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Is homebuilder’s contractual construction-defect pre-litigation procedure unenforceable due to its variance from statutory procedure, and unenforceable when used with subsequent home purchasers?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In The McCaffrey Group, Inc. v. Superior Court (filed 3/24/14) F066080, the trial court denied homebuilder McCaffrey’s “Motion to Compel ADR” brought in an action filed by real parties in interest who were the owners of 24 homes built by McCaffrey which allegedly contained construction defects. McCaffrey petitioned for writ of mandate to enforce provisions […]

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Where settlement agreement provides for a discounted principal amount to be paid in installments and the entire original liability becomes due because of a late payment, is default judgment for amount in excess an unenforceable penalty?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In promissory note cases, it is not uncommon in my role as a mediator to assist parties in framing terms of a settlement that provides for installment payments. The creditor normally wants some “teeth” in the agreement in exchange for its promise to accept gradual payments rather than the full sum immediately upon settlement. On […]

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Home Construction Defect Case Prelitigation Procedure Under California Civil Code Section 914 Backfires on Homebuilder Drafting Its Own Contract Provision

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In 2002, hoping to reduce construction litigation and the impact on housing costs, the California Legislature enacted Civil Code sections 895-945.5 that included a nonadversarial prelitigation procedure requiring home purchasers, who believe their home may be defective, to give the builder notice of the claimed defects and an opportunity to investigate and repair the defects […]

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Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): California Statutes, Public Policy, and Agreement –Part II: Enforcement of Recorded Covenant to Arbitrate

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

The second recent ADR case on the meeting of minds concerns arbitration–that is, whether an arbitration will even happen. The Court of Appeal (4th District, Division 1) in Villa Vicenza Homeowners Association v. Nobel Court Development LLC (filed January 11, 2011) 2011 DJDAR 585 found “CC&R’s are not an effective means of obtaining an agreement […]

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Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): California Statutes, Public Policy, and Agreement –Part I: Mediation Confidentiality

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

Welcome to the inaugural posting of the California Appellate Lawyer Blog, presented by the Appellate Practice Group of Dowling Aaron Incorporated, Inc. This is Steve Vartabedian, recently retired from the bench, having spent 21 years on the California Court of Appeal which followed 8 years on the trial court. From time to time, I, and […]

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