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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 Bruce H. Lederman
At a time when the COVID-19 crisis is causing an unprecedented number of lease defaults, a recent NY Court of Appeals decision provides both guidance and warnings to attorneys asked to negotiate and litigate leasehold surrender agreements.
By Adam Leitman Bailey and John M. Desiderio
This article addresses and updates the law on the self-help remedy that enables commercial landlords to regain possession of leased premises from tenants in material breach of one or more lease covenants.
By Erika B. Morphy
If commercial real estate is going to have a successful 2021, it will require the ability to seek out unexpected advantages.
By Warren A. Estis and Alexander Lycoyannis
As the COVID-19 pandemic and its accompanying economic fallout continue to unfold, commercial tenants have increasingly come to rely on the common law doctrines of impossibility of performance and frustration of purpose as defenses to the nonpayment of rent.