In business, real estate, or trust litigation, there is no question but that "job one" for an attorney representing a client is to prepare for trial. As we have discussed in other Blog posts, most cases in fact settle out of court before trial, rather than concluding with trial and a verdict. It is our belief that the very best way to induce the opposing side to settle a case is for the opposition to see that the Firm is diligently and zealously preparing for trial. Naturally, this policy and practice pays big dividends if the case does in fact go all the way to trial. This preparation is equally key for success in mediation or negotiation.
Whether you have a great relationship with your neighbors, neighbor issues tend to arise over time. One of the most common issues is encroachment.
Home associations are often far more powerful than many home owners realize. Part of the reason is that local governments have gradually given HOA's increasing regulation and authority over the sewers and streets in your neighborhood. This may help the city government save money, but it also leaves you at the mercy of the HOA, with fines, fees, and other punitive measures.
You find yourself involved in a dispute over your property, and you want a resolution that will maintain and enforce your ownership rights. You've heard that many people choose mediation over litigation and you're wondering if that's the right option for your situation. While an attempt to negotiate is almost always a good first step, there are reasons why litigation may be necessary to obtain the outcome you want. To understand why, you first need a working knowledge of the difference between mediation and litigation.
Buying a home is one of the most important financial decisions most people make. While homes often require some form of upgrades or replacements, if a home has serious defects, it is the seller's responsibility to disclose this information. Most states have laws requiring sellers to disclose all important material facts about a home, including any known defects. California has some of the most strict requirements for disclosures in real estate transactions. There is specific section on standard California real estate forms where the seller is supposed to make disclosures. When a seller fails to disclose material defects that affect a property's value, this is known as nondisclosure. In these cases, the homebuyer may be entitled to compensation for the defects discovered.
Buffington Law Firm's business litigation attorney team has dealt extensively with cases in which the Statutes of Limitations is a critical issue. The Statute of Limitations can often bar what would otherwise have been a strong and meritorious claim. One of the heartbreaking things that happens all too often in our business, trust, and real estate litigation practice is that we are contacted by a client who has been defrauded or victimized in some way. Once we arrange for the client's free legal consultation and examine the evidence in more detail, it turns out that the claim is several years old, and incontrovertibly barred by the applicable Statute of Limitations. There are few things less pleasant than having to tell a potential client that while he or she absolutely had had a meritorious claim, that due to the client's delay the lawsuit cannot be effectively brought. On the other hand, many times Buffington Law Firm's business attorneys have successfully defended a client based upon the Statutes of Limitations. We recommend that you review our Article: What To Do if You Have a Legal Claim.
In last week's Blog article we discussed the basic nature of real estate encroachment disputes. In this week's article we discuss the law governing such disputes in more detail. Buffington Law Firm's real estate trial lawyers recommend that if you are involved in a real estate encroachment dispute that you not take action yourself without legal advice. These disputes can be both emotional and tricky, and good legal advice can prevent escalation of the dispute and also avoid further legal problems.
Buffington Law Firm's real estate litigation attorneys have dealt with numerous real estate encroachment disputes in recent years. Real estate encroachment disputes usually occur between owners of adjoining property parcels when one owner begins treating part of their neighbor's property as his or her own. Perhaps they fence in a portion of your property. In other cases we have seen situations in which a neighbor constructed a road or driveway on neigboring property and started using it. Such cases tend to be emotional and usually require legal expertise to resolve.
In our three practice areas, business litigation, trust litigation, and real estate litigation, cost-benefit considerations are always paramount. Whether we are defending our client against such a lawsuit, or bringing a lawsuit to enforce our client's rights, cost always has to be a factor. Few clients have unlimited litigation budgets; nor should they.
Buffington Law Firm's Orange County business trial lawyers have extensive experience in the use of commercial arbitration as an alternative business litigation venue. There are many advantages and disadvantages to the decision to use arbitration, and we discussed these in some detail in last week's Blog. In this week's article we will discuss the actual selection of an arbitrator.