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    Alaska Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: HB151 limits the damages that can be awarded in a construction defect lawsuit to the actual cost of fixing the defect and other closely related costs such as reasonable temporary housing expenses during the repair of the defect, any reduction in market value cause by the defect, and reasonable and necessary attorney fees.

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    Mat-Su Home Builders Association
    Local # 0230
    Wasilla, AK 99654

    Talkeetna Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of Alaska
    Local # 0200
    8301 Schoon St Ste 200
    Anchorage, AK 99518

    Talkeetna Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of Anchorage
    Local # 0215
    8301 Schoon St Ste 200
    Anchorage, AK 99518

    Talkeetna Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Kenai Peninsula Builders Association
    Local # 0233
    PO Box 1753
    Kenai, AK 99611

    Talkeetna Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Interior Alaska Builders Association
    Local # 0235
    938 Aspen Street
    Fairbanks, AK 99709

    Talkeetna Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Northern Southeast Alaska Building Industry Association
    Local # 0225
    9085 Glacier Highway Ste 202
    Juneau, AK 99801

    Talkeetna Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Southern Southeast Alaska Building Industry Association
    Local # 0240
    PO Box 6291
    Ketchikan, AK 99901

    Talkeetna Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Building Expert News and Information
    For Talkeetna Alaska

    Illinois Favors Finding Construction Defects as an Occurrence

    Ensuing Loss Provision Does Not Salvage Coverage

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    The Contributors to This Blog Are Pleased to Announce That….

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    Just When You Thought General Contractors Were Necessary Parties. . .

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    Preventing Costly Litigation Through Your Construction Contract
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    The Talkeetna, Alaska 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. Drawing from this considerable body of experience, BHA provides construction related trial support and expert services to Talkeetna'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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    Talkeetna, Alaska

    Update: Lawyers Can Be Bound to Confidentiality Provision in Settlement Agreement

    January 13, 2020 —
    In July 2019, the California Supreme Court ruled that an attorney’s signature under the often-used phrase “approved as to form and content” does not preclude a finding that the attorney could be bound to the terms of a settlement agreement. (Monster Energy Co. v. Schechter (2019) 7 Cal.5th 781.) This decision marks a reversal of the Fourth District Court of Appeal’s 2018 ruling that approval of a contract is not tantamount to an agreement to be bound by that contract. The underlying action stemmed out of a wrongful death suit by Wendy Crossland and Richard Fournier, parents of the decedent, against Monster Energy Company. The parties negotiated a settlement, a critical of element of which was a confidentiality provision aimed at keeping the the settlement secret. The confidentiality provision prohibited plaintiffs and their counsel of record from disclosing both the existence of the settlement, or the terms thereof, to any person, entity, or publication, including the legal website Lawyers & Settlements. The attorneys signed the agreement under the phrase “approved as to form and content.” Shortly after the settlement agreement was executed, the Plaintiffs’ attorney Bruce Schechter disclosed his clients’ settlement with Monster in an interview with Lawyers & Settlements. Monster filed suit against Mr. Schechter for breach of contract, among other causes of action. Mr. Schechter challenged the lawsuit with a SLAPP motion, essentially arguing that the lawsuit was meritless and merely an attempt to thwart freedom of speech. The trial court denied Mr. Schechter’s motion as to the breach of contract cause of action finding that the settlement clearly contemplated that the attorneys were subjected to the terms of the agreement, and Schechter’s claim that he was not a party because he merely approved as to form and content was “beyond reason.” The Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed, concluding that Mr. Schechter was not a party to the agreement by virtue of his signature approving the form and content, and the Plaintiffs had no authority to bind their attorney to the terms of the agreement. The Court of Appeal found that by affixing his signature to the agreement Mr. Schechter was merely manifesting his “professional thumbs up” in line with legal industry’s customary understanding. In its reversal, the California Supreme Court did not disturb the legal community’s understanding of the phrase “approved as to form and content.” Rather, the Court concluded that an attorney’s signature under that often-used phrase does not preclude as a matter of law that the attorney intended to be bound by the agreement. The entire agreement, including the substantive provisions, need to be examined to determine the attorney’s intent in affixing his/her signature to the agreement. Turning to the Crossland/Fournier Monster settlement agreement, the Court was unpersuaded by Mr. Schechter’s argument that he was not bound to the agreement because counsel was not included in the definition of “party”. The Court stated that it’s the substance of the agreement that determines whether counsel is a party to the contract, as opposed to a party to the lawsuit. The Court was persuaded, in part, by the important role that confidentiality plays in brokering settlements. It noted that public disclosure of private settlements would serve to “chill” parties’ ability to resolve matters short of trial, and there was little doubt that confidentiality was an important term of the Crossland/Fournier Monster settlement. In concluding that Monster had met its burden to defeat an anti-SLAPP motion, the Court pointed to the numerous references to counsel in the substantive provisions of the agreement which a trier of fact could conclude bound Mr. Schechter to the confidentiality terms. Danielle Ward has concentrated her law practice on defending developer, general contractor, and subcontractor clients in a variety of construction matters. She has been an attorney with Balestreri Potocki & Holmes since 2010 and can be reached at Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    District Court's Ruling Affirmed in TCD v American Family Mutual Insurance Co.

    May 10, 2012 —

    In the case, TCD, Inc. v American Family Mutual Insurance Company, the district court’s summary judgment was in favor of the defendant. In response, the Plaintiff, TCD, appealed “on the ground that the insurance company had no duty to defend TCD under a commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policy.” The appeals court affirmed the decision.

    The appeals ruling provides a brief history of the case: “This case arises out of a construction project in Frisco, Colorado. The developer, Frisco Gateway Center, LLC (Gateway), entered into a contract with TCD, the general contractor, to construct a building. TCD entered into a subcontract with Petra Roofing and Remodeling Company (Petra) to install the roof on the building. The subcontract required Petra to "indemnify, hold harmless, and defend" TCD against claims arising out of or resulting from the performance of Petra’s work on the project. The subcontract also required Petra to name TCD as an additional insured on its CGL policy in connection with Petra’s work under the subcontract.”

    Furthermore, “TCD initiated this case against Petra and the insurance company, asserting claims for declaratory judgment, breach of insurance contract, breach of contract, and negligence. The district court entered a default judgment against Petra, and both the remaining parties moved for summary judgment. The court granted summary judgment on the entirety of the action, in favor of the insurance company, concluding that the counterclaims asserted by Gateway against TCD did not give rise to an obligation to defend or indemnify under the CGL policy.”

    The appeals court rejected each contention made by TCD in turn. First, “TCD contend[ed] that Gateway’s counterclaims constitute[d] an allegation of ‘property damage,’ which is covered under the CGL policy.” The appeals court disagreed. Next, “TCD argue[d] that [the court] should broaden or extend the complaint rule, also called the ‘four corners’ rule, and allow it to offer evidence outside of the counterclaims to determine the insurance company’s duty to defend in this case.” The appeals court was not persuaded by TCD’s argument.

    The judgment was affirmed. Judge Roman and Judge Miller concur.

    Read the court’s decision…

    Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Illinois Federal Court Determines if Damages Are Too Remote

    July 13, 2020 —
    Foreseeability is a tort concept that tends to permeate several aspects of legal analysis, often causing confusion in litigants’ interpretation of, and courts’ application of, foreseeability to their cases. In Cincinnati Ins. Co. v. Progress Rail Services. Corp., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73967 (C.D. Ill.), the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois took on the task of analyzing a case dealing with foreseeability issues to determine if the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty and if the damages were so remote as to violate public policy. The court held that since the defendant’s actions contributed to the risk of harm to the plaintiff and the facts satisfied the four-prong duty test, the defendant owed the plaintiff’s subrogor a duty of reasonable care. It also held that the plaintiff’s damage claim did not open the defendant up to liability that would violate public policy. In the case, an employee of defendant Progress Rail Services Corporation (Progress Rail) was operating a crane at Progress Rail’s Galesburg location on May 7, 2018. The employee struck an overhead power line while working, causing a power disruption to nearby businesses. The plaintiff’s subrogor, Midstate Manufacturing Company (Midstate), was one of the affected businesses, reporting that its Amada hydraulic punch was damaged. Midstate submitted a property damage claim to its carrier, Cincinnati Insurance Company (Cincinnati), who reimbursed it under its policy. Subsequent to its payment, Cincinnati filed suit against Progress Rail in Illinois state court. Progress Rail then removed the case to federal court and filed a motion to dismiss. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Lian Skaf, White and Williams LLP
    Mr. Skaf may be contacted at

    Quick Note: Discretion in Determining Prevailing Party for Purposes of Attorney’s Fees

    January 25, 2021 —
    In prior articles I have discussed that courts apply the significant issues test to determine the prevailing party for purposes of being entitled to attorney’s fees. A party that recovers an affirmative judgement is NOT the de facto prevailing party for purposes of an entitlement to attorney’s fees in a breach of contract action (or a construction lien foreclosure action). This was the issue in a recent appeal discussed here where the party that recovered an affirmative judgment on a breach of contract case was not deemed the prevailing party for purposes of attorney’s fees. While the party prevailed on one of its claims, it did not prevail on others, and it recovered less than half of the damages it originally sought. The appellate court, affirming the trial court, held that the trial court has discretion to determine that the party that recovered an affirmative judgement was not the prevailing party entitled to its attorney’s fees under the signifiant issues test. This was not what the party was expecting when the attorney’s fees it expended far exceeded the judgment it recovered. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Kirwin Norris, P.A.
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at

    ICC/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Green Model Code Integrates Existing Standards

    December 04, 2018 —
    The release this month of the 2018 edition of the International Green Construction Code marks the first time two sustainability standards developers have joined to foster green buildings and streamline code adoption. The model IgCC is now integrated with ASHRAE’s standard for high-performance buildings. And to reduce green-standard confusion even further, the 2018-IgCC is aligned with the LEED rating system program. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Nadine M. Post, ENR
    Ms. Post may be contacted at

    Seventh Circuit Remands “Waters of the United States” Case to Corps of Engineers to Determine Whether there is a “Significant Nexus”

    July 10, 2018 —
    On June 27, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit decided the case of Orchard Hill Building Co. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Court of Appeals vacated the decision of the District Court granting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) motion for summary judgment dismissing the Orchard Hill Building Company’s (Orchard) complaint that the Corps’ jurisdictional determination erroneously found that the waters at issue were “jurisdictional waters” under the Clean Water Act (CWA) subject to the Corps’ jurisdiction. Acknowledging that the Corps and EPA had promulgated a new rule re-defining “waters of the United States” in 2015—which is now being challenged in the courts—the Court of Appeals noted that this case is controlled by the pre-2015 definition of “waters of the United States.” The Court of Appeals remanded the case to the Corps, directing it to determine if there was a significant nexus, as required. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Anthony B. Cavender, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
    Mr. Cavender may be contacted at

    Newmeyer & Dillion Announces Three New Partners

    March 16, 2017 —
    NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – FEBRUARY 7, 2017 – Prominent business and real estate law firm Newmeyer & Dillion LLP is pleased to announce that three of the firm’s attorneys – Ben Ammerman, Anne Kelley and Rondi Walsh – have been elected to partnership. Their promotions are effective immediately. “The elevation of these three attorneys is a testament to their leadership, hard work, and unwavering commitment to superior service for our clients and the firm,” proclaimed Jeff Dennis, Newmeyer & Dillion’s Managing Partner. “This is an exciting time for the firm as we look forward to their continued success and contributions.” Ammerman (based in Newport Beach, CA) focuses his practice in the areas of business, real estate, and tort litigation. In addition to his private practice, Ammerman presently serves as a Commander in the Navy Reserve Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He's also an active alumnus, currently named co-chair of the University of Southern California’s 20th Reunion Committee. Kelley (based in Walnut Creek, CA) concentrates primarily in construction litigation and insurance coverage matters. She has over 12 years of experience working closely with builders, developers, contractors and subcontractors throughout Northern California developing legal strategies specific to the needs of each matter and the client’s business and goals. Kelley has litigated a wide variety of complex insurance coverage disputes. Walsh (based in Newport Beach, CA) has incorporated into her practice the representation of policyholders in first and third-party insurance coverage, and business lawsuits involving contracts, property disputes, products liability and construction defect issues. She also has litigated numerous political and election law matters and has worked both professionally and as a volunteer on numerous political campaigns. Walsh is also an active member with the National Charity League. About Newmeyer & Dillion For more than 30 years, Newmeyer & Dillion has delivered creative and outstanding legal solutions and trial results for a wide array of clients. With over 70 attorneys practicing in all aspects of business, employment, real estate, construction and insurance law, Newmeyer & Dillion delivers legal services tailored to meet each client’s needs. Headquartered in Newport Beach, California, with offices in Walnut Creek, California and Las Vegas, Nevada, Newmeyer & Dillion attorneys are recognized by The Best Lawyers in America©, and Super Lawyers as top tier and some of the best lawyers in California, and have been given Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review's AV Preeminent® highest rating. For additional information, call 949-854-7000 or visit Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    No Retrofit without Repurposing in Los Angeles

    October 21, 2013 —
    The Los Angeles Times has continued its series on the seismic safety of buildings in downtown Los Angeles. According to the article, Los Angeles only requires seismic retrofits of buildings if their purpose is being changed. One investor, Izak Shomof, bought a residential hotel and kept it as one to avoid retrofitting the building. He converted an office building to upscale residences and so the building was strengthened. His son, Eric Shomof, keeps an office in the unreinforced building. He said if more retrofitting were required, “you’d see a lot more vacant buildings down here,” describing the process as “not cheap.” Depending on whether or when a building has changed its use, the concrete buildings of downtown Los Angeles may or may not be protected against failure in an earthquake. Read the court decision
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