Qualified? Residential Building Businesses Require a Qualifying Officer

Residential builders who do not comply with licensing requirements face high stakes. Michigan courts have denied unlicensed builders the ability to collect on contracts with homeowners. Contractors can avoid this unfortunate situation through proper compliance with state licensing requirements.

Most contractors who perform residential construction projects in Michigan are aware that they must be a state-licensed residential builder. Mixed use projects, where both housing and commercial space exists in the same building, are easily overlooked. These projects, especially popular in downtown areas, also require a residential builder’s license.

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The Enforceability of Prehearing Arbitration Subpoenas

The enforceability of prehearing arbitration subpoenas after CVS Health Corporation, et al vs. Vividus, LLC, fka HM Compounding Services, LLC

By Stephen A. Hilger, Esq.

This is Part 4 in a 20-part series of articles dealing with issues of arbitration, mediation and alternate dispute resolution in the construction industry.

Those who have participated in arbitration proceedings understand the difficulty of getting documents from non-parties. For example, in a Contractor – Subcontractor dispute, litigants may want documents from the owner, architect, testing lab, and the like. However, those non-parties may not be connected to the Contractor – Subcontractor arbitration agreement. The litigants can require or request that the arbitrators issue subpoenas, which arbitrators typically do, but what happens when the third-party simply refuses to comply?

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Commercial Real Estate Purchase Agreement Do’s and Don’ts

Whether you are purchasing commercial property as an investment or to address the needs of your business, there are at least 5 “do’s” and 5 “don’ts” you are going to want to consider when negotiating the Purchase Agreement. The Purchase Agreement in many cases can follow a letter of intent, but letters of intent are most times non-binding. Careful attention must be paid to the terms and conditions of the Purchase Agreement as the details can greatly impact your risks and liability in the transaction.

Do #1: Make sure the property is properly described.
While this sounds obvious, many times errors are made by using tax property descriptions or old legal descriptions that don’t actually reflect the property being sold. This can lead to boundary disputes, zoning problems or worse when you go to sell the property.

Do #2: Allow for enough time for due diligence.
In today’s world of national and international investors and 1031 exchanges the timelines for “clean” deals can be extremely short. Twenty-one days may not be a sufficient amount of time to review the title work, obtain a Phase I environmental assessment, physically inspect the site, review any applicable tenant lease and understand the local zoning ordinances.

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Should You Make Meetings of CEOs a Condition to Arbitration?

This is Part 3 in a 20-part series of articles dealing with issues of arbitration, mediation and alternate dispute resolution in the construction industry.

Over the last decade, a requirement has slipped into the dispute resolution clauses of many construction contracts requiring the CEOs of the various parties to meet as a condition precedent to any arbitration. If something is a “condition precedent” and the contract uses those specific terms, then the meeting must occur before a party can either demand arbitration or file litigation.

Since the parties negotiate their contract, the question becomes whether this is a prudent requirement to place in the contract. The answer is, in most instances, yes. Often times, the parties’ representatives who are involved in the dispute are not the CEOs of the companies. The CEOs, generally speaking, have cooler heads when it comes to resolving heated disputes. They may be one step removed. Forcing the CEOs to meet and discuss the claim has a general influence on either resolving the disputes or substantially narrowing them.

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