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Abstract

Part I of this Article gives a brief outline of the more obvious concerns posed by the introduction of a favored nation concept in a commercial lease. Part II discusses cases involving favored nation clauses in various types of commercial contracts and illustrates the difficulty courts have had in assessing whether one contract is, in fact, more favorable than another. Part III introduces the reader to the trilogy of cases in Pittsburgh's Golden Triangle starting with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Pirates litigation with the Pittsburgh Stadium Authority. This litigation gives focus to the problems posed by a favored nation clause in commercial leasing. The remainder of Part III outlines important questions those cases determined or left unresolved. Part IV analyzes in detail the first known commercial lease case involving a favored nation claim tried to a conclusion and examines how, and to what extent, fact intensive analyses and expert testimony were required by both sides to the dispute, and sets forth the trial judge's reasoning in concluding that disfavor did not exist. Part V concludes that the current state of the law makes it difficult to predict, with any degree of certainty, the outcome of a dispute concerning a commercial lease's favored nation clause.

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