Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Cairns

J.Thomas Cairns

Attorney, Steckbauer Weinhart, LLP

J. Thomas Cairns advises and represents real estate developers, investors, lenders, brokers, landlords and tenants in sophisticated transactions and high stakes litigation. In over 30 years of practice, he has been developers' counsel on more than 50 major projects, including shopping centers, office and industrial parks, mixed use projects, hotels, condominiums and apartments, handling all aspects of property acquisitions, financing, entitlements, subdivisions, construction, sales and leasing. He has represented both borrowers and lenders in dozens of multimillion dollar financing transactions and has negotiated and documented hundreds of commercial leases. He became a licensed California Real Estate Broker in 1979. In addition, Mr. Cairns represents hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and tour operators. For more than a decade, he acted as outside General Counsel to the world's largest chain of student travel agencies. In 1997, he was inducted into the Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys and has served two terms on that organization's Board of Directors. Mr. Cairns' approach to litigation is to seek early, practical and economical resolutions for his clients. Where early resolution cannot be achieved, however, Mr. Cairns can call upon his skills as a veteran trial lawyer, having acted as lead counsel in over 60 bench trials and 14 jury trials to verdict in state, federal and bankruptcy courts. Mr. Cairns believes that his transactional and litigation practices complement one another and that his deep understanding of substantive real estate law gives his clients an advantage in the courtroom against generic litigators, while his experience with how things actually shake out in court helps him to better advise transactional clients on how to avoid pitfalls that may lead them into trouble.

Mr. Cairns can be contacted at 213-229-2868 or jcairns@swesq.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.