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    California Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: SB800 (codified as Civil Code §§895, et seq) is the most far-reaching, complex law regulating construction defect litigation, right to repair, warranty obligations and maintenance requirements transference in the country. In essence, to afford protection against frivolous lawsuits, builders shall do all the following:A homeowner is obligated to follow all reasonable maintenance obligations and schedules communicated in writing to the homeowner by the builder and product manufacturers, as well as commonly accepted maintenance practices. A failure by a homeowner to follow these obligations, schedules, and practices may subject the homeowner to the affirmative defenses.A builder, under the principles of comparative fault pertaining to affirmative defenses, may be excused, in whole or in part, from any obligation, damage, loss, or liability if the builder can demonstrate any of the following affirmative defenses in response to a claimed violation:

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    Commercial and Residential Contractors License Required.

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    California Building Industry Association
    Local # 0500
    1215 K Street Ste 1200
    Sacramento, CA 95814

    Winters California Building Consultant 10/ 10

    North State Building Industry Association
    Local # 0540
    1536 Eureka Rd
    Roseville, CA 95661

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    Building Industry Association of the Bay Area - Northern Division
    Local # 0538
    PO Box 7100
    Santa Rosa, CA 95407
    Winters California Building Consultant 10/ 10

    Building Industry Association of the Delta
    Local # 0513
    315 N San Joaquin St Ste 2
    Stockton, CA 95202

    Winters California Building Consultant 10/ 10

    Building Industry Association of the Bay Area
    Local # 0538
    101 Ygnacio Valley Rd # 210
    Walnut Creek, CA 94596

    Winters California Building Consultant 10/ 10

    Building Industry Association of the Bay Area - Eastern Division
    Local # 0538
    PO Box 5160
    San Ramon, CA 94583
    Winters California Building Consultant 10/ 10

    Building Industry Association of Central California
    Local # 0536
    900 H St Ste E2
    Modesto, CA 95354

    Winters California Building Consultant 10/ 10

    Building Consultant News and Information
    For Winters California

    Good Signs for Housing Market in 2013

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    Chambers USA 2019 Ranks White and Williams as a Leading Law Firm
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    The Winters, California Building Consultant 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. Leveraging from this considerable body of experience, BHA provides construction related trial support and expert services to Winters' most recognized construction litigation practitioners, commercial general liability carriers, owners, construction practice groups, as well as a variety of state and local government agencies.

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    Winters, California

    Trump Tower Is Now One of NYC’s Least-Desirable Luxury Buildings

    July 08, 2019 —
    Trump Tower, once the crown jewel in Donald Trump’s property empire, now ranks as one of the least desirable luxury properties in Manhattan. The 36-year-old building has been turned into a fortress since Trump won the presidency, ringed with concrete barriers and the two main entrances partially blocked off. It hasn’t been substantially updated in years. And Trump’s name has been a huge turnoff in liberal New York City. For anyone who owns a unit in the tower, the past two years have been brutal. Most condo sales have led to a loss after adjusting for inflation, property records show. Several sold at more than a 20% loss. By contrast, across Manhattan, just 0.23% of homes over the past two years sold at a loss, according to real-estate data provider PropertyShark, although the firm doesn’t adjust for inflation. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Shahien Nasiripour, Bloomberg

    Arizona Supreme Court Upholds Constitutionality of Provision Relating to Statutory Authority for Constructing and Operating Sports and Tourism Complexes

    June 18, 2019 —
    In an opinion published February 25, 2019, the Arizona Supreme Court held that Maricopa County’s surcharge on car rental agencies to fund a stadium and other sports- and tourism-related projects did not violate either the dormant Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution or the anti-diversion provision of the Arizona Constitution, art. 9, § 14. Saban Rent-a-Car LLC v. Ariz. Dep’t of Revenue. In 2000, the Arizona Legislature created the Arizona Tourism and Sports Authority (the Authority) to build and/or operate a variety of sports-related facilities, including Major League Baseball spring training facilities, and youth and amateur sports and recreation centers. Taxes and surcharges, approved by voters, are the sole funding for the Authority’s construction projects, including the challenged surcharge in Maricopa County. This surcharge is based on the income from car rental companies leasing vehicles to customers for less than one year, and is the greater of $2.50 per rental or 3.25% of the company’s gross proceeds or income. A.R.S. § 5-839. The state treasurer deposits $2.50 per rental transaction into the Maricopa County Stadium District, as it has since 1991, and the remaining amount of the difference between $2.50 per transaction and 3.25% of the company’s gross income or proceeds is distributed to the Authority. Rental car companies often pass this surcharge on to their customers. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Amanda Z. Weaver, Snell & Wilmer
    Ms. Weaver may be contacted at

    Privileged Communications With a Testifying Client/Expert

    June 10, 2019 —
    In In re City of Dickinson, 568 S.W.3d 642 (Tex. 2019), the Supreme Court of Texas recently assessed whether a client’s emails with its counsel were subject to disclosure after the client was designated as a testifying expert witness. In re City of Dickinson involved a coverage dispute between a policyholder and its insurer. The policyholder moved for summary judgment on the issue of causation, essentially alleging that its insurer did not pay all damages caused by Hurricane Ike. In responding to the motion, the insurer relied upon an affidavit by one of its employees, a claims examiner, that included both factual testimony and expert witness testimony. The policyholder subsequently filed a motion to compel, seeking the production of emails between the claims examiner and the insurer’s counsel that were generated while the affidavit was being drafted. The emails contained numerous revisions of the affidavit. The insurer objected, asserting that the emails were protected by the attorney-client privilege and were generated in the course of the rendition of legal services. The trial court granted the motion to compel, ordering production. Ultimately, after a series of appeals, the Supreme Court had to decide whether the documents in dispute were subject to discovery. In resolving this issue, the court examined the rules pertaining to expert disclosures. As noted by the court, the rules authorize the production of all documents provided to a testifying expert witness. Thus, the court was faced with determining if its rules required the disclosure of documents that are also subject to the attorney-client privilege. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Shannon M. Warren, White and Williams
    Ms. Warren may be contacted at

    Massachusetts Court Holds Statute of Repose Bars Certain Asbestos-Related Construction Claims

    April 17, 2019 —
    In Stearns v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) addressed whether the six-year statute of repose for improvements to real property applies to long-tail tort claims, such as those caused by exposure to asbestos. Reasoning that the language of § 2B is clear, unambiguous and unequivocal, the SJC held that Mass. Gen. Laws. c. 260 § 2B does in fact bar all tort claims arising out of a deficiency or neglect in the design, planning, construction or general administration of an improvement to real property filed after the expiration of the six-year repose period. Additionally, the court affirmed that the time limitations imposed by the statute of repose may not be tolled for any reason six years after either the opening of the improvement for use or the owner taking possession of the improvement for occupation upon substantial completion, whichever may occur first. Reprinted courtesy of Timothy J. Keough, White and Williams LLP and Rochelle Gumapac, White and Williams LLP Mr. Keough may be contacted at Ms. Gumapac may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Insured Under Property Insurance Policy Should Comply With Post-Loss Policy Conditions

    June 10, 2019 —
    Your property insurance policy will contain post-loss policy conditions. Examples include submitting a sworn statement in proof of loss, providing documentation to your insurer, and sitting for an examination under oath. Insurers will require you, as the insured, to comply with post-loss policy conditions unless they elect to promptly deny coverage. If you do not comply with such post-loss policy conditions you can forfeit coverage under the policy and/or give the insurer the argument that any lawsuit you filed against the property insurer is premature. Thus, there really is no upside in refusing to comply with the post-loss policy conditions, which should be done in consult with an attorney or, as the case may be, a public adjuster. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Kirwin Norris, P.A.
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at

    Estoppel Certificate? Estop and Check Your Lease

    May 06, 2019 —
    If you are leasing space in a building, there may come a time when you receive a request from your landlord to fill out and sign an estoppel certificate. Estoppel certificates are usually sent to tenants in connection with the sale or refinance of a building, and a third party may rely on the accuracy of the statements and information contained in the estoppel certificate in connection with that transaction. Estoppel certificates can range from a very simple, one-page document, to several pages. I’ve received an estoppel certificate in the mail. What do I do now? Consider the following: Check your lease. Your lease may require you to deliver the signed estoppel certificate and may even give you a timeframe within which you are required to return it. A form of estoppel certificate may also be included in your lease as an exhibit. If you’ve previously agreed to a form of estoppel certificate in your lease, check to ensure the one you have received matches the form you previously agreed to and if it doesn’t make sure to review it carefully to make sure it is acceptable. Review the estoppel certificate and confirm that all of the information is accurate. Be on the lookout for any terms or provisions that you did not agree to in your lease. If it seems like the landlord is trying to modify your lease, you likely do not need to consent to the change in this document. Cross off (or modify or delete, if you have an electronic copy) any information that is inaccurate. Fill in all blanks (if the blank is not applicable, write “N/A”), and if any exhibits are referenced in the body of the document, make sure they are actually attached. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Lauren Podgorski, Snell & Wilmer
    Ms. Podgorski may be contacted at

    Taking Care of Infrastructure – Interview with Marilyn Grabowski

    February 06, 2019 —
    Marilyn Grabowski leads Atlantic Infrared with a mission to protect and improve infrastructure. In this interview, we discuss her professional background, the technologies that her team uses, and why more women should consider construction as a career. Marilyn Grabowski, known as “The Lady in Red”, and her team Atlantic Infra employees dubbed “The Red Crew” have been seamlessly filling potholes across the state of New Jersey since 2002. Under her leadership, The Red Crew uses infrared technology and unfailing attention to detail to expertly repair potholes, failed utility cuts and sunken trenches with no break in the road – creating safe and aesthetically pleasing repairs statewide, at a clip of 15,000 potholes per year. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Aarni Heiskanen, AEC Business
    Mr. Heiskanen may be contacted at

    How to Mitigate Lien Release Bond Premiums with Disappearing Lien Claimants

    May 20, 2019 —
    It is one of those dreaded business situations that plagues the construction industry, especially in times of economic downturn—what to do when a lower-tier entity files a lien against a property then disappears. It has happened to countless owners, general contractors, subcontractors, and even some particularly unlucky sub-tier subcontractors and suppliers. Here is how it arises: a project is moving along, then performance or payment issues arise, and a company that is over extended or unwilling to continue work stops performance, walks off the job, and files a lien against the property for whatever amounts were allegedly unpaid. Often, the allegedly unpaid sums were legitimately withheld due to a good faith dispute over payment/performance, and it is not unusual for the defaulting entity to not be entitled to any of the sums claimed in the lien. Regardless, the lien stays on the property, and pressure is applied from the “upstream” entities to the party who contracted with the defaulting entity to “deal” with the lien. Oftentimes, a contract will require the parties to “deal” with a lien by obtaining a lien release bond (“release bond”). For those lucky enough to not have encountered this issue, a release bond is a nifty statutory device whereby a surety agrees to record a release bond for the full claimed amount of the lien, with the release bond substituting in for the liened property, effectively discharging the property from liability under the lien. In other words, the lien is released from the property and attaches to the release bond. If the lien claimant recovers on its lien, it is technically satisfied by the surety providing the release bond (or the party who agrees to indemnify and defend the release bond). In exchange for delivering the release bond, the surety demands yearly premiums be paid on the release bond amount Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Scott MacDonald, Ahlers Cressman & Sleight PLLC
    Mr. MacDonald may be contacted at