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February 2017 Archives

How to recover for a construction defect claim, Part 1

Construction defects are heavily litigated areas of law. Constructing a building is complicated and a handful of mistakes can bring the entire habitability or integrity of the building down. Construction defects are thus a heavily contested area of the law determining (1) if there is a defect and (2) who is responsible for it. This posts will go over the legal theories that allow plaintiffs to recover for construction defect matters. This post will discuss the merits of a negligence claim in a construction defect suit.

Creating a noncompete agreement for a new doctor

In medieval times, the economy relied on apprenticeships to graduate craftsmen into the workforce. A master would agree to train an apprentice in exchange for low-wage labor for a few years to help the apprentice learn the trade. At the end of the period, the apprentice graduated and was considered a journeyman. To maintain control of the market, the master might want to prevent the journeyman he trained for years from practicing the craft within a certain area.

What is a construction defect claim? Part 2

A construction defect claim arises when there is something fundamentally wrong with the construction of the building, and the defect is rendering the building unsafe or unusable for the intended purpose. Construction defect claims can be brought against any party that is responsible for the issue, the developer, general contractor, or sub-contractor. A previous post discussed the different types of design defects. This post will address material deficiencies and construction and subsurface defects.

Do you need a lawyer to close out a real estate deal?

Most states do not require an attorney to be part of the closing process of a real estate deal. Usually, a broker is sufficient. But, depending on the complexity and size of the contract, you may want a lawyer present to address any last-minute problems before you ink the contract. This post will go over when you may want to hire an attorney so that you can identify when you may need some legal assistance.

What is a blind trust?

The latest concerns about the President's possible entanglements overseas through his businesses has revived the debate over blind trusts. There are many types of trusts; some are designed to accomplish discrete goals, for example, caring for family members or to invest a university endowment. Others are designed to relieve people of conflicts of interest, the blind trust. This post will go over blind trusts and how they operate.

A review of important lease terms, Part 2

Leases are long, comprehensive, and complex documents; as well they should be. Most leases lock you into a contract for a year or more. The last thing you need is a lease that is poorly constructed and leaves you vulnerable to lawsuits. As discussed in a previous post, you need to carefully include all necessary terms, such as time, who bears improvements, and the party names. This post will go over some lesser-known clauses.

The Ten Commandments to avoid construction litigation, Part 2

Most disputes arise because there is a misunderstanding between the parties. For instance, one party might have expected property values to increase when they agreed to construction. Unfortunately, they cratered now the other party wants out of the agreement because their assumption did not come true ? not because they are inherently bad. A previous post discussed effective contract writing as key to avoiding disputes. This post will address how to anticipate and prevent problems.

An overview of mold types and causes

It might sound ridiculous, to sue or litigate over mold. Mold seems like an easy enough problem to solve, clean it out or toss the infected areas. Unfortunately, in new constructions, mold is rarely discovered before it catastrophically penetrates into the building. Additionally, depending on the type of mold, it could be a health hazard or even have already harmed some people. Therefore, mold is quite dangerous and is a frequent subject of construction defect litigation.

Specific performance in real estate contracts

Let’s say you are engaged in real estate litigation. You are trying to purchase a piece of land and attendant structures, but the other party backed out of the agreement at the last moment, after you agreed and fulfilled all other terms, including paying the first few installments. You sue, you win and prove that the other side breached the contract. Now you are asked, do you want your money returned and call it even? Or do you prefer the land and buildings?

Revocable trusts explained

Many people, even in their 20s and 30s, are thinking about how to manage their wealth when they are gone. There are numerous options from wills, to gifts, to trusts. A popular tool is the “revocable trust.” A revocable trust is a separate legal entity that you create and manage during your life. When you pass away, it inherits some or all of your assets and continues to manage them according to instructions you leave behind. This post will go over the basics of revocable trusts.

How are trusts created?

Trusts are a type of testamentary instrument that allows a grantor (the person who gives the stuff) to have some control over the disbursement and management of the assets. Trusts are separate legal entities, which means they can own property, sue, and be sued. Trusts are administered by Trustees, who are usually personal representatives appointed by the grantor, but many people also default to allow banks be their Trustee.

What is a construction defect claim? Part 1

To a certain extent, developers rely on their contractors to deliver a finished building that is safe, up to code and free from defects. Defects in a structure can sink an entire deal because no one wants to assume responsibility for a building that does not meet safety or permitting standards. Additionally, a defective building could become a safety or health hazard. This post will go over the basics of a construction defect issue.

Tips to negotiate commercial leases

Commercial leases are intimidating to negotiate. Most commercial leases, unlike residential, go on for many years or even decades. Therefore, you are stuck with your tenant for a long time, so the deal better is a good one. This post will go over some tips for negotiating a commercial lease.

Basics of a breach of contract claim, Part 1

Contracts are the bedrock of business. They allow businesses to exchange goods and services. Contracts lay out reciprocal obligations, rules that govern the relationship, and timelines. Contracts, in short, are the lifeblood of business. Therefore, when a business breaches a contract, companies need methods with which to resolve the dispute. This post will go over the basics of what constitutes a breach of contract.

Learn as much as possible about the seller's position when buying real estate

When you are purchasing real estate, whether it is for your own personal use or for a commercial investment, you should know as much as you can about the property and the reason for the sale. According to the National Association of Realtors, over 60 percent of buyers use many different sources to learn more about a property. Although your buyer's agent may be able to help you do some of the research, you can certainly take responsibility for some of it. This information can help you in negotiations.

Offshore trusts and litigation

A spendthrift trust enables people to place their assets in a specialized trust that creditors cannot sue or attach in bankruptcy to seek satisfaction for their loans. But once the money is distributed, creditors are free to pursue it. Spendthrifts were invented to allow people to care for their family members and maintain control over their assets to ensure that the family member does not squander it on ill-advised purchases.

Construction defect liability: negligence

Construction defect are two awful words that no homeowner or developer ever wants to hear. Construction defect means that there was a fundamental flaw during the construction of the building which resulted in a current defect. The defect could be minor, meaning it is easily replaced such as better windows for more insulation, or it could be serious, like improper soil grading that undermines the foundation of the building. In short, construction defect cases are a death knell for many developers, investors, and homeowners.

A review of important lease terms, Part 1

The lease is the controlling document for your properties. It is critical that each lease is securely crafted. Leases that overlook important terms undermine the reliability of your properties and their commercial value. This post will go over the most important terms you should cover in your lease and how you might utilize them.

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