Hotel Contracts in the New Era

VMAE | Live! Virtual Town Hall
May 28, 2020
12:05-12:55 PM MTN

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced cancellation or adjustment of plans for numerous meetings sponsored by veterinary medical associations.  Uncertainty about future public health conditions and potential governmental restrictions weigh heavily on the minds of VMA executives, and cause VMA members to consider whether they feel safe to travel and gather for association meetings even if/when restrictions have been lifted.  Join the conversation with three attorneys who have experience helping associations manage risk and resolving meeting-related questions such as these:

  • Since our force majeure clause doesn’t reference “pandemic” specifically are we at risk if we cancel our meeting?
  • What if our hotel can’t accommodate the number of expected participants when safety distancing is factored into room setups?
  • Are there negotiation strategies for cancelling prior to a governmental order that would prohibit our meeting?
  • What’s a good clause for future contracts that would cover us for a public health crisis and related issues like curtailment of transportation?
  • Can we even afford to purchase all-hazard event cancellation insurance anymore?


Isham R. Jones III

In-house legal counsel, American Veterinary Medical Association

For almost a decade, Isham Jones has been one of the most important individuals on staff at the AVMA. Prior to his joining the Association, the AVMA relied on legal advice and support on an as-needed basis from external sources. As in-house legal counsel, he has been invaluable in guiding the AVMA through all sorts of legal issues—both internal and external—covering contractual, litigious, parliamentary, and other matters. He has always been available to answer a wide breadth of legal questions and has also been known to assist individual volunteers and staff with personal legal matters as an act of goodwill.

Cara B. Lawrence

Tierney Lawrence LLC

Cara is a partner in the Denver law firm of Tierney Lawrence LLC where she provides business and tax advice to public charities, private foundations, venture philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, political organizations, educational institutions, professional associations, and traditional for-profit businesses. She regularly assists clients with entity selection and formation, corporate governance issues, and complex taxation issues. In addition, Cara counsels numerous public charities, social welfare organizations, political organizations, professional associations, and private foundations on political, lobbying, and advocacy activities, including the creation and operation of affiliated charitable, social welfare, and 527 organizations. Cara is a member of the Colorado and Denver bar associations and is a frequent presenter at the Annual Institute on Advising Nonprofit Organizations in Colorado. Cara was named to Colorado Super Lawyers® in 2014-2016 in the field of Nonprofit Law. Cara was also named to The Best Lawyers in America in 2015 and 2016 and was voted Best Non-Profit Lawyer in Colorado (The People’s Court Choice, Law Week Colorado, “Barrister’s Best 2010”).

Jed R. Mandel

Member, Chicago Law Partners LLC

Jed has extensive experience in representing not-for-profit organizations and is general counsel to more than 100 trade associations and professional societies. His practice includes counseling associations on tax, antitrust, corporate governance, contract, liability, insurance, healthcare, certification and credentialing, meeting and convention and other related matters. In addition, Jed has appeared before Congress, state legislative bodies and various state and federal agencies advocating positions on behalf of client associations.  As part of his work on behalf of the not-for-profit community, and as General Counsel to the Association Forum of Chicagoland, Jed was the principal author of recent amendments updating and modernizing the Illinois Not For Profit Corporation Act.  Jed is a member of the American Bar Association, the Association Forum of Chicagoland, and a charter member of the American Society of Association Executives’ Legal Section (and currently serves on its Legal Section Council). Jed is the General Counsel for the Association Forum and was awarded its Associate Member of the Year Award for his contributions to the Chicago association community, and has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America.