Northern California Construction Litigation Attorneys
Peterson, Martin & Reynolds LLP has been representing developers, owners, contractors, lessors, and policyholders in construction-related disputes and litigation for over 20 years. We understand the complex nature of construction litigation, as well as the high potential cost of litigation.
If you are involved in a construction dispute, our law firm is here to provide you with the legal support and guidance you need. Reach out to our team directly by phone or online to learn more about our legal services and how we can help.
Common Types of Construction Claims
Construction claims can involve a variety of issues, although most focus on breach of contract, negligence, and professional negligence contentions. Common types of construction claims that we handle include:
- Defective and nonconforming work
- Architectural and design issues
- Permit and building code violations
- Right to Repair Act (SB 800) disputes
- Payment disputes and mechanics’ liens
- Insurance claims
- Premises liability
Construction Claim Resolution
In most construction cases, the plaintiff is seeking monetary damages for economic losses that have been suffered as a result of the defendant’s negligence, breach of contract, or other unlawful action. The resolution of a construction claim will typically involve:
- Mediation. Mediation involves the parties working with a neutral, third-party mediator who facilitates and guides negotiations to help the parties reach an agreement. A mediator does not decide a dispute; rather the mediator assists the parties in reaching a voluntary mutually acceptable settlement of the case, which allows the parties to themselves determine the outcome of the dispute.
- Arbitration. For many construction claims, the contract between the parties requires that any disputes must be resolved through arbitration if the parties are unable to settle the matter informally or through mediation. In arbitration, the parties present evidence, including witnesses and exhibits, to the arbitrator at a formal hearing. At the conclusion of the hearing, the arbitrator issues a decision ruling on the merits of the case. Arbitration is typically binding, but in some instances, may be non-binding. Arbitration, unlike litigation, is private.
- Civil Litigation. If the parties in a construction dispute are not required to arbitrate the claims, the dispute will be adjudicated by civil litigation if the parties are unable to settle the claims. Civil litigation involves the court system and when a construction case is filed in court, it may be referred out by the court to a special master or referee who will attempt to narrow the issues and settle the case, but if that fails, the case will ultimately be decided by a judge or jury. Civil litigation usually takes longer and leads to higher legal expenses than arbitration.
Time Limits for Bringing Construction Claims in California
The amount of time a party has to file a lawsuit involving construction claims is limited by various statutes of limitations.
When a party files a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired, the court will dismiss the claim if a statute of limitations defense is properly raised by the defendant. The statute of limitations for construction lawsuits in California varies depending on the basis of the claim. A claimant will want to speak with a qualified attorney about how much time she or he has to file a construction claim, or, in the case of a person defending a construction claim, legal consultation is essential to determine if the claim is time-barred.
Reach Out to The Peterson, Martin & Reynolds LLP Firm Today
At the law office of Peterson, Martin & Reynolds LLP, we understand what’s on the line for you in construction disputes. We have an extensive understanding of California construction laws and take a tailored approach to developing our client’s case strategy. Our top priority is to achieve the best possible outcome for your case—the outcome that maximizes your interests. Our lawyers have decades of combined legal experience in construction litigation, a reputation for excellence, and are driven to obtain successful results.
To learn more about our construction litigation lawyers and the best options for protecting your interests when you are involved in a construction dispute, call our law firm directly today at 415-399-2900, set an appointment to visit one of our offices in person, or send us an email telling us more about your case.
“We have worked with Peterson, Martin & Reynolds LLP for close to fifteen years. The longevity of the relationship is a consequence of both the successful results they have achieved over the years on our behalf, as well as the positive relationships we have with the firm’s lawyers and staff. They clearly understand construction law and practices in far more depth than most law firms and they have worked hard to develop a real sense of our needs and to tailor their litigation strategies to meet our objectives in each of the cases they handle for us.”
National Homebuilding Company