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In the first of our series of 19-minute teleconferences on the impacts of COVID-19, leaders of our COVID-19 Task Force discussed force majeure provisions and the doctrine of impracticability as they apply to commercial contracts in the United States.

Key Takeaways from the Teleconference Include: 

  • Consider establishing a process for assessing how force majeure will affect your business to include review of contracts and preparation of notices to customers and affected partners
  • Consider sending regular updates to customers but be wary of assuming they will count as notices under your force majeure clause
  • Send a force majeure notice before the breach occurs
  • The availability of a defense of force majeure depends on contract language and possibly, state law
  • Consider establishing and documenting allocation methods if products become scarce
  • We’re in uncharted waters here – no one knows how this is going to shake out. The law is sparse and in very different contexts

This document provides a general summary and is for information/educational purposes only. It is not intended to be comprehensive, nor does it constitute legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought before taking or refraining from taking any action.