Anchorage Construction Dispute Lawyers

Anchorage Construction Dispute Lawyers, AK

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Construction Dispute Law in Alaska

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

Most often, landowners and construction contractors are able to resolve minor to moderate disputes between themselves, and litigation is rarely necessary. Nobody likes litigation, so, to this end, most construction contracts have built-in remedies in case something goes wrong, like set price reductions if construction is delayed.

Even if someone else needs to get immersed to resolve a dispute, this does not automatically mean litigation is necessary. For example, the parties might attempt mediation, in which a neutral third party tries to help guide the parties to an agreement, but cannot render a binding decision himself. They might also agree to arbitration, during which a third party is able to render a binding decision. Arbitration is normally done through a private company, and may cost less than litigation, and is overseen by an arbitrator who is an expert in the relevant field.

Because of the large cost in time and money involved, litigation in Anchorage, Alaska is considered a last resort. However, in rare cases, it does become necessary.

Examples of Construction Disputes That Might Lead to Litigation in Anchorage, Alaska

Delays: If the contractor is culpable in a major delay in a construction project (a delay of weeks or months, for example), a lawsuit could result. If the contract specifically states that completion by a particular date is very important, or the builder has a good reason to know this, a court will often award the owner compensation for any economic harm caused by a delay.

Owner's refusal to pay: Contractors can also be the victims in construction disputes. Sometimes, the person who hired them will refuse to pay the agreed-upon fee, or withhold a portion of it. This, without more, certainly constitutes breach of contract. However, in such cases, the owner will rarely go to court and say "I just didn't feel like paying, so I didn't." Rather, they will claim that they had a very good reason to withhold all or part of the payment, such as unsatisfactory work by the contractor. In these cases, the court has to determine if the owner has a valid reason for not paying. If it concludes that he or she does not, it will order the owner to pay the agreed-upon price.

Subcontractor Disputes: When a construction company is contracted to complete a large project, there is normally a great deal of specialized work to be done which they aren't equipped to handle. As a result, they hire other contractors, who, in this arrangement, are subcontractors, to do some of the work. However, the general contractor (the one that the landowner hired to do the work) is still responsible for the completion of the project - if a subcontractor causes a problem, the general contractor is on the hook for it. This sometimes leads to landowners suing general contractors for the mistakes of subcontractors. If the general contractor loses, and has to pay the client, the general contractor can then sue the subcontractor for whatever amount of money it had to pay.

Mechanic's Liens: Sometimes, when a contractor wins in a lawsuit against the landowner who hired him or her, and obtains a court order for payment, the contractor will still refuse to pay. Since a money judgment isn't worth much without a way to enforce it, the laws of many states have evolved to authorize what's known as a "mechanic's lien." As a last resort, if a landowner refuses to pay the contractor for work done on the property, the contractor can force a sale of the property, and keep the proceeds, up to the amount of money owed.

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Can a Anchorage, Alaska Attorney Help?

If you are involved in a dispute over a construction project, you should try to avoid litigation, and settle the matter as amicably as possible. However, litigation is sometimes necessary, and a Anchorage, Alaska construction disputes attorney can be of great help.

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Life in Anchorage

Anchorage has been voted an "All America City" four times and makes up over 40% of Alaska's total population. The city motto is "Big Wild Life" and there's plenty of it. A survey found roughly 300 black bears and moose, along side 60 grizzly bears call Anchorage home year round. The numbers of moose increase over 1,000 in the winter months. There are also wolves, foxes, beavers, and all other manner of moderate and small native animals that can be easily spotted in Anchorage. That's why so many people decide to visit Anchorage each year. 

Tourism play a major role in the economy with natural resource extraction, local and federal government, transportation services, and the military. There are two major military installations in Anchorage, Elmendorf Air Force Base and Fort Richardson, as well as the Kullis Air National Guard Base. In addition to military personnel, the military employs another 8,600 Anchorage civilians. There are a number of airlines headquartered in Anchorage like Alaska Central Express and Hageland Aviation Services but the petroleum industry is one of the most important. Giants like BP and ConocoPhillips have drilling and transportation services in Anchorage that employ thousands of locals.

The International Ice Carving Competition is one aspect to the annual of the Fur Rendezvous Festival held in Anchorage's Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. The festival had a record attendance in 2000 with over 250,000 people visiting. The legendary 9-15 day long Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race begins ceremonially each year downtown on 4th Street and ends in Nome, Alaska. The race stretches 1,049 miles that are timed. It's known as one of the most intense sporting events due to the distance and blizzards.

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