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Coping With a Pandemic: Duane Morris' Seth Goldberg

By Seth Goldberg
May 14, 2020

photo of attorney Seth Goldberg

Seth A. Goldberg

As society continues to adapt to COVID-19, Law360 is sharing reactions from around the business and legal community.

Today's perspective comes from Philadelphia-based Seth A. Goldberg, a partner at Duane Morris LLP and leader of the firm's cannabis practice group.

What challenges has the pandemic created in your specific area of work?

From a pure business standpoint, the pandemic has been bittersweet for the cannabis industry. Many of our clients have fared well because state-licensed medical marijuana businesses have been deemed "essential" in all states that have legalized medical marijuana. However, as in every industry, the pandemic has created workforce issues and has also impacted performance.

State-licensed cannabis operators and businesses that support those operators have largely been deprived the COVID-related federal assistance like the Payroll Protection Program, and that has been a challenge for some of our clients. Cannabis businesses are further burdened by tax issues, limitations on bankruptcy, and inadequate access to traditional banking and capital, which may compound the challenges posed by a pandemic-spurred economic downturn.

An upside is that the demand for cannabis is likely pandemic-neutral, so there is no reason to believe the cannabis industry won't navigate through these choppy waters.

How are you and your family adapting at home?

It's fun, especially if you like practicing law while teaching fourth-grade math, negotiating screen time for two 13-year-olds, and keeping a college-bound senior interested in completing high school remotely. A breakthrough was convincing the four kids that the internet on their laptops would be faster if they turned the wifi on their cellphones off!

What is the most creative or productive response to the crisis you've witnessed so far?

My daughters insisting that buying three "fancy mice" would be a good substitute for friends and classmates.

Duane Morris has developed a tremendously responsive and informative COVID-19 task force that is, on a daily basis, providing incredibly insightful information about all aspects of the legal issues and implications of the pandemic, including contractual, employment, insurance and health care issues. Every day they are publishing new alerts and information about COVID-19-related legal issues, and have expanded their traditional subject matter expertise to encompass COVID-19.

Reprinted with permission of Law360.