Real Estate & Construction

By: Tony Carucci California Civil Code section 1717 entitles the prevailing party to attorneys’ fees “[i]n any action on a contract,” where the contract provides for an award of attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party, regardless of whether the prevailing party is the party specified in the contract or not. But what about an action that alleges tort causes of action against an alter ego of a contracting party but that does not include a breach of contract claim against the alter ego? This was the question facing the California Court of Appeal in 347 Group, Inc. v. Philip Hawkins…
By: David Rao Although it’s been a tough twelve months for many live music venues, movie theaters, and performing arts organizations, help may finally be around the corner. On December 27, 2020, the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act was signed into law, creating a $15 billion fund for grants to shuttered venues to be administered by the Small Business Administration’s (“SBA”) Office of Disaster Assistance. The law states that Shuttered Venues Operator Grants (“SVOGs”) will be made available to the following entities and individuals: Live venue operators or promoters; Theatrical producers; Live performing arts organization…
Passage of HB 2045 reminds Arizona employers with 15 or more employees that they are barred from discriminating against employees on the basis of pregnancy or childbirth. The legislation, which Governor Ducey signed on February 4, aligns Arizona law with the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act. HB 2045 was the first bill of the 2021 session signed by the Governor. Among other changes, the law provides the following as part of A.R.S. § 41-1463, clarifying that existing statutory prohibitions on sex-based discrimination also preclude discrimination on the basis of pregnancy and childbirth: G. Women who are affected by pregnancy or childbirth…
Not many people like to be told what to do – especially by the federal government – but complying with tighter OSHA standards and keeping your workforce intact are good for business. Employer efforts to protect workers from Covid-19 are a focus of the Biden Administration. On January 21, the President issued an Executive Order on Protecting Worker Health and Safety , which, among other things, requires the Labor Department to: “review [OSHA] enforcement efforts […] related to COVID-19 and identify any short-, medium-, and long-term changes that could be made to better protect workers and ensure equity in enforcement”;…
By Patrick Paul On January 5, 2021, Governor Ducey announced the allocation of $2 million in additional funding to assist local restaurants and other dining establishments expand outdoor dining, protect patrons and staff, and limit the spread of COVID-19. Consistent with Executive Order 2020-60 authorizing the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control (DLLC) to accept and review requests by liquor licensees seeking to temporarily extend their premises outdoors to mitigate against the spread of COVID-19, this fresh funding announcement will capitalize the Safest Outside Restaurant Assistance Program. That program provides funding of up to $10,000 to assist restaurants and…
The proposed hike in the federal minimum wage may cause some Arizona employers to overlook the latest increase in the state’s minimum wage. EXCEPTIONS; The state’s minimum wage does not apply to workers who are employed by a parent or a sibling; perform babysitting services in the employer’s home on a casual basis; employed by the State of Arizona or the federal government; or employed by a “small business” that has annual gross revenues under $500,000 and is exempt from paying minimum wage under Title 29, Section 206(a) of the U.S. Code (this exception is very limited).…
Photo Credit: Ian Hutchinson @ Unsplash The $900 billion coronavirus relief bill that became law Sunday evening offers important benefits for most employers, small businesses and families. Here are some of the highlights. STIMULUS PAYMENTS TO INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES Households will receive a maximum of $600 per adult and $600 for each child. The payments start phasing out when 2019 individual adjusted gross income exceeds $75,000 ($150,000 for married couples filing jointly) or when head-of-household income exceeds $112,500. For individuals without dependent children, the payments go to zero when an individual’s AGI reaches $87,000 ($174,000 for married couples). According to…
Shutting down a boisterous short-term rental property is not easy, but the right combination of legal and administrative strategies may help restore peace and quiet to your neighborhood. A Serious Problem For neighbors, the consequences are real and serious. An “unruly gathering” can result in: increased vehicle and pedestrian traffic (including Uber and Lyft pickups and deliveries); parking congestion (on public and private property); noise from guests, vehicles, music, fireworks, etc.; public intoxication; trespassing (including unwanted visits from disoriented guests); sanitation problems (trash, bottles and cans, drug paraphernalia, human waste, etc.); and, in some reported cases, indecent exposure. Considering these…
Personal liability for a licensee’s poor workmanship or failure to pay should discourage individuals from serving as “qualifying party” without hands-on involvement. Under Arizona law amended in 2019, a registered contractor’s qualifying party is now responsible for any violations of state law specifically governing the licensing of contractors.[1]  A.R.S. 32-1127(B) states: “While engaged as the qualifying party for a licensee, the qualifying party is responsible for any violation of [Title 32, Chapter 10] by the licensee.” A practical interpretation of that provision would arguably impose personal liability on qualifying parties for a contractor’s violations of Arizona’s contracting statutes. As examples:…
By:  Kevin J. Parker https://www.swlaw.com/people/kevin_parker In re Brace, 470 P.3d 15 (Cal. 2020), a California married couple acquired real property with community funds, and took title as “husband and wife as joint tenants.” When the husband filed a chapter 7 petition in bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee sought to include the property in the debtor’s estate. The Bankruptcy Code provides that community property is part of the bankruptcy estate.  The bankruptcy court found that the couple acquired the property with community assets and thus the property was presumptively community property. The couple objected and appealed to the Ninth Circuit, which certified…
Earlier this year, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued an opinion addressing at length “whether the requirement that the use be ‘adverse’ in the adverse possession context is coextensive with adverse use in the prescriptive easement context.”  See Woodbridge Condo. Ass’n, Inc. v. Lo Viento Blanco, LLC, 2020 COA 34 (Woodbridge II), ¶ 2, cert. granted, No. 20SC292, 2020 WL 5405376 (Colo. Sept. 8, 2020).  As detailed below, the Woodbridge II court concluded that the meanings of “adverse” in these two contexts are not coextensive—while “hostility” in the adverse possession context requires a claim of exclusive ownership of the property,…
By: Lyndsey Torp A recently issued opinion by the Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District tells a cautionary tale regarding a lender’s failure to name a junior lienholder in its initial judicial foreclosure action. In Cathleen Robin v. Al Crowell, — Cal.Rptr.3d —-, 2020 WL 5951506, plaintiffs sued defendant, a junior lienholder, for quiet title, having failed to name him in the initial judicial foreclosure action. Defendant raised the statute of limitations defense, but the trial court found in favor of plaintiffs. The court of appeal reversed, holding that the 60-year statute of limitations which the trial court applied only…
By Colton Addy The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (the “CDC”) and the Department of Health and Human Services (the “HHS”) has issued an order to temporarily halt a landlord’s right to evict certain residential tenants to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 (the “CDC Order”). The CDC Order is effective through December 31, 2020. Applicability of the CDC Order. The CDC Order does not apply in jurisdictions that have a moratorium on residential evictions in effect that provides the same or greater level of protection than the CDC Order, and the CDC Order permits local jurisdictions to continue…