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Matt Wertheim logo

Contact Matt at 415-775-8950
Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

An Overview

Construction of both residential and commercial buildings can involve numerous legal issues, including construction-related disputes. When you are faced with construction related legal issues, you need the assistance of an experienced attorney.

Construction Contracts

The construction contract is the essential written document that sets out the rights and responsibilities of each party to the agreement. It is important that you read this document carefully, and that you understand all of it before signing it. The legal consequences may not be obvious, so it's important to have a lawyer review it for you, or with you. Often compromise, negotiation, and editing is necessary so you are certain that this truly is the agreement you want to make. If it is not, you should not sign the agreement unless the changes you want are made. You will be legally bound by this contract, and it is no defense to say you did not read it all the way through. Hiring an experienced attorney like Matt Wertheim to help negotiate terms is something you should consider before signing the contract, and not later after you are in a dispute.

Construction Disputes

Disputes between a contractor or a construction company and a customer are all too common. Disputes often arise out of delays in getting the work done, unsatisfactory work, or a customer's failure to make payments. Often the scope of work changes after a wall comes down or the owner(s) simply change their mind regarding architectural details. Construction-related disputes can consume a lot of time and money on the part of everyone involved. In many cases, the expense involved in pursuing a dispute is far out of proportion to the money actually at stake. An attorney with experience in construction disputes can help you pursue your claim in an efficient, cost-effective manner.

Resolving Construction Disputes

Most construction contracts set out the manner in which disputes are to be resolved. Usually, those contracts call for use of a means other than litigation, such as arbitration or mediation to resolve the particular dispute(s). Matt Wertheim has handled scores of construction disputes as an advocate and as a mediator.

Hiring a Contractor

Hiring a contractor is something many, if not most, property or building owners will be faced with at some point. While some owners may want to do construction work themselves, for many, do-it-yourself is not a realistic option. Laws in many communities state that a licensed professional must do certain types of work, such as electrical installation. Most property owners will also conclude that they will, in the long run, save time and money by hiring a professional to do the work.

The relationship between a property owner and a contractor can work smoothly if both parties are willing to take the steps needed to do so. An attorney with experience in construction law will help you do what is necessary to make sure things go according to plan when negotiating the initial contract and if what once was going smoothly is now unfortunately contentious.

Construction Defects

The rapid growth in construction was accompanied by a rapid growth in claims for construction defects, as homebuyers and other customers of the construction industry asserted complaints for faulty construction. An attorney with expertise in construction law can advise you about the best way to handle your claim for construction defects. 

Causes of Construction Defects

Very few buildings are completed to absolute perfection, and not every variance in quality will be considered a defect by a court. The defects that are most often pursued are those that reduce the value of a building or that interfere with its use.

Below are a few Examples of Construction Matters handled by Matt Wertheim:

  • Advised scores of homeowners regarding the negotiation and resolution of disputes with general and sub contractors.
  • Co-tried case by general contractor claimant against San Francisco property owner who refused to pay amounts allegedly due under "hand shake" agreements. Six figure jury award based on equitable arguments.
  • Defended subcontractor in lawsuit involving defective workmanship in construction of Pier 39 Parking Structure.
  • Represented Marin County Lighting and Electrical Company in disputes with general contractors and property owners.
  • Defended developer of ten (10) unit Napa, California condominium complex. Arbitration of claim for defects resulted in defense verdict/decision.

Contact Matt Wertheim for help with all aspects of construction law and contracts.

More construction law resources

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. See disclaimer.