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The COVID-19 pandemic is resulting in landlords and tenants closely reviewing a clause in their lease that was long considered unimportant boilerplate. Yes, we are referring to the “force majeure” provision. “Force majeure” is translated from French as “superior strength” and is often thought of an act of God or act of nature. Black’s law dictionary defines it as “a contractual provision allocating the risk of loss if performance becomes impossible or impracticable, especially as a result of an event or effect that the parties could not have anticipated or controlled.” In the coming months many conversations will take place regarding the applicability of the force majeure clause to closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the related doctrine of impossibility.
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By Lucas Ferrara
On Oct. 29, 2020, a Manhattan real-estate firm filed four separate class-action lawsuits highlighting three different maneuvers landlords used to evade the requirements of a tax-abatement program.
By Fredric P. Lavinthal and Eric M. Finkelstein
This article seeks to examine key current issues, and offers practical advice to landlords and tenants seeking common ground to address the ongoing financial toll of the pandemic.
By Frank Burke
This article examines how shutdown actions might be approached and resolved by settlement by applying a series of contract performance doctrines that inevitably arise during these types of situations.
By Erika Morphy
A national-led effort to push back against the virus will hopefully drive down infections enough until a vaccine becomes available. This can only help commercial real estate as it is clear that the economy will not fully recover until the coronavirus is vanquished.