Its-the-law-cover-az1I have been told this is a Real Estate Law Blog and that it might be time to blog about real estate law for a change. I know wine and grilled cheese donuts may be more interesting, so bear with me while I transgress.

I just attended and spoke at the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Law Conference. I highly recommend this conference for anyone involved in retail real estate. The presentations are always informative and cause me to double check my lease forms and change my approach to certain issues. I always learn a thing or two at each conference and this year was no exception.

I presented along with Robert DiVita of Urban Edge Properties on Casualty and Eminent Domain. Not sure if this changed anyone’s life, or that anyone actually called it “riveting”, but I did hear positive feedback from those in attendance. I must admit that I heard from several people who have actually been through a casualty that the business folks decided what to do and never even consulted the Lease. Nonetheless, as attorneys we still have an obligation to make sure the Lease is correct and we tried to at least emphasize that the rent abatement and restoration obligation should mirror the insurance obligation.

The keynote speech this year was by Commander Rorke Denver, the author, actor and Navy Seal. He spoke about leadership, and provided great advice about working under stress. He said “Calm is contagious.” Panic is too – so you need to watch out how you are relating to your team members. He also demonstrated how we all can find an extra inch in everything we do if we simply try to do it.

The other benefit of this conference is the chance to meet in person the attorneys you have been working against. I often like the attorney on the other side once I meet them in person. I hope they feel the same way, because it is hard to be unreasonable or difficult after you have met them face to face and developed a relationship with them. At this conference, I connected or re-connected with several folks. I am already looking forward to next year when it returns to the East Coast.

Hopefully, this pacifies your yearnings for the law so I can turn my attention to pork bellies. I don’t mean commodities future trading, but the boneless cut of fatty meat from the belly of a pig. Sounds kind of disgusting, right? But it seems like every decent restaurant I go to these days has pork belly on the menu, and it is incredibly tasty! If you take nothing else from this blog, commit to trying pork bellies. It won’t change your life (like the first time you had béarnaise sauce on a filet mignon), but you will thank me.