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Baldwin Builders v. Coast Plastering Corporation
Ron Lauter represented Coast Plastering, and successfully won this appeal which established new law in California that where a contractual provision separately provides for the recovery of attorneys' fees incurred...
Karas v. Miller
Stemming from his expertise as a construction defect and business dispute attorney, Mr. Campbell was asked to defend his client, an established homeowner's association law firm, against claims of fraud, misrepresentation...
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Partner Ron Lauter represented an automotive company in a wrongful termination claim in which plaintiff alleged he was fired because of a perceived disability arising out of a heart conditions.
Nationwide Mutual Insurance v. Evans
This is a multi-million dollar liability claim involving the 2002 "Gavalin Fire" in San Diego County. Approximately 40 residences were destroyed or damaged in a brush fire that was allegedly started because of...
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California Construction Disputes: Home Buyers and Builders

When property development is involved, contractors, subcontractors, and homeowners should all understand how to protect their rights. Liens and warranties are popular methods utilized.

Mechanics Liens

In the context of construction, most liens are known as "Mechanics Liens." These documents place a financial (security) interest on the title to the real property for work or materials. A contractor has a right to satisfaction of their lien before the property can be sold.

California is currently one of many states overhauling their mechanic's liens statutes. In 2011, California's lien laws will require contractors and subcontractors give written notice to a homeowner before filing a lien.

Once the lien is filed, the contractor is then required to bring a lawsuit to enforce his or her claim. California law (Civil Code § 3144) requires that they file the lawsuit within 90 days of the lien, otherwise it becomes invalid.


A home may be the most expensive item a buyer purchases. However, it may have less warranty coverage than a car. Many homebuilders or remodelers supply a one or two year warranty on their projects. These are known as contractual warranties. If a home is new construction, it may also have longer implied warranties.

Implied Warranty of Merchantability

The state of California has an Implied Warranty of Merchantability that applies to residential homes. These warranties are "implied" and therefore do not have to be expressed orally or in writing to be guaranteed.

This warranty essentially states that the home is merchantable or that basic features of the home, such as the foundation, electrical wiring, and HVAC, have been constructed properly.

However, builders may "disclaim" the implied warranty of merchantability by offering a warranty of their own. This would then leave a homebuyer with only contractual remedies.

California Construction Defects Attorney

The laws and legal recourse available to homeowners, contractors and subcontractors is complex. It's important to consult with an experienced California construction litigation lawyerer regarding development disputes.

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