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Summary of Live Chat 16 from July 10

(The VBA thanks LPMD Chair Cliona Mary Robb for compiling this summary.)

 

The 16th COVID-19 Law Practice Live Chat on July 10 featured these speakers and topics:

  • Jonathan Lazarow with Kaufman & Canoles, P.C., on the latest updates regarding SBA Paycheck Protection Program loans,
  • Margaret H. Ogden, wellness coordinator with the Supreme Court of Virginia, on resources to help cope with community unrest,
  • Torsten M. Kracht, a litigation partner with Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, will talk about the COVID-19 Complaint Tracker the firm has developed and litigation trends in the wake of the pandemic. The tracker has been getting international media attention, and
  • L. Steven Emmert of Sykes, Bourdon, Ahern & Levy, P.C., on this week's extension of and changes to the judicial emergency.
We have several subjects that we’re revisiting today to cover recent developments. But we also have an update on pandemic-related litigation and how one company is tracking cases being filed across the nation. I know that all lawyers, even non-litigators like myself, will find that of great interest.

Jonathan Lazarow with Kaufman & Canoles, P.C.: SBA Paycheck Protection Program loans

The last time I looked, which was probably 20 minutes ago, there is well over $130 billion available under the Paycheck Protection Program. These funds remain unspent and are to be dispersed to potential PPP borrowers.
The PPP application program was supposed to expire June 30, but on July 3 the President signed into law Congress’ PPP Extension Act, which extends the application date from June 30 to Aug. 8.

This means that businesses such as law firms and their clients can continue to apply for PPP loans. This extension does not provide a second bite of the apple. If you've already received a PPP loan, you're not eligible for a second one, but for many clients and maybe even law firms that were standing by the sidelines wondering whether they can open yet, this is an opportunity to apply for the PPP loans through your lender. You have 24 weeks to spend the money but you're getting only two and a half months of payroll. It's a great opportunity. The coverage period will not extend beyond the end of this calendar year.

Alison: Not to oversimplify things but didn’t the government say it’s not really going to scrutinize participants receiving less than $2 million?

Jonathan: That's correct.

Alison: So it's almost like why wouldn't you apply?

Jonathan: That's really been a question that Congress has asked itself. You know you keep the loans that are relatively small and there's a safe harbor there meaning they're not doing the full audits for loans under $2 million. I don't know why you wouldn't apply; this is a great opportunity. It's a way to help everybody out. It's a way to keep people employed, keep people off the unemployment line. Keep businesses alive and, hopefully, when we get a vaccine or when we continue to move through this process, we don't see much business contraction. I encourage everyone to apply because if you use the funds appropriately you get to use them for permitted business expenses, which we’ve talked about, the loan is going to get forgiven.

Alison: Well, I think it's interesting because in the beginning, there was such a flurry of activity, such a rush to get your applications in obviously including extension after extension. But, you know, people just don't seem to be talking about the program the way they were several months ago. And yet, when you look at the $130 billion number, it's like wow. Well, might as well go ahead and do it now. Things are a little bit calmer and I would think your chances of getting it and moving the process along will quite frankly be a lot easier than they were at the beginning. Anything else Jonathan that you need to add?

Jonathan: The only thing I would say is that there are rumors that there is going to be even an easier application process or forgiveness. That has not been approved yet by either the SBA or Congress, and both Congress and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin have indicated that there will probably be further progress. So, we might see a modification or an additional program like the PPP. We'll probably see some programs that are designed to help still smaller businesses since a mainstream lending program has not really been very popular. This is still a new area and something that we're tracking and we're trying to help our clients navigate the opportunities and how to get through this pandemic and the economic realities. You're always welcome to give me a call, and I'm happy to help and offer advice, where I can for you or your clients.

Alison: Thank you, Jonathan, I continue to cross my fingers that maybe they'll open it up to business associations like The Virginia Bar Association as a 501(c)6 to be eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program. I think we really could have used it, so we are tracking that.

Margaret H. Ogden, wellness coordinator with the Supreme Court of Virginia, on resources to help cope with community unrest

Alison: With that, let's turn to Margaret Ogden. Margaret, you're going to give us some resources to help us stay sane during these crazy times. We have a double whammy. The pandemic effect, as if that wasn't bad enough, and we have the anxiety of watching the news every day and seeing everything that's going on across the country, which adds to the usual stress of practicing law. It has really been a challenging spring and into the summer.

Margaret: Thank you so much Alison and thank you for having me back. This is my fourth time presenting on these calls, and I also attend and listen to them regularly. I think you're doing a great service for the profession.

One of the key parts of the Virginia lawyers’ Wellness Initiative is to destigmatize mental health and substance use issues in our profession. And the way we do that is talking with vulnerability and honesty about the difficulties that we face, and of putting down this constant veneer of confidence that we have to maintain. This is a place where we get to do that, so thank you for creating that for us. I think it's really important that we have that right now.

One of the real things I want to talk about today is what people have been calling cultural unrest, racial tension, whatever you want to call it. I live here in Richmond, in the Fan District, a block off Monument Avenue. So, I’m calling it the feeling in the neighborhood lately.

We've been pulling resources from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This community unrest, and then the ensuing distress that relates to the unjust treatment of individuals, particularly black and indigenous peoples in our neighborhood, has risen to that level of prominence. Now somewhat recently I have first-hand experiences with some clients who have experienced this. It can be used for discrimination and trauma or maybe for the first time.

We're just grappling with the loss of our sense of safety in our communities. This leads to feelings of overwhelming isolation, having trouble sleeping or difficulty concentrating. This can impact our performance as attorneys in our day-to-day role. Hearing these reactions when we witness community violence is normal. And I think talking about them is the first step to normalize. For many people, white attorneys, this may be our first time recognizing this. And the first and best thing we can do is listen. I'm thinking as a white person, a white attorney, I don't have the same experiences as my fellow attorneys of color do. One of the things I've been doing is just trying to hear other voices.

Our local universities have all put out wonderful statements in response to this. And when I read the University of Richmond one, Dean Wendy Purdue references Wendell Taylor, who is a University of Richmond law alum and now a partner at Hunton Andrews Kurth in Washington, D.C. He put out a 13-minute podcast called “Our Pain,” which focuses on using empathy to cope with trauma that we experience from racism. And the thing that is so compelling is that he talks about his own experiences with police. He actually tells an incredible story about being stopped and quoting Turner v. Ohio back to the police officer who is stopping him because he is currently briefing that case while interning at the Richmond City Commonwealth's Attorney's office. I urge you to take a listen, hear the voices of people of color, and grow from their stories.

I'd like to present some coping tips that come right from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The first thing is to really set a limit on your media consumption. And this is going to be social media, local news, national news, and to have the self-awareness to notice when checking on these updates is helpful, and when it becomes unhelpful. When it starts to become unproductive and more of an intrusive thought, talk to other people who understand and respect how you feel. This could be a family member, a faith leader, other people in your workplace or mentors outside of your workplace. Educate yourself on ways that you can help get involved. There's an idea I've seen up here of helping you from our lane. Not all of us can do everything, but understanding our roles and addressing racism in our community. And I think that statement from the Virginia Supreme Court is a really excellent call to action for attorneys. We have a particular role to play in ensuring access to justice, and the promise of equal justice under law.

Now taking it from an institutional to an individual perspective, really, we need to take care of ourselves first. That’s not selfish; it is part of our ethical obligations. And this is just basic: our sleep schedule, our diet, our exercise routine. If we do not have a solid foundation, it takes less to knock us out in it, and maintaining these regular routines to the extent possible is particularly helpful in these times.

Start with small doable steps that you can do to take action. Once you've kind of met your immediate needs, start focusing on control, agency and autonomy, which is really key to building resilience. One thing I've been learning a lot about is this idea of post-traumatic growth that we can all experience from collective trauma like the coronavirus and police brutality. And rather than let it turn us to despair, we can grow from it by learning and improving our situation. That is sometimes so Pollyannish, but there's a lot of really good research that backs that up when it comes to even working with veterans who have experienced post-traumatic stress.

Alison: Thanks again, Margaret. We certainly appreciate all your tips. And just increasing the awareness of the importance of mental health. We can't serve our clients well if we're not healthy ourselves, so thank you so much for that.

Torsten M. Kracht, a litigation partner with Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP on the firm's COVID-19 Complaint Tracker

Alison: All right, I'm going to turn now to Torsten Kracht, who is a partner with Hunton Andrews Kurth in Washington, D.C. He is a litigator and has been instrumental in helping Hunton with its litigation tracker. Hunton has a wholly owned subsidiary called Cognicion LLC that's based in Richmond. That is a data management and e-discovery firm that helps with large litigation and the like. They really have been tracking this litigation so when I was looking for someone to come on our call to tell us about what's going on in litigation right now across the nation, I was grateful to be introduced to Torsten. He has developed some expertise in this tracking area, and has been interviewed by various media outlets here and I think abroad. So with that, I will ask Torsten to jump in. Talk to us a little bit about the types of cases that you're actually seeing out there.

Torsten: I'll just talk a little bit about the history of the tracker and how it came about. Back in late February when it was clear that COVID-19 was getting outside of China and was already a very dangerous situation in Europe and was on its way to becoming one in the U.S., we started thinking about what kind of cases, what kind of litigations COVID-19 would give rise to.

One of the most immediate things we thought about were cases involving force majeure clauses because at that point it was quite clear that COVID-19 was disrupting trade. You're going to have supply chain issues, you're going to have sellers being unable to perform, etc. So we started doing a little bit of research into force majeure clauses and quickly saw that in the pandemic context there hadn't been any decisions since the turn of the century. The last two that we found were related to polio and cholera. And there really hadn't been anything interpreting pandemics as force majeure events in between.

What we wanted to do was track force majeure litigations to see how different courts dealt with the issue and whether they put pandemics into the force majeure bucket or not and if so, under what circumstances. As we thought about ways to do this systematically, it pretty quickly became clear that instead of just doing force majeure, there were some techniques and data gathering that we could use to capture all of the cases that relate to COVID-19 that are filed in the federal and state courts in the United States. We put that process into place with, as you mentioned, Cognicion, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of our firm.

Cognicion started out as a e-discovery shop. It since has expanded pretty broadly into doing legal technology work, and that includes managing structured databases of the kind that is behind the complaint tracker that we've built. Cognicion can not only track these cases but can also compile the data and analyze the data under all kinds of different constraints. We also wanted to put together a product that would be useful for our clients to understand what some of the trends were in COVID-19 litigation. My practice in particular includes a lot of retail clients and retailers, so, as you can imagine, I've been super interested in various aspects of COVID-19 related litigation from closure orders to personal injury and wrongful death cases to insurance issues. We worked with Cognicion to build a really friendly front end that would be easy for our clients to understand. We now have posted that publicly on the web for everybody.

You'll see a heat map of the United States that has a bunch of different statistics laid out. It's fully interactive so you can click on any part of the map, you can click on any of the data fields, and it all interacts with itself, and will help you narrow the data down and understand it, as you click through it. What we see today (July 10) is that we're up around 2,350 complaints (3,727 as of July 23) filed in state and federal courts around the country since the beginning of January. I believe the first case that was found related to COVID-19 was a case by an airline pilots union against an airline where they were petitioning not to fly certain routes into China. Then there was sort of a lull but once we get into March, litigation activity really picked up. On the bottom right page of our tracker, a timeline that runs from the end of January through the present. As you would imagine, there’s a progressive upward amount of litigation later. What we're seeing on most weekdays is anywhere from 25 to 50 new complaints being filed around the country.

The most litigation has been filed in court in New York, 764 cases, followed by California 431. And then, Florida 260, and Texas 227, and it drops off from there. Virginia is pretty light with 34 cases related to COVID-19. If you look down on the lower left hand corner of our public tracker page, we've broken the categories of litigation down into descriptors that we think are easily understandable by laypeople and also useful to our in-house clients.

When we started doing the tracker, we were using the federal code for the nature of suits that are on the civil cover sheet that gets filed with any new federal lawsuit. Over time, we thought those categories were a little overly technical in some cases. They really only apply to federal cases oftentimes, and were difficult to fit the state cases into. So we created this individual taxonomy that shows up on the lower left hand corner of our page that we think is more user friendly. What we see in terms of major categories of litigation is that insurance cases are out in the lead with about 820 cases (now 903) having been filed so far, and most of those were in the business interruption space. Those kinds of those cases have really taken off since May and continue to climb pretty steadily. Other major categories include what we're calling civil rights cases, and those primarily relate to challenges to business closure. They had stay-at-home bans, etc., as well as designations of businesses as essential or nonessential. There's a subcategory we’re seeing increasing activity as we get closer to November, and that's the voting category. So those are challenges to voting practices, either moving dates or locations or disallowing mail ballots, etc.

Other major categories, including one that was hot in the beginning but has somewhat tapered off a little bit concerns challenges to confinement. A lot of habeas petitions were being filed very early on by prisoners with underlying medical conditions who were saying it would be unjust to keep them confined and expose them to COVID-19 during incarceration because they were at a much greater health risk if they were to contract it.

Another category that may be particularly relevant to some of our business clients are consumer-related cases. Many of those are the false advertising or cancellation-type categories or continuing charging membership fee the gyms, for example, those sorts of cases. There are about 230 (now 254) of those.

Just to put all of the COVID-19 cases into context. There is one question that I've gotten a lot because we've had a lot of media interest in the tracker. On every media interview that I've had, invariably what the interviewer wants to establish is that there's a wave of COVID-19 litigation, a lot of COVID-19 litigation. And sometimes they have particular interests in categories like wrongful death cases or nursing home cases or personal injury cases when they're asking that question. One of the things that I normally say to put into context the amount of COVID-19 litigation is that every year in the United States there are over 300,000 cases filed in federal courts alone. So right now, COVID-19 cases are around 1% of all cases filed in the United States federal courts alone. And they are a far smaller percentage when you factor in how many cases are filed every year in state court. So, a big number of cases have been filed so far, only four and a half months into it. The number will continue to grow. But it's not astronomical.

Alison: I notice in the types of cases there are some cases it looks like that have been filed, not a lot, but 18 (now 20) on SBA loan processing. Have has anybody looked at those? Is that just like the banks not having done a timely submission or are they against the SBA?

Torsten: Yeah, I've taken a look at a few of those cases. All of them are along the same line. Early on there were a number of them that were challenging banks’ failures to process loans for people who are not their customers.

 

I’d welcome any questions. That's sort of the big overview of what the data is showing. What we're trying to do with the tracker now is to follow some of the litigation to see how it is playing out. What kind of decisions are coming out on motions. We're also exploring putting together a short bit of analysis that comes out every day or two on trends that we're seeing or shift to trends. So we're continuing to try to update the tracker and add useful features that are interesting.
Alison: This is available for the public and certainly for all lawyers. This is something that's updated regularly and would be a good resource. For us it's just a matter of interest but yYou just mentioned that you had put things together for your clients. So this tracker is important, I guess my question is, is there like any kind of service that you all do that’s sort of like Law360 where you summarize these cases or anything like that? What are you pushing out to your clients on this?

Torsten: Great question. If you notice on the right side of the page there's a button called Detailed Data. If you click on that, it requests the password, and so we have been giving that password out to our clients, and what's underneath that tab is a more detailed set of the data that's driving this database. It includes case summaries and some additional analysis. It's also a little more highly filterable and sortable. Different clients use it differently. Some clients have engaged us to do very comprehensive regular updates on litigation trends in the COVID-19 space, and we have some who just want to be kept abreast in certain categories of cases as they come in. We're putting that kind of information out to clients. We have not yet put together a more comprehensive general discussion of COVID-19 litigation trends on the site. One thing we're thinking about doing now that we have a lot of data is doing some analytics on it, and then doing some kind of running analysis on trends.

Alison: You had mentioned that some of the first cases you looked at were force majeure cases and that there really wasn't much on that in pandemics. Certainly not recently. Are you seeing more, just in the last couple of months. Are you seeing more foreclosures being filed?

Torsten: We are but not an overwhelming number and so it's been really interesting to watch that category against the others. I think the reason that we're not seeing a lot more foreclosure litigation yet, is that, and I say this based primarily on the work that I've done with a number of different clients that are in the middle of that issue on either side of it -- being the party that can’t perform to being the one who's been subjected to the other party not being able to perform. And I think what's happening is businesses are recognizing that their business partners are going through something really difficult right now just like they are, and they're trying to find business solutions rather than litigate issues, especially because they're going to have to continue with, in most cases, the business partners once it's all resolved. And they're unlikely if they switch to a new contract partner to get any sort of better result, because everybody's somewhat in the same boat.

If they can't work it out, I suspect there will be cases that we see being litigated up in the coming months. But as of right now I think a lot of businesses are still in this work-it-out, wait-and-see kind of mode. And the other area where we're seeing this is real estate cases. I think we'll see a lot of the rent abatement laws expire. Then I think we'll see also an escalation in a lot of real estate cases that we just haven't seen as many of as I would initially have expected so far.

Alison: It's very interesting how the larger law firms on their websites have a lot of free resources available to the public, including lawyers. There's a lot of great information out there. And I think it's really very generous of firms to share their expertise and their knowledge and whatnot with other lawyers, not just the public. Obviously there's a marketing aspect to that, but making resources available to other members of the profession is really fantastic. It's pretty cool, quite frankly that this litigation tracker is, at least the first level of it, available to all of us on your website. I think it's really great service for the public and for the bar to see that. So, I'm going to ask you one more question then I'm going to open it up to others. I think a lot of people don't know about Cognicion, which really helps with large case data.

Torsten: Yeah, that's exactly right. So, one of their sweet spots is, they can take a set of data, including one that already exists. For example, we have clients that have massive sets of sales data. Cognicion is really good at cleaning those data sets and also presenting them graphically, the same way that you see the tracker on the website. Cognicion is very good at making infographics that make big datasets really easily digestible and interactive.

Alison: And you had told me in our call earlier this week that that Cognicion actually has its own conflicts systems.

Torsten: Yeah, that's exactly right. They are operated independently. They have their own conflicts. And so yeah, it's entirely possible that they could take on an engagement from an outside law firm or client for a document, for example, or other projects. We would not then be able to use them in that, in that same case. If that's the answer and they would say no we can't take that work.

Alison: Well, I think, again, you know this is not intended to be a sales call. I think it's great for our members to know that that resource is available from Cognicion, and what they specialize in. I’m not sure all our members know about it, although Cognicion does come to VBA meetings and I'm sure other asssociation meetings. They clearly have it down to a science, which is a pretty good resource for lawyers to be aware is out there.

Question: I have a question about the detailed data is that available only to your clients because it says request password, which sounds like anybody could do it. But it could be just clients?

Torsten: Yes, it is just clients. The reason for that is some of the content that's in there is content that we buy under license. We can't make it publicly available because under our license we can share it only with clients. And then there's also just sort of some enhanced analytics and search functionality, etc.

Question: First of all, really, really interesting tracker with pretty robust data. I'm not even sure what sort of process you would go through to pull some of this data, but it seems impressive. Do you have any issues with your process on pulling some of this data because, in Virginia specifically, there are a lot of counties that public access to information online is sometimes not great on courts websites and your ability to search those? Sometimes it is just a plain PDF that you can't even search. Part two of my question is, do you have any thoughts or concerns that there might be a significant amount of false negatives out there, given the way that you go about pulling the data, or is that something that you don't have concerns about with the complaint data that you have?

Torsten: Yes. Great. It's a great question. So we update this every day around midnight. All courts online are updated daily, including federal and some states. For certain states’ courts, the data is not available for about two weeks at the outside edge because a lot of those have to be manually coded. We're using a variety of different vendors, components, data, and then we're compiling all that data.

As to whether there are false negatives? All of the cases relate to COVID-19 one way or another. In some it is more immediate than others, but all have some relationship to COVID-19: there are no cases that do not relate to COVID-19. We are pretty confident we have not missed cases, though some are not collected at first and the data is then amended. It’s possible we missed one or two. Our insurance group has its own searches set up and we compare that list with our list—we have flagged items only a couple of times. I don’t think we’re missing large number of cases. There’s a process of improvement that’s been going on for a while. When we find that cases that have not been collected using our existing methodologies, we’ve amended the process.

Alison: All right, Torsen. Thank you so much. I think we could talk for another hour on the subject. I think it's fascinating. I really am grateful to you for your time but also sharing this resource.

L. Steven Emmert of Sykes, Bourdon, Ahern & Levy, P.C., on this week's extension of and changes to the judicial emergency

Thanks Alison, last time I spoke about this two weeks ago we had three orders to talk about. This time it's about one but it's a whopper.

First, I'm going to go back to the Sixth Order which was entered on June 22. This is the one that's actually covering us right now as we speak, that extended the judicial emergency to July 19. It permitted non-jury proceedings, though deadlines were still tolled and that tolling of deadlines meant effectively the court system was still technically stopped: jury trials were still stayed in that order. But the Sixth Order contained hints that the ban on jury trials was waning. It directed Circuit Court chief judges to submit plans for safely resuming jury trials with a deadline of Aug. 17, which to me suggested that the Supreme Court was thinking about allowing jury trials after that Aug. 17 deadline, presumably around Aug. 30, which will be the expiration of the next 21 day order.

All that's gone now. Now we have the Seventh Order, which was entered two days ago on July 8, and the major news in that is that circuit courts can resume jury trials much sooner. Now. As long as they've submitted a reopening plan to a panel of three justices that has approved it. In the absence of a plan like that, you don't have any jury trials while this Seventh Order is in effect and that's through Aug. 9, although I do expect that it will be extended one more time after that, probably to the Aug. 30 time period.

The Seventh Order also ends the tolling of deadlines. This is the second major news about this order. And that includes the deadlines, by the way, that govern appeals, and the expiration of that is July 20. So we now know the full duration of the tolling period is from March 16 through July 19, that's 126 days. That's the number of days that you'll add to any deadline that hadn't expired before March 16. So if you had three days left on March 16, you get three more days after the expiration of this on July 19. One exception to that -- speedy trial deadlines in criminal cases are still tolled for now.

So at this point it's in the hands of the local courts. Assuming that they satisfy a panel of justices that their plan for reopening is safe, they can do so. You should expect non-uniformity from circuit to circuit because individual circuits plans will necessarily vary. Whether to honor a health-related request to continue a case is going to be up to the local courts, and I strongly suspect that the Supreme Court will extend substantial deference to those local judges who are on the ground, deciding whether those continuance requests are valid. But you're not going to be able to say anymore I can simply veto this by saying I'm not going to come to court. That tolling is going to end.

This probably isn't the last emergency order: I expect another one sometime before the expiration of this one on Aug. 9, but we're getting closer to the end of the line, the ending of tolling for deadlines. This clearly signals that the Supreme Court is getting ready to restart the engine soon.

Now, there's a caveat of that. I saw a news report that is less than an hour old that came out at 10:03 after we started this call. It reports a spike in the number of coronavirus cases in Tidewater. The number is actually dropping a little bit in Northern Virginia, where it was at its worst in Virginia, but now in Tidewater, two days ago we had a record of 261 new cases. This morning they reported the amount from yesterday, which is 351, so it blew past the previous one-day record.

The governor has indicated that if areas start slipping back, he might reinstitute Phase Two or even Phase One for those areas, and that theoretically could affect the ability of local judges to implement these safe reopening plans for jury trials. So it's not a foregone conclusion that just because you submit a plan, that it will automatically be effective. That being said, it does look as though the Supreme Court is about ready to allow local courts, assuming they have suitable protection for the jurors, for the litigants, for the witnesses, even for the judges, to go ahead and reopen.

Alison: Thanks, Steve, I wanted to just tag on to that those comments that I, as president of the Virginia Bar Association, and some of the other bar association leaders across the commonwealth did receive a memo from the chief justice saying that we have offered to help in the past in terms of trying to offer our assistance in thinking through some issues about resuming jury trials. Basically, the memo from the chief justice this past week says now's the time if you want to help to offer your assistance to the chief judges at the circuit court level. So I throw that out there because if you are a litigator and have thoughts on the best way for us to resume jury trials, you may want to get in touch with your local circuit court to see if you can play a role in trying to develop these plans, which again the deadline for those plans is Aug. 17. Some courts may have already submitted them. Any questions for Steve on the latest order of the Virginia Supreme Court?

Comment from Justice Kelsey
There is a very extensive guideline sheet for the chief judges to consider. The matters that we address are technical. Most of the source material comes either CDC or the Department of Health. So one suggestion you might consider for those who are tasked with the opportunity to help local courts develop plans is to start with that guideline list, because that's exactly what we're going to be looking at. What I really think would be helpful to the local judges, particularly the circuit court chief judges, is actually meeting with all of the stakeholders in the locality. The sheriff, the chief judge of the circuit. It's a complicated alliance that's necessary to pull this off.

Alison: Justice Kelsey, we appreciate your being on the call.

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