Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Devlin

Lisa Devlin

Attorney, Devlin Law Firm

Lisa Sommer Devlin has practiced law since 1984, and has concentrated in hospitality law for over 25 years. She negotiates contracts, provides legal training for sales staff and handles convention and meeting related litigation nationwide for major hotel companies, and many independent hotels.

In 2002, Ms. Devlin was named one of the 25 most influential people in the meeting industry by Meeting News magazine. In 2006, the magazine gave her the honor her again, stating: "More than anyone else, she is the legal voice for the industry."

She has served as a member of the Legal Advisory Counsel and on the Contracts panel for the APEX Initiative sponsored by the Convention Industry Council, and was President of the Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys 2012-2014. In 2015, Meetings and Conventions magazine included her in its "M&C's Top 25 Women in the Meeting Industry."

Ms. Devlin has published numerous articles on hospitality related topics, including being the primary drafter of the American Hotel & Lodging Association's meeting planner brochure, "Meeting in the Middle."

Ms. Devlin is a sought-after speaker and trainer. She has spoken at events sponsored by Meetings Professional International, Professional Convention Management Association, Exhibitor Show, Hotel Sales and Marketing Association International, Society of Government Meeting Planners, Conference Direct, Experient, Collinson Media (now Connect Meetings), Elite Meetings Alliance, and many others, and served as adjunct faculty for Arizona State University's Professional Meeting Manager's Partnership program. PCMA named her one of its "Best in Class" speakers for 2012.

The State Bar of Arizona has asked her to serve as faculty for many years at a number of its Continuing Legal Education seminars, including its Trial College and Professionalism events.

Ms. Devlin attended the University of Iowa where she received her B.S. in 1981 in Anthropology and Journalism with High Distinction, Phi Beta Kappa; and her Juris Doctor in 1984, also with High Distinction, and Order of the Coif.

Please visit http://www.devlinfirm.com for more information.

Ms. Devlin can be contacted at +1 602-522-2793 or lisa@devlinfirm.com

Coming up in December 2020...

Hotel Law: Protecting Guest Privacy

Every business is obligated to protect their customers from identity theft but unfortunately, data breaches have become all too common. In an effort to protect a guest's right to privacy and to safeguard their personal data, the European Union passed a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that could hold hotels legally liable for any breaches that expose a customer's sensitive personal information. Though the GDPR only pertains to EU citizens' data, any international business that mishandles their data can be legally responsible. Another legal issue of concern is the fight involving hotel "resort fees." Several states attorney generals have recently filed suit against two major hotel chains in an effort to litigate this practice. Their suit alleges that these companies are "engaged in deceptive and misleading pricing practices and their failure to disclose fees is in violation of consumer protection laws." The suit seeks to force the hotel chains to advertise the true price of their hotel rooms. There are several other legal issues that the industry is being forced to address. Sexual harassment prevention in the workplace is still top of mind for hotel employers-particularly in New York and California, which now statutorily require harassment training. Hotels and motels in California will also soon be required to train all their employees on human trafficking awareness. Immigration issues are also of major concern to hotel employers, especially in the midst of a severe labor shortage. The government is issuing fewer H2B visas for low-skilled workers, as well as J-1 visas for temporary workers. Though there is little hope for any comprehensive immigration reform, hotel lobbying groups are actively seeking legal remedies to alleviate this problem. These are just a few of the critical issues that the December issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.