Residential Real Estate Civil Procedure Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

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Avoiding Gamesmanship in Appointing Appraisal Umpires

Appraisal has long been utilized as a tool for resolution of disputes over the amount of loss at issue in property insurance claims. Unfortunately, the appraisal process has devolved in recent years. What was once considered...more

New York Commercial Division to Tighten Eligibility Requirements For Two Categories of Disputes

Parties and counsel involved in disputes arising out of domestic arbitrations or home improvement contracts soon will have to clear heightened eligibility requirements before being able to proceed in the Commercial Division...more

Washington Supreme Court Clarifies Mandatory Mediation Program Exemption – Holders Score a Washington Victory

The servicer community recently scored an important victory in an opinion issued by the en banc Washington Supreme Court. The decision — Brown v. Wash. State Dep’t. of Commerce, — clarifies the scope of the small lender...more

New Texas Law Lists Requirements for Condominium Defect Litigation

The Texas Legislature recently passed House Bill 1455 which addresses defect and design claims relative to condominiums and condominium associations. Among the key issues are a series of new steps that must be accomplished...more

Utah Legislative Update

The 2015 Legislative Session in Utah came to a close earlier this year and the lien laws once again got a makeover, although not as significant as prior changes the past few years. Prior to this session, the biggest change...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law: June 4, 2015

The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions on June 4, 2015 during its June term. This term resulted in two opinions affecting Virginia local government law. These opinions addressed defamation alleged from statements by a...more

Hawaii Finds Arbitration Agreement With “Severe Limitations on Discovery” is Unconscionable

Hawaii issued a bold arbitration decision this month. It applied its state contract law to conclude that the parties did not form a clear arbitration agreement, but even if they did, it was unconscionable because it...more

Changes to Arizona Purchaser Dwelling Act Affect Sellers and Construction Professionals

In its last session, the Arizona legislature amended the statutes governing Purchaser Dwelling Actions, A.R.S. 12-1361 et seq., and Homeowner Association Dwelling Actions, A.R.S. 33-2001 et seq., relating to claims against...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Rhode Island Superior Court Decision Impacting Servicers

A Rhode Island superior court recently ruled that, pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 34-27-3.2, foreclosing lenders are required to send mediation notices in any foreclosure initiated after the effective date (October 2014)...more

A House of a Different Color: The Changing Role of Appraisal Panels

Minnesota’s severe weather season is here. With that season comes the possibility of hail, heavy rain, lightning, and other weather-related threats that can quickly result in serious property damage to residential and...more

Tennessee Supremes Reject Per Se Unconscionability of Non-Mutual Arbitration Clauses

On June 5, the Tennessee Supreme Court rejected a per se rule of unconscionability for non-mutual arbitration clauses, holding them enforceable if not too-one-sided and commercially reasonable under the...more

Ninth Circuit Directs Court To Vacate Ruling That Disqualified Arbitrator In The Midst Of An Ongoing Arbitration

The dispute at issue in this case involved claims of fraud in the sale of condominium units asserted by unit purchasers against the condominium developer. Arbitration under the AAA was underway between the parties, when it...more

Wisconsin's Supreme Court Creates More Power for the Arbitrator

Most commercial litigators know that a circuit court will enforce an arbitration agreement as long as a given dispute falls within the agreement’s scope. What is or is not within the scope of an agreement, however, has not...more

Court of Appeals Ruling Favors Arbitration of Construction Defect Claims

Finally—there is some good news for developers and general contractors regarding condominium construction defect claims. In a decision issued May 7, 2015, the Colorado Court of Appeals held that construction defect claims by...more

Precedent Set in Colorado Construction Defect Law

On May 7, 2015, less than 24 hours after the Colorado legislative session ended and just over a week after Senate Bill 177, a construction defects reform bill, died in a House committee, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued...more

Construction Defects – Settlement Agreement Bars a Later Suit for Latent Defects

David Belasco v. Gary Loren Wells, et al. - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (February 17, 2015) - In 2004, David Belasco (“Belasco”) bought a home from general contractor/builder Gary Wells (“Wells”)....more

Appellate Court Notes

SC19216 - Sikorsky Financial Credit Union, Inc. v. Butts - Finally some clarity in rules pertaining to the award of post-judgment interest. Here the (consumer) loan agreement provided that interest would accrue at 9%...more

Second Circuit Un-Vacates Arbitration Award, Finding No Manifest Disregard

The Second Circuit reversed a district court’s vacatur of an arbitration award this week, finding that the arbitration panel did not manifestly disregard the law when it refused the respondent’s reading of a state statute. ...more

Arbitration Denied In Mortgage Life Insurance Dispute Where Neither Note Nor Policy Referenced Arbitration Agreement

A court refused to compel arbitration in a dispute surrounding the cancellation of and failure to pay life insurance benefits under a debtor group life insurance policy. The relevant note and insurance policy did not contain...more

Florida’s Fifth District Holds Method of Repair is within the Scope of Appraisal and a Party’s Attorney may not Serve as a...

In Florida Insurance Guaranty Assoc., v. Branco, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D2020a (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 5th Dist. Sept. 19, 2014), the Fifth District affirmed in part and reversed in part a Hernando County trial court’s order...more

Appellate Court Notes

SC19089 - Travelers Casualty & Surety Co. of America v. Netherlands Ins. Co. - Travelers brought a declaratory judgment action, claiming that the Netherlands Insurance Company had to participate in the defense costs of...more

Too Little, Too Late: Seventh Circuit Reaffirms the Limits of a Registration Proceeding Under 28 U.S.C. § 1963

In Goldman v. Gagnard, No. 12-2706 (June 27, 2014), the Seventh Circuit (in an opinion authored by Judge Tinder) waded into a long-running, continent-spanning dispute, which it characterized as “Dickensian” in character,...more

Condominium Construction Defects Legislation Introduced

Proposed legislation to reduce the cost of construction defect claims and encourage condominium construction has been introduced in the Colorado legislature. The long-awaited bill, Senate Bill 14-220, sponsored by Sen. Jessie...more

Can You Keep Up? Emergence of CFPB and Significant Developments Transform Consumer Finance Landscape

In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, Congress passed significant financial system reform legislation, the Dodd-Frank Act, which created a new regulator of financial institutions, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau...more

Tale of the Texas Appraisal Provision

A long time ago in a land far, far away, property insurers and their insureds recognized that not every insurance dispute necessitated the expense and headache of a full-blown lawsuit. The result of this recognition was the...more

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