Construction Law

The field of construction law is divided into five basic categories: Construction Business and Contract Law; Construction Claims And Disputes (Private Works); Construction Claims And Disputes (Public Works); Home Improvement Contracts, and Construction Defects. Both personally and professional, for over 35 years, Mr. Di Duca has developed first-hand experience in these areas of construction law. In all of the five categories, Di Duca Ellingson, APC is able to assist our clients with the best information to make the best decisions.

Construction Business and Contract Law

Construction contracts are – at best – perilous. In many cases additional laws, rules, and regulations are incorporated into contracts that may be extensive and onerous. In many cases, the final contract bears no resemblance to your bid or the scope of work included in your bid. Those issues, coupled with the need or desire to secure the contract and perform the work, compel contractors to sign contracts that are far more detrimental than beneficial. We believe that a careful review of your construction documents by a skilled and experienced construction lawyer can save you money now and in the future. On the principal that we can do more to protect our clients before the contract is signed rather than after it is signed, a contract review is always recommended.

Construction Claims And Disputes – Private and Public Works

Your legal rights and remedies in the event of a breach of contract, failure to pay, failure to perform, and liens depend on whether you are engaged in a private work construction (i.e., residential, commercial, industrial) or a public work of construction (i.e., publicly owned structures such as schools, public offices, jails, and courtrooms). The scope and complexity of the applicable laws are extensive and critical; the failure to follow the correct law or give the proper notice may impair or deprive you of your legal rights and remedies. Arguably most important among these claims is the placement of a Mechanics Lien against your home, business, or real property (The Mechanics Lien remedy is not available on public works projects). Mechanics Liens are an important, and potentially detrimental, collection remedy provided by the California Constitution. The handling of a Mechanics Lien, whether you are recording one, or defending against one, requires the specific knowledge and experience in the field of construction law that our firm possesses. Mr. Di Duca has worked under these laws for almost 40 years as a contractor and then as an attorney, and he understands the purpose, intent, and application of your various collection remedies in both public and private construction projects. Di Duca Ellingson, APC has a superior understanding of this statutory structure, and its application.

Custom HeadlineHome Improvement Contracts

California has an extensive system of laws intended to protect consumers from unlicensed or unreliable contractors. The most important body of law is referred to as the “Home Improvement Contract Law” and it controls such conditions as the amount the contractor can charge as a down payment, special notices to consumers of legal rights and remedies, and the cancellation period during which the consumer may elect to cancel the contract. Most important among those requirements is the form of the Home Improvement Contract. Whether you are a homeowner or contractor, Di Duca Ellingson, APC can assist you through the complex legal requirements to ensure that you are properly protected on your next home improvement project.

Construction Defects

Construction defects laws are both statutory (the California right to repair statutes) and the common law, which is based on contractual and statutory warranties, rights and remedies. If you own a home within a subdivision, or a home within an group of homes developed by a developer, you may be entitled to the statutory process that requires the contractor to respond to your claims by making repairs. If you do not follow that process, your right to recover certain damages from the offending contractor may be lost or reduced. As a contractor, if you are engaged in the construction of residential structures, it is in your best interest to understand this statutory structure so that you retain some ability to control the method of repair and repair costs. In both cases, Di Duca Ellingson, APC has worked through the process from both sides, which is a benefit to both homeowner and contractor.

Construction Business Operations

As a general proposition construction companies are formed by skilled men and women with an in depth knowledge of their trade. As they build their businesses, they acquire a working knowledge of basic business operations and business organization. They are helped along the path by skilled consultants (attorneys, accountants, bookkeepers, bankers and insurance specialists), and many of them do quite well and are very successful. There is a point in the growth of business when the owners lack the time and resources to “do it all”. As soon as they hire employees, they must be prepared for labor and employment law issues. If they elect to perform in public works, they are confronted with the complexity of public works plans and specifications, surety and bonding, prevailing wage considerations, and certified payroll. Timing and scheduling (especially critical path scheduling), delays, and interference claims that arise during the project and sometimes too quickly to track. At that point, the entire process of dealing with notices, liquidated damages, delays, claims, increased construction costs, and forced extra work may become overwhelming.

Mr. Di Duca has, personally, experienced those issues, and he successfully operated his construction business through the public works construction process. As an attorney Mr. Di Duca possess a high level of knowledge and understanding of the construction process.

Di Duca Ellingson, APC has assisted many new and emerging contractors navigate the process of growing, developing and managing the operations of their successful construction businesses. If you have any questions or concerns about your business operations, Di Duca Ellingson, APC may be the best contact you can make.

If you have additional questions concerning your legal matter, please contact Di Duca Ellingson, APC for an initial consultation. We can be reached by phone at530.343.3454 or by filling out the form on our "Contact" page.