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    Anchorage, Alaska

    Alaska Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: HB151 limits the damages that can be awarded in a construction defect lawsuit to the actual cost of fixing the defect and other closely related costs such as reasonable temporary housing expenses during the repair of the defect, any reduction in market value cause by the defect, and reasonable and necessary attorney fees.

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    Home Builders Association of Alaska
    Local # 0200
    8301 Schoon St Ste 200
    Anchorage, AK 99518

    Anchorage Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of Anchorage
    Local # 0215
    8301 Schoon St Ste 200
    Anchorage, AK 99518

    Anchorage Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Mat-Su Home Builders Association
    Local # 0230
    Wasilla, AK 99654

    Anchorage Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Kenai Peninsula Builders Association
    Local # 0233
    PO Box 1753
    Kenai, AK 99611

    Anchorage Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Northern Southeast Alaska Building Industry Association
    Local # 0225
    9085 Glacier Highway Ste 202
    Juneau, AK 99801

    Anchorage Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Interior Alaska Builders Association
    Local # 0235
    938 Aspen Street
    Fairbanks, AK 99709

    Anchorage Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Southern Southeast Alaska Building Industry Association
    Local # 0240
    PO Box 6291
    Ketchikan, AK 99901

    Anchorage Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Building Expert News and Information
    For Anchorage Alaska

    Property Damage Caused By Construction Next Door Covered as Ensuing Loss

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    Benefits to Insureds Under Property Insurance Policy – Concurrent Cause Doctrine

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    The Anchorage, Alaska Building Expert Group at BHA, leverages from the experience gained through more than 5,500 construction related expert witness designations encompassing a wide spectrum of construction related disputes. Drawing from this considerable body of experience, BHA provides construction related trial support and expert services to Anchorage's most recognized construction litigation practitioners, commercial general liability carriers, owners, construction practice groups, as well as a variety of state and local government agencies.

    Building Expert News & Info
    Anchorage, Alaska

    Nonparty Discovery in California Arbitration: How to Get What You Want

    January 08, 2019 —
    Opting for arbitration requires attorneys to balance efficiency and procedural protections. The implications of arbitration are something clients certainly have to carefully consider both when drafting arbitration provisions, and after initiating a demand. While arbitration can in many respects streamline the civil discovery process, one of the largest roadblocks for cases in California arbitrations is “streamlining” discovery from nonparties. This article explores the challenges presented by third party discovery in arbitration, and proposes strategies for obtaining such discovery efficiently and expeditiously. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Leilani L. Jones, Payne & Fears
    Ms. Jones may be contacted at

    Homebuilding in Las Vegas Slows but Doesn’t Fall

    October 15, 2013 —
    There was an 18 percent drop in the sale of new homes in September, as compared to the prior month, but that was still 6 percent higher than the home sales of the previous September. So far, August was the briskest month for homes sales in Las Vegas for 2013. Through September, builders have sold 5,653 homes, which is a fifty-three percent increase over the first nine months of 2012. Dennis Smith, the president of Home Builders Research said “that is a very strong annual change that clearly suggests new housing has revered from the recessionary doldrums of the past four years.” Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    General Contractor’s Intentionally False Certifications Bar It From Any Recovery From Owner

    November 03, 2016 —
    In a public works dispute in Massachusetts, a Massachusetts Court judge ruled that a general contractor could not recover any of its over $14 million claim against a public owner because it had violated its contract with the Owner by certifying that it had paid its subcontractors in full and on time when in fact it had not.[i] The case involves a contract dispute arising from a state and federally-funded project to design and construct a fiber optic network in western Massachusetts. The Owner was a state development agency established and organized to receive both state and federal funding to build a 1,200–mile fiber optic network known as MassBroadband123 in Western Massachusetts (the Project). Of that amount, $45.4 million was awarded pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). One of the stated goals of ARRA was (as its title suggests) to create jobs in the wake of the 2008 recession and to provide a direct financial boost to those impacted by the economic crisis. In the context of the instant case, that meant that, if there were to be subcontractors on the job providing labor and materials, they needed to be paid on a timely basis in keeping with the statutory purpose of stimulating the economy. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Masaki James Yamada, Ahlers & Cressman PLLC
    Mr. Yamada may be contacted at

    Coverage Issues: When You Need Your Own Lawyer in a Construction Defect Suit

    October 16, 2013 —
    When an insurer hires an attorney on behalf of a client in a construction defect suit, that attorney is the client’s lawyer, but as Mike Curry writes on the website of Pendleton Wilson Hennessey & Crow, PC, a point may come when you need to hire your own additional attorney. Even though an insurance company client may refer to the lawyer as “the insurance carrier’s attorney,” Mr. Curry cites the words of the Colorado Bar Association’s ethics committee, “the insured is the client to whom the lawyer’s duty of loyalty is owed, regardless of any retention agreement the lawyer may have with the carrier.” Mr. Curry then offers the example of what happens when the insurance company advises its client that it may not cover. “You presumably call your attorney and ask him to explain what’s going on, what the letter means, and what to do next.” All the attorney can say is “I cannot offer legal advice on coverage issues.” This is the limitation of what Mr. Curry refers to as “the tripartite relationship.” The attorney has been retained for issues related to the construction defect dispute between the insured and the plaintiff. Not between the insurer and its insured. The attorney has, as he points out, a fiduciary obligation to the insurance company. When coverage issues arise, “an independent attorney — one you hire — can help you with the coverage issues that your insurance-assigned attorney simply cannot address.” He further notes that “personal counsel owes no fiduciary obligation to the insurance company,” and can be “utilized to persuade the carrier to provide coverage or settle the case.” Read the court decision
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    The Right to Repair Act (Civ.C §895 et seq.) Applies and is the Exclusive Remedy for a Homeowner Alleging Construction Defects

    February 07, 2018 —
    McMillin Albany LLC v. Superior Court (01.18.18) ____ Cal.4th _____ (2018 WL 456728) The California Supreme Court confirmed that the Right to Repair Act (CA Civil Code § 895, et seq. and often referred to by its legislative nomenclature as “SB800”) applies broadly to any action by a residential owner seeking recovery of damages for construction defects, regardless of whether such defects caused property damages or only economic losses. This includes the right in the Act of the builder to attempt repairs prior to the owner filing a lawsuit. Background Homeowners sued builder for construction defects. Included in their causes of action was a cause of action for violation of the Right To Repair Act. The Act requires that before filing litigation, a homeowner must give the builder notice and engage in a nonadversarial prelitigation process which gives the builder a right to repair the defects. The builder asked the court to stay the homeowners’ action so the prelitigaiton process could be undertaken. Rather than give the builder the repair right, the homeowners dismissed the particular cause of action from their case, leaving only other so-called common law and warranty causes of action. The common law claims sought recovery for property damage caused by the defects. The builder nonetheless asked to the Court to stay the action so it could exercise its right to repair. The trial court, relying on Liberty Mutual Ins. Co. v. Brookfield Crystal Cove LLC (2013) 219 Cal.App.4th 98, denied builder’s request to stay the action. The Liberty Mutual Court concluded that certain common law construction defect claims fell outside the purview of the Act. Builder appealed. The Court of Appeal disagreed with Liberty Mutual, so did not follow it, granted the builder’s request for a stay, and directed that the homeowners afford the builder the right to repair the claimed defects as provided under the Act. The California Supreme Court affirmed, disapproving Liberty Mutual and the subsequent cases relying on it. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Craig Wallace, Smith Currie
    Mr. Wallace may be contacted at

    South Carolina Legislature Redefining Occurrences to Include Construction Defects in CGL Policies

    April 01, 2011 —

    The question of what circumstances must be in place for construction defects to be covered in a general commercial liability (CGL) policies is being raised by the courts and the legislature in South Carolina. The Insurance Journal reports that the American Insurance Association as well as the Property and Casualty Insurers Association of America are speaking out on the issue.

    The problem seems to be centered on what defines an “occurrence.” CGL policies were not meant to cover faulty workmanship, according to the filing by the South Carolina Supreme Court. In January of this year, the South Carolina Supreme Court reversed the ruling in Crossmann Communities v Harleysville Mutual declaring that “Respondents cannot show the damage here was the result of an occurrence. Rather, the damage was a direct result and the natural and expected consequence of faulty workmanship; faulty workmanship did not cause an occurrence resulting in damage.” They focused their attention on the word “accident,” stating that there is a fortuity element that is not diminished.

    The South Carolina legislature reacted by producing a bill that would add new language directly negating the ruling by the Supreme Court. The South Carolina bill S-431 would change the definition of an occurrence in regards to construction defects as follows: “For a liability insurance policy issued to a construction professional, an ‘occurrence’ means, at a minimum: (1) an accident; or (2) continuous or repeated exposure to substantially the same general harmful condition or substance. No additional requirement of a fortuitous event is needed to constitute an ‘occurrence.’”

    S-431 is currently residing in the House Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry.

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    Factories Boost U.S. Output as Builders Gain Confidence: Economy

    June 18, 2014 —
    American manufacturers are churning out more goods and homebuilders are regaining confidence as evidence mounts that the world’s largest economy is making a comeback after a slow start to 2014. Output at factories, mines and utilities rose 0.6 percent in May, reflecting gains at makers of automobiles, business equipment and construction supplies, according to Federal Reserve data today in Washington. Builder sentiment this month jumped by the most in almost a year, another report showed. Improving consumer and business spending means assembly lines will probably remain busy in the second half of the year, giving growth a boost after the expansion sputtered in the first quarter. The reports, which came as the International Monetary Fund cut its 2014 forecast for the U.S., give Fed policy makers meeting this week reason to continue trimming stimulus at a measured pace to ensure the rebound is sustained. “We’re back on track,” said Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York, and the second-best production forecaster over the last two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “Everything is growing at a pretty good clip.” Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Victoria Stilwell, Bloomberg
    Ms. Stilwell may be contacted at

    Entire Fairness or Business Judgment? It’s Anyone’s Guess

    January 09, 2015 —
    In lawsuits challenging the validity of business transactions and combinations, the most significant issue is often which standard of review the court applies: the defense-friendly “Business Judgment Rule” or the more stringent “Entire Fairness Standard.” The standard utilized by the court – or more often times the standard which the parties think the court will apply – can drive decisions on motion practice, settlement discussions, and resolution strategy. Under the Business Judgment Rule, directors are presumed to have acted in good faith and their decisions will only be questioned when they are shown to have engaged in self-dealing or fraud. However, if a “Controlling Shareholder” stands on both sides of the transaction, the court will often scrutinize the transaction under the more plaintiff-friendly “Entire Fairness Standard.” So, what constitutes a “Controlling Shareholder?” If the party in question owns more than 50% of a company’s equity, the answer is clear-cut. However, for cases involving stockholders who own less than 50% of a company’s equity and stand on both sides of the disputed transaction, the answer is not so simple. This uncertainty was highlighted in back-to-back decisions by the Delaware Chancery Court in November 2014. On November 25, 2014, the court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss a derivative lawsuit alleging breach of fiduciary duty in In Re Sanchez Energy Derivative Litigation (“Sanchez”). Vice Chancellor Glasscock held that the complaint failed to plead facts sufficient to raise an inference that two directors with a collective 21.5% equity interest in the company were Controlling Shareholders. The very next day, in In Re Zhongpin Inc. Stockholders Litigation (“Zhongpin”), the Delaware Chancery Court denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss breach of fiduciary duty claims against an alleged “Controlling Shareholder” and members of the company’s board. In Zhongpin, Vice Chancellor Noble held that sufficient facts were plead to raise an inference that a CEO with a 17.5% equity was a “Controlling Shareholder.” Reprinted courtesy of White and Williams LLP attorneys Maurice Pesso, Greg M. Steinberg and Christopher J. Orrico Mr. Pesso may be contacted at Mr. Steinberg may be contacted at Mr. Orrico may be contacted at Read the court decision
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