Commercial Leases

Mr. Markham has successfully tried and litigated various disputes that have arisen between commercial lessors and commercial lessees. Commercial leases are typically complicated contracts by which the lessor transfers a valuable interest in land to the lessee. This interest is called a leasehold, and it confers independent, essential rights and privileges on the lessee even if these rights and privileges are not clearly expressed in the lease itself. Above all, the lessee, as holder of a leasehold, is entitled by law to the exclusive possession in peace and quiet of the leased premises for the duration of the lease so long as it uses the premises in the manner contemplated by the lease and observes the other material requirements of the lease, including the most significant ones, which are to pay all “rent” and other charges on time, maintain the property reasonably, use it reasonably, and maintain required insurance. There is an elaborate body of case law that governs how commercial leases are to be construed and enforced, and that explains the duties and rights held by both the lessor and the lessee. Mr. Markham represents both lessors and lessees in disputes over substantial commercial leaseholds.  His trial experience in this field of law includes the following two related matters:

Trial Victory: Successful Enforcement of Commercial Tenant’s Rights in a Bench Trial/Overturned On Appeal.  Mr. Markham tried this case before the trial judge, who granted judgment to his client on all grounds, deeming them to be the prevailing party in their claims against the Defendant, and deeming them to be the prevailing party in the Defendant’s cross-claims against them. This case concerned various disputes between commercial tenants and a commercial landlord in which Mr Markham represented the commercial tenants. The trial court found that the tenants were entitled to exercise their option to renew their lease for an additional five years, and moreover that they were in compliance with the complicated insurance provisions set forth in the commercial lease. The landlord took the opposite position on these points.  The landlord subsequently prevailed on its appeal from one part of the judgment, obtaining an outright reversal of this part of the judgment (Mr. Markham continued to represent his clients during the appeal), but on remand the landlord lost on its principal post-appellate initiative and also failed to recover much of its requested post-appellate relief. This was a closely contested case in which Mr. Markham was opposed by a team of attorneys who included one of San Diego’s most skilled trial lawyers as well as two leading appellate practitioners. Mr. Markham handled all aspects of both cases for his clients, including the consolidated trials and the appeal. Case name: Image 2000 Multimedia, Inc. v. Joseph Quin Family Trust (S.D. Cty. Sup. Ct., Case No. 37 2007 00062035 CU-BC-EC).

Successful Follow-Up Vindication of Commercial Tenant’s Rights. The commercial landlord in the above case brought another action against the same commercial tenants after losing the above-listed case on all grounds (even so, the landlord was able to obtain substantial relief on appeal from the above case, as is explained above). After five months of arduous litigation, the landlord abruptly dropped the case, doing so one day before its representative had been ordered to answer further deposition questions about its motive for bringing the lawsuit. Case Name: Joseph Quin Family Trust v. Image 2000 Multimedia, Inc. (S.D. County, Case No. 37 2008 00102257 CU-UD-EC).