At Coombe Curry Rich & Jarvis, we have received countless calls from individuals and businesses whose lives have been affected by the recent COVID-19 outbreak. Many businesses have been ordered closed by government mandate leading to confusion, fear, and uncertainty. Every day brings new developments and deepens the level of uncertainty facing our nation. The CCRJ team is dedicated to assisting our clients and any others that need assistance in navigating these troubled waters. We have invested significant resources in being able to work remotely in order to nimbly respond to emergencies such as the one that we are currently facing. As a result, CCRJ is operating at full capacity while also practicing responsible social distancing for our attorneys and staff.
While these steps are necessary to assist Colorado in combating the spread of the COVID-19 virus, they have also created a lot of confusion and concern for the business community. We have been assisting many of our clients in analyzing and determining how these restrictions affect their businesses and what steps they should take.
Small Business Assistance
For small businesses and non-profit organizations facing economic injury as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, the SBA is offering low-interest federal disaster loans up to $2M for working capital. Colorado’s Economic Development Department and the SBA Disaster Team are taking steps to rapidly make this recovery funding available to small businesses and nonprofits statewide. This is part of a whole-of-government effort to combat the economic effects of the outbreak and minimize any economic disruption to Colorado’s small businesses.
During these uncertain times, many employers are faced with having to make hard choices with regard to their employees and staff. CCRJ has decades of experience assisting employers to navigate labor and employment issues and is well prepared to assist you with any employment questions you might have.
The attorneys of CCRJ are available to help you answer these questions
and to help you find the best path forward.
One of the many repercussions that COVID-19 has had on the economy is that it has rendered many contracts unduly burdensome or unworkable for businesses and individuals. All contracts are unique, but a careful analysis of the language of the contract may uncover avenues to relieve, or temporarily suspend, the burdens of the contracts. For example, many contracts (but not all) contain a force majeure clause – otherwise known as an Act of God provision. Generally, a force majeure or Act of God is deemed to be an unanticipated grave natural disaster or other natural phenomena of an exceptional, inevitable and irresistible character, the effects of which could not have been prevented or avoided by the exercise of due care or foresight. These provisions apply to extraordinary and unexpected manifestations of the forces of nature as cannot be prevented by human care, skill or foresight. In other words, the event at issue would have happened independent of a party’s action. These provisions, depending on how they are drafted, could potentially provide parties relief in having to perform their contractual duties during a pandemic such as COVID-19.
We encourage all of our clients to review their contracts to determine what their rights and obligations are during this volatile time. Standard contractual provisions that could apply are:
- Force Majeure Clauses
- Early Termination Provisions
- Impossibility/Impracticality Clauses
If you have any questions regarding your contractual rights and obligations, please contact us and we will assist you in any way we can.
Trusts and Estates
Unfortunately, the recent crisis has forced many of us to realize just how unprepared we are to face pandemic emergencies. Even the most conservative COVID-19 estimates predict a wide swath of the population becoming sick, with a percentage of those cases being fatal. Multiple, presumably health individuals have been admitted to ICUs due to difficulty breathing, and end up requiring the assistance of a ventilator to breathe. Several of these same individuals do not have any documentation in place that can provide treatment providers and even family with their instructions for medical treatment. Without this documentation, such as a medical durable power of attorney, family members are forced to make difficult decisions regarding medical care and are often left wondering if they made the right decisions.
Here at CCRJ, we believe that it is critically important that families take the steps necessary to make sure that they are fully prepared for when their loved ones require emergency medical treatment. We strongly encourage individuals to have an updated medical durable power of attorney in place. A medical durable power of attorney will allow your chosen representative to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated, and can also inform the healthcare provider of your desires regarding treatment if you are incapacitated.
At a minimum it is strongly encouraged that you have the following estate planning documents in place:
- Last Will & Testament
- Advance Directive/Living Will
- Medical and Financial Durable Power of Attorney
Att CCRJ, we understand that preparing these documents can be daunting and recognize that have these discussions with your loved ones can be uncomfortable. We are here to walk you through the preparation of these important documents as well as facilitate conversation around these decisions. While we hope that it will be unnecessary for you or our loved ones to utilize these documents during the current crisis, we believe that it is important to be prepared for any contingency. If you would like to discuss your estate planning needs or have any questions regarding your existing estate plan, please feel free to contact us.
Coombe Curry Rich & Jarvis are seasoned trial attorneys who specialize in civil litigation, commercial transactions, family law and estate planning. Our Denver law practice handles cases across the greater metro area, as well as across and outside of the state. We work with insurance companies, large corporations, local small businesses and individuals. Our attorneys are licensed to practice in all CO state courts, as well as in many other state and federal district and appeals courts, including the highest Court in the land, the United States Supreme Court.
Coombe Curry Rich & Jarvis