WBBA COVID-19 Updates

As you know our legal system is facing daily challenges during this global crisis. In addition to changes in our way of life, there are frequent updates to the court system's protocols and laws.

Dear WBBA Members:

We hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. 
It has come to my attention that a number of you have not received the almost daily updates regarding the New York State Court System’s responses and protocols regarding the Coronavirus.

Below, please find some pertinent information that may affect your practice.

As you know our legal system is facing daily challenges during this global crisis. In addition to changes in our way of life, there are frequent updates to the court system’s protocols and laws.

WBBA’s Spring Gala is postponed until further notice. We look forward to planning events and programs for you in the near future.

The New York Bar Association reached out to the NYS Empire State Development about law firms and whether they are considered to be essential.  

In response, the Empire State Development replied as follows:  

“Law firms and other providers of legal services are essential businesses only to the extent that their services are currently needed to support the essential functions of health care providers, utilities, state and local governments, the federal government, financial institutions, businesses that have been designated as essential; or to support criminal defendants in court proceedings or individuals in emergency family court proceedings; or to participate in proceedings concerning the imminent release or detention of individuals subject to criminal or civil detention under any applicable provision of state or federal law, or proceedings to address emergency risks to health, safety, or welfare.”To stay informed we encourage you to visit the NYS Court System website on a daily basis at: http://www.nycourts.gov/index.shtml.

Attached are the most recent changes, including: Executive Order regarding essential court filings, Executive Order tolling the Statute of Limitations, and Executive Order regarding Civil Discovery rules and changes to CLE format.

Remote Notarization

Further, effective immediately notaries can notarize documents via audio/video means. The executive order is good through April 18, 2020. 


Small Business Loans

Notice from Women’s Enterprise Development Center

From Rep Nita Lowey – New York small businesses severely impacted by the novel coronavirus now can apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans referencing Disaster #NY-00197.

How to Apply for Disaster Loan Assistance:
If your small business in Westchester, Putnam or Dutchess county has been severely impacted by the novel coronavirus, we encourage you to apply.

COVID-19-related harm will be considered beginning from January 31, 2020, when the CDC declared a public health emergency. Given the continuing impact of this pandemic, SBA has not determined an end date for this incident period. An end date determination could be made in the coming weeks or months. Applications are available now HERE.

Applicants in Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess counties will need to create an account and complete the application that references the Disaster # CT-00046.

Small businesses in the affected counties have until December 16, 2020, to submit an application. A step by step outline for applying is available HERE.

Additional guidance and resources for small businesses are available on SBA’s website HERE.

Questions can be emailed to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY/TDD: 1-800-877-8339).

Covid-19 Resource Page 

In addition please see these useful resources:

Until we are able to return to life as we knew it before, stay safe, stay healthy, and stay strong.

Sharon Matthie
Westchester Black Bar Association, Inc. 

Please see more useful resources:

Explore more about COVID-19 Court Updates

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