Concord Construction Dispute Lawyers

Concord 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 Concord, California, whether it's a house, some landscaping, or a remodeling project, there is always a gamble 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 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 typically 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 process through which the parties agree to have their dispute resolved by a third party, which can render a binding decision. Arbitration can be faster and cheaper than litigation, and it has some other advantages, as well.

Litigation of construction disputes in Concord, California can be extremely time-consuming, stressful, and costly. Nevertheless, there are (relatively rare) occurrences where it is the only option.

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

Major Delays: If the contractor or a subcontractor is at fault in causing a considerable delay to a project (several months, for example), this may lead to a lawsuit. If the contract stated that time was of the essence for some reason (maybe the project was a new store that the owner hoped to open before the holiday shopping season, for example), a court can typically award the owner any damages that were caused by the delay.

Refusal to Pay: Disputes 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 typically come up with a better one to argue in court). In these cases, a court will sometimes 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 considerably less than the contract price.

Subcontractors: With big construction projects, contractors typically hire other, smaller contractors to do some of the work for them. This is typically 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. However, if they are sued for the mistakes of a subcontractor, and lose, they can then sue the subcontractor to recover their losses.

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 permit 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 Concord, California Attorney Help?

Construction disputes and disagreements can be very challenging to deal with alone. The assistance of a Concord, California real estate attorney can make the process of dealing with these disputes much quicker and easier.

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Life in Concord

Concord, California is the largest city in Contra Costa County, California. It has a population of over 122,000 people, making it one of the largest suburbs in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Concord was founded in 1869, and was originally named "Todos Santos," meaning "All Saints." Adjacent to Concord, California is Port Chicago - a major Navy supply depot. In 1944, it was the site of one of the biggest naval disasters to ever occur on the U.S. mainland. Sailors were loading munitions onto a large cargo ship. 

The munitions on the ship detonated, causing a massive explosion, killing 320 sailors and civilians - most of them African-American. This led to over 200 African-American sailors refusing to load munitions due to unsafe working conditions, resulting in the largest mutiny trial in U.S. Navy history, in which 50 men were convicted. Thurgood Marshall, a lawyer and future Supreme Court justice, sat in on most of the proceedings and claimed that they were prejudiced against the defendants. The men were sentenced to long prison terms, but were released after a few years. These events led to the Navy hastening its desegregation plans, and making efforts to improve working conditions.

Several lawyers from in and around Concord, California were likely involved in these proceedings.

If you live in Concord, California, and are in need of legal advice, the lawyers of Concord, California can help. A Concord, California attorney can probably assist you with virtually any legal issue you're likely to face.

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