Construction Dispute Litigation
Construction projects are complex. When something goes wrong, the resulting litigation may involve multiple parties and types of claims. Our firm represents contractors, subcontractors, developers, investors, suppliers, and property owners in many kinds of disputes arising out of construction. Disputes can come up in connection with mechanic’s liens, bonds, breach of contract, contractual interpretations, employment, indemnification, and construction defects. Resolution of one or more issues may be protracted, and litigation is expensive, so it is crucial to secure knowledgeable counsel to represent you. If you see trouble brewing with a construction project, and the possibility of construction dispute litigation for your company, you may have a lot on the line. You should consult the experienced New Jersey business litigation attorneys of the Grimes Law Firm.Construction Dispute Litigation
Both construction contracts and statutes govern construction work. In most cases, construction contracts that affect the work include prime contracts, subcontracts, and vendor agreements. Disagreements may arise with regard to a contractor or subcontractor’s:
- Failure to perform,
- Scope of work disputes,
- Delay claims,
- Breach of contract claims,
- Mechanic’s liens,
- Construction defects,
- Property damage,
- Violations of consumer protection laws,
- Payment disputes,
- Employment law,
- Sale of a construction company
- Claims regarding contractor licenses.
Our lawyers frequently see issues regarding payment and liens on construction projects. In New Jersey, certain parties at the construction site are entitled to place construction liens on the property, including general contractors, subcontractors, laborers, materialmen, architects, surveyors, construction managers and engineers. These liens provide a remedy when these parties aren’t paid for work that they have properly performed because they make it hard to sell the property or secure financing. The procedures related to enforcing the lien under the New Jersey Construction Lien Law are strict.
Sometimes, however, there is disagreement about whether the work was, in fact, performed in an appropriate fashion. For instance, a contractor may decide that the specs required a subcontractor roofer to lay the tile in a different manner and not pay for the work. Or defects may be alleged. For example, if water damage starts to appear in the walls around the windows as a commercial project is underway, a developer may disagree that waterproofing work was properly performed.
Legal issues often also arise in connection with interpretation and execution of construction contracts. Properly drafted contracts can stave off trouble, but even contracts drafted by attorneys counsel can include ambiguities that could impact resolution of a dispute. Disagreements may arise regarding the terms of the agreement, scope of work, overruns in cost, delays, indemnification, and scope of work.
However, statutory violations, rather than contractual disputes, can also form the basis of construction litigation. For example, the New Jersey Home Improvement Act has made specific acts and omissions violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. Consumer fraud violations can include failure to include a completion date, failure to provide insurance certificates and failure to include a clause regarding the right to cancel the contract.Alternative Disputes Resolution
Costs and fees build up quickly in litigation, and in some cases, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), is appropriate because it is less expensive. Common forms of ADR include mediation and arbitration. Mediation is typically non-binding and a neutral third party meets with the parties to discuss weaknesses and strengths of their cases, working in a more cooperative way to arrive at a resolution or settlement that is mutually acceptable. In arbitration, an arbitrator decides the case after both or all sides present evidence and arguments. However, in arbitration, unlike ordinary litigation in civil court, the rules of evidence are relaxed and the discovery process, or process of gathering evidence from other parties, is more limited. Arbitration decisions usually can’t be appealed.Hire an Experienced Commercial Litigation Firm for Your Construction Dispute
Contractors and subcontractors may find their businesses placed in precarious positions by litigation. As a company striving to be competitive, it’s important to get out ahead of any problems. If you think you may need to recover damages or fight off aggressive tactics from another party, you should talk to the experienced New Jersey business litigation attorney Raymond Grimes. The Grimes Law Firm represents construction companies in Somerset County and throughout the state and the Tri-State area. Please call us at (908) 371-106 or complete our online form.