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Includes: Construction Contracts, Construction Liens, Housing & Construction Defects

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LEGAL TERMS

LEASE OPTION

A contract in which an owner leases her house (usually for one to five years) to a tenant for a specific monthly rent, and which gives the tenant the right to b... (more...)
A contract in which an owner leases her house (usually for one to five years) to a tenant for a specific monthly rent, and which gives the tenant the right to buy the house at the end of the lease period for a price established in advance. A lease option is often a good arrangement for a potential home buyer because it lets him move into a house he may buy without having to come up with a down payment or financing at that time.

ARBITRATION

A non-court procedure for resolving disputes using one or more neutral third parties -- called the arbitrator or arbitration panel. Arbitration uses rules of ev... (more...)
A non-court procedure for resolving disputes using one or more neutral third parties -- called the arbitrator or arbitration panel. Arbitration uses rules of evidence and procedure that are less formal than those followed in trial courts, which usually leads to a faster, less-expensive resolution. There are many types of arbitration in common use: Binding arbitration is similar to a court proceeding in that the arbitrator has the power to impose a decision, although this is sometimes limited by agreement -- for example, in 'hi-lo arbitration' the parties may agree in advance to a maximum and minimum award. In non-binding arbitration, the arbitrator can recommend but not impose a decision. Many contracts -- including those imposed on customers by many financial and healthcare organizations -- require mandatory arbitration in the event of a dispute. This may be reasonable when the arbitrator really is neutral, but is justifiably criticized when the large company that writes the contract is able to influence the choice of the arbitrator.

TESTAMENTARY DISPOSITION

Leaving property in a will.

EXECUTRIX

An old-fashioned term for a female executor--the person named in a will to handle the distribution of the deceased person's property. Now, whether male or femal... (more...)
An old-fashioned term for a female executor--the person named in a will to handle the distribution of the deceased person's property. Now, whether male or female, this person is called either the executor or the personal representative.

JUROR

A person who serves on a jury. Lists of potential jurors are obtained from sources such as voter registration rolls and department of motor vehicles' lists. In ... (more...)
A person who serves on a jury. Lists of potential jurors are obtained from sources such as voter registration rolls and department of motor vehicles' lists. In most states, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees who are called for jury duty--that is, they cannot demote or fire an employee for serving. And a few states require that the employer continue to pay the absent employee. Individuals who are selected to serve on a jury receive from the court a very small fee for their time and sometimes the cost of traveling from home to court.

SEVERANCE PAY

Funds, usually amounting to one or two months' salary, frequently offered by employers to workers who are laid off. No law compels employers to provide severanc... (more...)
Funds, usually amounting to one or two months' salary, frequently offered by employers to workers who are laid off. No law compels employers to provide severance pay, although the employer may be legally obligated to do so if it was promised in a contract or employees' handbook.

IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE (INS)

Formerly, the federal agency in the Department of Justice that administered and enforced immigration and naturalization laws. In 2003, however, the INS official... (more...)
Formerly, the federal agency in the Department of Justice that administered and enforced immigration and naturalization laws. In 2003, however, the INS officially ceased to exist, and its functions were taken over by various branches of the Department of Homeland Security, as follows:The new Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) handles immigration benefits, such as applications for asylum, work permits, green cards, and citizenship. The new Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE) handles enforcement of the immigration laws within the U.S. borders. The new Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (BCBP) handles U.S. border enforcement (including the land borders, airports, and seaports).

RUNNING WITH THE LAND

A phrase used in property law to describe a right or duty that remains with a piece of property no matter who owns it. For example, the duty to allow a public b... (more...)
A phrase used in property law to describe a right or duty that remains with a piece of property no matter who owns it. For example, the duty to allow a public beach access path across waterfront property would most likely pass from one owner of the property to the next.

CONSIDERATION

The basis of a contract. Consideration is a benefit or right for which the parties to a contract must bargain; the contract is founded on an exchange of one for... (more...)
The basis of a contract. Consideration is a benefit or right for which the parties to a contract must bargain; the contract is founded on an exchange of one form of consideration for another. Consideration may be a promise to perform a certain act -- for example, a promise to fix a leaky roof -- or a promise not to do something, such as build a second story on a house that will block the neighbor's view. Whatever its particulars, consideration must be something of value to the people who are making the contract.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

Martin Brothers Construction, Inc. v. Thompson Pacific Construction, Inc.

The subcontracts provided that Thompson Pacific would make monthly progress payments to Martin Brothers of "95% of labor and materials which have been placed in final position and for which the right to payment has been properly documented pursuant to the terms of this ...

Goldstein v. Barak Construction

Respondents own a residence in Los Angeles, California. In June 2004, Weisz represented to respondents that he was personally engaged in the business of residential construction and remodeling and that Barak was "his" company. Weisz also stated that both he and Barak ...

State Building and Construction Trades Council v. Duncan

STATE BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION TRADES COUNCIL OF CALIFORNIA, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. John C. DUNCAN as Director, etc., et al., Defendants and Appellants; Southern California Housing Development Corporation, Real Party In Interest and Appellant. State ...