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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:

22 February 2022
See how JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® can help you.

If you are planning to make a large gift as part of your estate plan, you should consider taking advantage of the current tax exemption in effect until the end of 2025. After this time, the exemption will revert back to approximately one-half of its current value. This has potentially huge implications for hospitality executives and other high-net-worth individuals. Gordon Schaller, managing partner of JMBM’s Orange County office, explains below.

The Cost of Waiting to Make a Large Gift: Compounding Your Tax Savings

by Gordon Schaller

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 doubled the lifetime gift and estate tax exemption, effective for gifts made from 2018 through the end of 2025. In 2026, the exemption will revert to the 2017 exemption, adjusted for inflation (approximately one-half of the 2025 exemption). There was great concern during the last part of 2020 and most of 2021 about the possible reduction of the lifetime gift and estate tax exemption prior to the scheduled reversion. However, Congress did not enact any change to the exemption, and it seems unlikely to do so for the foreseeable future. The current exemption is $12,060,000 per person, or $24,120,000 per married couple.

What should clients do now? For those who can afford to do so, they should utilize the exemption now. The cost of waiting, or the benefit of acting now, can be illustrated by the following table. The first example demonstrates the effect of a $12 million gift now, compounded at 6% over many years, compared to a $6 million gift when the exemption reverts in 2026, compounded over the remaining years. By 2050, the difference is $37 million in the first example. The second example shows an even greater disparity in outcomes ($57 million) when the assets gifted consist of an interest in a partnership, LLC, corporation or real estate that qualifies for valuation discounts for lack of control and lack of marketability. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

11 February 2022
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

David Sudeck and his team at the Global Hospitality Group® at Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP assisted in structuring a $103 million loan for Chinese Hospital in San Francisco, a non-profit community hospital. This transaction is the largest ever C-PACE transaction in the United States.

Chinese-Hospital-e1644620367122

photo: chinesehospital-sf.org

Property: Chinese Hospital
Location: San Francisco, CA
Size of C-PACE Loan: $103 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. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

19 January 2022

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

Serial ADA litigants are continuing to face challenges in the courts as dozens of cases alleging a failure to include accessibility information on hotel websites are being dismissed. Martin Orlick, Chair of JMBM’s ADA Compliance & Defense Group, describes one such case faced by a JMBM client below. This successful outcome is good news for hotels worried about Reservation Rules lawsuits.

Serial Plaintiff’s “Reservation Rule” Lawsuit Against California Hotel Dismissed

by
Martin Orlick, Chair, JMBM’s ADA Compliance & Defense Group

In another blow to serial ADA litigation against hotels, a judge in the Northern District of California has issued an opinion dismissing the case against JMBM client OCI, which owns and operates a Comfort Inn & Suites near the San Francisco International Airport.

Brian Whitaker, who has filed nearly 2,000 ADA lawsuits in the last two years, claimed that OCI failed to include enough detail in its online description of accessible features, violating the ADA’s “Reservation Rule.” JMBM filed a motion to dismiss on behalf of OCI, which was granted on January 6, 2022. This is the second Reservation Rule cases dismissed by this judge. The opinion is available here.

The Reservation Rule refers to ADA guidelines requiring that hotels include information about accessible rooms and features on their website, so that guests know before booking if they are able to safely and comfortably stay at the property. A hotel may be ADA compliant if it includes either a bathtub or roll-in shower, for example, but some guests may need to know which option is provided in order to determine if the room meets their needs. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

18 January 2022

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

“Practice Group of the Year” awarded to
JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group
by Law360

Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (JMBM) is proud to announce that the Global Hospitality Group® (GHG) has been selected as one of Law360’s Practice Groups of the Year. This award “honors the practices behind the litigation wins and major deals that resonated throughout the legal industry in 2021” and winners are chosen out of hundreds of submissions. The recognition is a result of the unsurpassed experience of the GHG team members who, for the past 30 years, have helped clients with more than 4,500 hospitality properties, valued at more than $112 billion.

Some notable accomplishments by members of the GHG in 2021 include:

  • Workout, recapitalization, and repositioning of a $1 billion mixed-use lifestyle hotel project
  • Sale of an 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 the distressed hotel, retail, and office loans during the global pandemic, including over $500 million for a single client

CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

29 December 2021

See how JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® can help you.
Click here for the latest articles on Data Technology, Privacy & Security.

As hotels find new ways to use technology to attract guests and enhance their properties, they need to remain aware of the security challenges these technologies present.

Bob Braun, senior member of JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® and Co-Chair of the Firm’s Cybersecurity & Privacy Group, explains three basic issues for 2022 that all hotel owners need to be aware of to ensure their business and guest information remains secure.

Security Challenges in the Hotel Industry
by
Bob Braun, Hotel Lawyer

Like virtually all industries, the hotel industry continues to be challenged by cybersecurity concerns. As we approach 2022, hotel owners and operators need to address some basic issues that impact the security of their systems and their guests.

  • Wi-Fi. Providing wireless internet to guests has become a “must-do” for hotels – it’s not too much of an overstatement to say that a potential guest won’t stay at a hotel that doesn’t provide free Wi-Fi. But hotel Wi-Fi systems, particularly those in public areas, have long been a soft underbelly of cybersecurity. In the past 10 days, TechCrunch+ reported that “an internet gateway used by hundreds of hotels to offer and manage their guest Wi-Fi networks has vulnerabilities that could put the personal information of their guests at risk.” The system uses hardcoded passwords that are easy to guess and allow an attacker to gain remote access to the gateway’s settings and databases; they can then use that knowledge to access and exfiltrate guest records, or reconfigure the gateway’s networking settings to unwittingly redirect guests to malicious webpages.

CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

27 December 2021

See how JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® can help you.
Click here for the latest on labor and employment guidance.

Labor & Employment New Year Round-Up
What to Expect in 2022

Several new pieces of California legislation have either recently gone into effect or will take effect in 2022, impacting nearly all employers and how they handle employment agreements, disability related to COVID, training, rehiring and retention, and a range of other practices. A new presidential administration also means a shift in the political landscape and the role played by the NLRB, OSHA and other regulatory bodies.

Our round-up will help you determine which key issues may impact you in 2022; contact us to be sure you’re ready for all these upcoming changes. Click the “read more” link for each topic to see a comprehensive summary.

Expansions to the California Family Rights Act

Effective January 1, 2022, AB 1033 adds “parent-in-law” to the list of persons that an employee may take time off to care for, pursuant to the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). It also recasts the notice provisions of the small employer family leave mediation pilot program to require the DFEH to notify an employee of the requirement for mediation prior to filing a civil action, and requires the employee to contact the DFEH’s dispute resolution division prior to filing an action.

What this means for employers: Employers should review family leave policies to ensure they are compliant with AB 1033. Although the law adds a new category of person an employee may take time off to care for, it does not expand the total amount of leave an employee is entitled to take per 12 month period. Small employers should be aware of their ability to request mediation, and should consult with labor and employment counsel immediately upon receiving notice by a plaintiff or the DFEH that a plaintiff is seeking a civil lawsuit—the deadline to request a mediation is only 30 days from receipt of notice.

Read the full article.

Changes to the Fair Employment and Housing Act

Effective January 1, 2022, SB 807 amends various statutes concerning the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) procedures when enforcing California’s civil rights law—notably, the FEHA. These changes include tolling the deadline for the DFEH to file a civil action under the FEHA while a dispute resolution is pending, increasing the amount of time employers must keep certain records, and authorizing the DFEH to appeal court decisions.

What this means for employers: Employers should review their current record retention policies and amend them as necessary. This also provides an opportunity to ensure that employers are retaining all the necessary records so that they do not face unnecessary penalties or subject themselves to avoidable liability. SB 807’s tolling of the statute of limitations deadline provides additional leeway to employees who are seeking redress, and the authorization for the DFEH to appeal decisions grants it additional flexibility when pursing actions against employers.

Read the full article. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

14 December 2021

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

JMBM Represents Prism Hotels & Resorts in Sale to Aimbridge Hospitality

The Global Hospitality Group® of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (JMBM) is pleased to announce the successful closing of the sale of our client Prism Hotels & Resorts (prismhotels.com) to Aimbridge Hospitality (aimbridgehospitality.com). Prism specializes in hotel management, resort development management, and management of hotels in receivership and Ambridge is a leading global hospitality company.

Partners Guy Maisnik and Jay Thompson led the JMBM team with Jamie Ogden working unrelentingly on the pre-closing restructure. Associate Michelle Choi also worked assiduously on the restructure and on a myriad of ancillary deal documents.

In addition to a strong presence in traditional hotel management, Prism boasts the industry leading hotel receivership advisory and “turnaround” services involving the management and restructuring of properties that are economically distressed.

“In a year marked by immense change, it’s fitting that we announce the biggest moves in our company’s storied 38 year history,” Van said in a press release. “Close relationships have become integral to our company’s identity, and we place tremendous value in our people with whom we’ve grown together and the great properties we service. It’s with those values in mind that we have selected Aimbridge Hospitality to carry the Prism legacy forward. Aimbridge’s access to best-in-class resources and systems, coupled with their highly effective and experienced leadership team and deep understanding of our Most Satisfied Owner philosophy, makes them a perfect fit. The Prism Difference is alive and well, and we know the passion and dedication of our teams on the ground will continue to shine through this transition. We are inspired by this opportunity and excited to be part of Aimbridge Hospitality as we write the next chapter of history together. Our best is yet to come.”

“We are excited to continue Aimbridge’s growth with the acquisition of Prism.,” said Michael J. Deitemeyer, President & CEO of Aimbridge Hospitality. “With our global resources and Prism’s stellar reputation, this acquisition presents great opportunity for all of us. We look forward to welcoming their hotels, owners and talented team to Aimbridge and taking Prism’s incredible Most Satisfied Owner approach and robust lender services arm to new heights together.” CONTINUE READING →

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

CONTINUE READING →

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.

CONTINUE READING →

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 →

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