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Tolling Statutes of Limitations During COVID-19 Pandemic

March 25, 2020
Firm Memoranda

On March 13, 2020, President Donald J. Trump signed the Proclamation on Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak, pursuant to sections 201 and 301 of the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. § 1601 et seq. As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread throughout the United States, the federal judiciary and several states are rapidly rolling out orders restricting access to courts. The limited access to the courts will likely present novel legal challenges in the coming months and years in criminal and regulatory cases. Entities and individuals being investigated for potential criminal or regulatory liability may be faced with arguments by the Government that statutes of limitations that are about to expire should be extended in light of the coronavirus pandemic. With prosecutors and regulators working remotely and a skeleton court staff, this issue will likely be litigated in the coming months. This client alert reviews the legal constraints on tolling and extending statutes of limitations that are an inevitable result of this pandemic.

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Marc L. Greenwald
Phone: 212-849-7140

Benjamin O’Neil
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Joanna E. Menillo
Phone: 212-849-7050

Chris Tayback
Phone: 213-443-3170

Karl Stern
Phone: 713-221-7171

Jonathan Bunge
Phone: 312-705-7476