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The Legal Consequences of Canceling an Event Due to the Coronavirus

Web Admin - Monday, March 16, 2020

Schaumburg breach of contract lawyer coronavirusAs a result of the growing threat from the coronavirus, numerous events have been canceled, postponed, or modified out of fear that this virus might continue to spread and put attendees’ health in jeopardy. Some sporting events have been canceled or postponed, such as international rugby games, FIFA World Cup qualifiers, and the NCAA March Madness tournament. In addition, many sporting activities have adapted with the times: some events will not allow crowds, and most professional leagues in the U.S. have restricted locker-room access.

In terms of cultural events, the South by Southwest festival has been canceled. Annual St. Patrick’s Day parades in both Ireland and Boston have been canceled. In addition, many conferences and other educational opportunities have been canceled. With so many events being canceled due to the coronavirus, understanding how you can legally safeguard your company against such cancelations and postponements is critically important, especially when it comes to corporate law.

Breach of Contract and Force Majeure Provisions


The easiest way to make sure you are covered in case the coronavirus causes the cancellation or postponement of your event is to review your contract and see if it contains any force majeure provisions. A force majeure clause in a contract enables both parties to legally breach the contract. However, for something to be considered “force majeure,” it must meet the following requirements:
 
  • - The events must be unavoidable and unforeseeable.
  • - The events must not be a consequence of either party’s actions.

Most force majeure arguments imply there was an “Act of God” involved. Some examples of force majeure include:

  • - Unpredicted natural disasters like earthquakes and tornadoes
  • - A war or other type of massive violent activity like riots
  • - Government laws taking effect that prevent the event from taking place

What to Do if You Have to Cancel an Event Due to the Coronavirus


If your contract has a force majeure clause, you should check to see if it explicitly enumerates epidemics like the coronavirus as a possible reason for not being able to complete what is expected from the contract. In those cases, any breach of contract charge brought against you will probably be dismissed.

If, however, you do not have epidemics specifically spelled out in the force majeure clause, then you may need to defend against a breach of contract claim. If your contract has no force majeure clause at all, the case would revert to the common law doctrine of “impossibility of performance,” which states that an unforeseen circumstance has rendered your execution of the contract objectively impossible. When addressing these issues, you should work with an attorney to determine the best strategy for demonstrating that you should not be held liable for a breach of contract.

Upon reviewing your contract, if you find that there is no force majeure clause, or if the clause contained therein does not address epidemics, you may want to add that to a newer draft of that contract and all future drafts. If you enumerate epidemics in your contract, you will not be held in breach of contract. It is also a good idea to include contingency plans in case an epidemic like the coronavirus does cause you to cancel an event, such as plans for rescheduling.

Contact a Palatine Corporate Lawyer


The coronavirus is having a significant effect on the economy. This means that more events will be canceled, and more companies could be considered in breach of their contracts for not hosting a promised event as agreed to in the contract. If your business is faced with this predicament, contact an Inverness breach of contract attorney with the experience necessary to renegotiate your contract or prove that it is impossible for you to fulfill the obligations of your contract. Give Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, at 847-934-6000 a call for a free consultation.

About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/ commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.
 

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/article/cancelled-events-coronavirus.html

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/force_majeure

https://www.natlawreview.com/article/coronavirus-factors-insurance-industry-to-consider-part-2-event-cancellation-and

Registered Agents for Business: Why You Need One

Web Admin - Friday, October 18, 2013

In most states, including Illinois, business law requires corporate owners to have a registered agent represent their corporation or limited liability company (LLC). A registered agent is the third-party who is listed in the same state in which the business was established. This go-between is chosen to receive service of process notices, communication from the Secretary of State, tax forms, and lawsuits on behalf of the business.

According to the Illinois Limited Liability Company Act (805 ILCS 180/1-35), a registered agent’s name and location must be included in the paperwork filed with the state. This allows the public to access information about a business and to send any important documents to the agent registered for the company. This is especially useful for small businesses without a physical address. The state must have a physical address on file in case the business is served with a lawsuit.

How Registered Agents Help in Illinois

Not only is a registered agent the third-party representative for a business, but they stand as barrier between a business and the state government. This allows a business owner to focus solely on their corporate front. A registered agent in Illinois will accept tax or legal documents privately so business owners do not have to do so in front of clients.

An additional benefit is that a registered agent’s office address will remain the same even if a business moves to a new location. With a registered agent, there is no need to file more paperwork with the state for every Illinois business relocation. Opening a new business office in another state, however, presents more challenges. Every state requires a business to maintain a registered agent and registered office in that state.

Lawsuits can be complex and have serious consequences for missed deadlines. A registered agent is a qualified professional who knows the laws and regulations for the State of Illinois. Assigning the role of registered agent to a law firm can ensure that service of process is properly received and handled.

If you are interested in appointing a qualified law professional as your registered agent, contact a Palatine corporate law attorney today. Call 847-934-6000 to speak to a business lawyer serving the Northwest Suburban areas including Rolling Meadows, Buffalo Grove, Barrington, and beyond.


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