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REAL NEWS – WINTER EDITION 2015/16

IN THIS EDITION - Ben Barrison reports on the long awaited Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Marks & Spencer plc v BNP Paribas Securities Services Trust Company (Jersey) Limited (pg 03); We dedicate two...more

Contractors can be Liable for Following Owners’ Directives

In Downey v. Chutehall Construction Co. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-001-16), the Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled a contractor can be liable for violating building codes despite the fact that the party suing it directed the...more

Are You My Brokers? The Evolving Legal Status of the Real Estate Salesperson

Under the Real Estate Law that governs the regulation of brokers and salespersons by the Bureau of Real Estate, a salesperson is theoretically subject to supervision and control at all times by the broker that employs the...more

Tips on Pursuing and Defending Complaints against Contractors

The often staggering cost of litigation has prompted an equally staggering amount of regulatory complaints against contractors in recent years. Why? Because filing a complaint against a contractor may not cost a complainant...more

Florida Court Holds No Duty to Defend Construction Defect Suit

In its recent decision in Core Construction Services Southeast v. Crum & Forster Specialty Ins. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163695 (S.D. Fla. Dec. 7, 2015), the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida...more

Government Can Be Estopped from Going Back on Precondemnation Promises

When the government promises to do one thing and then does another, it usually has myriad excuses. Sometimes it claims that its staff (the people with whom the opposing side are typically interacting) cannot bind the agency....more

Interpreting Arbitration Agreements: Two Key Points from Recent Texas Supreme Court Decisions

The Texas Supreme Court recently added another opinion to its ever-growing body of law interpreting arbitration agreements. The opinion falls in line with prior decisions on two key issues: 1. what amounts to waiver of the...more

Negligent Misrepresentation Standard Shifts in Contractor’s Favor with Pennsylvania Appellate Ruling

Contractors and subcontractors who are aggrieved by erroneous information on construction documents may have an easier time proving an architect or other design professional made a negligent misrepresentation that harmed them...more

When Contract Forms Cause Unintended Consequences

Inclusion of unrevised Standard AIA contract forms in your construction agreements can cause serious unintended consequences. A case decided by the Indiana Supreme Court, Bd. of Comm’rs. Cty of Jefferson v. Teton Corp., 30...more

Equities Favor Subrogating Insurer Over Subcontractor That Performed Defective Work

In Valley Crest Landscape v. Mission Pools (No. G049060, filed 6/26/15, ord. pub. 7/2/15), a California appeals court held that equities favor an insurer seeking equitable subrogation over a subcontractor that agreed to...more

Florida Appellate Court Rejects Bid to Curb Insureds’ Assignments to Contractors

Many property insurance policies contain terms that prohibit assignment, but Florida law has long deemed those terms inoperative once a loss has occurred. E.g., W. Fla. Grocery Co. v. Teutonia Fire Ins. Co., 74 Fla. 220...more

Bonding off a Private Mechanic’s Lien In Kentucky

In my previous post, I discussed the basics of filing a private mechanic’s lien in Kentucky. Today, the subject will turn to the release of a private mechanic’s lien by execution of a bond. Execution of a bond for release of...more

Missouri Court Clarifies What Constitutes An Ensuing Loss

Last week in Performance Arts Cmty. Improvement Dist. v. ACE Amer. Ins. Co., 2015 WL 3491292, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71592 (W.D. Mo., June 3, 2015), a federal court in Missouri shot down an insured’s arguments that a wall...more

Wave of ADA Public Accommodation Lawsuits Continue to Spread, Hits Illinois

In recent weeks, we have seen a surge in Illinois of private plaintiff lawsuits filed under the public accommodation provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Public accommodation lawsuits have been...more

District of Colorado: “First-Party Claimant” Under State Bad Faith Statute is Not Synonymous With First-Party Bad Faith Under...

Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA v. Intrawest ULC, et al., No. 13-cv-00079-PAB-KMT, 2015 WL 1326199 (D. Colo. Mar. 20, 2015). The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado denies an insurer’s motion to...more

2015 Arizona Legislative Amendments Affecting Real Estate Lending

The following information accompany a presentation Mike gave to members of the Arizona Commercial Mortgage Lenders Association (ACMLA) on May 12, 2015. A summary of legislative amendments enacted during the most recent...more

Senate Tightens Requirements for Construction Defect Claims

The Florida Senate is following a recent national trend of tightening its laws governing construction defect claims. Currently, under FL. Stat. § 558.004, entitled Notice and Opportunity to Repair, a party claiming a...more

N.C. Court of Appeals Reminds of Factual Findings Required for Award of "Reasonable" Attorney Fees

The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently reversed an award of attorney fees by the trial court on the basis that the trial court did not render the appropriate findings of fact. We're talking about Brown's Building...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Declines Review of Case Applying Statute of Repose to Asbestos Claims

As we reported in our July 2014 edition, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania held, in Graver v. Foster-Wheeler Corp., 96 A.3d 383 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2014), that the 12-year statute of repose applicable to claims against designers...more

California Court of Appeals Determines Subcontractor is Unable to Maintain Cross-Claims for Equitable Indemnity and Contribution...

In State Ready Mix, Inc. v. Moffatt & Nichol, 232 Cal. App. 4th 1227 (2015), the California Court of Appeals considered whether a subcontractor could maintain cross-claims for equitable indemnity and contribution against the...more

Money, Dirt & Steel: 2014-2015 NC Real Property Litigation Update

A snapshot of noteworthy cases from the past year related to lending practices, property rights and construction in North Carolina. Money - Lending: Comprehensive waiver language in loan workout...more

Second District Holds Short CEQA Statute Of Limitations Not Triggered By NOD That Fails To Provide Public Notice Of Material...

On December 15, 2014, the Second District Court of Appeal (Division 6) issued a pithy published opinion affirming the Ventura County Superior Court’s judgment. The judgment granted a peremptory writ of mandate requiring...more

N.C. Court of Appeals: Restrictive Covenant Prohibiting "Store" Does Not Prohibit "Parking" for a Prohibited Store

How broadly will the appellate courts interpret a restrictive covenant applicable to real property? Not so broadly as to prohibit a parking lot to be used by customers for an otherwise expressly prohibited use....more

General Contractor’s Prospective Waiver of its Lien Rights is Enforceable in California

In an opinion published in September 2014, entitled Moorefield Construction, Inc. v. Intervest Mortgage Investment Company, et al., D065464, the California Court of Appeal held an original contractor can contractually waive...more

A Cautionary Tale for General Contractors

Construction lenders often go to great lengths to ensure their deeds of trust have priority over mechanic’s liens. Typically, as part of the construction loan process, general contractors are asked to sign documents...more

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