a place of employment, which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm...

COVID-19 and Discrimination Issues
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

As employers react to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), they must be aware of the potential for unlawful discrimination based on an employee’s race or national origin. The CDC has issued this guidanceto employers regarding COVID-19: “To prevent stigma and discrimination in the workplace, use only the guidance described below to determine risk of COVID-19...

Additional Insights on Force Majeure Under Texas Law
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

As individuals, businesses, and governments continue to take actions to mitigate or contain the worldwide impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), it is likely that performance of contracts agreed to long before the emergence of the pandemic will become difficult, if not entirely impossible...

Is the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak a Force Majeure Event?
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

This is a question being asked by many companies. Is the severity of this event such that it enables companies to temporarily (or permanently) be excused from performance of their contractual obligations? As is often the case with legal questions, it depends. The term “force majeure” does not have a recognised meaning under English law...

SEC Issues Conditional Regulatory Relief for Companies Affected by Coronavirus
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

Coronavirus-Related Conditional Relief and Assistance On March 4, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) announced that it would provide conditional regulatory relief with respect to certain filing and mailing obligations under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”) for registrants, and other persons making filings with respect to a registrant, affected by the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19)...

Bill of Health: Insurance Coverage for Coronavirus-Related Loss and Force Majeure Clauses
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

Since its emergence from Wuhan, China, in December, the coronavirus (COVID-19) has exacted an immense human cost in death and suffering, with tens of thousands of confirmed cases worldwide. As the world reacts, the spread of this disease has also impacted businesses and world markets. Governments around the globe have restricted travel from areas with widespread, sustained transmission rates. Corporations have also suspended travel and operations in areas with high rates of infection...

 

 

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