Keeping Up with COVID
Barbara Engstrom, Executive Director King County Law Library
The language describing the mitigation measures used to counteract the pandemic would imply this past year has been one of stasis. (Lockdown, suspension of services, closures to the public) If anything, the rapidity of change during this period has been unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes. Even as we begin to reach vaccination benchmarks, the churn of new statutes, court rules, opinions, and other norms continue apace. Keeping abreast of this constant flux of information can be daunting. Fortunately, there are several great resources that aggregate legal information related to COViD. The following are some resources available either online or via the King County Law Library that can help you stay informed.
Perhaps the area of law that has seen the greatest change is landlord tenant. Stoel Rives has produced a regularly updated guide to track the changes to state, federal and local rules related to the eviction moratoria. The most recent version is current as of March 9, 2021 and is 19 pages of densely packed information detailing the dates and consequences of the various rules and orders along with references to litigation filed in response. The current version can be found here https://www.stoel.com/legal-insights/legal-updates/covid-19-update-stoel-rives-guide-to-washington-st KIng County has information on the Eviction Prevention and Rental Assistance Program here including access to the EPRAP portal for both landlords and tenants. https://kingcounty.gov/depts/community-human-services/COVID/eviction-prevention-rent-assistance.aspx The Northwest Justice Project’s Washington Law Help website has information regarding eviction and tenant’s right geared for non-attorneys with videos and informational guides and a summary of the new 2021 legislation in an easy to digest infographics https://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/issues/health/coronavirus-covid-19#content
The National Consumer Law Center’s (NCLC) Digital Library has a running list of current awareness articles under New Developments on their homepage. These timely articles cover many COVID related consumer law issues and link to treatises in the KCLL’s NCLC digital collection. Some recent examples include: Consumer Law Implications of the American Recovery Plan Act, Cheat Sheet to COVID-19 Bankruptcy Provisions and Sunsets, Protecting Wages, Benefits, and Bank Accounts from Judgment Creditors, Homeowner Right During COVID Pandemic, and Essential Reading for FDCPA Practitioners. The NCLC Digital Library is available for remote access via the law library’s Remote Databases link. https://kcll.org/remote-databases/
Our newest acquisition for remote access, the Cheetah Database from Wolters Kluwer, has COVID related current awareness information for an array of practice areas. The tax materials include 2020 Tax Legislation: Law, Explanation & Analysis, CCH Tax Briefings and Federal Tax Day with emerging information on executive and congressional branch activity along with IRS letter rulings and technical advice memoranda. Labor & Employment resources include the Family and Medical Leave Guide, the Employee Benefits Newsletter and the Unemployment/ Social Security Newsletter. The Cheetah COVID database also has white papers and a news aggregator for the breaking COVID related legal news.
In addition to current awareness resources, the Wolters Kluwer database also includes access to the following eBooks: Bromberg & Ribstein on Partnership, Drafting Limited Liability Company Operating Agreements, Drafting Prenuptial Agreements, Drunk Driving Defense, Elder Law Answer Book, Elder Law Forms Manual, Employee Dismissal Law & Practice, Law of Lawyering, Law of Restitution, Motions Practice, Scott and Ascher on Trusts, and Special Needs Trust Handbook.
Another very helpful COVID related legal news source is available from Law360. Normally Law360 requires a subscription, but Lexis is providing free access to their coronavirus coverage. This includes news stories and expert analysis. You can find the Law360 coronavirus coverage here. https://www.law360.com/coronavirus
The Coronavirus Legal Daily (CLD)is an offshoot of Lex Blog, the legal blog aggregator. You’ll find new posts featured daily under the topic areas of employment & labor, health care, corporate & commercial and administrative law. There is also a continually updated list of the latest blog posts. You can access the Coronavirus Legal Daily at https://www.coronaviruslegaldaily.com/
For the academic perspective, Jurist (a project from the University of Pittsburg School of Law in collaboration with other law schools to create and make publicly available high-quality legal news and analysis resources) created a COVID-19 Special Coverage page that features legal news and analysis from the United States and world-wide. This is an excellent resource for understanding foreign and international law perspectives. https://www.jurist.org/covid-coverage/
WSBA & KCBA
I would be remiss if I failed to mention the wealth of very practical information available on both the WSBA and KCBA’s Coronvirus webpages. The WSBA’s coronavirus information can be found here. https://wsba.org/for-legal-professionals/member-support/covid-19 and the KCBA’s coronavirus information can be found here. https://www.kcba.org/For-Lawyers/COVID-19-Resources
King County Law Library
As always, the law library is here to help if you want more information on any of the resources listed. We are happy to work with you either in person at the Seattle or Kent Branches or remotely via email or video reference. Come by or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org Keep an eye on our website the latest on our hours of operation and information on our newest resources. www.kcll.org