We all know what a lien is. Depending on which side of the claim you’re on, a lien could be a good thing or a bad thing. According to Black’s Law Dictionary, the true definition of a lien is “a claim, encumbrance, or charge on property for payment of some debt, obligation or duty”. So, how is a Mechanics Lien any different?
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A Helpful Guide for Homeowners, Contractors, and Commercial Business Owners
Whenever we hear the terms Usury and Racketeering, we think of two things, organized crime, and the RICO Act. But did you know that these two terms are very common within the New York Construction industry? Whether you are a homeowner, a contractor or a commercial business owner, usury and racketeering come in many different shapes and sizes. What are the types of Construction Usury, and how can we protect ourselves?
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This is a general information article and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Readers are encouraged to seek counsel from a construction lawyer for advice on a particular circumstance.
When homeowners are ready to get the ball rolling with their new construction project, excitement and happy emotions usually take over when signing the construction agreement. With that said, however, there is an important relationship from start through final completion with your contractor, and significant issues could develop. When advising in breach of contract and contract termination cases, there are five examples all homeowners should look out for before pulling the trigger, that may justify your agreements termination. Continue reading “5 Reasons that may Justify the Termination of your Construction Agreement”
We have all heard the expression, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” But, how do we really know when we are being fooled? Though Construction Fraud was not listed in Investopedia’s Most Common Types of Consumer Fraud article, Construction Fraud is more common than you would think. Normally, when one thinks about the term “fraud”, you think of your credit card being compromised, but did you ever think of Construction Fraud, and ways you can prevent it?
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What does Long Island construction law say about terminating construction agreements? Despite the increasingly common use of arbitration in construction agreements, the New York Supreme Court has clarified that owners cannot terminate their construction agreement and fail to follow requirements for termination without repercussions. A recent pre-arbitration victory by John Caravella, Esq. confirms that the court unwilling to waive terms contained for termination and remedial efforts post termination to cure will not suffice to transform a wrongful termination into a termination for cause.
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Despite much construction litigation, New York courts who govern Long Island construction law are agreed that an unlicensed home improvement contractor cannot recover against consumers. That has not, however, stopped unlicensed contractors from arguing exceptions to that rule. A recent court victory by John Caravella, Esq. confirms that courts remain unwilling to accept excuses from unlicensed contractors.
In Orefice v. Guma Development, homeowners sued an unlicensed contractor for defective construction. Notably, the local municipal code requires that any person doing business as a contractor be licensed by the municipality. A corporation does not require its own license if a licensed contractor is employed by the firm as a supervisor.
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It is an all-too-common situation in New York: homeowners hire a home improvement contractor only to find out, after a contract dispute arises, that the contractor was unlicensed in violation of local ordinances.
While court decisions in these disputes have generally gone in favor of homeowners, a body of case law suggests that the results are by no means so favorable to homeowners when arbitration awards to unlicensed home improvement contractors come up for review. In those cases, the deference of courts to the decisions of a construction litigation attorney creates tension with the public policy of protecting homeowners from unlicensed contractors.
Continue reading “Insights from a Construction Litigation Attorney About Arbitration Pros and Cons for Homeowners and Unlicensed Contractors”
Much construction litigation arises from disputes over Scaffold Law liability. Simply, the Scaffold Law makes certain contractors and project owners liable for injuries to workers on construction sites. The Scaffold Law has been criticized for the burdens it imposes on contractors and owners and for allowing workers to collect even if they have ignored safety rules.
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