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In Government's Shoes: The Continuing Force Behind the False Claims Act & Qui Tam Complaints

To combat fraud by contractors selling faulty war supplies to the Union Army, in 1863 President Abraham Lincoln signed into law the False Claims Act (the “FCA”). Designed to root out fraud on the federal government, this act...more

Florida, Georgia And Texas Appraisal Update: Is Causation A Coverage Question For The Court Or A Damages Question For The Panel?

In most jurisdictions, underlying coverage issues must be resolved prior to invoking appraisal in a first-party property claim. The question of what constitutes a coverage issue (typically reserved for a court’s judicial...more

Cost Ramifications For Difficult Condominium Owner

In a recent post, we blogged about an owner who had engaged in inappropriate behaviour to such an extent that it constituted a breach of sections 117 and 119 of the Condominium Act. The court made a number of compliance...more

Indiana: New Home Warranties Must Be Insured

When faced with a subrogation loss involving a new or fairly new house, and a potential construction defect that caused the loss, one of the first things to look for is how warranties can help or hurt your case. Did the...more

Maryland Changes Rules for Enforcement of Rights and Remedies Under Loan Documents Secured by Residential Property

The Maryland General Assembly has enacted legislation (House Bill 274/Senate Bill 708) that significantly impacts secured lenders’ rights to enforce financing documents secured by residential property. The legislation --...more

Real Estate Agents Need To Be Careful About Disclosing Dual Agency

Dual agency is a big deal to real estate agents. It lets them represent both a buyer and a seller in a transaction. Dual agency was the focal point of the Business Court's opinion last week in BDM Investments v. Lenhil,...more

Recent Trends In Eminent Domain -- And What To Expect Next

2013 felt a bit like deja vu, as much of the year was dominated by recurring themes: redevelopment dissolution issues, headlines on the condemnation of underwater mortgages, the U.S. Supreme Court showing interest in takings,...more

Construction Law Alert: Long Term Express Warranties

A recent holding by the North Carolina Court of Appeals is threatening to render many long-term express warranties ineffective. In a divided opinion in Christie v. Hartley Construction, Inc., the court held that the...more

Round Two – Ground Rent Holders vs. Legislature – Goes to…

In a case decided February 26, 2014, State of Maryland v. Stanley Goldberg, et al., No. 8, September Term, 2013, the Maryland Court of Appeals found that legislation that replaced the remedy of ejectment with a...more

An Exception to the Fair Market Value Rule: Use the Foreclosure Sales Price for a Deficiency after a Third Party Purchaser

If the value of a foreclosed property is less than the loan amount, lenders may seek a deficiency judgment from borrowers and guarantors after the foreclosure sale. In most cases, the lender is the sole bidder at the sale and...more

Builders Beware! You Cannot Hide Behind SB 800!

In Burch v Superior Court (Premier Homes et al.) 2014 DJDAR 1991 (decided February 19, 2014) plaintiff Burch, a Pacific Palisades homeowner, sued defendants Premier Homes, the developer, and Custom Home Builders, the general...more

Rumble in the Construction Defect Jungle

Lately, reading the advance sheets of construction defect cases has been like watching one of the Rocky movies. There’s the punches (owww!). Then there’s the counter-punches (ohhh!). And on and on it goes with blow meeting...more

Court Decision Raises Questions About Viability of Precondemnation "Right of Entry" Efforts

Last week, the Court of Appeal issued a decision that may be one of the ones we look back on as among the most significant of 2014 (at least in the world of eminent domain). For years (and certainly for the entire 20 years...more

Court Rejects Statute Allowing Court Ordered Entry Onto Private Property by Public Agencies for Pre-Acquisition Testing

California Eminent Domain Law allows public agencies to obtain a court order permitting access onto private property to conduct pre-acquisition testing and inspections. These tests and inspections can help an agency...more

2013 Eminent Domain Year in Review & 2014 Forecast

It's become our custom this time of year to provide our readers with an eminent domain recap from last year along with our thoughts on what to expect in 2014. 2013 felt a bit like déjà vu, as much of the year was dominated...more

“Procedural and Evidentiary Issues in Condemnation Cases: What Gets in and What Doesn’t?”

Traditional eminent domain trial work is unique. Liability, in the true sense of the word, is not at issue, and very often there is only one simple question for the jury to answer – what amount of money will adequately and...more

U.S. Supreme Court denies certiorari in EFTA standing case

We have previously written about Charvat v. Mutual First Federal Credit Union, the case in which the Eighth Circuit held last year that denial of a statutory right is a sufficient injury to confer standing, even if the injury...more

Lender’s Title Insurance: When Should Courts Measure the Fair Market Value of Property Affected by a Title Defect?*

Title insurance is designed to pay for damages caused by any defects to title that the title company should have discovered but did not. Lender’s title insurance protects lenders who lose money due to a title defect, which...more

Mortgage Fraud Whistleblower Receives $64 Million Award

On March 7, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York approved a stipulation and order awarding nearly $64 million to the relator in a mortgage fraud case recently settled by the federal government....more

And So it Begins . . .

This past year I wrote about a case that caused an uproar in the homebuilding industry - Liberty Mutual Insurance Company v. Brookfield Crystal Cove LLC, 219 Cal.App.4th 98 (August 28, 2013) – in which the California Court of...more

Minnesota Court of Appeals Defines Substantial Completion Under Statute of Repose

On March 10, 2014, the Minnesota Court of Appeals issued its decision in Rosso v. Hallmark Homes of Minneapolis, Inc., No. A13-1304. The Court’s decision clarifies that Minnesota’s ten-year statute of repose for construction...more

Homeowners Beware: Fraud in Claims Process Can Lead to Judicial Sanctions in Bad Faith Action

A federal court for the Southern District of Texas has sanctioned a pro se litigant for making fraudulent misrepresentations to his homeowner’s insurer following a fire, and for bringing a bad faith action against the...more

Additional California Rulings on Right to Repair Act Defense

In August 2013, we reported that Christmas had come early for the California subrogation community due to a recent decision from the Court of Appeals which found that the “Right to Repair Act” (SB 800) did not apply to cases...more

Supreme Court Issues Decision in Law v. Siegel, Eliminating Ability to Impose Surcharge on Exempt Property Unless Explicitly...

On March 4, 2014, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion in Law v. Seigel, Case No. 12-5196, 571 U.S. ___ (2014) holding that the bankruptcy court used its equitable powers in contravention of Bankruptcy Code section...more

Pirani v. Esmail: Disagreement on Ontario Court of Appeal Regarding Deferring to Trial Judge’s Reliance on Expert Report in...

It is trite law that appellate courts are to give significant deference to trial judges’ assessments of damages, particularly when tied to questions of facts. But how much deference? The Ontario Court of Appeal’s February 12,...more

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