Contractors and Construction
The world of contracting and construction agreements is extremely technical. Not only do contractors need to comply with various building codes, but California also strictly regulates contract terms, payments and liens. Ambiguities and details left out can lead to unwanted complications later on. Legal expertise is needed in developing such agreements, as well as clarifying and defending existing terms once such contracts are in place and projects have been completed.
I have been representing homeowners and contractors since 1996. One of the first clients I ever worked for (and my current insurance agent) had two construction defect cases going at the same time, one over the house he sold and one over the house he bought. That was my introduction into the complex world of construction contracts and defect litigation. I learned about everything from permitting to roofing, to how big a beam has to be to hold up the house.
Since then, I have represented numerous contractors and homeowners in all manner of construction litigation. I represent contractors on both public and private works of improvement when they don’t get paid, or when sued for non-payment, including enforcement of mechanic’s liens and stop notices.
In one case, I helped obtain a verdict for an electrical contractor who was brought onto a public work on an emergency basis and the general contractor refused to pay my client’s bill of approximately $75,000. The contractor ended up being ordered to pay every penny owed to my client, plus attorney’s fees, costs, interest and late payment penalty, ultimately totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars.
I also represent homeowners whose contractors have not constructed homes properly, overcharged for their work, or both. I recently represented a homeowner in the Hayward Hills whose contractor performed a major remodel (over $300,000) on his house, but could not document the charges, and did not construct a 1000+ square foot deck correctly. The deck piers were not constructed up to code and the deck was at risk of sliding into the chasm below his house. The case resolved, and the contractor is now in the process of repairing the deck and bringing it up to code. I also helped obtain a verdict for another client in excess of $1,000,000 against an unlicensed contractor who defrauded a family in Berkeley who hired him (not knowing he was unlicensed) to build an addition to their home.