Not Quite Legal in All 50 States

Go browsing on the Web for construction contracts and you’ll see braggadocio about some boilerplate contract being “legal in all 50 states.”
 
Claims like this show up on Web sites run by savvy people with good credentials but who should know better. Every state has the right to set unique requirements for construction contracts. And nearly all have. It’s simply foolish to claim any construction contract is “legal in all 50 states.”
 
You can take this to the bank: There’s no home improvement contract that’s legal in all 50 states. I’ll go one step further: There’s no contract for residential construction that’s legal in all 50 states. You won’t even find a contract for commercial construction that’s legal in most states. That’s not the way it works.
 
Construction contract law varies from state to state the same way income tax law varies from state to state. Imagine the reaction if you tried to file a New York or Texas income tax return with the Montana Department of Revenue. You’d probably be breaking the law in two states.
 
It’s the same with construction contracts. Nearly all states require specific disclosures, set unique limits or void certain types of clauses in construction contracts. No two states are alike. And most states impose heavy penalties for doing construction work under a contract that doesn’t meet state code. Fines up to $1,000 are common, as is the threat of jail time.
 
Even if you aren’t concerned about fines and jail time, consider the impact if you get into a dispute before collecting final payment. The attorney for your client won’t be impressed with your “legal in all 50 states” contract. More likely, you’ll discover that the contract is either partially or totally unenforceable under state law. Game over! You lose. Run, don’t walk, to the nearest exit. You’re not going to collect another dime on that contract. If opposing counsel is charitable, you’ll escape discipline from the state board. Persist and you’ll get an invitation to do the perp walk at a state hearing.
 
When you see the claim, “legal in all 50 states,” I recommend thinking “probably not legal in any state.” The latter is far more likely than the former.
 
So how do you judge if some boilerplate contract is legal? If you’re paying the $10 to $150 that most vendors change for a download, you’ve got the right to know: Is it really legal in my state?
 
I can recommend a Web site. It’s free. Construction-Contract.net has a good selection of state-specific home improvement, residential and commercial construction contracts. Even better, the site lists laws in each state that set minimums for construction contracts. Before buying any boilerplate contract or contract package, compare what the law requires in your state with what the vendor is offering. If the vendor’s contract comes up short, save your money.

Construction Law Trends in the 21st Century

Over the course of the past 24 months, there has been an increasing emphasis on construction law and trends in construction law. Therefore, if an individual is involved in the construction business or in an affiliated industry, it is important to have a basic understanding of these construction law trends at this point in time in the 21st century. Through this article, you are provided a review of these trends.

One of the most significant trends associated with construction law in this day and age revolves around construction enterprises that are finding themselves in the position of having to deal with projects that are not being completed because of financial problems on the part of the developer. Indeed, at this point in time a record number of developments are being halted midstream due to financial problems facing the developers themselves.

In this regard, construction companies of different types – from contractors to all manner of subcontractors – are finding it necessary to cover issues relating to defaults and termination of construction projects prior to completion due to financial problems being experienced by developers.

Many developers actually are ending up in bankruptcy. Therefore, when it comes to construction law related issues, a prime concern of companies and individuals in the construction industry is being able to protect their interests in the confines of bankruptcy proceedings. Therefore, a good number of these types of construction related business enterprises are finding it imperative to engage legal representation that is well versed in the arena of bankruptcy defense and in related areas of the law.

Another significant trend in the arena of construction law at this juncture in the 21st century involves making sure the enterprises involved in the construction industry are as fully protected as possible when it comes to the contracts that they enter into with developers and other enterprises involved in the industry. Provisions in these contracts that provide adequate protection to these construction related enterprises in the event of one kind of default or another are becoming of particular concern.

Finally, when it comes to trends relating to construction law, contractors liens are becoming an even more important issue. In simple terms, these are liens that are placed on real estate when a contractor or subcontractor performs work relating to that property. These liens provide a contractor, subcontractor or other construction industry related entity at least some level of additional protection in the event that a particular project ends up on the skids for one reason or another. In theory, a contractor, subcontractor or other similar type of entity can foreclose on that lien.

Once again, as was noted previously, when it comes to legal issues and challenges facing the construction industry presently, an enterprise in this industry is well served engaging the services of an experienced attorney. In the end, the best course that a business enterprise in the construction industry can take when it comes to protecting and defending their legal interest is through the assistance of a qualified, experienced and reputable attorney.

18 Guidelines For Every Plaintiff About Lawsuit Funding – No Risk Legal Finance

Lawsuit funding or legal finance is a non- recourse lawsuit loan or lawsuit cash advance. It carries no risk because plaintiffs owe nothing if they lose the case. Lawsuit pre-settlement funding programs provide them with immediate cash to give them and their attorney time to negotiate a larger cash settlement!

Most of the plaintiffs involved in lawsuits do not realize they can get cash advance before their case settles. It is called as lawsuit funding and often referred as lawsuit loan, legal finance, legal financing, legal funding, legal funds, lawsuit cash advance, litigation financing, pre-settlement loan and plaintiff cash advance. The following 18 guidelines, every plaintiff must know about lawsuit loans and lawsuit cash advance. I hope these will help and guide them to take a knowledgeable and judicious decision while seeking a lawsuit funding or lawsuit loan.

1. Who is eligible for Lawsuit funding?

If you are a plaintiff, involved in any of following lawsuits (but not limited to), i.e.: personal injury, auto accident, malpractice (medical, legal, construction), employment discrimination, fraud, product liability, breach of contract, Mesothelioma, negligence, workers compensation, civil rights, class action, patent infringement, whistle blower (qui tam), workers compensation (not in all states), wrongful death, commercial litigation etc.; and if you are represented by an attorney, you may be eligible for a cash advance or legal financing on your pending settlement.

2. (A) How can I benefit from lawsuit funding?

Many plaintiffs are forced to accept a low offer due to the financial hardship they experience soon after their personal injury. A cash advance on your settlement will allow your attorney the time needed to get the full value for your case.

(B) How the lawsuit funding would help me get more money for my lawsuit case? The defendant, in order to save time and money and settle the case early, will offer you far less than what the case is really worth. If you need immediate financial help you may feel pressured to take an earlier (and often smaller) settlement. Lawsuit funding or so called lawsuit loan can ease your immediate financial needs and allow your attorney to continue to fight for a fair larger award.

3. What types of cases are funded by lawsuit pre-settlement funding companies?

A good lawsuit funding company would provide cash advances on mostly all types of cases. The most common types are listed in fact number 1.

4. Is good credit & employment necessary to obtain a Lawsuit loan?

No, the lawsuit funding or legal financing is not based on credit history, unless there is a pending bankruptcy. Applicant may have bad credit score and no employment.

5. Why don’t I just get a bank loan?

Traditional financial institutions, including banks, do not generally lend solely on the merits of a lawsuit. They deem the practice of lawsuit finance or lawsuit funding as too risky.

6. (A) Is this a lawsuit loan?

No, this is not a loan. It is actually non-recourse lawsuit cash advance on the future value of your case. Unlike a loan, if you lose your case you owe nothing in return.

(B) Why is this not a loan?

Loans are repayable absolutely. A loan is type of financial aid which must be repaid, with interest. But lawsuit cash advance, legal finance or lawsuit funding is actually purchasing an interest in your settlement. So, if you lose your case, you do not owe the funding company anything.

7. Do I owe any up front out-of-pocket fees or costs? Are there any additional fees, such as monthly fees, involved?

Absolutely NO! A good lawsuit financing company should not charge any upfront fee or any application fee, processing fee or any monthly fee. There should be only a single fee for the lawsuit funding or lawsuit cash advance, based upon the length of time to settlement of your case. There will be a specific repayment amount, due and payable only after the case resolves itself successfully. And if the case is unsuccessful, there is no repayment required.

8. Will I have to sign any documents? Will my attorney be required to sign any documents?

Yes. You will need to sign an application and after you are approved for lawsuit loan, you and your attorney will sign the Funding Agreement.

9. How big an advance on my settlement can I get?

Lawsuit cash advances are generally limited to, from 10% to 15% of the projected case value. The minimum advance is $250 and the maximum amount available on a single case is one million dollars.

10. Is the defendant insurance company notified?

No, the only parties who know about the lawsuit funding transaction, are you (the plaintiff), your attorney handling your case, and lawsuit funding company.

11. How long does it take for me to get the funds?

If you are eligible you can have your approval decision within 72 hours after reviewing your case documents. Funding company will wire your approved lawsuit funds into your bank account or can Fed Ex your funds within 24 hours of receiving your signed Funding Agreement via fax from your attorney.

12. How is the lawsuit cash advance paid back?

The lawsuit loan is repaid out of the financial settlement award from the case. It is paid at the same time that the proceeds of the claim are paid out to you.

13. What happens if I lose my case?

You owe absolutely nothing in return! The lawsuit loan advanced to you is yours to keep.

14. (A) What can I use the money for?

Anything you like. It is your money. You pay your bills, mortgage and car payments. You can take care of education expenses of your children and pay your medical bills.

(B) What if I need more money later?

If you have not received all the money, lawsuit funding company may be able to provide you more cash advance on your case. You can make another request for additional settlement funding or pre-settlement funding at a later date.

15. Does the legal finance company get involved in my lawsuit case?

NO. They have no input or control in your case. They do not get involved in the attorney-client relationship. All management and decisions pertaining to your case are made by you and your attorney. They have no role in the pursuit of your case. They only involvement is to initially review your case papers, so they can evaluate the claim.

16. How will my attorney feel about me doing this?

Attorneys are sympathetic to the financial strain their clients can experience. In some states, attorneys are not permitted to assist clients financially, but they are allowed to assist in seeking third-party financing, such as plaintiff lawsuit finance or lawsuit funding.

You can apply for lawsuit funding without consulting your attorney first. However your attorney plays an important role in getting your lawsuit funding. Attorneys are typically eager to help a client obtain plaintiff funding because it may mean that a long legal proceeding won’t end with the client having no choice other than to accept a low settlement offer. Applying for plaintiff funding does not interfere with the agreement between you and your attorney in any way.

17. Why my attorney can not lend me money?

The American Bar Association prohibits attorneys from lending money to clients for anything but case expenses. This prohibition exists to prevent a conflict of interest from arising between attorney and his client. If you owed your attorney money you might feel pressured to accept your attorney’s advise to settle your case when you really did not want to accept the amount offered.

This would cause a conflict of interest because your attorney would now be your creditor. In fact, the American Bar Association expressly prohibits attorneys from loaning money to their clients for anything other then case-related expenses.

18. (A) Is this legal?

Yes. The claim or lawsuit is yours and you own it, just like you own a piece of property. After paying your attorney and medical liens (if applicable), the potential remaining money is yours. You may sell or assign it.

(B) Is the process to obtain lawsuit funding or lawsuit loan is confidential?

Yes the total process is confidential, private and quick. Underwriters take a look at your case documents and determine if they think you have a good chance of collecting on your claim. These are the same documents that your attorney prepared to fight your case. If they think your chances to win are good, they will offer you a cash advance.