Tai Rodriguez is a member of the firm’s Government Relations practice and has developed a unique focus on providing operational support to businesses in a range of industries. She often serves as general counsel on a wide range of issues that frequently arise as a result of ever-changing state and local laws.
With a background in commercial and real estate litigation, Tai regularly represents clients in New York City agency administrative hearings regarding inspections and violations issued by the Department of Health, Fire Department, Department of Buildings, Department of Consumer Affairs, Environmental Control Board and Environmental Protection Agency. She also assists clients in preparing applications and navigating the processes for licensing, permitting, zoning, and state and city agency inspections.
In a business environment challenged with lean staffing and heightened regulatory scrutiny, Tai helps her clients stay abreast of frequently changing laws in order to prevent significant and costly penalties. Her extensive experience with operational issues enables Tai to identify and implement efficient, cost-effective strategies for handling administrative inspections and violations. Her strong negotiating skills, understanding of the complicated New York City codes and regulations, and relationships with city agencies also bring substantial savings to her clients.
Tai is a member of the board of directors of Practicing Attorneys for Law Students (PALS), a nonprofit dedicated to enhancing the skills and careers of minority law students and early career attorneys of color. She serves as chair of the PALS mentoring program, which pairs minority law students with volunteer lawyers who help students to navigate their legal careers.
In addition, Tai was an assistant adjunct professional at Columbia Law School teaching a course on complex commercial litigation and arbitration.
Areas of Focus
Tai has a deep understanding of the operational issues faced by the hospitality industry and extensive experience handling these issues on behalf of hotel company clients. As operations counsel, Tai works alongside hotel general managers in connection with regulatory violations and compliance issues; third-party contract disputes; liability and best practices; and licensing, permitting, zoning and land use matters.
Tai works with management to help ensure their compliance with state and local administrative codes and laws, health department issues, fire safety codes, and environmental control board laws. She represents clients in court and negotiates settlements when violations have been issued. Her hotel operations practice includes drafting and reviewing contracts and resolving related disputes with vendors, city agencies, guests and employees. Tai also advises management on liability issues ranging from guest privacy, stolen property and non-payment to concerns regarding minors staying at the hotel, and she has reviewed and advised on employee handbooks and other best practices policies. In addition, Tai regularly works with consultants, architects and engineers to assist clients in securing necessary permits and zoning allowances, including Local Law 11 compliance and elevator, public assembly and construction permits.
Assisting in providing counsel to the American Hotel & Lodging Association and the Hotel Association of New York City, Inc.
Appearing before the New York City Department of Buildings to obtain interpretations of the New York City Building Codes, New York City Zoning Resolution and New York State Multiple Dwelling Law, including working with City agencies and community boards on proposed legislation affecting various aspects of the development process.
Representing a hotel company’s interests in negotiations with a local community board.
Defeating a preliminary injunction on behalf of major hotel company in real estate litigation brought by its commercial tenant.
Obtaining a preliminary injunction on behalf of major hotel company in trademark litigation.
Conducting an internal investigation for a hotel company concerning employee misappropriation of business and trade secrets.
Representing a funeral home industry association in hearings before the New York Department of Consumer Affairs.
Conducting internal investigations for various clients involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Medicare and Medicaid fraud, violations of the securities laws, and employee dishonesty and theft.