News

Mike Dodson Gives Insights on Title III of ADA at the ABA’s Annual RPTE Conference

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the activities of places of public accommodation.  In the past 7 years, the number of ADA Title III federal lawsuits has more than quadrupled, with 11,053 suits filed in 2019.  On May 15, 2020, Fishman attorney Mike Dodson participated in a panel that presented this important topic at the American Bar Association’s Annual Real Property Trusts & Estates (RPTE) National CLE Conference (The Virtual Experience 2020).  Mike discussed the applicability of Title III and key considerations, such as architectural standards for new and altered buildings, reasonable accommodations to policies, practices, and procedures, and effective communication with people with hearing, vision, or speech disabilities.  In addition, Mike explained various avenues to achieve compliance, pre-suit, and how to defend Title III claims in litigation.  Read about the presentation here.

 

Charles Landry Honored with Baton Rouge Visionary Award

Fishman Haygood Partner, Charles Landry, is honored by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation as the winner of the 2020 Marcia Kaplan Kantrow Baton Rouge Visionary award for using his skills and determination to implement the master plan for downtown Baton Rouge.  Charles helped the state consolidate its rented spaces into state-owned Art-Deco inspired buildings on North Street.  He was also central to the expansion of downtown hotels, beginning with the success of the Capital House Hotel.  Charles was also an early proponent of and the legal mind behind much of the Arts Block, including its early anchor, the Shaw Center for the Arts, and the many new restaurants and apartments that followed.  BRAF selects award winners whose vision and action fosters smart growth of the Capital Region based on New Urbanist principles.   Read more about Landry’s award in BRAF’s magazine Currents.

Summary of Paycheck Protection Program and Tax Relief and Incentives under the CARES Act

On March 25, 2020, the United States Senate passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) by a vote of 96-0. This federal stimulus bill appropriates $349 billion in loans to small businesses through the newly created Paycheck Protection Program under amendments to Section 7(a) of the Small Business Act (SBA).  The House of Representatives passed the CARES Act on Friday, March 27, 2020, and President Trump signed it immediately upon House passage.  Fishman Haygood has prepared this helpful summary that focuses primarily on the assistance to small businesses provided by the Paycheck Protection Program and tax relief and incentives under the CARES Act.

Is the COVID-19 Crisis a Force Majeure Event?

Many business owners are asking whether the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 constitute a force majeure event that may provide an excuse from performance of certain contractual obligations.  As Charles Landry recently told the Baton Rouge Business Report, there is no one-size-fits-all answer, business owners “have to look at their contracts and the specific force majeure language to see if this event is covered.”  Learn more here.

Making Sense of Louisiana’s Stay-at-Home Order for Businesses

In an effort to curtail the community spread of COVD-19, on March 22, 2020, Governor John Bel Edwards issued a “stay-at-home” order, requiring Louisiana residents to shelter in place until April 13, 2020, unless the order is terminated sooner.  Many Louisiana business owners have questions as to whether their businesses can stay open while the order remains in effect.  Businesses that provide “essential services” may remain open.  Businesses that do not provide “essential services” but have not specifically been ordered to close may remain open, but a 10-person limitation on “gathering size” applies.  These non-essential businesses may operate with a skeleton crew of fewer than ten people, with minimum contact with the public, and must engage in proper social distancing.  Learn more here.

COVID-19: The Current State of Affairs

The past two weeks in Louisiana have been filled with constant new developments and news articles related to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, the illness the virus causes. In response, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome, and other officials in the state have issued proclamations regarding COVID-19 and how it will affect business and government operations, events, taxes, prescriptive periods, and evictions.  Read our helpful summary here.

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Resources

Excessive Market Losses May Have Been Preventable

Because the overall market has performed well over the past several years, a great deal of investor losses and broker misconduct has gone undetected.  Many investors have lost money in the recent decline of the market due to COVID-19, but for some investors, negligence or other misconduct on the part of a broker or financial advisor has caused excessive and unnecessary losses that could have been prevented.  Fishman Haygood’s team of securities lawyers is here to help.  Click here for more information.

Maureen Gershanik Weighs in on Securities Law Implications of the Opportunity Zone Program

As more investors eye lucrative investment opportunities in Qualified Opportunity Zones, the SEC and state regulators will be monitoring securities activities associated with the program. Maureen Gershanik advises that, at the federal level, careful compliance with these four areas of securities regulations will help avoid costly violations that could delay or even prevent a transaction: Securities Offering Regulation, Broker-Dealer Regulation, Investment Adviser Regulation, and Investment Company Act Regulation.  Learn more in Maureen’s article that was recently published by the ABA Probate & Property Magazine.

CDFI Fund Opens 2019 NMTC Application Round

The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund today announced the opening of the calendar year 2019 allocation round of the federal new markets tax credit (NMTC). Applications are due October 28, 2019. The CDFI Fund anticipates announcing 2019 NMTC awards in summer 2020. The CDFI Fund provides resources including an introduction to the NMTC program, the NMTC program application, the Notice of Allocation Availability (NOAA), an Awards Management Information System navigation guide, an application FAQ and an application roadmap presentation here.

Economic Development Districts = Tax Dollars to Developers

Real Estate Developers in Louisiana can receive tax dollars to enhance projects through Economic Development Districts (EDDs).  EDDS are strictly defined geographic areas that are authorized and created by ordinance of the city or parish where they are located.  The vast majority of EDDs generate tax revenues for real estate developments from sales and use taxes and hotel occupancy taxes, though property taxes may also be used.  Read more about EDDs here. If you have questions about Opportunity Zones, contact John Werner or  Charles Landry.

CREW Comes to New Orleans: Leadership Summit for Women in Commercial Real Estate

Fishman Haygood and New Orleans CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women), welcomes CREW delegates from across the country for the 2019 CREW Network Leadership Summit.  This multifaceted meeting brings together the top leaders in CREW Network to learn from one another about chapter management, but also to learn from leading experts about the critical leadership skills that give you the business advantage.

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