During these challenging times, Severson & Werson remains open and in full operation, consistent with the firm’s previously established contingency planning. While many of our attorneys and staff will be working remotely, as a firm, we continue in full operation. We are here to help, as always.

News, Publications & Events

Employers have been facing unprecedented issues  with very little guidance from federal or state authorities. Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have provided guidance for COVID-19 screening and business reopening protocols, inevitable wage and hour implications have been largely left out.  Moreover, courts provide… Read More

On May 1, 2020, plaintiff Hyde-Edwards Salon & Spa moved to create a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California combining almost a dozen class actions over defendant JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A.'s handling of loans available through the federal Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) under the CARES Act. Another motion by plaintiff Cyber Defense Group seeks to transfer the cases… Read More

Employees who return to the workplace after months of teleworking in the comfort of their own homes will likely be anxious about working in close proximity with their co-workers and may draw inappropriate conclusions regarding which co-workers are more likely to contract or spread the virus to others in the workplace. In anticipation of these issues, employers must take reasonable… Read More

Labor & Employment In recent weeks the Small Business Administration (SBA) has taken important steps to clarify key, but otherwise not well understood provisions of the PPP enacted under the CARES Act. Most recently, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (PFA) was signed into law. The PFA appears both to supplement and possibly supersede some of the prior… Read More

Financial Services On April 23, 2020, California Governor signed Executive Order N-57-20, which exempts garnishment for any individuals receiving federal, state or local government financial assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including payments under the CARES Act. Executive Order N-57-20 was issued pursuant to the Governor’s powers to suspend regulatory statutes and agency rules during a state of emergency.… Read More

On May 8, 2020, Seto Marselian, d/b/a Bistro Pazzo filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S District Court for the Northern District of California against its lender. (case number 3:20-cv-03166.) Plaintiff is represented by Bottini & Bottini, Inc. Plaintiff is a restaurant owner who submitted a PPP loan application to its lender, and alleges that the lender wrongful denied… Read More

On April 3, 2020 Profiles, Inc. and other small businesses filed a putative class action against their lender for alleged discrimination arising from the denial of loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (case no. 20-00894.) Plaintiffs are represented by Rifkin Weiner Livingston Levitan and Silver LLC. Specifically, plaintiffs allege that their lender wrongly prioritized the applications of its existing customers… Read More

On March 16, 2020, plaintiffs James and Lisa Shuff sued their lender in the Southern District of West Virginia (case no. 20-cv-00184.) Plaintiffs are represented by Mountain State Justice, Inc. The complaint is a purported class action which seeks “to temporarily stop foreclosures in West Virginia during the national emergency caused by the spread of the COVID-19 virus.” Plaintiffs allege… Read More

Financial Services Law A bill now before California’s legislature would require servicers suspend borrowers’ payment obligations on home loans for a year and for six months or more on car contracts or loans. The bill would also ban foreclosure, eviction and repossession until six months after the date of the state declares an end of the COVID-19 emergency. [1] Assembly… Read More

Labor & Employment Once you’re ready to bring back employees to the office, how will you decide who to bring back and when? Generally, the return of the workforce will likely occur in a phased approach. As a business, it is imperative that you consider the following issues to develop a thoughtful and impartial approach to regaining your workforce: Will… Read More

Labor & Employment The COVID-19 pandemic forced countless businesses into a near daily cycle of adjustments and adaptations, all with the overarching goal of protecting their employees while enduring the emergency measures taken to contain the virus. Now, states and local governments have begun to ease their blanket shelter in place restrictions. Is there anything businesses should do now while… Read More

Labor & Employment What are the implications around screening and testing in the workplace that employers must be cognizant of as they strive to comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? Although pandemic preparedness in the workplace and its intersection with the ADA is not necessarily a novel concept (in fact, the EEOC recently updated existing guidance on… Read More

Financial Services Law On March 27, 2020 the President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The statute is the largest economic stimulus in the nation’s history—totaling more than $2 trillion—and was designed to provide significant financial and regulatory relief in response to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis. Like many of the other sweeping… Read More

Construction Law As we experience and emerge from “the great shutdown” of 2020, things have and will change in all aspects of life – including the design and construction process. Nowhere in the design and construction interface and transformation has the impact been greater than with respect to on-site design engagement during construction. Designers, contractors, and owners have all had… Read More

Construction Law In this (or any other) time of social and/or business disruption, delays, or shutdowns, focus frequently goes to the scheduling clauses contained in design and construction professional service agreements. One common phrase frequently used in such agreements is “time is of the essence.” In ordinary times, the phrase garners little attention. In times of disruption, delay, and shutdown,… Read More

On April 20, 2020, Legendary Transport, LLC brought a class action against several national lenders.  The complaint was filed in the United States District Court Central District of California (case number 2:20-cv-03636-ODW-JC). Plaintiff is a small business that applied for a PPP loan with one of the Defendant-lenders.  Plaintiff claims that all of the Defendants prioritized loan applications of “favored… Read More

On April 27, 2020, Informatech Consulting Inc., filed a class action lawsuit against a national lender in the United States District Court, Northern District of California (case number 4:20-cv-02892-DMR).  Plaintiff is represented by Greg Coleman Law PC, Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P., and Whitfield Bryson LLP. Plaintiff provides consulting services to FDA regulated industries.  Plaintiff alleges that the defendant-lender was required… Read More

On May 5, 2020, Studio 1220, Inc., filed a class action lawsuit against a national lender and an affiliate in the United States District Court, Northern District of California (case number 3:2020cv03081).  Plaintiff is represented by Keegan & Baker, LLP. Plaintiff is a small business that operates a chain of clothing stores. Plaintiff claims the defendant-lender and affiliate failed to… Read More

On April 27, 2020, Plaintiff American Video Duplicating, Inc., Tush Law Ltd., and Kenneth M. Hahn (dba Cal State Financial) filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court, Central District of California (case number 2:20-cv-03815-ODW-AGR) against a number of defendant-lenders.  Plaintiffs are represented by Geragos & Geragos APC, Graylaw Group, Inc., and Dhillon Law Group Inc. Plaintiffs… Read More

On April 19, 2020, Plaintiffs Law Office of Sabrina Damast, Eye Land Optometry, BNG Restaurant Group Inc., and Umezu Enterprises LLC filed their putative class action in the United States District Court, Central District of California (case number 2:20-cv-03591) against a national lender. Plaintiffs are represented by the Stalwart Law Group. Plaintiffs are small businesses located in Southern California who… Read More

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