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Meet the Money® 2014

ADA defense and compliance

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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:

01 March 2024

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

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

Hotel Management Agreements & Franchise Agreements


Mark S. Adams, Hotel Dispute Lawyer
Partner & Senior Member
JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group®


In prior articles, we have looked at the options available to parties in resolving hotel industry disputes. See, Critical considerations for hospitality litigation, arbitration & alternate dispute resolution clauses in hotel contracts. See also, Is Judicial Reference better than Arbitration to resolve Hotel Contract disputes? The basics of Judicial Reference. 

The authority for Judicial Reference in California comes from two sources. The first is the California Constitution which provides for appointment of temporary judges. (See Cal. Const., Art. VI, § 21). The California Code of Civil Procedure also authorizes Judicial References. Specifically, it provides for the appointment of a Referee to hear all or part of a given case. (See Cal. Code Civ. Proc. §§ 638, 639.) Under § 638, the parties may agree to the appointment of a referee to determine “any or all of the issues” in the action [§ 638(a)], or to “ascertain a fact necessary to enable the court” to decide the case [§ 638(b)].

The purpose of this article is to make a more advanced analysis of the many desirable features of Judicial Reference.

Features of Judicial Reference.

Here are some of the important features of Judicial Reference:

  • Judicial Reference permits an enforceable waiver of jury trial. In California and many other states, there is a strong public policy against waivers of the right to jury trial. Like arbitration, Judicial Reference is a well-established means to accomplish jury trial waiver in California.
  • Efficiency and Timeliness: One of the primary advantages of the Reference procedure is its potential to resolve disputes more quickly than traditional court trials. The parties have more control over the scheduling of proceedings, which can lead to a swifter resolution. Generally, there is less risk of having to prepare for trial repeatedly because of continuances as a result of congested court dockets. While not inherently cheaper than arbitration, Judicial Reference can be more cost-effective in the long run due to the reduced risk of erroneous decisions and the potential for appeal. Compared to court trials, Judicial Reference offers a more streamlined and efficient process, minimizing disruption to hotel operations.
  • Practical Expertise of the Referee: Parties have the opportunity to select a referee with expertise in the specific area relevant to their dispute. This allows for a more informed and specialized decision-maker, potentially leading to more accurate and equitable outcomes.
  • Confidentiality: Unlike court trials that are generally open to the public, Reference proceedings can be more private and confidential. This can be appealing to parties who value the protection of sensitive hotel information, such as guest data and hotel operations. And unlike confidential arbitration, Judicial Reference proceedings could be made public, deterring frivolous claims, and promoting transparency.
  • Appellate Review: Decisions made through the Reference procedure have opportunities for appellate review. This is a major advantage over arbitrations, which have very limited rights to appeal. Imagine a scenario where an arbitrator makes a decision contrary to law or evidence, potentially costing your hotel millions. In arbitration, your options are severely limited, with appeals rarely granted. Judicial Reference, however, provides a safety net of appeal rights, allowing you to challenge erroneous decisions in court and seek justice. This safeguard is invaluable for protecting your investments and ensuring a fair outcome. Unfortunately, arbitration’s “finality” often comes at the expense of justice. Consider the case of Vail Resorts Management Co. v. Rizzuto, where an arbitrator awarded a mere $150,000 in a $20 million breach of contract claim, despite overwhelming evidence in favor of the plaintiff. This decision, unappealable due to the arbitration clause, stands as a stark reminder of the risks associated with limited review.
  • Comparison with Arbitration: Both arbitration and the Judicial Reference procedure offer alternatives to traditional court trials. Arbitration is typically less formal and more flexible. Arbitrators are often chosen by the parties, similar to referees, but the process may lack the level of formality associated with Reference proceedings. Both arbitration and Judicial References offer other avenues for waiving jury trials, albeit with distinct characteristics. Compared to Judicial Reference, arbitration is binding, meaning the arbitrator’s decision is final and cannot be appealed on factual issues. While offering finality and potentially faster resolution, arbitration raises concerns about neutrality and limited Judicial review. Unlike referees, arbitrators are not bound by strict rules of evidence and procedure, potentially raising concerns about fairness and transparency. Additionally, challenging an arbitrator’s decision is significantly more difficult than appealing a court ruling. Judicial Reference provides greater procedural oversight and potential flexibility due to the non-binding nature of the referee’s decision, which will become binding following court confirmation. However, Judicial Reference lacks the finality and expediency of arbitration. Conversely, arbitration offers finality but sacrifices judicial review and raises concerns about bias.
  • Due Process and Discovery: Arbitration often restricts the ability to present crucial evidence because of limited discovery and unpredictable rules of evidence. This can leave you vulnerable to incomplete information and potentially unfair outcomes. Judicial Reference, on the other hand, adheres to established rules of evidence and discovery, ensuring a greater level of due process and a more thorough examination of the facts. This is critical when protecting your interests in high-value disputes. Extensive discovery provides deeper evidence but can be time-consuming and expensive. Limited discovery expedites the process but might restrict your ability to fully present your case. Similarly, broader appeal rights offer recourse against unfair outcomes but can lead to protracted legal battles and further costs.
  • California-Specific: Judicial Reference is only available in California unless both parties agree to its application under another state’s law, which might face enforceability challenges. In key hospitality markets, such as Texas, Florida, New Jersey, New York, and DC, none has a Judicial Reference procedure at all, let alone one like California’s procedure. The same is believed true for all of the other states in the US, as well.
  • Cost: Similar to arbitration, the costs of a Judicial Reference can be significant, especially with complex disputes and experienced referees.
  • Judicial Expertise of the Referee: Unlike arbitration, where decisions can be made by industry “mavens” but with limited legal knowledge, Judicial Reference brings in retired judges or legal experts. Their in-depth understanding of the law ensures rulings are based on evidence and precedent, not industry biases or “splitting the baby” compromises. This is crucial in complex hotel contracts, where nuanced interpretations can have profound financial and reputational consequences.
  • Reliable enforceability: California’s Judicial Reference procedure does not violate California’s constitution. Sandoval v. Salazar (1922) 57 Cal.App. 756, 759 (Code Civ. Proc., § 638,-645, relating to trials by referees, is not violative of Const., art. VI, § 14, as the referee’s report may be accepted or rejected by the trial court which renders the judgment.) Although the decision of a judicial referee is generally enforceable like a court judgment, the enforceability of such agreements relies on factors like the complexity of the issues, the qualifications of the referee, and the fairness of the proceedings. Judicial References are generally upheld, but there is no guarantee of enforcement, and parties may still challenge the referee’s recommendation before a judge during the confirmation process.


Published on:

27 February 2024

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

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

Hotel Management Agreements & Franchise Agreements


Mark S. Adams, Hotel Dispute Lawyer
Partner & Senior Member
JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group®

Judicial Reference is a procedure similar in many ways to binding arbitration. For convenience, we may sometimes use the word “Reference” interchangeably with “Judicial Reference.”

The parties may agree to use this procedure before or after a dispute arises, and may specify various elements of the procedure such as the skills of a retired judge to serve as the referee. Like arbitration, Judicial Reference is effective (even in states like California) to waive jury trial and avoid the risk of runaway jury verdicts. A Judicial Reference comes with a procedural advantage that arbitration cannot match: the right to appeal. With a Reference, the parties retain the appellate rights that they forfeit when they opt for arbitration.

The current prevailing choice is arbitration.

The hotel industry has been an innovator in the use of alternative dispute resolution to resolve disputes arising out of significant hotel contracts such as hotel management agreements, hotel franchise agreements, joint ventures, and even financing arrangements. Overwhelmingly, the industry has opted for binding arbitration. Proponents of arbitration claim that, compared to traditional court trials, arbitration can be faster, more private, impose experience or other qualifications on the arbitrator, and avoid a jury trial (with the potential for runaway verdicts). Many experts believe that the compelling “advantage” is avoiding jury trials, but there may be a better way to accomplish these objectives. See, Critical considerations for hospitality litigation, arbitration & alternate dispute resolution clauses in hotel contracts.

Using the right dispute resolution tool for each type of dispute.

Arbitration may be a quick fix for resolving questions about budget overruns or minor operational hiccups. Its efficiency shines in low-stakes situations where swift resolution is paramount. However, when it comes to major contractual breaches, misinterpretations, or significant financial losses, Judicial Reference emerges as the clear best choice. The stakes in hotel contracts often demand a more robust and transparent solution – one that Judicial Reference demonstrably delivers. So let’s take a look at the details of Judicial Reference. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

25 February 2024

See how JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® can help you.
Click here for the latest articles on ADA Compliance and Defense.

Last year, JMBM secured a legal victory for our client Zarco Hotels after they were accused of ADA violations by a serial plaintiff. Our strategic approach led to a dismissal of the claims and compensation awarded for legal fees. In the article below, JMBM partner Stuart Tubis examines the case details and outlines the practical steps businesses can take to defend themselves against meritless lawsuits.

JMBM wins second ADA lawsuit for Zarco Hotels,
bringing total defense awards to $113K


Stuart Tubis, JMBM’s ADA Compliance & Defense Group

Recently, JMBM reported that it successfully defended a website accessibility lawsuit on behalf of its client Zarco Hotels, against serial plaintiff Traci Morgan. In that case, the court awarded Zarco Hotels $55,414.84 in compensation for its attorneys’ fees and costs.

JMBM and Zarco Hotels have prevailed again. On July 11, 2023, a different court awarded Zarco Hotels attorneys’ fees and costs related to a separate ADA lawsuit regarding hotel reservations.

Garcia v. Zarco Hotels, Inc., Case No. 21STCV00023 (Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles) involved claims by serial plaintiff Orlando Garcia, who has filed hundreds of similar lawsuits against businesses in California. The same law firm, Potter Handy, LLP (AKA Center for Disability Access) represented Morgan and Garcia in both cases.

Garcia alleged that the Hollywood Hotel’s reservation requirements did not comply with the ADA because the website did not provide enough information about the physical accessibility features of the hotel. See our article on this issue here: ADA Requires Hotels To Describe Accessibility Features On Website.

However, Garcia failed to recognize that the Hollywood Hotel’s website and reservation system exceed compliance with the ADA; JMBM’s ADA Compliance and Defense team, led by Stuart K. Tubis, Esq. and Martin Orlick Esq. showed that it provides more information than the law requires about ADA accommodations at the hotel. Still, Garcia refused to dismiss the lawsuit, despite evidence showing that the claims lacked merit.

In our practice, we find that ADA plaintiffs will often press forward with lawsuits, even when they lack merit. This is likely because many defendants find it easier to settle the case and pay the plaintiff rather than defend themselves in court.

Zarco Hotels was not intimidated, and filed its motion for summary judgment on July 15, 2022. Facing a losing battle, Garcia finally dismissed the lawsuit on October 6, 2022. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

21 February 2024

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

To Brand or Not to Brand

by Robert Braun, Co-Chair, JMBM Cybersecurity and Privacy Group;
Senior Member, JMBM Global Hospitality Group

While some companies in some industries have a tendency to consolidate and eliminate brands, the hotel industry is different. Most of the leading hotel companies with brands, such as Marriott, Hilton, IHG, Hyatt, and Accor, regularly acquire or create new brands or flags. Today, Marriott has 30 flags, Hilton has 22, IHG has 14, Hyatt has 29, and Accor has 40, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. With so many flags to choose from, it’s easy to overlook another choice – no brand at all. While picking a brand is an obvious choice, the possibility that operating a hotel without a brand may be the better choice.

Why Choose an Existing Brand?

The major brands provide a number of benefits to hotel owners. A few of them are:

Name Recognition.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of branding a hotel is name recognition, and brands work to maximize that benefit. Hotel companies spend time and effort to make sure the traveling public recognizes the flag, and this makes it easier to choose the hotel when others might be available. Their use of traditional advertising, social media, spokespersons and other techniques are well-honed and effective. Most importantly, a hotel guest that has a positive experience at one property will assume – not always correctly – that the experience will be the same at other properties.

Brand Standards

Brand recognition is part of brand standards, and brand standards can be a benefit to owners as well. Even as they represent costs of compliance, they help create uniformity among different flags, and reinforce the traveling public’s interest in specific hotel flags.

Reservation Systems.

Hotel companies invest in reservation systems that make booking a hotel simple, and are designed to maximize a traveler’s likelihood of actually booking a room, not just visiting a site.

Loyalty Programs.

While loyalty programs can be a financial burden for hotel owners, they are a draw for hotel guests and increase occupancy. Travelers are enticed by earning awards for travel, and even if the hotel does not recoup the advertised or actual daily rate, other expenditures – food and beverage, onsite services and the like – can provide additional financial benefits.


When things go wrong, hotel brands can be a source of support. They can provide trouble-shooting expertise, and for brand manages, can provide a deep bench of experienced hotel workers. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

18 February 2024

See how JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® can help you.
Click here for the latest articles on ADA Compliance and Defense.

A recent spate of lawsuits from plaintiffs represented by Pacific Trial Attorneys has highlighted the need for businesses to ensure ADA compliance. In the below article, JMBM partner Stuart Tubis discusses the importance of website compliance, and how best to defend your business if there is liability.

Has Your Business Been Sued by Pacific Trial Attorneys or These Plaintiffs?
How to Defend These Unruh Civil Rights Act Lawsuits


Stuart Tubis, JMBM’s ADA Compliance & Defense Group

Pacific Trial Attorneys, as legal counsel, have filed hundreds of lawsuits for alleged violations of the California Unruh Civil Rights Act, California Civil Code § 51 et seq. and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Based in Newport Beach, CA, Pacific Trial Attorneys is a law firm representing plaintiffs in a large number of accessibility lawsuits against businesses, often focused on website issues.

Generally, these lawsuits are filed by serial plaintiffs through their attorneys. Serial plaintiffs file numerous (sometimes hundreds) of lawsuits, often similar in nature. Pacific Trial Attorneys has historically filed such litigation on behalf of one of these plaintiffs:

  • Cheryl Thurston
  • Brittany Mejico
  • Dominick Martin
  • Rusty Rendon
  • Luis Licea
  • Isabel Rendon
  • Drew Hunthausen
  • Walter Mitchell
  • Anita Ogletree

These lawsuit show no signs of stopping. Each lawsuit includes a summons as a cover page informing you that you have been sued and requiring a response. Next is the complaint itself, which generally looks something like this: CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

26 January 2024

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

Global Hospitality Group® Chairman Jim Butler to receive [CLIC] Lifetime Achievement Award

LOS ANGELES—Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (JMBM) is pleased to announce that Jim Butler, a founding partner of JMBM and chairman of the Firm’s Global Hospitality Group®, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2024 California Lodging Investment Conference [CLIC].

“Jim was the obvious and unanimous choice to receive the third [CLIC] Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Craig Sullivan, founder/president, [CLIC] in a press release. “Not only did he co-found one of the leading hospitality law firms that has become synonymous with the industry, but he also has worked on thousands of acquisitions, sales, developments, brandings, repositionings and financings throughout his career. He has graciously taken the time to mentor new hospitality professionals, helping to make the industry a better place. For this and so many more reasons, he is the perfect recipient.”

Jim is one of the top hotel lawyers in the world, and he devotes 100% of his practice to hospitality, providing unmatched hotel business experience and practical legal advice.

Jim and his team represent lenders, owners, developers, independent management companies and capital providers on their hotel projects worldwide. The Group brings more than 30 years’ of hotel experience with more than 4,700 hospitality properties located around the globe valued at more than $125 billion. They have worked on more than 2,700 hotel management and franchise agreements and more than 100 hotel mixed-use developments.

“I am honored to accept CLIC’s Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Butler. “I would like to extend my gratitude to the thousands of clients who have trusted the Global Hospitality Group to help them accomplish their goals.” CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

17 January 2024

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

Critical considerations for hospitality litigation, arbitration &
alternate dispute resolution clauses in hotel contracts

Hotel Management Agreements & Franchise Agreements


Mark S. Adams, Hotel Dispute Lawyer
Partner & Senior Member
JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group®

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, jury trials, and alternate dispute resolution in hundreds of matters affecting hotels, resorts, restaurants, and other hospitality properties. But not every matter should, or does, end up in litigation. Mark also provides pre-litigation strategic advice to avoid litigation and optimize a client’s position for settlement where possible.

What is the difference between “Litigation” and “Dispute Resolution”?

In many circles, the term “litigation” refers to the process that starts with the filing of a lawsuit in the traditional court system and includes all that follows until a final resolution. This more restrictive definition does not include arbitration or other alternative dispute mechanisms.

In other circles, however, “litigation” has a much broader meaning which includes the first definition of court litigation. This second meaning includes all methods of dispute resolution and refers to the entire progression of a dispute from reviewing and advising on pre-contract drafting, through the first disagreement, preparing correspondence, and on to negotiations to amicably resolve issues. It also encompasses all related matters in the dispute from notice of default, strategic positioning for a lawsuit or other action, and engaging in dispute resolution by any procedure such as filing and then prosecuting or defending a lawsuit, arbitration, mediation, or judicial reference (see below).

We generally use “litigation” in the second, broadest meaning of all stages of any dispute and any type of dispute resolution process. In this article, we will specifically name a particular means of dispute resolution where it may provide greater clarity.

Dispute arbitration compared to court trials and judicial reference

Binding arbitration is the dispute resolution mechanism embodied in most hospitality contracts, particularly hotel management or operating agreements and hotel franchise agreements. The choice of binding arbitration may have profound effects on the process and outcome of the dispute. As a result, many parties opt out of arbitration, or attempt to opt out of it. The Pros and Cons of arbitration vs. court trials are summarized below:


Pros:  Almost always a faster resolution, typically private and confidential proceedings, parties can choose arbitrators, avoids jury trials of complex business issues and the potential for runaway verdicts. Arbitration is favored by strong public policy behind the Federal Arbitration Act and most state arbitration statutes.

Cons:  Extremely limited appeal options, if any, less formal discovery, potential for biased arbitrators (e.g., frequent flyer customers), binding decisions, now offers little savings in cost – can be outrageously expensive. Without mutual agreement, a dispute can only be forced into arbitration when the parties have signed a binding arbitration agreement before the dispute arises, or, the parties sign such an agreement for the particular dispute after it arises.

Court Trials:

 Pros: Adherence to legal procedures, comprehensive discovery, public record, right to appeal.

 Cons: Lengthy process, high discovery costs, less control over timing, potential for complex rules and delays, jury trial waivers may not be enforceable in many jurisdictions (such as California) except when arbitration or judicial reference is provided.

Judicial Reference (or “Reference”) – A better alternative dispute resolution process with the best of both arbitration and court litigation?

Although it is less well known than arbitration or traditional court litigation, in states like California, there is another process that offers the best of both worlds. Many of our most experienced litigation attorneys believe that judicial reference deserves thoughtful consideration for hospitality contractual provisions for the dispute resolution process. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

16 January 2024

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


Early Bird registration is now available for Meet the Money® 2024. Click here to register with a $200 discount off the regular rate of $1,495.

Meet the Money® 2024 will be May 6-8, 2024 at the Marriott Los Angeles Airport hotel.

More information is available on www.MeetTheMoney.com.

Register now to secure your spot for the hospitality industry conference focused on 2024 hotel finance, investment, and deal-making.

About Meet the Money®

For 30 years, Meet the Money® has created an energetic environment to forge relationships, negotiate deals, and gain an in-depth understanding of hotel investment and finance. Our national hotel conference attracts heavy hitters and offers an opportunity for productive, one-on-one networking with them.

Meet the Money FAQ

Not sure if Meet the Money is for you? Below are some frequently asked questions, and their answers.

Who attends Meet the Money?

Our attendees are hotel owners, developers, investors, lenders, operators, advisors, consultants, brands, lenders and other capital providers.

What makes our conference different?

Meet the Money is a hospitality industry conference focused on bringing industry leaders together to make deals and connections. It’s a productive, exciting environment for one-on-one networking between speakers, sponsors and attendees.

How much is registration?

Early Bird registration for Meet the Money 2024 is $1,295 per attendee, through February 29, 2024. Standard registration is $1,495, beginning March 1.

What does registration include?

Registration includes:

  • All general sessions, special presentations and networking events during the three-day conference, including our Monday afternoon Investment Boot Camp
  • All conference materials, including attendee list
  • Tuesday night’s Welcome Reception
  • Meals during the program on Tuesday and Wednesday

Who do I contact if I have questions, or if I’m interested in speaking or sponsoring?

Please reach out to Doreen Filice Gabel, DFilice@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 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 jbutler@jmbm.com to discuss how we can help.

How can we help? Brochure Credentials Photo Gallery


Published on:

8 January 2024

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

Hotel Dispute Lawyer: Choice of law to govern hospitality contracts — New York, Florida, Texas, California and Maryland law

Hospitality Litigation, Arbitration & Dispute Resolution


Mark S. Adams, Hotel Dispute Lawyer
Partner & Senior Member
JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group®

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.

Why New York law is the governing law in so many hospitality agreements

There are many reasons why parties select the laws of a specific state to govern the interpretation and enforcement of contracts in the hospitality industry. Often, they select the laws of the state where the relevant hospitality property is located, or the laws where one or both of the parties reside. However, irrespective of those considerations, New York law is often chosen as the governing law for significant financial transactions and arrangements.

There are a number of factors that make New York law one of the most popular choices for governing law. These include the following:

  1. New York is a global financial and commercial hub, which logistically makes it a preferred jurisdiction for resolving disputes through negotiations, arbitration or litigation.
  2. New York has a well-established, highly respected legal structure that provides a level of predictability and stability crucial for dealing with complex contractual relationships within the hospitality industry.
  3. New York courts have established a robust and sophisticated body of case law. This provides clarity for parties entering into hotel contracts, offering guidance on various issues, including contractual interpretation, performance obligations, and potential liability. This well-defined legal landscape reduces uncertainty and potential disputes, fostering a more secure environment for hotel owners, management companies, and franchisees.
  4. The prominence of New York law in hotel contracts is linked to the state’s role as a key center for international business transactions. Many hotel management and franchise agreements involve parties from different jurisdictions, and the familiarity and enforceability of New York law on a global scale make it a practical choice. This preference for New York law enhances the efficiency of negotiations and facilitates cooperation in the performance of the contractual obligations.

American and International jurisprudence is based largely on legal precedents, which are real life cases with well-reasoned opinions as to the outcomes.  In light of my observations given above, New York has had both a longer tenure to establish legal precedents, generally, and particularly a greater volume of decided hotel cases. These legal precedents provide indispensable guidance on the potential or likely outcomes in pending disputes, i.e. greater predictability and certainty of outcome. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

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: CONTINUE READING →

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