Title IV of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) passed by Congress on March 27, 2020 provides significant, although temporary, regulatory relief to banks, savings institutions and their customers.

The key bank regulatory relief provisions of the CARES Act are the following:

  • Grant of Authority to FDIC for Unlimited Guarantee of

Many states, counties, and cities have issued “stay-at-home” or “shelter-in-place” (collectively, SIP) orders to combat the spread of COVID-19. Below we are providing updates focusing on the impact these sweeping orders could have on new and ongoing construction projects in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. As with all the effects of COVID-19, the issuance, interpretation, and enforcement of these orders are fast-breaking and in constant flux.

To view Jones Walker LLP’s construction team’s full summary on the impact of state and local “Stay-at-Home” or “Shelter-in-Place” orders on construction in AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, and TX, click here.


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On March 26, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a temporary policy of enforcement discretion for noncompliance as a result of COVID-19 or its protective measures that have been put in place. The policy is based on the recognition by EPA that worker shortage and social distancing measures may impact the ability of regulated entities to conduct and report certain monitoring activities required by federal permits, regulations, and statutes. The policy also recognizes that the pandemic and the measures put in place to address it impact the ability of the regulated entities to meet consent decree milestones and obligations, enforceable limits of air and water permits, hazardous waste management requirements, and safe drinking water requirements. This policy is retroactive to March 13, 2020, and will apply to conduct that occurs even after the policy terminates. EPA will notify the public at least seven days prior to ending this policy. Below is a summary of the major sections of the policy:

General Conditions

In general, EPA expects all regulated entities to comply with the requirements provided by their permits, regulations, and statutes. The exercise of EPA’s enforcement discretion under this policy is conditioned on the entities complying with the following:

  1. “Entities should make every effort to comply with their environmental compliance obligations.
  2. If compliance is not reasonably practicable, facilities with enforcement compliance obligations should:
    • Act responsibly under the circumstances in order to minimize the effects and duration of any noncompliance caused by COVID-19;
    • Identify the specific nature and dates of the noncompliance;
    • Identify how COVID-19 was the cause of the noncompliance, and the decisions and actions taken in response, including best efforts to comply and steps taken to come into compliance at the earliest opportunity;
    • Return to compliance as soon as possible; and
    • Document the information, action, or condition specified in a. through d.”


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With nearly all (980 of 989) commercial and tribal casinos in the United States closed, affecting more than 650,000 directly employed persons during the novel coronavirus shutdown, there are specific sets of issues facing the gaming industry. We summarize some of the more important ones below.

Employee Issues

Many gaming industry employers have taken one of several general tracks with respect to their employees. Some have elected to pay their employees for a defined period of time, regardless of whether they are presently able to perform their jobs or not. Others have issued blanket temporary furloughs to employees or terminated the employees, hoping to rehire those employees when conditions improve in the future. The federal legislation will provide benefits to employees and/or their employers, depending on the choice of how to proceed and what path to take under the possible scenarios. Culture of the companies also impacts decisions on these points; some company executives are deferring cash salaries for stock to improve company cash positions and keep more employees on the payroll, while others are taking reduced salaries or working for free, while still others are taking a salary but donating it to an employee fund. Benefits available to employers and employees under pending federal legislation may significantly impact the decisions employers make with respect to their employees.


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Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, on March 27, 2020, brought more clarity statewide to businesses continuing to operate during the COVID-19 outbreak. Her statewide order, effective at 5:00 p.m., March 28, 2020, prohibits non-work gatherings of over 10 people and gatherings of any size where a six-foot distance cannot be maintained. Governor Ivey’s order mandates closure

Earlier today, the House of Representatives passed the CARES Act, the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package that passed the Senate on Wednesday night. The bill will now be delivered to the President who will sign it into law in short order. Links to the bill as passed by the Congress together with summaries of key

What many states call a “force majeure” clause is often called an “Act of God” clause in Mississippi. In contracts for services and contracts for real estate, contractual force majeure/Act of God clauses are enforceable, but there is no Act of God defense absent a contractual clause.

This is not the case for contracts for the sale of goods. Unlike with other states, Mississippi’s version of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC or the Code) specifically addresses force majeure. Mississippi Code § 75-2-617 provides:

Deliveries may be suspended by either party in case of Act of God, war, riots, fire, explosion, flood, strike, lockout, injunction, inability to obtain fuel, power, raw materials, labor, containers, or transportation facilities, accident, breakage of machinery or apparatus, national defense requirements, or any cause beyond the control of such party, preventing the manufacture, shipment, acceptance, or consumption of a shipment of the goods or of a material upon which the manufacture of the goods is dependent. If, because of any such circumstance, seller is unable to supply the total demand for the goods, seller may allocate its available supply among itself and all of its customers, including those not under contract, in an equitable manner. Such deliveries so suspended shall be cancelled without liability, but the contract shall otherwise remain unaffected.

Importantly, this provision applies only to the seller — not the buyer — of goods. So even if a contract for the sale of goods does not contain a force majeure clause, Mississippi law reads one into the contract for the seller.


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Suppliers and purchasers of any kind of movable, tangible property may be unaware that they have a powerful tool under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) for protecting themselves in this national time of uncertainty: a demand for adequate assurance.

Every state has adopted at least some portion of the UCC, though there are state-to-state variations. Article 2 of the UCC generally applies to any contract for the sale or purchase of goods (but not service or real estate contracts). When contracts cover both goods and services, some states look to whether the dispute centers on the goods, while others examine the predominant purpose of the contract.

If the UCC governs the parties’ contract, then under UCC Section 2-609, when one party to a contract is reasonably insecure that the other party won’t perform, it can send a written demand for adequate assurance. If assurance isn’t received in a reasonable time, not to exceed 30 days, the requesting party can treat the contract as terminated and seek damages.

A demand for adequate assurance is nothing more complicated than a writing asking for some form of assurance that the other party will perform. Types of assurance that courts have found reasonable include letters of credit, heightened warranties, and access to the other party’s books and records. Some courts have allowed verbal demands, but since the model statute requires that the demand be in writing, the safer course of action is to send a demand in writing.


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Over the past five days many states, counties, and cities issued “stay-at-home” or “shelter-in-place” (collectively, SIP) orders to combat the spread of COVID-19. Here, we focus on the impact these sweeping orders could have on new and ongoing construction projects in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. As with all the effects of COVID-19, the issuance, interpretation, and enforcement of these orders are fast-breaking and in constant flux.

DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Guidelines

A threshold question to evaluate the impact of a SIP order on a construction project is whether your operations and workforce impact “essential” or “critical” infrastructure. Many states and localities are incorporating the Guidelines published by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to help identify “essential critical infrastructure workers” for exemption from SIP restrictions. These Guidelines are general and do not specifically address the construction industry. Nevertheless, the construction industry significantly impacts each of the sectors and industries specified in the Guidelines, and thus, a number of projects may likely fall within CISA’s definition of “critical infrastructure.”


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This afternoon the Mississippi Department of Revenue issued a notice containing updated information related to multiple extended filing deadlines and audit procedures. Among the changes are the following:

  • Income and franchise tax filing deadlines remain extended to May 15 (no change from prior notice)
  • Sales and use tax return filing deadlines remain unchanged, but