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Most commercial leases are forged by a deliberate, organic process that includes face-to-face meetings, telephone calls and written correspondence between the landlord, the tenant and their respective agents, culminating in a written contract that historically was required to be signed by hand by both parties. Over the past 20 years, the rise of email as a generally-accepted medium of business communication has prompted the law to allow certain contracts, including leases, to be entered into electronically, without a handwritten signature. Progress has been made in this respect, both by statute and the common law; however, tweaking a centuries-old legal axiom takes time. This article addresses recent developments and the present state of the law with respect to commercial leasing and electronic media.
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By Marisa L. Byram and Garrett L. Kinkelaar
Keystone Specialty Services Co. v. Ebaugh
Practitioners should take note that depending on the jurisdiction, a well-drafted exculpatory clause may afford additional protections to a commercial landlord, even from its own negligent acts.
By Jessie Yount
Real estate executives say the construction of the office of the future is well underway within the legal industry, despite a dip in leasing activity at the beginning of the year. However, there is a shift toward “densification,” as firms take advantage of favorable market conditions and make longer-term commitments.
By Steven M. Silverberg
In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court applied strict scrutiny to a sign regulation as it related to directional signs placed by a local congregation that held services at different locations each week. The Court took another look at the issue of strict scrutiny relating to “off-premises” signs in the case of City of Austin, Texas v. Reagan National Advertising , in which the majority concluded that strict scrutiny should not apply to determining whether the off-premises sign regulations at issue violated the First Amendment.
By Paul Bergeron
The commercial real estate industry is having little trouble shrugging off today’s challenging economic situations and its optimism is brewing with recent pandemic restrictions being lifted, according to a state of the market survey from DLA Piper.