Menlo Park Construction Dispute Lawyers

Menlo Park Construction Dispute Lawyers, CA

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Construction Dispute Law in California

When a property owner and a general contractor contract for a construction project to take place on some property in Menlo Park, California, whether it's a house, some landscaping, or a remodeling project, there is always a chance that something can go wrong. In fact, at least a very minor setback may be more likely than not.

Most often, the owners of land and contractors can end disagreements before they get too serious, thus eliminating the need for litigation. Most contracts governing construction projects have built-in remedies for the most common problems, usually requiring the party that causes a delay or other problem to pay the other party a set fee.

Even if the parties can't easily resolve their disputes, and someone else needs to intervene, that somebody doesn't always need to be a judge or jury. Many construction disagreements call for mediation, during which a neutral third party helps the parties to the dispute negotiate a settlement. They might also go through arbitration, during which a third party renders a binding decision.

Because of the large cost in time and money involved, litigation in Menlo Park, California is regarded a last resort. However, in rare cases, it does become necessary.

Examples of Construction Disputes That Might Lead to Litigation in Menlo Park, California

Delays in Construction: Delays are often points of contention between contractors and landowners. Contracts sometimes have clauses which explicitly state that the project needs to be completed by a certain date, or penalties will be imposed on the contractor (reduced payments, for example). However, if the contract doesn't contain such built-in remedies, or one party refuses to abide by them, litigation may be necessary. If a contractor causes a delay that it could have prevented, it will usually be liable to the landowner for any harm resulting from it.

Refusal to Pay: Disagreements can also arise from a client's refusal or inability to hold up his end of the deal. Sometimes, once a project is complete, or nearly so, a landowner will express an unwillingness to pay the contractor for his services. There might be a variety of reasons for this - sudden loss of money, or dissatisfaction with the quality of the work are a few examples. It's rare that a client will refuse to pay a contractor simply because they don't feel like it (and if that is the reason, they'll usually come up with a better one to argue in court). In these cases, a court will occasionally have to decide if the client is obligated to pay the full price. If the work was, indeed, not up to the standards laid out in the contract, the contractor is not entitled to the full price, but is still entitled to the actual value of the work, even if it's significantly less than the contract price.

Subcontractor Disputes: With very large construction projects, general contractors don't always have the resources to do all the work themselves, so they hire other contractors to do some of the work for them. Nonetheless, it is the general contractor who is ultimately responsible to the owner for the satisfactory completion of the project. So, it is very important to the general contractor that subcontractors do a good job. If the subcontractor causes a delay or other issue, and the owner sues the general contractor as a result, the general contractor can then go after the subcontractor to recover whatever it lost in the lawsuit.

Mechanic's Liens: A mechanic's lien is a way for a contractor to secure payment if a landowner declines to pay. In such cases, if the contractor sues and wins, he or she can sometimes impose a mechanic's lien on the property he or she just worked on. This allows the contractor to force a sale of the property to cover the judgment. It is usually used when other attempts to secure payment fail.

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Can a Menlo Park, California Attorney Help?

Disputes over construction delays or defects can be extremely taxing. Therefore, getting an experienced Menlo Park, California real estate attorney might mean the difference between success or failure in your business ventures.

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Life in Menlo Park

Menlo Park, California is a city in San Mateo County, in the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area, commonly known as "Silicon Valley," due to the large number of high-tech companies located in the area. Menlo Park currently has a population of about 32,000 people.

Menlo Park first got its name in the 1850s, when some of the original settlers to found the city named it after Menlo, Ireland, their hometown. Many people assume that, because Menlo Park is home to many innovative high-tech companies, it is named after Menlo Park, New Jersey, where inventor Thomas Edison did much of his work. However, the name predates much of Edison's work, and the fact that both cities are known for technological innovation and share the same name is a coincidence.

Many large law firms have offices in Menlo Park, thanks to the presence of a large number of high-tech companies. 

Thanks to its vibrant and sophisticated business environment, there are many Menlo Park, California attorneys who can handle a wide range of complex cases. If you are in need of legal services, there's almost certainly at least one Menlo Park, California lawyer who can help you with whatever legal issue you might face.

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