Real Estate Services
I offer a wide range of services for real estate business including: Commercial and Residential Landlord & Tenant matters; Commercial lease negotiation, enforcement, termination; Regulatory and rent control compliance; Tenant purchase (TOPA) compliance and enforcement; Condominium & cooperative creation and governance
Bars & Restaurants
If you run an establishment that has a liquor license, leave the legal and compliance worry to me, and you can focus on serving your customers. Whether you have applied for a new license or transfer, renewal or substantial change of an existing license I can take you through the process. I also represent owners in ABC Board hearings and every other conceivable legal hurdle that an owner may face.
Whether you have been sued and need to protect your business, or reached an impasse in a dispute and you need to assert your rights in court, I offer a thoughtful, common sense, and cost-effective approach to litigation.
Client Centered Representation
I believe that to be most effective as a lawyer, I need to be intimately familiar with my clients' business environment. Every week, I walk to my downtown DC office at least once. The walk gives me time to think about the day ahead, sometimes return phone calls, but, mostly, observe, from the ground, the day-to-day realities of a small business owner in our city. I see deliveries to restaurants, watched by a bleary-eyed owner, to ensure nothing "falls off the truck." I see new franchises and "superstores," making margins even tighter for the family-owned business. Construction cranes are everywhere, and new buildings are rising, seemingly overnight, as developers vie for disappearing real estate stock. I also see other people like me, scurrying to their offices early in the morning. It is no surprise that burnout and depression among professionals are increasing exponentially. The swell of need, coupled with insurance laws, has increased the pressure on behavioral health care providers. The corporate competition and regulatory environment in the District cause small businesses to fail at an alarming rate. As an owner, you need to focus all of your time and energy on serving your clients to build your business. In order to do that, you need a professional on your side, to handle legal compliance. I am here to help you navigate the regulations so that your business can thrive.
I tailor fee agreements to meet the unique needs of your matter. While I offer a traditional hourly billing option, I also accept some cases on a flat-fee basis; subscription-based model, where you pay a monthly fee for recurring services; and a hybrid hourly/contingency option where I accept a reduced hourly rate during the course of your matter, and additional fees if the representation yields a favorable result. Visit the "Fees" Page for more details.
Typically, lawyers do not accept limited, partial, or piecemeal engagements. However, in today's business climate, customers want everything to be a' la carte. Customers want customization. With the ready availability of information today, clients want to take an active role in the legal aspects of their business. Even if most of my profession is not, I am willing to change with the times, and do things the “new way.” So if you want to hire me for a consultation, or to review a contract, memorialize a settlement agreement, check a regulatory application, provided that it can be done responsibly, I will provide those unbundled services. Visit the "Fees" page for more details, or if you already know what unbundled service you need, book an appointment now, and select your service from the menu when scheduling.
Like you, I own a small business. When I get busy, it becomes more difficult to stay in touch, so I put the scheduling in your hands. If you want to meet with me or have a call, there is no email or phone tag. As a client, or someone considering hiring me, all you need to do is visit the “Book Appointment” page and schedule a date and time that fits your schedule.
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Emergency Coronavirus Law for DC Bars and Restaurants (Updated 3/22/20) The COVID-19 emergency has decimated the hospitality industry and the legal situation is fluid. We have put together this legal guide to assist you in identifying appropriate resources. If you own a nightlife establishment, I will be glad to consult with you free of charge. Read more about Guide to DC Emergency Coronavirus Law[…]
When the courts interpret a commercial lease, they assume that both landlord and tenant are sophisticated businesspeople with equal negotiating leverage. Unlike residential tenancies, there are no legal presumptions to favor tenants in eviction cases. That makes the specific language of a commercial lease extremely important. Below, I list, and explain, what I see as the Read more about Commercial Lease Agreements in DC: ‘Must Haves’ for Landlords[…]
I ask most new clients if they are registered for rent control or if they have “perfected an exemption.” Often, the response is, ‘I’m exempt, I only have 1 unit.” If you read carefully, you’ll realize that is not the question that I asked. “Have you PERFECTED an exemption from rent control?” In DC you Read more about DC Rent Control Exemptions[…]
Eviction of a tenant in DC is more difficult, time-consuming, and expensive than anywhere else in the country. The laws and regulations are heavily slanted against landlords and free lawyers are readily available to tenants. Presently, there are only ten (10) legal reasons that a landlord can evict a tenant, all of which are interpreted very Read more about DC Eviction Guide for Landlords[…]
If you are or want to be a landlord in DC you may have a lot of worries about your legal responsibilities. Collecting a security deposit, like everything else in the DC rental business has very specific and technical rules. This post covers the basics of what you need to know. You can only collect Read more about DC security deposit rules[…]
Recently, New York City’s tough AirBnB law was struck down by the Federal court. This is a major win for host listing services and may foreshadow things to come in D.C. When D.C. adopted one of the most stringent laws in the country to regulate transient, so-called ‘AirBnB’ rentals, the practical reality of actually implementing Read more about How is DC going to enforce its AirBnB law?[…]
Every so often there is a news item about the tons of leftover food that go to waste each year while millions of Americans go undernourished. As I recently learned, this is not a problem that can be easily pinned on politicians. In fact, the Federal Government and many states have legislation that protects food Read more about Leftover Food Donations by Restaurants: Why would you not do this?[…]
There are certain bills that a bar just has to pay on time. If you don’t pay purveyors or wholesalers you won’t have any food or drink to sell. But what about other, less vital accounts that you have? It’s easier to let those slide or get behind. If you do, the consequences can be Read more about Your liquor license can be seized to satisfy outstanding debts[…]
Emergency Post-Shutdown Eviction Relief for Federal Workers On January 22, the D.C. Council passed emergency legislation to give formerly furloughed federal workers and contractors relief from eviction, late fees and foreclosure sales. The new law allows Judges to stay eviction and foreclosure proceedings against federal workers until thirty (30) days after the government reopens or Read more about D.C. Council Stops Evictions for Federal Workers[…]
A form lease makes a bad situation worse for DC landlords If you are a landlord in DC, you are playing a rigged game. DC is one of, if not the most protective jurisdictions for tenants in the country. The regulatory scheme governing rental housing is a rats nest of esoteric rules, laws and practices, Read more about Using an internet form lease is stupid in DC[…]