Oral Lease Holds Water / Business Litigation

Thirty years of lease history and a summary judgement.

Case Summary:

  • The Firm successfully argued an oral, rather than written, lease was the operative lease in place between the commercial landlord and tenant for purposes of the statute of limitations.
  • The Firm secured summary judgment for its commercial tenant-client and was granted an award of its attorneys’ fees.

Restaurant With Longstanding Verbal Agreement Wins Motion For Summary Judgment

One of our Firm’s restaurant clients was facing a claim for over $200,000 in damages based upon an alleged breach of a written commercial lease. The commercial landlord-tenant relationship at issue spanned nearly 30 years. After untangling the web of leases, options to renew and actual lease renewals and renegotiations, our Firm was able to forward a nuanced legal argument that the ultimate lease in question was, in fact, an oral agreement, not a written agreement.  As a result, our Firm argued the claim against its restaurant client should be barred by the applicable two-year statute of limitations. 

The Court agreed with our Firm’s position and granted the Client’s Motion For Summary Judgment and awarded Clients their attorneys’ fees incurred in defending the action, which allowed the client to move forward with opening its new restaurant location.