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Parties in complex commercial cases that are accused of defaulting on or breaching a contract may invoke the defense of impossibility, arguing that performance of contractual obligations was rendered impossible by an intervening event. Under New York law, those arguments rarely make it past the motion stage. Courts apply the doctrine narrowly, only to executory contracts and only where the intervening event was both unforeseeable and destroyed either the contract’s subject matter or the means of performance. The related doctrine of frustration of purpose may apply more broadly, but only where it would make little sense to perform on a contract because of an intervening event. The narrowness of these doctrines — and their questionable utility for litigators — underscores the importance of striving during the contract drafting process to include contingency clauses providing for foreseeable possibilities and language making clear the contract’s purpose.
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By Sandra D. Buchko
A hybrid workforce has meant that office and retail space is in plentiful supply. These high vacancy rates have caused landlord defaults to be on the rise, making it a tenant-friendly environment for leasing space and obtaining tenant-favorable lease terms. Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to negotiate the best lease terms and navigate the leasing process while saving money on rent, tenant buildout and operating expenses.
By Adrienne B. Koch
Parties to real estate transactions may be tempted to conclude that a notice of pendency will be available in most instances to protect their rights if things go awry. But while the CPLR’s description of actions in which a notice of pendency is permitted sounds both clear-cut and extremely broad, in practice it is neither of those things.
By Christine G. Barlow
Water issues are often confusing and involve multiple undefined terms such as plumbing, sewer, drain, overflow, or discharge. This article reviews how the terms are applied in the commercial property policy.
By Brian Peykar
The legalization of cannabis in New Jersey has created tremendous economic opportunities for commercial and industrial property owners. Aside from the potential financial benefits, property owners should approach this newer market in a cautious manner before embarking on leasing to cannabis retailers and/or growers given the multitude of issues and concerns surrounding the cannabis industry.