Burbank Construction Dispute Lawyers
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 Burbank, California, 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 disagreements 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 disagreements can't be resolved amongst the parties to the contract, they don't need to take their dispute into the court system. For instance, construction contracts normally call for mediation or arbitration before any disputes are resolved by the courts. Mediation is a process by which a third party serves as a sort of intermediary in settlement negotiations between the parties to the contract. The mediator can help keep negotiations on track, and suggest possible solutions the parties might not have thought of. The mediator can't issue a binding decision, however. Arbitration is a procedure through which the parties agree to have their dispute resolved by a third party, which can render a binding decision. Arbitration can be quicker and cheaper than litigation, and it has some other advantages, as well.
Because of the large cost in time and money involved, litigation in Burbank, California is regarded a last resort. However, in rare cases, it does become necessary.
Examples of Construction Disputes That Might Lead to Litigation in Burbank, California
Delays in Construction: Delays are commonly 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 normally be liable to the landowner for any harm resulting from it.
Owner's refusal to pay: if the contractor finishes a project to specifications, and the owner of the property doesn't pay the contractor, the contractor will most likely file a lawsuit to recover the agreed-upon price. In such cases, the owner will normally argue that the contractor's work wasn't of acceptable quality. In these cases, the court must decide who first breached the contract. In these cases, it's the party who did not breach first who wins the lawsuit. If the court finds that the contractor breached the contract through sub-quality work product, the owner will not be accountable for payment (though he may have to pay for materials and labor), and if the court finds that the construction was acceptable, the owner has to pay, because he is the party in breach.
Subcontractors: With big construction projects, contractors normally hire other, smaller contractors to do some of the work for them. This is normally work of a specialized nature, which the general contractor isn't equipped to handle (such as plumbing or electrical wiring). The general contractor is the one who is responsible for the satisfactory completion of the project. If a subcontractor makes a mistake, or causes a delay, the general contractor is ultimately liable to the person who hired them. Nonetheless, if they are sued for the mistakes of a subcontractor, and lose, they can then sue the subcontractor to recover their losses.
Mechanic's Lien: If the contractor wins in a case against the land owner, and the court orders the owner to pay the contractor for services rendered, the contractor needs a way to secure payment, if the owner refuses. In some cases, a mechanic's lien authorizes the contractor to force the sale of the land, and any improvements to it, in order to secure payment for the services it provided.
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Can a Burbank, California Attorney Help?
Construction disputes and disagreements can be very hard to deal with alone. The assistance of a Burbank, California real estate attorney can make the process of dealing with these disputes much quicker and easier.
Construction Dispute Attorneys in the Largest CA Cities
Life in BurbankBurbank, California is known as the "Media Capital of the World". It is only a few miles away from Hollywood and is home to the headquarters for many entertainment and media companies. Burbank has a population of about 104,000 and was named after David Burbank, an entrepreneur. Many famous movie and film celebrities have resided in Burbank.
Burbank's economic and social life is supported primarily by the entertainment industry. Companies that have headquarters or major productions studios in the city include: Warner Music Group, Warner Bros. Entertainment, The Walt Disney Company, Nickelodeon, ABC, NBC Universal, and Cartoon Network Studios. Burbank is considered to be a nucleus for the Southern California entertainment and media industry.
Burbank has one of the most famous downtown districts in the country. In fact, the city of Burbank has often been referred to as "Beautiful Downtown Burbank". Downtown Burbank features a diverse mix of fine dining, high-end shopping, and entertainment attractions. Burbank Mall is a popular shopping destination for visitors to the area. Several other similar shopping centers can be found throughout Burbank.
Lawyers in Burbank, California often assist their clients at the Burbank Courthouse. The Courthouse handles a very broad range of legal claims. Burbank lawyers are available to advise those who need legal advice or assistance.