At 5 p.m. March 19, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf released a short proclamation ordering that all nonessential businesses close in response to the rapid transmission of the novel coronavirus.

When Fox Rothschild chairman Mark Silow saw the order, he immediately began scrambling. Not because the mandate came as a surprise—the firm has offices all over the country and similar orders had been filed in states such as California—but because the terse letter made no carve-out for law firms as essential businesses. What did this mean for the courts? What about the small skeleton crews that had been popping into the office to collect mail and maintain the servers that were working hard to keep the entirely remote firm connected?

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