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More than any other industry, hospitality businesses continue to remain at the forefront of the retail market space. The daily reality of the hospitality industry is one of constant change, coupled with the ongoing challenge of customers that are both finicky and demanding. Retail guests demand quality products, a safe environment and validation that their decision to do business with a retail outlet is consistent with popular social networking trends. 

Murchison & Cumming offers a robust and successful Hospitality Litigation practice. We are known for lawyers who are not only expert in this very specific discipline of the law, but also for attorneys with street smarts, business acumen and cost-effective solutions. Our practical know-how and effective negotiation and persuasion abilities consistently serve as a catalyst for liability mitigation both behind closed doors and in high-stakes, high profile disputes.

We understand public relations and the harshness of today’s brazen and instant media exposure. Often, third-party perception and image frequently drive our client’s bottom line and ultimate longevity in the hospitality sector. We know first-hand that prevailing at trial at the expense of alienating customers is not a real victory at all. As a result and where appropriate, we devise alternate paths to traditional litigation, thus averting potential public scrutiny that can damage or even obliterate our client’s brand.

However, sometimes litigation is the only way to advocate our client’s rights. Known as formidable litigators with a proven track record for success in the tug-of-war of a court battle, we have set the bar at its highest for creative advocacy techniques. In the face of serious litigation, we work with our clients to establish a Fast Response Public Relations Team, comprised of media savvy litigators, outside PR professionals and assigned client contacts to proactively manage the message and talking points for targeted news outlets and social media venues.

A sampling of our litigation abilities include:

  • Represented a franchisee of a major food chain in a highly confidential settlement for far less than anticipated over the assault of a co-worker by a fellow employee
  • Successful defense of a world famous Los Angeles hotel in an alleged negligent security claim
  • Obtaining summary judgment on behalf of a historic Los Angeles hotel in a wedding accident claim
  • Defending a historic San Francisco hotel in a high-stakes civil rights claim

Murchison & Cumming is where our hospitality industry clients need us to be. Our footprint and clientele of national and international hospitality owners and operators are located strategically throughout California and Nevada. Our practice profile has been forged by years of representing both insured and self-insured clients operating in such hospitality and retail specialties as:

  • Fine dining, casual and fast food restaurants
  • Major luxury hotels, resorts and gaming establishments
  • Hotel food and beverage management
  • Convenience stores
  • Amusement and theme parks
  • Country clubs and other private clubs
  • Elite nightclubs, upscale bars and lounges

We have not only aggressively defended such clients against traditional premises liability, food borne illness, security and discrimination claims, but also advocated their position in employment related challenges, including labor and employment practices, regulatory and compliance claims, as well as consumer affairs related matters. We have earned, through our intellectual prowess and acute defense tactics, a national reputation for enforcing “exclusivity” provisions typically prevalent in ground lease agreements.

Because our team believes that preventing litigation is preferred to defending such claims, we work diligently with our clients to address opportunities for in-house training programs. Such initiatives are designed to avert problems before they can snowball into costly disputes. Our training programs have ranged from Human Resources Best Practices, to Security Risk Prevention Protocols, to Regulatory Compliance Practices and beyond.

References are available upon request.

For more information about the Hospitality Practice Group of Murchison & Cumming LLP, its attorneys and services, please contact:

James O. Eiler, Co-Chair

Guy R. Gruppie, Co-Chair

William D. Naeve, Co-Chair