Will The Federal Shutdown Have Implications For Commercial Litigation?
The government shutdown is now the longest in U.S. history, spawning issues with federal agencies and setbacks in litigation.
According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, federal courts could only sustain paid operations until January 18th—it is now past that date. So, what does this mean for your practice? IMS spoke with elite experts in economics and finance for perspective on how the shutdown is impacting litigation. Despite the standstill, many experts don’t foresee a long-term effect stemming from the shutdown.
“From my perspective, zero effect. There will be an effect for attorneys doing securities work as the SEC has only limited people working,” states William Purcell—an IMS Elite Expert in investment banking. Since December 27th, 2018, the SEC has operated with most employees on furlough per accordance with the agency’s plan. However, there is staff on hand to handle emergency situations including investor protection and market integrity. According to the SEC, most matters of litigation are at a halt. Although, there are matters that “continue in order to comply with schedules that have been set by domestic and foreign courts and/or to avoid a delay that would prejudice the Commission’s litigation position.”
Cases involving the U.S. Department of Justice are already being delayed, as criminal cases are prioritized due to public safety. Although the degree is unclear, every court, including the U.S. Supreme Court, will be affected. Many of the courts have granted suspensions or stays in litigation. However, the shutdown is being handled differently from district-to-district and judge-to-judge.
“In the short-term, the impact of the shutdown is minimal,” opines IMS Elite Expert in securities, Dan Castro. “In the long-term, the shutdown in and of itself does not look like it will have any lasting effects. However, if any legislation arises from the shutdown, that could have a long-term impact.”