Commercial and Construction Litigation
Our practice includes commercial and construction litigation matters, including:
Breach of contract and warranty claims
Commercial, breach of contract, and breach of warranty claims arise through agreements, or implied agreements, relating to the non-payment of money; purchase or sale of a business; failure to deliver or to make proper delivery of materials or goods; failure to make performance of services as contracted or warranted; negotiable instruments, such as checks or wire transfers; and breach of other contractual terms.
Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act claims
Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act claims arise from non-payment by an owner to a contractor, or by a contractor or subcontractor to another subcontractor. This statute permits the recovery of attorney fees, interest, and penalty interest and is a great resource for unpaid contractors and subcontractors.
Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act claims
Pennsylvania Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act claims can arise from private residential renovation projects costing more than $500. The act requires home improvement contractors to register with the Bureau of Consumer Protection of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, requires home improvement contracts to include certain provisions and comply with certain formalities, and, under certain circumstances, permits a consumer to void a home improvement contract. The act also prohibits a variety of misconduct by contractors. Any violation of the act is a violation of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.
Construction litigation may arise in the context of a construction contract either before, during, or after construction activities. It may involve issues with construction defects, non-compliance with contract documents, timeliness, non-payment, fraud, property damage, design defects, or other construction-related matters.
Contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and others who perform work on a residential or commercial property but do not receive payment may file a mechanic’s lien to obtain a secured interest in the property. Mechanic’s liens are useful tools to ensure payment, but may be challenged. It is, therefore, critical for a claimant or property owner to obtain the assistance of a skilled attorney to timely and properly file and prosecute, or defend against, a mechanic’s lien.
*Claims arising under the Uniform Commercial Code. These include claims regarding sales and negotiable instruments, confession of judgment litigation, loan defaults, equine transactions, trade disparagement, contract interference and unfair competition claims, and business fraud claims.
Confession of judgment litigation is often related to defaults on promissory notes, and surety and guaranty agreements. While separate factual and legal grounds exist regarding collection under those agreements, confessions of judgment present an entirely different analysis. Confessions of judgment are disfavored by the law and must be obtained and enforced strictly in conformance with applicable rules and the law.
Contract interference concerns third party interference with a contract, a prospective contract, or other economic relationship. The interfering party must act purposefully, intending to harm the relationship, or to prevent a prospective relationship from forming. Of course, there must have been a reasonable likelihood that the relationship would have occurred but for the interference. Contract interference may also include claims for unfair competition.
Equine transactions may result in litigation over the horse or horses subject to the transaction. Although many attorneys may treat these transactions as governed by custom–or the rules of a “handshake” deal–in fact, the sale of horses is governed by the Uniform Commercial Code and treated as a sale of goods. Proper and well-drafted documentation is advised and is an aid should litigation arise.