Interested in training for your team? Click here to learn more

Recent Commercial Eviction Cases: Force Majeure, Co-Tenancy, Quiet Enjoyment, Frustration of Purpose

Temporary Impracticability, Business Interruption Insurance, Work-Outs, Bankruptcy Lease Rejection, Declaratory Judgments

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Thursday, July 15, 2021

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide landlord and tenant counsel with guidance on the leading defenses in commercial eviction cases in 2021 due to the pandemic-induced economic downturn and prior lockdown orders. The panel will advise on what tenants may expect in temporary relief, work-outs, and lease terminations and how landlords may negotiate rent relief in exchange for lease affirmations or extensions. Our panel will guide leasing counsel on reviewing lease terms and possible claims and defenses in this evolving commercial real estate landscape.


Since March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused substantial economic distress worldwide, particularly to U.S. landlords, small and large. Estimates show that more than 10 million renters are behind on payments, more than triple an average year. Federal, state, and local eviction moratoria have created an untenable situation for landlords unable to pay their own mortgages, maintenance, payroll, utilities, and other obligations. Recently, the courts are issuing decisions on the enforceability of the moratoria and landlords' rights under the contract and statutory law.

Counsel for both landlords and tenants should know the courts' rulings, particularly on common tenant defenses. Many cases dispute the validity of the eviction moratoria. Major New York, Florida, and California cases found that the doctrine of impossibility and frustration of purpose defenses were inconsistent with lease terms explicitly addressing the risk of a tenant's inability to operate. Other decisions, including a New York Supreme Court case, have found that frustration of purpose is a valid defense because the COVID-19 pandemic was not foreseeable.

With the uncertainty of rulings on tenant defenses and landlord claims, counsel and clients should consider alternatives beyond the courts to resolve defaulted leases. Utilizing various options, from filing claims on a tenant's business interruption insurance to developing work-out plans that address both tenant and landlord needs, should be examined.

Listen as our expert panel addresses the current decisions from commercial eviction cases and the successful defenses that have been presented. The panel will also advise on alternative resolutions to defaulted leases.



  1. Recent eviction cases
    1. Federal moratorium
    2. State and local
      1. New York
      2. Florida, California
      3. Other states
  2. Most successful defenses
  3. Alternative resolutions
    1. Business interruption insurance
    2. Work-outs


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What is the status of the federal, state, and local eviction moratoria? What are recent court decisions on enforceability?
  • When are common law doctrines of frustration of purpose and impossibility successful defenses?
  • What should counsel, landlords, and tenants consider when resolving a defaulted lease outside of court?


Degan, Ali
Ali Degan

Stern & Eisenberg

Mr. Degan has represented various companies and individuals in real estate disputes (i.e., ownership disputes, landlord...  |  Read More

Horner, Clifford
Clifford R. Horner

Horner Law Group

Mr. Horner’s 25+ year litigation experience includes all types of business and real estate disputes, commercial...  |  Read More

Wurtzel, Joshua
Joshua Wurtzel

Schlam Stone & Dolan

Mr. Wurtzel’s practice focuses on high-stakes, complex commercial litigation and corporate governance disputes....  |  Read More

Access Anytime, Anywhere

Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include course handouts.

To find out which recorded format will provide the best CLE option, select your state:

CLE On-Demand Video