New York Gym, Trying to Muscle Its Way Into Landlord’s Lobby, Throws In The Towel

By Adam Leitman Bailey


Pumped up with inflated ideas of its own power, a major NYC gymnasium sought to muscle its way into its landlord’s lobby, an ALBPC client.  But in two rounds, the gym’s claims were knocked out and it retreated to its corner, asking to be released from its lease.

Originally, the gym had built its own building, next door to the ALBPC client.  As the gym’s business expanded, it negotiated with the client for a lease to upper floors of the client’s building to be accessed by bridge to the gym’s building.  The lease also provided that those upper floors could be used as office space for the gym’s own employees and the client’s building’s elevators and lobbies could be used only by those office workers and disabled patrons of the gym.  The gym, years later, decided to tear down its own building in order to replace it and to demand that the landlord allow all of its patrons unfettered use of the elevator and lobby.

ALBPC came out of its corner slugging.  Adopting a brains over brawn approach, ALBPC warned the gym that any lawyer it retained to prosecute its claim would be placing a law license in peril, given the complete lack of merit to the gym’s stance.  The gym responded with a letter from a lawyer, threatening expensive litigation to referee the fight.

ALBPC punched back with a letter brief, pummeling the gym with the facts and legal arguments that would immediately cause the gym’s case to be knocked out.  Although the gym’s counsel came back with a weak kneed response, it was obvious that the gym had tapped out.

In the meantime, ALBPC directed its client in carefully observing what was actually happening in the building.  Upon determining that the gym was sending its athletes through the landlord’s lobby, ALBPC predicted that the gym was attempting to establish a new status quo to enforce with a preliminary injunction.

Armed with that information, ALBPC directed its client to set up screening systems prohibiting able bodied athletes from using the landlord’s lobby; to set up sign in sheets to document who was actually using the lobby; and to set up security guards and cameras to record who was actually using the lobby. Under ALBPC’s guidance, the only status quo to preserve was that the able bodied athletes were not using the lobby.

Thus, ALBPC’s communications to the gym and its counsel coupled with the reality ALBPC established on the ground made any battle the gym would choose to fight an exercise in futility.

The gym shortly thereafter threw in the towel, fired its attorneys, and asked to be released from the lease.  ALBPC attorneys Adam Leitman Bailey, Dov Treiman, and an associate had won a heavyweight victory for the client at minimal expense.

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