Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Barrett-Cuetara

Richard Barrett-Cuetara

Managing Member, Barrett-Cuetara, PLLC

Richard Barrett-Cuetara is the Managing Member of Barrett-Cuetara, PLLC. He has more than 25 years of trial law and transactional experience in complex commercial real estate transactions and sophisticated real estate disputes, with a special emphasis in the hospitality industry. Trial Law Experience - includes challenging constitutionality of municipal hotel ordinance, actions of inspectors, city manager and law enforcement; prevented condemnation of hotel by municipality; Special Litigation Counsel in $22M CMBS litigation against a REIT and Master/Special Servicers; Defended Price-Gouging lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General, State of Texas, with assistance from Texas Hotel & Lodging Association; prosecuted $27M complex arbitration proceeding regarding division of 6 hotels involving breach of fiduciary duties, fraud, breach of contract, disgorgement, accounting and mismanagement claims; Defended hotel owner in lender liability litigation against Wall Street Hedge Fund and FDIC regarding unlawful acceleration of debt, loan work-out and pre-bankruptcy strategy; jury trial verdict in ad valorem tax litigation against appraisal district; and jury verdict in complex partnership dispute concerning a business divorce of large retail shopping centers. Transactional Experience - includes closing a $60M acquisition of four mid-tiered hotels in Texas that were converted to “select-service” hotels and franchised with international hotel company; negotiating office and retail leases; preparing hotel lease and purchase sale agreements; and operational matters involving retail property management firms, asset managers and hotel operators. Prior Real Estate Experience - includes working in the Real Estate Investment Division of METLIFE, Dallas, Texas, as a Financial Analyst, Asset Manager, Loan Underwriter and Commercial Appraiser (M.A.I. Courses). Professional Affiliations & Memberships - include the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association (TH&LA); Hotel Association of Tarrant County; Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys (AHIA); the Hospitality Law Conference (HLC), Houston, Texas, as Advisory Panel, Moderator and Host; and Contributing Author for HospitaliltyLawyer.com. Honors & Recognitions include nomination to ABA Real Estate Litigation Committee, as Co-Chair of the Commercial Real Estate Subcommittee; Attorney of the Week, Hospitalitylawyer.com (April 22, 2013); Rated AV Preeminent Rating ®, Highest Possible Rating in Legal Ability & Ethical Standards; Martindale-Hubbell ® AV ® Preeminent (5.0) Rating; and Top Rated Lawyer in Commercial Litigation & Real Estate Law, Martindale-Hubbell ®.

Mr. Barrett-Cuetara can be contacted at 214-361-1040 or rbarrett@barrettcuetara.com

Coming up in May 2019...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.