Palo Alto Construction Dispute Lawyers

Palo Alto 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 Palo Alto, 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 disputes 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 disputes 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.

Litigating a construction dispute in Palo Alto, California is definitely not something that anybody likes doing. However, it is sometimes necessary, as a last resort.

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

Major Delays: If the contractor or a subcontractor is at fault in causing a large 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 usually 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 usually 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 significantly less than the contract price.

Subcontractors: Subcontractors are hired by general contractors to assist them in large construction projects, usually specialized tasks like installing plumbing. However, no matter how much of the work is performed by subcontractors, the general contractor (the one that the client actually hired to do the project) is liable to the landowner as if it were doing all the work itself. This basically means that, if a subcontractor messes up, the general contractor is the one who gets sued. But all is not lost in such a situation. If the general contractor has to compensate the owner because of the mistakes of a subcontractor, it can sue the subcontractor for whatever it had to pay to the landowner.

Mechanic's Lien: If the contractor wins in a lawsuit 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 allows 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 Palo Alto, California Attorney Help?

Construction disputes can be time-consuming and costly. Hiring a good Palo Alto, California real estate attorney can make it much easier to deal with such disputes, and help you avoid litigation, or prevail if litigation becomes necessary.

111 Real Estate, Housing & Property Law cases posted to LegalMatch lawyers in Palo Alto

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Life in Palo Alto

Palo Alto, California is a city in Santa Clara County. It has a population of approximately 64,400 people.

Palo Alto is best known for being the home of Stanford University, which is one of the top universities in the country. Stanford is particularly known for its law school, which consistently ranks as one of the top 3 law schools in the United States, along with Harvard and Yale. Stanford University has produced some of the most successful lawyers in Palo Alto, California.

Because of its location in Silicon Valley, and the presence of a world-class law school, some of the biggest and most well-known law firms in the world have opened offices in Palo Alto. 

If you need legal representation, it's almost certain that there's a Palo Alto, California who has the expertise needed to help. Palo Alto, California attorneys are capable of handling a wide range of legal problems.

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