For the first time since 1996, the U.S. government ground to a halt on Oct. 1, 2013. The House of Representatives and the Senate were at odds over funding and all signs pointed to a continuing bitter fight. A deal was finally struck late at night on Oct. 16, and President Obama signed the shutdown-ending bill just after midnight on Oct. 17. The National Law Journal and its sister publications at ALM provided coverage throughout the shutdown, from its effects on federal and district courts to candid reactions from prominent practitioners about the crisis and the resulting deal.



THE END: THE DEAL AND THE AFTERMATH


Federal Employees Sue for Damages Over Shutdown
The lawsuit doesn’t say how much money the plaintiffs are seeking. According to the complaint, the case could affect about 1.3 million employees who were “essential” during the shutdown.— Blog of Legal Times, 11/4/13

Shutdown Over, But Judges Wary
The budget deal Congress approved on October 16 included $51 million in additional funding for the judiciary. But judges and federal public defenders warned the money won’t do much to relieve the financial pressure they’re already under.— National Law Journal, 10/21/13

After Shutdown, ASUAs Re-Start Their Stalled Civil Cases
Many assistant U.S. attorneys who were furloughed during the government shutdown returned to work on Oct. 17 after Congress voted to fund the government through mid-January 2014.— Texas Lawyer, 10/21/13

Government Shutdown Hurt Employment, Economic Growth
Hiring took a hit in the United States during the federal government shutdown in October, with U.S. workers reporting job creation at its lowest level in seven months, according to a Gallup poll. An average of 35 percent of workers said their employers were adding jobs; 17 percent said they were losing colleagues.— Corporate Counsel, 10/18/13

Shutdown Averted, Courts Still Face Budget Woes
The federal judiciary never felt the full brunt of the 16-day government shutdown, since alternative funds allowed courtrooms and clerks’ offices to operate normally when other government operations stalled.— National Law Journal, 10/17/13

U.S. Business Community Lukewarm on Shutdown Deal
The U.S. business community gave a tepid endorsement of a deal worked out by Congress Wednesday to end the federal government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling, fearing the short-term agreement struck on the verge of a national default leaves the door open for another crisis in the coming months.— Blog of Legal Times, 10/17/13

Federal Judiciary Budget Increases in Last-Minute Budget Deal
The budget deal Congress approved late Wednesday to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling provides $51 million in additional funding to the judiciary and to federal defenders.— Blog of Legal Times, 10/16/13



WEEK THREE: WATCHING THE CLOCK


As Funding Deadline Looms, Courts Continue Shutdown Preparations
Federal judges across the country are pressing ahead with planning for the full effects of the government shutdown as lawmakers on Capitol Hill try to hammer out a deal to end the budget impasse. The federal judiciary is expected to exhaust alternative sources of funding to keep courts fully operational by the end of the week.— National Law Journal, 10/16/13

Payday Delayed For Attorneys For Indigent
Lawyers on the government payroll aren’t the only attorneys who have felt the pinch of the partial federal government shutdown. Private practice lawyers appointed by the courts to represent indigent criminal defendants also have been squeezed.— Daily Report, 10/17/13

H1-B Visas for Foreign Employees During the Shutdown
The ongoing government shutdown isn’t just putting federal employees out of work. Foreign workers in the U.S., especially those on H1-B visas, are being affected by the furlough too.— Corporate Counsel, 10/16/13

Law Schools Unperturbed by Budget Crisis—Well, Mostly
While the federal courts and agencies struggle with the federal government shutdown and impending debt ceiling deadline, the nation’s law schools mostly remain relative oases of calm, administrators said. One notable exception operates in the nation’s capital. — National Law Journal, 10/15/13

WEEK THREE: PUSHING BACK


Guantanamo Lawyers Fight DOJ Request for Shutdown Extension
Lawyers for detainees at Guantánamo Bay are fighting the U.S. Department of Justice’s attempt to push back filing deadlines because of the government shutdown. The detainees’ lawyers say the case, a dispute over access to counsel, is too important to delay.— Blog of Legal Times, 10/15/13

Catholic Priest Sues Defense Department Over Shutdown
In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Father Ray Leonard said he was told to stop providing Catholic religious services at the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Kings Bay, Georgia, even on a volunteer basis, or else face arrest. Leonard, who serves as a chaplain under a contract with the Defense Department, was one of hundreds of thousands told to stop working during the shutdown.— Blog of Legal Times, 10/14/13



NEARING WEEK THREE: MOUNTING FRUSTRATION


Federal Judges Push Back
Frustrated by the budget stalemate in Congress, many judges across the country declared all employees essential in the face of a shutdown—a bold but necessary move, the judges said, to ensure basic court operations past the judiciary’s funding date of October 17.— National Law Journal, 10/14/13

IP Institutions Crippled by Government Shutdown
While the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is still open for business, other major government agencies that handle IP disputes and issues related to competitive practices, such as the International Trade Commission and the Federal Trade Commission, have closed their doors. And international trade negations expected to include important IP provisions have been stalled as a result of agency shutdowns and furloughs. — Corporate Counsel, 10/14/13

Holder Seeks to Boost Morale During Shutdown
Calling the ongoing government shutdown a “very frustrating time for all of us,” Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. issued a letter Thursday to U.S. Department of Justice employees to try to boost morale.— Blog of Legal Times, 10/11/13

Senator Warns About Shutdown’s Harm To Judiciary
Senator Christopher Coons (D-Del.), in a Senate floor speech, said a number of federal judges this week told him they are spending time figuring out what the shutdown means for their courts and their employees “rather than doing the job for which they were confirmed, which is to judge cases.”— Blog of Legal Times, 10/11/13

Legal Services Lawyers See Shutdown’s Effects on Low-Income Clients
Civil legal services lawyers in the District of Columbia say that nearly two weeks in to the government shutdown, their low-income clients are hurting, from furloughed workers living paycheck-to-paycheck to retirees who can’t get help from shuttered federal agencies.— Blog of Legal Times, 10/11/13

U.S. Hotel Industry Finding Shutdown Inhospitable
Closed national parks, confused international travelers, and consumer uncertainty that have resulted from the U.S. government shutdown are costing the lodging industry more than $8 million per day, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) said Thursday.— Corporate Counsel, 10/11/13



WEEK TWO: ESSENTIALLY SPEAKING


Federal Judiciary Says Funds Will Last Through October 17
The judiciary has used fee balances to stay fully funded during the shutdown. An updated budget analysis found those balances will last longer than expected because of “bare-bones level” spending by the courts this fiscal year, according to an October 9 memo from U.S. District Judge John Bates in Washington, director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.— Blog of Legal Times, 10/10/13

Feds Interrupt Judgment Fund Payments
The federal government has put the brakes on payments by the Judgment Fund to resolve lawsuits against federal agencies, a review of government records shows. The last payment from the fund went out on September 27, according to records in the fund’s data base.— Blog of Legal Times, 10/10/13

Regulators to Lenders: Ease Up on Furloughed Workers
In a joint statement, the Federal Reserve, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., National Credit Union Administration, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said the hundreds of thousands of government employees who haven’t been paid since October 1 might have temporary difficulties making their payments on mortgages, credit cards, car loans, and other debts. Financial institutions should make available agreements that make it easier for creditworthy borrowers affected by the shutdown to pay their debts, the agencies said.— Corporate Counsel, 10/10/13

Amid Shutdown, Supreme Court to Hear Arguments
The U.S. Supreme Court ended uncertainty Wednesday about whether the federal government shutdown would delay arguments next week. The court will begin as scheduled, October 15. The justices’ announcement came less than a week before lawyers, scheduled to argue in the high court, were packing bags to head east or finishing moot courts.— National Law Journal, 10/9/13

During Shutdown, Your Call Might Not Be Important to Us
Federal agency phones are ringing off the hook with questions from in-house lawyers, but most calls are going straight to voicemail during the government shutdown.— Corporate Counsel, 10/9/13

D.C. Courts, Lawyers Feel the Pain During Shutdown
At the start of the government shutdown October 1, the federally funded District of Columbia court system announced furloughs for about one-third of its employees. Over the past week, though, the courts have started calling certain furloughed employees back to work to handle a crunch in operations.— Blog of Legal Times, 10/9/13

Who You Calling Nonessential? For Agencies, A Balancing Act
Essential versus nonessential. For millions of federal workers, it’s a critical distinction, and one that agency inspectors general are likely to take a close look at once the government shutdown ends.— National Law Journal, 10/8/13

How Should Food Companies Handle Safety During Shutdown?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been affected and has had to drastically reduce inspection of food manufactured in plants inside the U.S., as well as food imported into the country. — Corporate Counsel, 10/8/13

Op-ed: Congress, Look to the Supreme Court
The men and women who represent us in Congress should look out their windows at the marble palace across the street and consider whether they are ready to turn their backs on equal justice under law for all. — National Law Journal, 10/8/13

Judge, Lawyers Say Shutdown to Harm Judiciary
The last government shutdown in 1996 had a “debilitating” effect on court operations, retired U.S. District Judge W. Royal Furgeson Jr. told lawmakers on Capitol Hill today. Testifying in Washington, Furgeson said the judiciary, already grappling with budget cuts from earlier this year, will find it “much more difficult” to cope if the shutdown continues.— Blog of Legal Times, 10/8/13



ALTERNATIVES, LESS THAN IDEAL


Government Shutdown Puts Law Student Externs on the Street
Randall Miller is a law student with time on his hands. Since mid-September, the 3L at Washington and Lee University School of Law had been spending fours day per week in an externship with the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission in Washington. Then came the government shutdown.— National Law Journal, 10/7/13

Pa.’s Federal Courts Brace for Impact of Shutdown
A week away from the expected end of funding for the federal courts if the government shutdown continues, district courts across Pennsylvania and the Third Circuit are taking different approaches to planning. — The Legal Intelligencer, 10/7/13

Shutdown Delays Judicial Confirmation Process
The government shutdown is delaying the judicial nominations process, postponing a confirmation hearing and a committee vote on one of President Obama’s picks for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.— Blog of Legal Times, 10/7/13

No Hearings Postponed As D.C. Circuit Presses On
Citing the government shutdown, U.S. Justice Department lawyers urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to postpone certain cases set for hearings last week and through the end of this week.— Blog of Legal Times, 10/7/13



SUNDAY SERMON: STOP THE RHETORIC


A Plea for Civility at Annual Red Mass in D.C.
Top officials of all three branches of government, in attendance at the annual Roman Catholic Red Mass in Washington on Sunday morning, heard a sermon decrying the climate of “highly polarized and polarizing rhetoric” that engulfs the nation’s capital.— Blog of Legal Times, 10/6/13



WEEK ONE: SCALING BACK


Lawmakers Sound Alarm Over Shutdown’s Blow to Judiciary
Democratic lawmakers are raising increasing concern on Capitol Hill about the harm the government shutdown will impose on the federal judiciary, which is expected to run out of operating funds October 11.— Blog of Legal Times, 10/5/13

Zero Hour Near For the Courts
The nation’s federal courts expect by October 11 to exhaust funding reserves that so far kept workers at their desks. Federal judges at that point would continue to work, but each appellate, district and bankruptcy court across the country would have to decide just how much to scale back — from clerk’s office staff and human resources to information-technology teams.— National Law Journal, 10/7/13

Shutdown Cuts Off Guidance to Firms, Stalls Cases
For New York attorneys who regularly do business with the federal government, last week’s shutdown produced a frustrating loss of momentum. Activity at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the International Trade Commission and other agencies largely ground to a halt. Meanwhile, with many government lawyers on furlough, the courts began deferring civil cases, a blow to clients eager for a quick resolution.— New York Law Journal, 10/7/13



DAY FOUR: NO END IN SIGHT


Managing Partners Wary of Shutdown, Debt Ceiling
A short-term government shutdown isn’t likely to cut into law firm profitability, several Washington managing partners said in interviews about the ongoing impasse on Capitol Hill.— Blog of Legal Times, 10/4/13

Shutdown Isn’t Stopping Supreme Court or Solicitor General’s Office
The high court itself has announced it will “continue to conduct its normal operations” at least through October 11, drawing from available funds as has the rest of the federal judiciary. None of the nearly 500 court employees has been furloughed.— Blog of Legal Times, 10/4/13

White House Supports Bill to Compensate Furloughed Employees
Congress and the White House both support a bill now moving on Capitol Hill that would retroactively compensate government workers put on furlough during the shutdown.— Blog of Legal Times, 10/4/13

GOP, White House Offer Clashing Views on Debt Ceiling
President Barack Obama has the power to avert a default on the nation’s $16.7 trillion debt without Congress raising the debt ceiling, preventing what the U.S. Treasury Department said could be the worst recession since the Great Depression, a senior U.S. House of Representatives Republican said Friday. — Corporate Counsel, 10/4/13

Shutdown Delays D.C. Judge’s Swearing-In Ceremony
Robert Okun, one of the District of Columbia Superior Court’s newest judges, has been serving on the bench for several months, but he’ll have to wait another few weeks for his formal swearing-in ceremony. Blame the government shutdown.— Blog of Legal Times, 10/4/13

PTO Stays Open, But Cancels Conference Due to Shutdown
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office may be one of the few federal agencies that has not closed its doors during this week’s government shutdown, but it is not quite immune to the consequences of the ongoing budget battles in Washington, D.C. The PTO has canceled its 18th Annual Independent Inventors Conference, which was set for October 11-12 in Alexandria, Virginia.— Corporate Counsel, 10/4/13



DAY THREE: STARTING TO WORRY


Nation’s Chief Judges Brace for Shutdown’s Full Force
Unlike most federal agencies, the federal judiciary found money to keep federal courts nationwide fully funded for the first two weeks of the government shutdown. As the end of the first week approached with no budget deal, though, chief judges of federal trial and appellate courts across the country grappled with what to do once the money runs out.— National Law Journal, 10/3/13

U.S. Treasury Issues Dire Warning on Debt Ceiling
The U.S. economy could plummet into the worst recession since the Great Depression if Congress fails to raise the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling before October 17, according to a U.S. Treasury Department report released Thursday.— Corporate Counsel, 10/3/13



DAY TWO: THE NEW NORMAL?


Lobbyists Face Uncertainty Amid Shutdown
The government shutdown has posed significant challenges for lobbyists, as they field a flurry of client questions about what will happen and how it will affect future legislation on Capitol Hill. — Blog of Legal Times, 10/2/13

Lawyers React to Shutdown: ‘Reach for Federalist Papers’?
When the The National Law Journal asked prominent practitioners about their reactions to the federal government shutdown on October 1, here’s what they had to say.— National Law Journal, 10/2/13

EEOC Files Flurry of Cases Before Government Shutdown
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shut down with a bang, filing eight discrimination suits on September 30, the last day of the fiscal year—and the last day that the agency was open for business before the federal government shut down.— National Law Journal, 10/2/13

Frustration for Many Turned Away From Immigration Court
On Tuesday morning, many were turned away from 26 Federal Plaza, unaware that hearings and other proceedings involving non-detainees have been put on hold pending the breaking of a stalemate over the budget on Capitol Hill. — New York Law Journal, 10/2/13

An FAQ on the Government Shutdown
Today, the US government partially shut down. Most everybody knows why: Republicans in the House of Representatives are insisting on a measure that will delay or defund ObamaCare in exchange for funding government operations. How long this impasse will last is anyone’s guess, but the ramifications could be significant. Following are some FAQs about the shutdown and how it may impact the commercial real estate industry.— GlobeSt.com, 10/2/13

Government Contractors Eyeing Shutdown Warily
As the shutdown of the federal government went into effect Tuesday morning, experts said that the biggest impact on U.S. business will be felt by government contractors—from big defense contractors like Lockheed Martin Corporation to small companies that provide food or services to government agencies. — Corporate Counsel, 10/2/13

Intelligence Officials Warn of Consequences of Shutdown
The consequences of the government shutdown, now in its second day, are becoming increasingly more dire, James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, told the Senate Judiciary Committee at an oversight hearing today. — Blog of Legal Times, 10/2/13

In Shutdown, Government Contracts Lawyers Confront Challenges
Government contract lawyers in Washington were counseling clients in the days before the government shutdown Monday at midnight. The chief concern for clients and attorneys: the longer the shutdown goes, the more complicated the legal issues will become. — Blog of Legal Times, 10/2/13



DAY ONE: THE IMMEDIATE FALLOUT


Shutdown Strikes U.S. Lawyers and Agencies, Delays Litigation
Legal business in Washington and beyond took a hit on the first day of the federal government shutdown, with more than 1,000 Department of Justice lawyers across the country home without pay. — National Law Journal, 10/1/13

Amid Shutdown, DOJ Urges Judges to Stay Civil Cases
Federal prosecutors across the country started filing requests for extensions in civil cases in anticipation of the shutdown. Litigation in Washington would be uniquely affected, since federal agencies are often sued in the federal district court here. — Blog of Legal Times, 10/1/13

D.C. Courts to Furlough One-Third of Employees During Shutdown
With the federal government officially shut down, about one-third of employees in the District of Columbia’s federally funded local court system were furloughed. Judges and other employees in the D.C. Superior Court and D.C. Court of Appeals who are needed to process cases are considered exempt from furloughs, but several hundred administrative staff and other employees will be home without pay. — Blog of Legal Times, 10/1/13

In Shutdown, Wheels of Justice Bump Along
The impact of the federal government shutdown became readily apparent Tuesday morning when attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice, citing the budget drama, asked a judge to pause the antitrust trial targeting social commerce company Bazaarvoice. — The Recorder, 10/1/13



PREPARING FOR THE WORST


Regulators Set Plans for Government Shutdown
From the U.S. Treasury Department to the Export-Import Bank of the United States, agencies in all corners of the federal government were preparing for a possible shutdown.— Corporate Counsel, 9/27/13

In Government Shutdown, Civil Litigation Takes Hit
The U.S. Department of Justice would curtail or postpone civil litigation during a government shutdown and would furlough 17,742 employees, or about 15 percent of its workforce, according to a contingency plan. — Blog of Legal Times, 9/30/13

U.S. Courts Brace for Operating in a Shutdown
U.S. court officials in New York braced for a possible government shutdown that could eventually leave employees unpaid and operations dramatically diminished. — New York Law Journal, 10/1/13



FORECASTING THE DAMAGE


Health Care Attorneys Watch Capitol Hill Budget Battle
Health care attorneys and their clients are less worried about a government shutdown than any changes to the Affordable Care Act that might come out of budget negotiations. — Blog of Legal Times, 9/30/13

Government Shutdown’s Effects To Be Far-Reaching
The pending federal government shutdown is estimated to cost taxpayers an estimated $21 million a day. What isn’t included is the cost to businesses that rely on the government to make a living. — Daily Business Review, 9/30/13

U.S. Business Groups Worry About Shutdown, Debt Ceiling
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and 250 other business organizations from across the country sent a letter to Congress hours before the shutdown went into effect on Tuesday, urging them not only to agree to legislation to fund the government, but also quickly raise the nation’s debt limit. — Blog of Legal Times, 10/1/13