Published on:

Meet Mark S. Adams, Hotel Dispute Lawyer – Hospitality Litigation, Arbitration & Dispute Resolution

6 January 2024

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

Meet Mark S. Adams, Hotel Dispute Lawyer –
Hospitality Litigation, Arbitration & Dispute Resolution

Mark S. Adams is an experienced trial lawyer, partner, and senior member of JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group®. In his more than 14 years with the Firm, Mark has created an international reputation as a Hotel Dispute Lawyer, handling litigation, arbitration, and alternate dispute resolution in hundreds of matters affecting hotels, resorts, restaurants, and other hospitality properties.

We caught up with Mark for some candid insights about him and his practice.

Q: Mark, you have had an amazing litigation career. What is the secret of your success?

A: I rarely lose, and that’s because I have a fantastic support team, unrivaled in talent. We also believe in and practice the Global Hospitality Group® mantra of “aggressive and passionate advocacy.”

Q: That is a good summary, particularly with your track record. But what is the philosophy or approach that leads to such success?

A: I customize my strategy and approach with each client in each situation. First, I need to understand my client, their goals, and other concerns. Then we initiate an iterative process where the client and I explore all relevant facts affecting the matter, what laws and contracts may govern, the aggressiveness of the parties, and various options for proceeding.  Numerous factors affect our choices, including timing for resolution, funding available to the paying party to accomplish a resolution and creative non-monetary solutions. There is no successful cookie-cutter approach.

Q: Controlling litigation costs is important for clients. If a client cannot avoid litigation, what do you do to work with the client to control the costs of pursuing or defending a claim?

A: The cost of litigation is important to all our clients, whether it is a relatively minor matter or a “bet the company” case. The cost-benefit analysis may vary depending upon the circumstances.

Here is how I advise clients to control litigation costs:

  • Implement efficient case management strategies, such as utilizing step-by-step approvals, document organization protocols, electronic discovery, and effectively matching tasks with billing rates and experience
  • Communicate openly and regularly with legal counsel
  • Regularly assess the cost-benefit ratio of continuing litigation versus settlement

Q: You are a big advocate for litigation prevention or dispute avoidance, where possible. Isn’t that unusual for a litigation lawyer? What are the keys to finding a business solution for clients?

A: I believe the best litigation lawyers listen carefully to their clients and always strive to provide advice in the client’s best interests. Litigation can be expensive and damage relationships. The non-litigation alternatives always need to be evaluated.

Some of the approaches I find effective in avoiding dispute escalation include the following:

  • Address concerns promptly
  • Devote the time and money on the front end of a transaction to negotiate clear contractual provisions
  • Understand the contractual and common law obligations before engaging in a relationship
  • Maintain regular and open communications with the other contracting party
  • Monitor, review, and, if necessary, modify existing executory contracts
  • Regularly review and modify form contracts for engagements

For more information about Hospitality Dispute Resolution, you can find below some links to selected articles by Mark S. Adams:

Why Judicial Reference is better than Arbitration for resolving Hotel Management Agreements & Hotel Franchise Agreements. Advanced Analysis of Judicial Reference features.

The better way to resolve hotel contract disputes: Judicial Reference or Arbitration? 

What’s best for hospitality contract dispute clauses? Arbitration, court litigation, or judicial reference in hotel management and franchise agreements?

Should New York law govern your hospitality contract? How about Texas, California or Florida law?

Meet Mark S. Adams, Hotel Dispute Lawyer – Hospitality Litigation, Arbitration & Dispute Resolution

How Pennsylvania Resort Fees Settlements Could Play Out for US Hotel Industry

Disclosing Mandatory Resort Fees – What Hoteliers Need to Know

Force Majeure – Contract provisions and governing law are important

History & origins of Force Majeure as a contract defense

JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® announces 5th edition of The HMA & Franchise Agreement Handbook

Hotel Lawyer on HMAs: “The shrinking terms of hotel management agreements”

Losing the expectation of privacy bit by bit, byte by byte


Mark S. Adams, Hotel Dispute Lawyer, is an experienced trial lawyer and a senior member of JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group®. A primary focus of Mark’s practice is devoted to representing clients on hundreds of matters involving Hospitality Litigation, Arbitration & Dispute Resolution – from avoiding litigation to conducting complex, multi-state litigation, arbitration, and mediation.

Mark’s expertise is grounded on business litigation involving contracts, corporate and partnership disputes, and hospitality disputes and litigation. On behalf of hotel and resort owners, Mark has successfully litigated the termination of long-term, no-cut, hotel management agreements, franchise agreements, fiduciary duty issues, investor-owner disputes, TOT assessments, and more. He has wide-ranging trial experience in a variety of commercial disputes, including complex multi-party litigation and class actions. He has tried numerous cases in state courts, federal courts, and in domestic and international arbitrations, and is a frequent author and speaker on trial practice. Mark’s trial wins have been covered by Forbes, Reuters, and other publications. He has obtained two of California’s annual 50 largest jury verdicts in the same year.

Mark has taken or defended nearly 1,000 depositions throughout North America, Europe, and the Middle East. He has been quoted as an expert on noncompete agreements in the Wall Street Journal. For more information, contact Mark at 949.623.7230 or

Picture of Jim ButlerThis is Jim Butler, author of 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 been involved in more than $125 billion of hotel transactions and more than 4,700 hotel properties located around the globe. Contact me at +1-310-201-3526 or to discuss how we can help.

How can we help? Brochure Credentials Photo Gallery


Contact Information