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    Virginia Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: (HB558; H 150; §55-70.1) Warranty extension applicable to single-family but not HOAs: in addition to any other express or implied warranties; It requires registered or certified mail notice to "vendor" stating nature of claim; reasonable time not to exceed six months to "cure the defect".

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    Northern Virginia Building Industry Association
    Local # 4840
    3901 Centerview Dr Suite E
    Chantilly, VA 20151

    Ashburn Virginia Building Expert 10/ 10

    The Top of Virginia Builders Association
    Local # 4883
    1182 Martinsburg Pike
    Winchester, VA 22603

    Ashburn Virginia Building Expert 10/ 10

    Shenandoah Valley Builders Association
    Local # 4848
    PO Box 1286
    Harrisonburg, VA 22803

    Ashburn Virginia Building Expert 10/ 10

    Piedmont Virginia Building Industry Association
    Local # 4890
    PO Box 897
    Culpeper, VA 22701

    Ashburn Virginia Building Expert 10/ 10

    Fredericksburg Area Builders Association
    Local # 4830
    3006 Lafayette Blvd
    Fredericksburg, VA 22408

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    Local # 4804
    PO Box 36
    Waynesboro, VA 22980

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    Blue Ridge Home Builders Association
    Local # 4809
    PO Box 7743
    Charlottesville, VA 22906

    Ashburn Virginia Building Expert 10/ 10

    Building Expert News and Information
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    The Ashburn, Virginia 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. Leveraging from this considerable body of experience, BHA provides construction related trial support and expert services to Ashburn'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.

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    Appeals Court Upholds Decision by Referee in Trial Court for Antagan v Shea Homes

    May 10, 2012 —

    In the case Antangan v. Shea Homes Ltd. Partnership (Cal. App., 2012), Plaintiffs appealed “an order vacating a judgment and entering a modified judgment in their construction defect action against defendants Shea Homes, Inc. and Shea Homes Limited Partnership,” while the Defendant, Shea Homes Limited Partnership (Shea Homes) appealed “an order of the judicial referee denying its motion to strike and tax costs.”

    On the Antagon issue, the appeals court concluded that “the trial court did not err by vacating and modifying its judgment so that the cost of referee’s fees would be equally divided by the parties and consistent with a prior stipulation they filed in court.”

    On the Shea Homes issue, the appeals court concluded: “1) the judicial referee did not err by ruling that plaintiffs’ offers to compromise (§ 998) were validly served on Shea Homes’ counsel, 2) the offers substantially complied with statutory requirements, 3) the offers were not required to be apportioned, and 4) the referee’s award of $5,000 as costs for a person assisting plaintiffs’ counsel was not an abuse of discretion.” The appeals court affirmed the judgment.

    Here is a brief history of the trial case: “Plaintiffs Chito Antangan, Jimmy Alcova and other homeowners brought an action against defendants Shea Homes, Inc. and Shea Homes Limited Partnership for damages alleging that the properties they purchased from these ‘developer defendants’ were defective. Plaintiffs claimed numerous construction defects required them ‘to incur expenses’ for ‘restoration and repairs’ and the value of their homes had been diminished.”

    In response, Shea Homes filed a motion for an order to appoint a judicial referee. The motion was granted and it was ruled that “a referee would ‘try all issues’ and ‘report a statement of decision to this court.’”

    On May 10, 2010 the judicial referee (Thompson) “awarded plaintiffs damages and various costs, and ruled that ‘Shea Homes shall bear all of the Referee’s fees.’” The latter ruling would become a matter for contention later on.

    In July of 2010, the plaintiffs “sought, among other things, $54,409.90 for expert fees, and $14,812.50 for the services of Melissa Fox for ‘exhibit preparation & trial presentation.’ Shea Homes filed a motion to strike and/or tax costs claiming: 1) Fox was a paralegal, 2) plaintiffs were not entitled to attorney’s fees, and 3) the fees for Fox’s services were an indirect and improper method to obtain attorney’s fees. The referee disagreed and awarded $5,000 for Fox’s services. The referee also ruled that plaintiffs had properly served valid offers to compromise (§ 998) on Shea Homes’ counsel in 2009. He said those offers to defendants in the case at that time did not have to be apportioned.”

    “Antangan contends the trial court erred when it vacated and modified its original judgment, which ordered Shea Homes to pay all the referee’s fees. We disagree.”

    Antagon contended that the trial court erred when it vacated and modified its original judgment regarding Shea Homes paying the referee’s fees. The appeals court disagreed: “A trial court has inherent authority to vacate or correct a judgment that is void on its face, incorrect, or entered by mistake. (§ 473; Rochin v. Pat Johnson Manufacturing Co. (1998),67 Cal.App.4th 1228; Olivera

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    Towards Paperless Construction: PaperLight

    June 02, 2016 —
    I just toured the newly built headquarters of a financial corporation. Our guide, a M&A specialist, boasted that they have completely removed paper from their offices. Could paperless construction become feasible any time soon? PaperLight is a portable smart board that could replace paper drawings on many occasions. Rollout, Inc., the developer of PaperLight, says that 90% of contractors still use paper plans. AEC firms spend, on average, $1600 per employee on printing annually. Over 37 million construction drawings are printed every year. Finding a usable solution that reduces these numbers makes economic sense. Even more so if you consider all the costs of errors that result from using outdated paper drawings. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Aarni Heiskanen, AEC Business
    Mr. Heiskanen may be contacted at

    Time Limits on Hidden Construction Defects

    November 06, 2013 —
    From the time a home is built, California starts a ten-year countdown, which Alan I. Schimmel, writing at California Lawyer, notes is not a statute of limitations, but a statute of repose. During that time, homeowners might be able file a claim over construction defects that don’t immediately become evident. After that ten-year limit, “any latent defects they discover would have to be corrected using money from their own pockets.” The readily observable defects, the patent defects, have a four-year limit. Mr. Schimmel focusses on latent defects, “which generally lurk behind walls or underground.” He also notes that “they may cause catastrophic damage before they are even detected.” If a construction defect is found, the “law requires the owner of a single-family residence to notify the builder in writing of the claimed defects.” Read the court decision
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    Can a Non-Signatory Invoke an Arbitration Provision?

    February 02, 2017 —
    As you know from prior postings, arbitration is a creature of contract. Hence, if you want your disputes to be resolved through arbitration, as opposed to litigation, make sure to include an arbitration provision in your agreement that covers all disputes arising out of or relating to the agreement. Under certain circumstances, a non-signatory to an agreement wants to invoke an arbitration clause in the agreement. The non-signatory will move to compel a signatory to the agreement (with an arbitration provision) to arbitrate a dispute with the non-signatory. Can a non-signatory do this? Yes, under certain circumstances. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Florida Construction Legal Updates
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at

    Coverage Established for Property Damage Caused by Added Product

    April 28, 2014 —
    Applying Minnesota law, the federal district court determined the supplier of contaminated dried milk had coverage. The Netherlands Ins. Co. v. Main Street Ingredients, LLC, 2014 WL 1012793 (8th Cir. March 18, 2014). In 2007, Plainview Milk Products sold dried milk to Main Street Ingredients, LLC, who then sold the dried milk to Malt-O-Meal. The dried milk was used by Malt-O-Meal in its instant oatmeal products. In June 2009, the FDA found Salmonella bacteria at Plainview's plant. The FDA also observed thirteen instances of insanitary conditions in the plant. Plainview issued a product recall notice announcing a "voluntary recall" of dried milk, stating its dried milk had "the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella." Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Tred R. Eyerly, Insurance Law Hawaii
    Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at

    Couple Sues Attorney over Construction Defect Case, Loses

    June 10, 2011 —

    The California Court of Appeals has ruled against a couple who sued their lawyer, after they were unhappy with the results of a construction defect case. Craig and Jeanne Petrik sued Mahaffey and Associates for legal malpractice and breach of contract. Their lawyer, Douglas L. Mahaffey, had settled their case for $400,000. The Petricks claimed Mahaffey did not have the authority make an offer to compromise.

    In the original case, Mahaffey held back the $400,000 awarded in the settlement until he and the Petricks came to terms on how much of that was owed to Mahaffey. The lower court concluded that the Petricks were due $146,323,18. The jury did not agree with the Petrik’s claim that conditions had been met in which Mahaffey would not be charging them costs.

    Judges O’Leary and Ikola wrote the opinion, with the third judge on the panel, Judge Bedworth offering a dissent only on their view of the cost waiver clause.

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    James R. Lynch Appointed to the Washington State Capital Project Review Committee

    June 22, 2016 —
    James R. Lynch, one of the attorneys at the law firm of Ahlers & Cressman PLLC, has been appointed to the Washington State Capital Project Review Committee (PRC). Created by the legislature in 2007, the PRC is responsible for reviewing and approving all public projects in the State of Washington using the General Contractor/Construction Manager (GC/CM) and Design-Build (D-B) delivery methods of construction. The PRC also certifies certain qualified government bodies to use these methods more broadly. The PRC consists of key representatives of Washington public project owners, designers, general contractors, specialty/subcontractors, construction managers, construction trades labor, and minority/women businesses. James has been appointed to the PRC’s Private Sector seat for a three-year term. You may learn more about Ahlers & Cressman PLLC at Read the court decision
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    Homeowners Not Compelled to Arbitration in Construction Defect Lawsuit

    January 06, 2012 —

    A California appeals court has ruled that developers cannot enforce CC&Rs in a case where a developer cited an arbitration clause it had inserted into the CC&R. The homeowners are alleging construction defect and wished to sue the developer who claimed a right to this under the CC&Rs.

    The Marina del Rey Argonaut reports that particular appeal dealt only with whether the developer could compel arbitration. The underlying construction defect issues will subsequently have to be determined at trial.

    The attorney for the homeowners’ association, Dan Clifford, noted that “arbitration has to be agreed to by both parties.” The covenant was drafted by the developer and in addition to requiring arbitration, it had a clause that it could not be amended without the consent of the developers. The court ruled that CC&Rs “can be enforced only by the homeowners association, the owner of a condominium or both.”

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