Culver City Construction Dispute Lawyers

Culver City 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 Culver City, 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 Culver City, 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 Culver City, California

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 specific 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: If the contractor completes the project, and the owner refuses to pay the agreed-upon price, the contractor will typically file a lawsuit to recover what is owed. Of course, the owner will typically claim that there is a good reason for not paying, arguing that the contractor didn't conform to the project's specifications, or that the quality of construction was unacceptably poor. In such a case, the court will have to determine if the contractor actually breached the contract by doing shoddy work, which could, at least in part, excuse the owner's duty to pay.

Subcontractor Disputes: When a construction company is contracted to complete a large project, there is typically 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 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 Culver City, California 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 Culver City, California construction disputes attorney can be of great help.

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Life in Culver City

Culver City, California is located in the western portion of Los Angeles County.  The city has a population of about 39,000 people.  It is famous for being a center for television and motion picture production, as it was home to MGM Studios.  Today, MGM Studios is now Sony Pictures Studios and produces many films and television shows.  Culver City's motto is "the Heart of Screenland". 

Sony Pictures Entertainment is the top employer in Culver City, California.  In addition to the Sony studios, Culver City is home to other major production companies like Culver Studios and the NFL Network.  The list of motion pictures produced in Culver City includes films such as The Wizard of Oz, Grease, City Slickers, and Air Force One.  Some television shows made there have included Jeopardy! and Lassie.  Many celebrities have lived in Culver City, like actress Drew Barrymore, singer/songwriter Jackson Browne, and actor Jack Black.

Culver City California is also known for its many different events and attractions.  For example, residents can enjoy the Ballona Creek bicycle path, the Culver Ice Arena, and the Culver City Symphony Orchestra.  The Kirk Douglas Theater is also a popular destination.  Visitors can take the Sony Studios tour or the town's Historic Walking tour.

Lawyers in Culver City, California represent a diverse body of clients, organizations, and companies.  Culver City lawyers often handle claims that are complex in addition to simpler claims.  Experienced attorneys in Culver City provide a wide range of legal services for the community.

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