Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Smith Thomas

Jennifer Smith Thomas

Partner, RumbergerKirk

Jennifer Smith Thomas is a partner in the Orlando office of RumbergerKirk and focuses her practice in the areas of casualty and commercial litigation.

In particular, Ms. Thomas represents commercial and residential premises owners, including associations, public entities, and businesses in premises liability actions, including slip/trip and falls, negligent security, and personal injury defense matters including catastrophic injury and/or wrongful death suits. She also represents product manufacturers in personal injury suits.

Ms. Thomas's commercial litigation experience includes the representation of banks, creditors, financial institutions and title insurance companies in complex business litigation and real property disputes. She also has significant appellate, bankruptcy, and post-judgment collection experience.

RumbergerKirk represents a variety of clients in a wide range of general liability matters throughout Florida and Alabama, including representation of various companies, associations and public entities directly, as well as through insurance companies, TPAs, and adjusting firms. The law firm assists clients in a variety of personal injury matters including catastrophic injury and wrongful death claims. Its casualty and commercial litigation groups are anchored by experienced litigators to provide a cost-efficient defense, including serving as regional and statewide counsel for national retailers and risk pools.

The law firm represents hotels, restaurants, retailers, night clubs, theme parks, rideshare companies, property associations, public housing authorities and others in a range of matters. Its attorneys litigate against and are familiar with a large number of plaintiff's firms and have appeared in virtually every state, federal, and appellate court within Florida and Alabama. RumbergerKirk works with a number of established experts in various fields, such as engineering, medicine, economics, and vocational rehabilitation and have litigated against a number of recurring experts who testify for the plaintiffs.

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

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-smith-thomas-9b66bb97/

Ms. Smith Thomas can be contacted at +1 407-872-7300 or jthomas@rumberger.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.