Partridge Snow & Hahn partners Christian R. Jenner and Paul M. Kessimian presented at the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Rhode Island Bar Association on June 23, 2021. The presentation—entitled What Now? Contract-ing COVID — included a survey of the pertinent law as well as a panel discussion of recent cases (from Rhode Island and elsewhere) involving legal issues arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic. The panel discussed the doctrines of impossibility, impracticability and frustration of purpose discharging contractual obligations, as well as how “force majeure” and “hell or high water” contract clauses impact the default legal rules. Real world cases arising out of the pandemic furnished examples that could potentially apply to any unforeseen type event, and how such events could impact the enforcement of contracts.
Paul and Christian were joined on the panel by former colleague Christopher Lisy, who is a disputes partner in the Boston office of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP.