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Posts in Litigation
Can Your Employer Enforce the Non-Compete Agreement After They Fire You?

As an employee you may be asked to sign a non-compete agreement prior to beginning work for an employer. Although the specific terms of a non-compete agreement can vary dramatically, the basic concept is the same in all non-compete agreements. The agreement will limit your employment options and/or conditions should you terminate your employment with this employer

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When Can Home Improvement Contractors Be Held Liable Under Pennsylvania Law?

In 2009 the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania enacted the “Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act”, commonly referred to as HIPCA, in an effort to protect consumers from scams and other unfair trade practices that so often occur with home improvement contractors. If you are a homeowner in need of home improvement work it would certainly be in your best interest to know a bit more about HIPCA, specifically it would be a good idea to know when a home improvement contractor can be held liable under Pennsylvania law.

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What Is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Civil litigation can be costly to all parties involved, both in terms of actual expenses and in terms of the time it takes to prepare and litigate a case. The parties, however, are not the only ones who bear the costs involved in litigation. The court system also expends a considerable amount of money every time a case goes to jury trial – costs that are ultimately paid for by the taxpayers. Everyone involved in litigation, therefore, has a financial incentive to resolve a civil dispute before it reaches the jury trial stage. Alternative dispute resolution attempts to do just that.

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LitigationScott Rothman
Why the Cure is Worse than the Pain in Wage Claims

Employees who feel they are owed wages in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have the right to pursue a claim for those wages in a court of law. Employers faced with the threat of a wage payment lawsuit should seriously consider the amount of wages in controversy against what the employer could be forced to pay in damages and attorney fees if the employee prevails in a lawsuit. Often, the cure is worse than the pain in wage claims. The lesson to be learned for employers is if you are going to fight a wage claim you had better win.

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What Is a Mechanic’s Lien?

If you are in the construction industry, you already understand that even a simple project typically has several different companies working on different aspects of the project at any given time. Ultimately, all of those sub-contractors must report to the general contractor who, in turn, reports to the property owner. Payment for services rendered trickles down from the property owner to the general contractor, and eventually down to the sub-contractors and sub-sub-contractors. What happens if payment doesn’t trickle down, though?

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How Do I Know If a Material Breach Has Occurred?

If you are in the construction industry, you already know how important it is to have a properly-drafted contract in place that protects you and your business before commencing work on any project. A contract, however, can only offer you protection if you understand the terms used in the contract, and understand what happens if a party breaches or defaults on the contract. For example, in the construction industry, there is a significant difference between a simple breach and a material breach of contract. At this point, you may wonder “How do I know if a material breach has occurred?”

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Does a Landlord Have to Give Notice Before Evicting a Tenant? How Much?

The rental relationship between any landlord and tenant is governed by the written lease agreement executed by the parties as well as by local, state, and even federal laws. In Pennsylvania, for example, there are state law procedures that must be followed if a landlord wishes to evict most tenants; however, if the property is located in certain areas, such as Philadelphia county, local rules apply.

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When Can Realtors Be Held Liable under Pennsylvania Law?

Although the law does not require a buyer or seller to utilize the services of a real estate agent to assist with the purchase or sale of property, most buyers and sellers do work with a realtor. In fact, most buyers and sellers rely heavily on a real estate agent throughout the purchase or sale process. If something goes wrong, such as uncovering hidden defects after the sale, can realtors be held liable under Pennsylvania law? As is often the case with questions relating to liability, there is no easy answer to that question; however, it is possible for a realtor to be held liable under certain conditions.

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How Long Will My Civil Lawsuit Take?

Although America is thought of as a litigious society, many people go their entire lifetime without ever being involved in a lawsuit in the United States. For someone who has no experienced with the legal system, suddenly being a party to a lawsuit can be overwhelming and a confusing. If you are currently involved in a civil lawsuit for the first time you likely have a number of questions. Starting with “How long will my civil lawsuit take?”  Because of the individual nature of a lawsuit there is no way to provide a universally applicable answer to that question without consulting a civil law attorney; however, a better understanding of the factors that determine how long your lawsuit will take may be beneficial.

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Can My Civil Case Be Heard in Federal Court?

In the United States, we operate under a federalist form of government. This means we have a strong central government in the form of our federal government as well as numerous smaller governments in the form of the individual state governments. It also means that we have two judicial systems – the federal court system and the individual state court systems. If you are involved in civil litigation it may be possible for your case to be heard in either state or federal court. You may even have the option to choose your venue. Often, there are advantages to having a case heard in federal court instead of state court, and vice versa.

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What Are Some Common Types of Commercial Litigation?

Despite the name, commercial litigation is an area of the law that may include both businesses and individuals as a party. If you are a business owner, or you own a significant interest in a business, there is a very good chance that at some point in time you will be involved in commercial litigation. The longer you are in business the greater the odds are that you will be named as a Defendant in some type of commercial lawsuit. As an individual you may find yourself to be the victim, or Plaintiff, in a commercial law lawsuit.

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In a Construction Contract Who Decides Where Disputes are Resolved?

In the construction industry, more so than in many other industries, disputes are commonplace. When disputes arise, they can become extremely costly, both in terms of time and money, for everyone involved if they are not resolved quickly. One thing that can prevent an obstacle to the resolution of construction disputes is the fact that it is very common for the parties involved to be from different jurisdictions. Where a dispute is resolved can have a direct impact on how it is resolved, with each party wanting the “home court” advantage. The question then becomes “ In a construction contract who decides where disputes are resolved?”

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Can I Be Forced to Arbitrate a Dispute Over a Construction Contract?

Disputes in the construction industry are very common. In fact, they are so common that most construction contracts have a lengthy section that includes provisions for how a dispute between the parties is to be handled should one arise. Unfortunately, some people fail to thoroughly read through those provisions prior to signing a contract. It then comes as a surprise down the road when they are told they are required to arbitrate a dispute over a construction contract; however, the terms of their contract may, indeed, require arbitration.

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When Does CASPA Apply in Pennsylvania?

CASPA was passed by the Pennsylvania legislature back in 1994 and was intended to provide contractors and sub-contractors with an alternative to sitting around and waiting or filing a mechanic’s lien. CASPA does many things to encourage payment, including imposing a staggering 24 percent interest (one percent per month on past due balances plus another one percent in penalties) on overdue payments if the contractor must pursue the payment. Owners are also required to pay contractors for all items or work that are not in dispute under CASPA.

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Is There Pressure to Settle Commercial Litigation Out of Court?

The term “commercial litigation” covers a wide variety of disputes, making it a relatively large area of the law. Most types of commercial litigation can be extremely costly, both in terms of time and money, for the parties to the dispute. Not surprisingly then, there is often pressure to settle commercial litigation out of court. No one can force you to settle any type of litigation out of court; however, it is often in everyone’s best interest to work toward an out of court resolution to a commercial dispute.

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Does a Judgment Create a Lien on Property?

Often, the end result of civil litigation is a judgment. A judgment is a court order stating that one party to the litigation owes the other party money. For example, if you have a landlord tenant dispute you might settle the dispute by filing a small claims lawsuit. At the hearing, the judge might award you a fixed amount of money if you prevail at the hearing. That order then becomes a judgment against the other party to the lawsuit. Obtaining a judgment, however, is only the first step in receiving your monetary award. The next step is to enforce the judgment.

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How Do You Resolve a Business Dispute?

If you are a business owner, sooner or later you will end up in a dispute. This is not a reflection on your business acumen nor on your product or service. Instead, it is simply the law of averages. If you stay in business long enough you will eventually end up in a full blown legal dispute with a client or customer, a supplier or sub-contractor, or even a business partner. With this in mind, the obvious question becomes “How do you resolve a business dispute?”

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Does a Construction Contract Allow the Prevailing Party in a Lawsuit to Collect Attorney Fees?

Although any industry has its share of disputes and litigation, the construction industry has more than most. The reasons for this are varied; however, if you are part of the construction industry the important thing to remember is the need to be prepared for the possibility of a dispute because litigating a dispute can be expensive. One question parties to litigation often have is “Does a construction contract allow the prevailing party in a lawsuit to collect attorney fees and court costs?” While there is no universal answer to that question, it is common for a construction contract to have an “attorneys’ fees” provision.

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Can I Sue the Individual Who Owns the Company?

Unfortunately, business disputes are extremely common in the United States. Regardless of the underlying issue in the dispute, most Plaintiffs are ultimately seeking monetary damages in the lawsuit. If you are contemplating filing a lawsuit against a company, and are planning to ask for monetary damages, you are undoubtedly hoping that the company has sufficient assets to pay the judgment should you be victorious. What happens though if the company does not have sufficient assets? Can you also sue the individual who owns the company? The answer is somewhat complicated.

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