About Jim Butler


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Hotel Lawyers -- featured subjects and articles
Meet the Money® 2014

ADA defense and compliance

EB-5 financing

Workouts, bankruptcies & receiverships

Hotel Management Agreements

Hotel Franchise & License Agreements

Hotel industry trends

This is Jim Butler, author of www.HotelLawBlog.com and hotel lawyer. Please contact me at Jim Butler at jbutler@jmbm.com or 310.201.3526.

Published on:

16 November 2021

See how JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® can help you.

LOS ANGELES—The Global Hospitality Group® (GHG) of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (JMBM) has released an updated version of its Hospitality Credentials, detailing unsurpassed experience by providing representative clients and properties the GHG has worked on over the past 30 years. These Credentials show how the GHG has helped clients with more than 4,500 hospitality properties, valued at more than $112 billion.

Some notable accomplishments by members of the GHG over the last 12 months include:

  • Workout, recapitalization and repositioning of a $1 billion mixed-use lifestyle hotel project
  • Sale of a NYSE-traded hotel REIT’s entire portfolio of 15 upscale, select service hotels for $305 million
  • Closing more than $210 million in Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy loans (C-PACE)
  • Assisting clients with hotel management and franchise agreements for properties worth more than $1.5 billion
  • Serving as primary counsel for lenders on more than $2.2 billion in distressed hotel, retail and office loans during the global pandemic, including over $500 million for a single client


Published on:

2 November 2021

See how JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® can help you.
Click to see our category-killer experience with hotels. See also our distressed loan credentials. And click here for the latest blog articles on loan modifications, workouts, bankruptcies and receiverships, and here for The Lenders Handbook for Troubled Hotels.

Join JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® at Fishing for Solutions 2021 

The Global Hospitality Group® is pleased to sponsor and participate in Fishing for Solutions, the conference dedicated to servicing defaulted hotel loans hosted by Prism Hotels & Resorts. This is the conference’s 16th year.

Guy Maisnik, Partner and Vice Chair of the Global Hospitality Group®, will moderate a session for the program titled “Hotel Receiverships / Receivership Sales” alongside a panel of experts on November 4 at 1:15pm.

Fishing for Solutions is an educational seminar and social gathering strictly limited to Special Servicers, Bank Special Asset Specialists, Debt Fund Asset Managers and Life Company Loan Asset Managers. Conference attendance is complimentary.

You can learn more and register here.

Panel Lineup for “Hotel Receiverships / Receivership Sales”

  • Guy Maisnik (Moderator) is a Partner and Vice Chair of the JMBM Global Hospitality Group. Guy has over four decades of commercial real estate transactions with a strong expertise in hotels and finance.
  • Chris Chauvin (Panelist) is a partner at Holland & Knight. Chris represents clients before federal and state trial and appellate courts. He focuses his practice on litigation, arbitration and counseling on matters involving real estate, including real estate capital markets, with an emphasis on special servicers in the commercial mortgage-backed security market.
  • Jim McGee (Panelist) is an Attorney at Munsch Hardt. Jim’s practice focuses on commercial litigation including a concentration on representation of state court and federal equity receivers, director and officer litigation, financial services representation, lender liability defense and creditors’ rights. Jim has substantial experience representing both State and Federal receivers appointed in securities fraud cases. He has more than 15 years of experience in representing financial institutions consisting of commercial mortgage lenders and servicers, national banks and insurance companies.
  • John Bailey (Panelist) is the Chief Financial Officer of Prism Hotels & Resorts. As Prism’s CFO, John leads the financial management functions of Prism’s management and investment business, including risk management, legal, and receivership administration. His professional responsibilities also include supporting Prism’s new business development team, serving as court appointed restructuring officer for high profile bankruptcies, and chairing Prism’s investment committee.


Published on:

13 October 2021

See how JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® can help you.
Click here for the latest articles on C-PACE Financing.

The Global Hospitality Group® of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (JMBM) is pleased to announce that their team has completed $210 million in C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing transactions in the past 12 months, for hotel, retail and multi-family real estate clients. Led by Senior Partner David A. Sudeck, the Group has worked on both the lender and borrower side of these transactions, and has represented some of the leading names in PACE financing.

“David and his team have been structuring these transactions since the beginning of the C-PACE program, and have developed an expertise in this area of financing,” said Jim Butler, Chair of JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group®. “This type of financing has become especially beneficial for clients during unpredictable economic fluctuations due to COVID.”

C-PACE is a low-cost, nonrecourse financing that creates a lien on the real property and is repaid through property taxes. In most cases, there is no balance sheet or personal liability of the owner or developer. Over the past several years, C-PACE financing has gained wider acceptance, and moved from a novel technique to a widely-accepted, practical solution to financings.

“Over the years, C-PACE has become an increasingly recognized part of the financing toolkit; the COVID downturn motivated lenders to become familiar with PACE in the capital stack,” said Sudeck. “As a result of that familiarity, we find that these same lenders are embracing the inclusion of PACE financing as an important part of a post-COVID marketplace.” CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

27 September 2021

See how JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® can help you.
Click here for the latest articles on Buying and Selling a Hotel.

JMBM Is Hotel Counsel for Condor Hospitality in $305 Million Hotel Portfolio Sale 

The Global Hospitality Group® of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (JMBM) is pleased to announce its representation of Condor Hospitality Trust in the sale of the company’s entire portfolio to Blackstone Real Estate Partners. The $305 million deal was announced September 23, 2021 and is expected to close by the end of the year.

Condor Hospitality Trust (NYSE American:CDOR) is a publicly-traded real estate investment trust specializing in the ownership of premium-branded select-service, extended stay, and limited-service hotels franchised under brands including Hilton, Marriott, and IHG. JMBM represented the company as hotel counsel in connection with the initial bidding process and also provided guidance on the due diligence process and disclosure requirements, coordinated shareholder approvals and voting agreements, and negotiated the definitive purchase contract for the sale.

The Firm has represented Condor as hotel counsel since J. William Blackham became President and CEO in 2015. Known then as Supertel Hospitality Inc., owner of the Super 8 franchise and related economy hotels, JMBM assisted in the disposal of nearly all of the company’s $100 million in economy hotels and the subsequent purchase of the 15 upscale, select-service hotels sold in the current Blackstone deal. The hotels sold represent nearly 2,000 rooms and are located across eight states, including Georgia, Texas, and Florida.

“We have worked with Condor to implement its business plan for six years, and are pleased to have successfully counseled them through this next step,” said Jim Butler, Chair of the JMBM Global Hospitality Group®. The JMBM Condor team was led by Jim Butler, Guy Maisnik, Jeff Myers, and Caleb Gilbert.

The all-cash deal is part of a liquidation and dissolution plan, concluding with the eventual distribution of proceeds to the company’s shareholders. “We believe that this is an extremely attractive transaction for the company’s shareholders with a highly credible and very experienced buyer,” said Blackham in Hotel Business.

McGrath North Mullin & Kratz acted as Condor’s corporate counsel. Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett represented Blackstone. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

01 July 2021

See how JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® can help you.
Click here for the latest articles on C-PACE Financing.

Is Commercial PACE (C-PACE) financing for your hotel or real estate development?

Global Hospitality Group® Chair Jim Butler was recently featured on the California Lodging Investment Conference’s official interview show, [CLIC] Connect. In this episode, Jim answers some current hot questions about C-PACE financing such as:

  • What is Commercial PACE financing?
  • What construction and upgrades are eligible for C-PACE financing?
  • How can Retroactive PACE free up cash from completed projects?
  • Why is everyone talking about C-PACE financing now?
  • Is C-PACE already “mainstream” commercial real estate financing?
  • Are there any problems or challenges with C-PACE?
  • Where can I learn more?

Click here to watch the full interview.

JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® is a proud sponsor of the upcoming California Lodging Investment Conference. For more information, visit CLIC’s website here. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

25 June 2021

See how JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® can help you.
Click here for the latest articles on EB-5 Financing here for C-PACE Financing.

Some believe the recent Behring v. Wolf case revitalizes EB-5 financing for developers because it rolls back the EB‑5 minimum investment to $500,000

On June 22, 2021, in the case of Behring Regional Center LLC v Chad Wolf, a federal court in the Northern District of California effectively invalidated the final rules for EB-5 which became effective in 2019. These rules raised the minimum foreign immigrant investment from $500,000 to $900,000 and imposed other restrictions.

Many commercial real estate developers are hoping this development will launch a new surge of EB-5 financing that could fuel their projects, as was the case for years (until a few years ago when the music stopped).

Don’t get too excited about reliable EB-5 financing coming back – but there may be a better alternative . . .

For many years, we helped developers source and close EB-5 financing for new construction and development projects. We had a 100% success rate in closing all our EB-5 deals totaling more than $1.5 billion. But we have not felt comfortable using this source of capital for several years, because none of the reliable sources we worked with were able to commit to a deal. They couldn’t raise the immigrant investor funds.

What happened? More than 85% of the funding came from Chinese immigrant investors, and the USCIS processing times for immigrant visas grew to more than 15 years! No investor wants to wait 15 years to get the immigration visa he is paying for today.

These processing backlogs effectively killed EB-5 as a reliable and robust source of financing for commercial real estate development. The court decision invalidating the final rules on EB-5 will not fix this or any other issues with the program.

But a better alternative to EB-5 financing has come mainstream and should be considered. Many are not aware of this alternative – Commercial PACE (or C-PACE).

Is C-PACE the “new EB-5” financing for commercial real estate developments? YES and NO . . .

C-PACE is the “new EB-5” financing for commercial real estate developers, but only in one notable sense: virtually every commercial real estate developer will at least seriously consider C-PACE for projects in the 2020s, just as they did with EB-5 in the 2010s.

Other than the skyrocketing popularity and even more favorable terms, the C-PACE solution has nothing at all to do with the EB-5 program CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

18 June 2021

See how JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® can help you.
Click here for the latest articles on C-PACE Financing.

Retroactive Commercial PACE (C-PACE) and C-PACE can provide critical capital and liquidity

In the past few years, Commercial PACE (C-PACE) financing has transformed from a novel financing technique to a popular and important source of capital for all types of commercial real estate — particularly hotels scrambling for financing to reopen and take advantage of the “Great Recovery” now underway.

Because of our early involvement and experience, C-PACE financing has become quite a specialty niche in the hotel financing resources of our Global Hospitality Group®, representing both C-PACE lenders and borrowers. Because of our profile in this area, I was recently asked to give my thoughts on its benefits in a timely article written by Bryan Wroten for Hotel News Now. You can read an excerpt below or click the link to read the entire article.

PACE Lending Allows Hoteliers
To Recapitalize Past Projects

By Bryan Wroten, Hotel News Now

A lending platform designed to fund investments in renewable energy and energy-efficient improvements, commercial PACE lending has helped hotel owners and developers in need of capital during the COVID-19 pandemic.

PACE financing, which stands for property assessed clean energy, originated in the late 2000s, said Jim Butler, partner at Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell and chairman of the law firm’s global hospitality group. This type of lending has taken a while to fully catch on with developers because state legislatures have to pass laws to enable it. Often county and local municipal governments must pass their own legislation, as well.

Currently, 36 states and Washington, D.C., have authorized commercial PACE lending, and of those, 24 states and D.C. have active lending occurring.

PACE financing has the potential to reach into the billions and trillions of dollars, and part of that potential comes from the hotel industry, Butler said.

The pandemic has devastated U.S. hotels, forcing some to close temporarily or permanently. Hotel owners are dealing with the revenue declines of 2020 while also facing property improvement plan requirements over the next few years.

“They’ve been saving every penny and going to the bare minimum, but they’re going to have to do property improvement plans and rehire people … train them and do marketing,” Butler said. “They’re facing a lot of costs in getting back into business.”

One of the things that makes PACE financing so appealing to borrowers is it’s a self-assessment, similar to a tax improvement district, except the owner voluntarily imposes a long-term tax agreement on the property for up to 30 years, Butler said. It’s a non-recourse loan, and interest rates are typically low at about 5% to 6% because of its high security. Rather than the owner holding the debt, the loan remains with the property even following a transaction. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

14 June 2021

See how JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® can help you.
Click here for the latest articles on Hotel Management Agreements.

After over a year of uncertainty and economic upheaval, the hospitality industry is quickly beginning to recover from the effects of the coronavirus. As hotels welcome an increased number of visitors, many owners are considering how to improve the management of their properties. One of the best ways to do this is to have a good management agreement in place. In the article below, my colleague Bob Braun suggests some key things to keep in mind when drafting a new agreement.

Hotel Lawyer: 5 Tips for your next Hotel Management Agreement (HMA)

by Bob Braun, Hotel Lawyer

Is it time to re-think your management agreement?

As the hospitality industry moves toward recovery, many hotel owners are re-evaluating the management of their properties. A good manager can bring great value to a property; a poor manager can reduce its value. Some studies have concluded that a good management agreement – one that provides for meaningful accountability, transparency and performance – can add or subtract 50% to the value of a hotel. The next normal will likely require rethinking how to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of operations, rather than simply riding post-recession boom, and to plan for the future, not just hearken back to the past.

The Global Hospitality Group® at Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP has been negotiating, re-negotiating, litigating, arbitrating and advising clients for more than 30 years on more than 2,500 hotel management and franchise agreements. Our experience extends to virtually every brand and every significant independent manager, as well as many less well-known players. Based on that experience, we thought it would be helpful to provide a few tips that owners should bear in mind when considering the hotel management agreement. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

10 June 2021

See how JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® can help you.

The Global Hospitality Group® was pleased to sponsor and participate in BLLA’s virtual Boutique Hotel Investment Conference, which took place online June 2-3.

As the hospitality industry prepares for increased travel and sunnier economic forecasts, independent boutique hotels are stronger than ever and attracting positive attention. Hosted by the Boutique & Lifestyle Leaders Association, the Boutique Hotel Investment Conference focuses on and celebrates the boutique hotel concept and what it offers the hospitality industry.

During the conference, Partner and Chairman Jim Butler discussed “13 Keys to Success–The Creative Lawyer’s List” for independent boutique hotels, and “Three hottest issues for hoteliers in 2021,” including C-PACE financing, labor and employment and the independence phenomenon through liquidated damages, during his presentation on June 3.

Jim’s edited presentation is available for download below.

“13 Keys to Success” – Jim Butler, Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

7 June 2021
See how JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® can help you.
Click here for the latest articles on C-PACE Financing.

Hotel Lawyer: Another Commercial PACE (C-PACE) financing closed

The GHG Team worked with a C-PACE financing source to secure an over $10 million loan for the 190-room TETRA hotel, which includes a fitness center, full-service restaurant, and bar, and the 160-room AC Hotel by Marriott in Sunnyvale, CA.


photo: marriott.com

Hotel: TETRA Hotel, Autograph Collection, and AC By Marriott Sunnyvale Cupertino
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Size of C-PACE Loan: $10+ million


How we can help with Commercial PACE (C-PACE) financing

C-PACE lending has become an important and fast-growing sub-specialty in our hotel finance capabilities. We work with C-PACE providers/lenders and borrowers. In fact, we have been fortunate enough to work with one of the leading providers of C-PACE financing as they expand their national platform.

We welcome inquires to see if we can help you evaluate potential PACE financing opportunities.

Webinar and more on C-PACE financing

To learn more about C-PACE, check out our free on demand webinar, “Why so many are looking at Commercial PACE (C-PACE) financing now.

You can also find more information on this topic on the Hotel Law Blog under the topic C-PACE Financing. Here are a few select articles and some representative transactions we have handled.

Is C-PACE the “new EB-5″ financing?

Retroactive C-PACE frees hotel investment capital

C-PACE Financing – Now an accepted tool for hotel lenders and borrowers

Should you be looking at Commercial PACE (C-PACE) financing now?

C-PACE Financing Lawyer: New York opening Commercial PACE – a big opportunity!

Some of our deals: C-PACE Financing on a roll!


David Sudeck is a senior member of JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® and JMBM’s real estate department. His practice primarily involves the complex issues associated with hotels, resorts, vacation ownership properties (including shared ownership, destination clubs, timeshares, fractionals and private residence clubs), restaurants (including chef consulting agreements), golf courses and spas.

A seasoned real estate attorney, David has extensive legal experience involving all types of residential and commercial properties. He represents owners – including hospitality clients – in the purchase and sale, development, construction, financing, leasing, and sale-leaseback of properties, and advises them on their operations and management agreements, including hotel management agreements. Contact David Sudeck at 310.201.3518 or dsudeck@jmbm.com.

Picture of Jim ButlerThis is Jim Butler, author of www.HotelLawBlog.com and founding partner of JMBM and JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group®. We provide business and legal advice to hotel owners, developers, independent operators and investors. This advice covers critical hotel issues such as hotel purchase, sale, development, financing, franchise, management, ADA, and IP matters. We also have compelling experience in hotel litigation, union avoidance and union negotiations, and cybersecurity & data privacy.

JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® has helped clients around the world with more than 4,300 hospitality properties worth more than $104.7 billion. Contact me at +1-310-201-3526 or jbutler@jmbm.com to discuss how we can help.

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