Force Majeure Clauses in the Face of COVID-19: Commercial Leasing Guidance (CA)


This practice note explains what a force majeure clause is and how and under what circumstances a force majeure clause in a commercial lease may be invoked due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and California’s Safer at Home Order. It addresses the likelihood a force majeure clause will be enforced in California, other related impossibility defenses, and considerations for commercial lessors and lessees going forward. Have no doubt about it—if you are a lessor or a lessee (or their counsel), you will be forced to understand the concept of force majeure in the months or even years ahead.