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California Supreme Court Establishes the Standard of Review for the Unusual Circumstances Exception to CEQA Categorical Exemptions...

Breathing life into the use of CEQA categorical exemptions, on March 2, 2015, the California Supreme Court held that a reasonable possibility that a project may result in significant effects on the environment alone is not...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Most Commonly Used CEQA Categorical Exemptions

The California Supreme Court has issued its long-awaited decision in Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley, No. S201116 (March 2, 2015). The Court’s decision clears up some of the ambiguity that surrounded the...more

No Stone Undisclosed: City of Vancouver and Developer Appeal New Public Disclosure Standards for Development Projects

The City of Vancouver and Brenhill Developments Ltd. have appealed the January 27, 2014 decision of the BC Supreme Court in Community Association of New Yaletown v Vancouver (City), 2015 BCSC 117 (the Brenhill/New Yaletown...more

Western District of Washington: Insured That Violated Duties of Notice and Cooperation Could Not Make Out Claim for Bad Faith...

Granite State Ins. Co. v. Integrity Structures, LLC, No. C14-5085BHS, 2015 WL 136006 (W.D. Wash. Jan. 9, 2015). The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington held that an insurer did not act in bad faith...more

Colorado Legislature Tries Again on Construction-Related Litigation Reform

As the Colorado Legislature begins its 2015 session, construction defect reform legislation is again at the fore. Senate Bill 177 was introduced on February 10 in an effort to spur condominium projects by providing developers...more

The Pennsylvania Superior Court Continues to Muddle the Answer to the Question of When Faulty Workmanship is an “Occurrence” Under...

Pennsylvania courts continue to struggle with complex concepts underpinning when faulty workmanship can be an “occurrence” triggering coverage under Commercial General Liability (“CGL”) policies. In Kvaerner Metals Division...more

Are Vacant Lots Protected Under Arizona’s Anti-deficiency Statutes?

No, of course not. Arizona’s anti-deficiency statutes only prohibit deficiency judgments after a trustee’s sale of a “dwelling”. Under no definition can a vacant lot constitute a “dwelling”. This was the Arizona Supreme...more

When a Construction Lender Steps into the Shoes of the Developer, the Door is Open for Claims by the General Contractor

Thank you to my partner Garret Murai for giving me the opportunity to post again on his excellent California Construction Law Blog. I am the author/editor of the Money and Dirt Blog, where I focus on issues relating to...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

Insurance Client Alert: Denial of Summary Judgment Does Not Automatically Establish Duty to Defend

In McMillin Companies v. American Safety Indemnity (No. D063586, filed 1/20/15), a California appeals court ruled that an insurer's loss of a summary judgment motion on the duty to defend does not necessarily establish that a...more

A New Year and a New Arizona Anti-Deficiency Statute

In 2014, the Arizona Legislature enacted significant changes to the anti-deficiency statutes, which protect certain residential borrowers from a deficiency judgment following foreclosure. These statutory changes, which apply...more

Transfer of Property Title to a Holding Company Did Not Divest Landowner of Owner-Occupant Status Under A.R.S. § 33-1002(B)

Recently, in Marco Crane & Rigging Co. v. Masaryk, 703 Ariz. Adv. Rep. 29 (Dec. 30, 2014), the Arizona Court of Appeals established that a subcontractor on a residential project has no lien rights against an owner-occupant,...more

Oregon Court of Appeals Clarifies Application of Statute of Limitations and Statute of Repose in Connection with Construction...

In Riverview Condo, Ass’n v. Cypress Ventures, Inc., 266 Ore. App. 574 (Or. Ct. App. 2014), the Oregon Court of Appeals clarified application of the statute of repose and statute of limitations in the context of a suit...more

The Status of Lien Waivers in Utah Remains Cloudy

On December 19, 2014, the Utah Supreme Court issued its opinion in Lane Myers Construction, LLC v. National City Bank, et al. 2014 UT 58 (UT 2014). In this case, a total of nine Utah jurists considered the question of whether...more

California Expands the Duty of Professional Consultants

Professional consultants and sub-consultants provide essential services to a Project during its planning, design, construction, and acceptance. In some jurisdictions, they enjoy protections from liability for “economic...more

N.C. Supreme Court Reverses Court of Appeals and Upholds 20-Year Construction Warranty

Freedom of contract principles prevailed in the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that a manufacturer waived application of North Carolina’s 6-year statute of repose by extending an express 20-year warranty of its product. The...more

South Carolina’s Supreme Court Clarifies the Requirements for a Proper Notice of Furnishing Under South Carolina’s Mechanics Lien...

In the recent decision of Ferguson Fire and Fabrication, Inc. v. Preferred Fire Protection, L.L.C., the Supreme Court of South Carolina held that a Notice of Furnishing was valid as long as it provided the owner of the...more

The Demise of the Economic Loss Rule in Construction Defect Litigation

The Massachusetts Supreme Court recently held in Wyman v. Ayer Properties, LLC, that the “economic loss rule is not applicable to the damage caused to the common areas of a condominium building as a result of the builder’s...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Breadth of Condo Developer's Tort Duties

In the closing days of its November term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to review a decision from Division 5 of the First District with potentially significant implications for developers: Henderson Square Condominium...more

Construction Contracts: Nothing Beats a Meeting of the Minds

Waldschmidt v. Singletary Construction LLC (In re Tackett), 516 B.R. 498 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. 2014) – A bankruptcy trustee sought turnover of profits from the sale of homes constructed by a contractor. The trustee...more

En Banc Pennsylvania Superior Court Rejects Extending CASPA Liability Beyond Contracting Parties

Scungio Borst & Assocs. v. 410 Shurs Lane Developers, LLC et al., 2014 Pa. Super. LEXIS 4527 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2014). On reconsideration of an earlier panel decision of the Pennsylvania Superior Court, the Court en banc...more

Guarantors of a Construction Loan were Exonerated From Liability by a Bank's Misconduct Under the Loan Agreement, Notwithstanding...

California Bank & Trust's predecessor bank ("Bank") granted a $22.5 million construction loan to Five Corners Rialto, LLC ("Five Corners") to develop a 70-unit townhome project in two phases. Two principals of Five Corners...more

Amendments to the Home Building Act

The Home Building Amendment Act 2014 (NSW) (the Amending Act) will significantly change the Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) (Home Building Act) and comes into force in late 2014 and early in 2015....more

It's Not the Crime, It's the Cover-Up: Equitable Estoppel in Construction Defect Claims

More than 20 years ago, the Watergate scandal taught us “it’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up” that does the damage. The ensuing decades have brought a steady stream of individuals and companies that had to learn the truth...more

Oregon Court Denies HOA’s Effort to Proceed Against Subcontractors for Construction Defect

In Liberty Oaks Homeowner’s Ass’n v. Liberty Oaks, LLC, 2014 Ore. App. LEXIS 1696, the Liberty Oaks Homeowners’ Association (“HOA”) sued the developers of townhomes, alleging that they were responsible for construction...more

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