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Recent Blog Posts

  • Ohio passes law granting temporary civil immunity to businesses from COVID-19 lawsuits By Grant Stephenson    Ohio Gov. Michael DeWine signed House Bill 606 into law recently that addresses whether businesses reopening due to COVID-19 are subject to tort liability if an employee, customer, vendor or other person contracts COVID-19 while on the premises. My colleague Arslan Sheikh explains the law and what businesses it impacts in this blog on the Employer Law Report.   ... More
  • SEC amends definition of accredited investor By Grant Stephenson    The Securities and Exchange Commission has adopted amendments to Rule 501(a), Rule 215 and Rule 144A of the Securities Act of 1933 (Securities Act). These amendments are part of the SEC’s efforts to more effectively identify qualified investors and allow for expanded investment opportunities, while still maintaining appropriate levels of investor protections. My colleagues Jasmin Hurley and Ryan Steele explain in this blog on our Federal Securities Law Source blog. ... More
  • Aug. 31 deadline to rollover 2020 RMDs is quickly approaching By Grant Stephenson    Once a taxpayer reaches age 72 (or age 70 ½ if the taxpayer reached age 70 ½ prior to 2020), the Internal Revenue Code requires owners of most retirement accounts to withdraw minimum distributions (RMDs) from those accounts. To provide relief from the increased tax burden often associated with RMDs, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act waived RMDs for 2020. The CARES Act, however, was not made law until March 27, 2020 and any taxpayers... More
  • Ohio irrevocable trusts – Respite for trustees? Proposed legislation establishes optional process for extra-judicial claim resolution By Grant Stephenson    An advantage of an inter vivos revocable trust, which becomes irrevocable upon the settlor’s death, is that the trust typically avoids all probate court filings. However, the lack of filings with the probate court can also be a double-edged sword for trustees who wish for a swift absolution of all claims associated with an irrevocable trust’s administration in Ohio. The Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) recently approved a policy that will advocate for a change in Ohio law to... More
  • Paycheck Protection Program closes; new FAQs on loan forgiveness released By Grant Stephenson    The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is now closed to new applicants. While talks on extending or changing the program have stalled on Capitol Hill, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued 23 more frequently asked questions specifically related to loan forgiveness. These FAQs are contained in a separate list from the previously released FAQs last updated on June 25, 2020 that focused on PPP loan eligibility and similar questions. My colleagues Jack Beeler, Jack Meadows and Cat Rice explain in this... More
  • Updated guidance for lenders on the Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness process By Grant Stephenson    Although the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is still open to applicants, borrowers who received PPP loans earlier this spring are getting ready to request that their loans be forgiven, in whole or in part. Lenders are preparing for the influx of a new round of “paperwork.” However, many questions about the program remain unanswered. On July 23, 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA) tried to answer some of those questions by releasing new guidance on the forgiveness... More
  • Force majeure is the clause du jour in commercial leasing during the pandemic By Grant Stephenson    “Force majeure” clauses are enjoying their day in the sun this year. Historically a boilerplate contract provision that excused performance in the event of some “act of God,” “war or insurrection,” or other unforeseen calamity likely never to occur, force majeure clauses were for years more frequently invoked by contracts professors and bar examiners than in the real world. COVID-19 changed that. Now, as businesses across the economic spectrum grapple with unprecedented supply-chain disruptions, employee unavailability, mandatory quarantines, government shutdown orders,... More
  • Wage withholding in a remote working environment By Grant Stephenson    Employers generally must withhold income taxes on behalf of employees based on where the employee works. Typically this determination is simplified by the location of the employer’s offices. The COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding stay-at-home orders have altered the working situations for most Americans. Employers must now consider the impact of employees working remotely and confirm that income tax withholding is properly executed given these unprecedented circumstances. My colleague Gary Schulte explains in this Employer Law Report blog.   ... More
  • SBA issues two more borrower-friendly PPP forgiveness applications By Grant Stephenson    The Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued two new borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgiveness applications: the EZ Application and a revised Forgiveness Application. The changes come in response to the recent passage of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act as well as pressure to simplify the forgiveness process for borrowers. My colleagues Jack Beeler, Jack Meadows and Cat Rice explain the two new options and additional changes to the forgiveness program in this Porter Wright Law Alert.   ... More
  • Drop your pencils: The PPP Flexibility Act is here By Grant Stephenson    Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) borrowers across the nation have struggled to meet the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) guidelines, with many resorting to new and creative payroll expenditures to meet spending minimums and qualify for full forgiveness of the loan. On June 3, 2020, the U.S. Senate passed House Bill 7010, the “Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020”, which was promptly signed by the president the following day.  My colleague Cat Rice explains the PPP Flexbility Act in this... More