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Andrews Myers
We Mean Business in Texas
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Andrews Myers Welcomes New Shareholder
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Emily W. Miller Joins Andrews Myers as a Shareholder in the Business Litigation Practice Group

Andrews Myers is pleased to announce that Emily Miller has joined the firm as a shareholder in the Houston office. Emily comes to the firm from Thompson & Knight where she was a partner.


Emily is an experienced trial attorney who represents clients in disputes involving energy, intellectual property, insurance, product liability, and real estate matters. Spanning numerous industries, including healthcare, energy, and manufacturing, she represents clients in complex state and federal business disputes such as contracts, fraud, negligence, trade secret protection, fiduciary duty, and corporate governance. She earned her law degree from Baylor Law School.


“Growing our firm’s business litigation practice group is a key component of our firm’s strategic plan to further our capabilities as a full-service business law firm. Emily’s litigation skills and client service makes her a great addition and moves the firm forward with achieving that vision. I’m also extremely pleased that our latest shareholder is a woman, reflective of our culture and diversity efforts at the firm,” emphasized Hiring Shareholder Tim Ross.


For Emily Miller's complete bio, click here; press release click here.
 

Please join us in welcoming Emily to Andrews Myers.

COVID-19 Updates
Majority of Texas Businesses at 50% Occupancy
by Billy Davis Announced two days ago, 17 of Texas’s 22 Trauma Service Areas (TSAs) were under COVID-19 “surge,” ensuring that more counties will have businesses with restricted occupancies, per Governor Abbott’s order, until hospitalization numbers can flatten for an extended period of time.
 
As a refresher, in October 2020, Governor Abbott issued Executive Order GA-32, which allowed for certain business establishments to operate at no more than 75% of the establishment’s occupancy during the pandemic. That occupancy limit is further restricted down to 50% occupancy in counties located in TSAs with “high hospitalizations” related to COVID-19. A TSA with “high hospitalizations” is defined as seven consecutive days in which the number of patients hospitalized because of COVID-19 exceeds 15% of total hospital capacity. The designation also means bars must close and elective surgeries must cease.
Read More ...
Contractors Supporting National Defense
by Lauren Scroggs The Defense Production Act (DPA), enacted in wartime 1950, gives the President the ability to direct private industry in order to meet the needs of a national public crisis. When the President invokes the powers of the DPA, he authorizes the federal government to use emergency acquisition powers to procure goods and services needed for the “national defense.” One such power allows for the application of priority ratings on government contracts and orders. 

Though limited exceptions exist, the government can require a contractor to accept contracts, if deemed a necessary material or service for the national defense. Upon receiving a priority rated order, the contractor must accept and provide preferential delivery/performance of the order to meet the specified delivery date. Contractors must give their subcontractors and suppliers notice of the priority rating, as they will have the same obligations under the priority order.

While the term “national defense” originally intended wartime activities, it recently became understood to include public health crises like the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More ...
 
Employment
Update on Independent Contractor Classification Test 
by Andy Clark  The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently finalized a rule designed to clarify the distinction between an independent contractor and employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Emphasizing that the “actual practice of the parties involved is more relevant than what may be contractually or theoretically possible,” the DOL set out the following five factors in making the determination.

The first two factors are “core factors” and receive the most weight with respect to the determination:
  1. Nature and Degree of Control over Work. If a worker exercises substantial control over key aspects of the performance of the work, including the worker’s schedule, selection of projects, and work for other entities (including competitors), the worker is more likely a contractor. The DOL has indicated that requiring a worker to comply with specific legal obligations, satisfy health and safety standards, carry insurance, meet contractually agreed-upon deadlines or quality control standards, or satisfy other similar terms that are typical of contractual relationships between businesses (as opposed to employment relationships) does not constitute control.
  2. Individual’s Opportunity for Profit or Loss. The worker is more likely a contractor if the worker has an opportunity for profit and loss. A worker’s potential for profit and loss depends upon the worker’s exercise of initiative or management of the worker’s investment in or capital expenditure on helpers, equipment, or material to further the work. If, instead, the worker only positively affects his or her earnings by working more hours or working faster, the worker is more likely an employee. Read More ...

Andrews Myers Starts New Morning Webinar Series!

Next week, Tony Stergio, will be sharing information for employers answering the big question: Can an employer require employees to get a COVID-19 vaccination?
Tony will guide attendees through policies and procedures that need to be put in place; laws to comply with; accommodations for non-vaccinated employees; and the legal liabilities related to all of these new processes.
Litigation & Arbitration
How TCRP Amendments Are Affecting You
by Claire Dykeman In accordance with two acts passed by the 86th Texas Legislature, the Texas Supreme Court issued Orders amending 22 Texas Rules of Civil Procedure (TRCP) throughout last year.

The 2020 TRCP Amendments achieve three main goals: (1) Increase the monetary threshold for Level 1 cases which expands Level 1 discovery rules and rules for expedited actions to a larger number of lawsuits; (2) Modernize the methods of alternate service of process, most notably allowing service of process by social media and email; and (3) Change the discovery process and revise the duration of the discovery periods to more closely resemble federal discovery rules requiring, without discovery request, parties to automatically serve initial disclosures, pre-trial disclosures, and expert disclosures and reports by certain deadlines.

The majority of the TRCP Amendments track with the federal discovery rules, but there are several changes that may affect state court practice more than anticipated and should be considered at the outset of a dispute.

Most of the amendments have already taken effect. Read More ... 
Bankruptcy
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Basics of Bankruptcy: They Filed for Bankruptcy, but Owe me Money
by Patrick Kelly  Have you been selling materials or providing services to a contractor that is paying late, or stopped paying altogether? Have you received a “Notice of Bankruptcy” from the tenant renting your space? Have you sued a company to collect what is owed, but received a “Suggestion of Bankruptcy?”

If any of these situations sounds familiar to you, you are not alone. In the time of COVID, corporate bankruptcies in the United States have hit a 10-year high. Along with iconic brands like JC Penney and Hertz, businesses of all sizes and industries continue to file for bankruptcy protections every day.

In a series of articles, Basics of Bankruptcy, the Andrews Myers bankruptcy team will walk through real world examples that your business may face to cut through the technical and seemingly unapproachable world of bankruptcy. In this first installment, we focus on four critical questions your business may encounter when a company you work with files for bankruptcy. Read More ... 

Andrews Myers & Elaine Howard Honored by ABC Houston

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Associated Builders and Contractors of Greater Houston (ABC) recognized Elaine Howard with Andrews Myers as the 2020 Board Member of the Year at the annual 2021 Inaugural Celebration. At the same event, ABC recognized Andrews Myers with the 2020 Member Company of the Year Award.

Andrews Myers is proud and humbled to be recognized by ABC Houston, both for Elaine’s achievements and the recognition as a firm. This association has been a wonderful resource for our firm and we are so appreciative of the relationships and the support we have seen from ABC Houston and its members.Elaine works hard for the board and her committees and we are happy to have her represent our firm with the great people of the association. Looking forward to another great year ahead!

Read the full announcement here.

About Andrews Myers
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Where to Find us Next Month
01/28 - SPONSOR RBI Now At Bat 
02/02 - AM Talks: COVID-19 Vaccinations in the Workplace with Tony Stergio
02/06 - ABC Central Texas Legislative Roundtable
02/09 - SPONSOR AGC Houston Sporting Clays
02/10 - WEB Network Presents COVID Vaccination in the Workplace with Tony Stergio
02/18 - AGC Houston Women in Construction Event
02/16 - HCA Presents Contractor's Guide to I-9's & Employee Verification Compliance with Tony Stergio
02/23 - AGC of Texas Presents Legal Contracting Issues with Clayton Utkov
02/25 - SPONSOR RECA Knock Out Night 
 
Founded in 1990, with offices in Houston and Austin, Andrews Myers, Attorneys at Law, is a corporate law firm and recognized market leader in Texas construction law.  The firm focuses on the concentrated disciplines of commercial litigation, construction, commercial real estate, corporate and business transactions, with additional emphasis on related issues including bankruptcy and insolvency, energy, employment and capital formation. A seasoned team of attorneys provides timely and cost-effective solutions to the most complex problems facing entrepreneurs and middle-market industry leaders throughout the state and the nation. For more information please visit www.andrewsmyers.com.

COVID-19 Updates
Andrews Myers attorneys have been tracking and updating the many changes that could effect you and your business throughout the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic. To see all of the articles and information you may have missed, please visit our dedicated COVID-19 page on the AndrewsMyers.com website. To subscribe to our newsletter, click here
 
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