Construction Defense Attorneys
Innovative Homebuilder Defense
Arizona law makes construction defect defense a unique practice area. This is especially true when dealing with residential “dwelling actions” that involve the Arizona Purchaser Dwelling Act (“PDA”) as set forth in A.R.S. § 12-1361 et. seq. Over the past twenty years, the lawyers at Righi Fitch have become specialists in the application of the PDA to the defense of homebuilders throughout Arizona. The firm provides a unique approach utilizing the services of Chris Willaby, a litigation paralegal who hails from the residential building sector. Chris spent over 20 years working in the warranty departments of several regional and national homebuilders. Chris was a client of the firm, and after working with the lawyers here, decided to make the litigation side his home. Chris and the team at Righi Fitch have developed a proprietary program that leads homebuilders through the tricky PDA process, most often without the need to retain expensive outside consultants. We are able to resolve many cases prior to litigation for pennies on the dollar combined with appropriate repairs. The result is less litigation for our builder clients. At the end of the day, we want to help our clients get back to what they do best – build and sell homes.
When the PDA process proves insufficient to resolve a residential CD case, our lawyers have the tenacity and experience to lead first-level homebuilder defendants through this complex legal process. We specialize in managing third party litigation, and have a unique ability to pass through liability utilizing indemnity and additional insurance leverage. Our team of experienced lawyers has personal knowledge of local juries and judges to provide knowledgeable insight and effective advocacy every step of the way. The proof is in the pudding – we are one of the only firms in Arizona that has successfully tried multiple construction defect cases to juries throughout the state.
Defects in Condominiums and Townhomes
The legal landscape is as varied as the types of projects our clients design and build. Construction defect cases brought by homeowner and condominium owner associations (HOAs) are unique in many respects from single family cases and commercial cases. The lawyers at Righi Fitch were pioneers in the defense of builders and general contractors sued by HOAs in the mid-1990s, when this type of litigation became popular in Arizona. We continue our proud tradition of navigating our builder clients through these complex cases. Having tried cases of this type to juries, we understand how they evolve. This experience allows us to evaluate these complex cases early in the process, which helps us resolve them. And when a case cannot be resolved for the correct value, we have a proven track record of winning construction cases at trial, and recovering attorney’s fees on the back end for our clients.
Commercial Construction Litigation
Construction and design defect claims in the commercial arena present exposure that can be extremely high for any commercial contractor and its insurer. Commercial projects are inherently complicated and often involve multiple parties with potentially conflicting rights and obligations and hundreds of thousands of documents. These cases often involve delay claims that require counsel to re-create the project through documentation and testimony. Our experienced team has the expertise to assist our clients in untangling the web of facts and identifying superior strategies for mounting a successful legal defense and reaching the best possible outcome. We use the most advanced technology for case management, document control, and communication with our clients to enhance our overall effectiveness and efficiency in resolving the case.
At Righi Fitch, we are equipped to handle the most complex construction cases. Similar to our experience in the residential arena, the firm has successfully tried and arbitrated many commercial cases to verdict and final award. Our team of experienced lawyers has personal knowledge of local juries and judges to provide insight and effective advocacy every step of the way.
Early Involvement & Creative Solutions
We are not strangers to thinking outside of the box when it comes to construction defect. We always look for opportunities to get involved as quickly as possible and develop innovative solutions that allow us to address the property owner's concerns quickly and cost-effectively. We have developed specific procedures that allow us to take this proactive approach.
In one case involving roofing problems, we worked directly with the homeowners to get the problem resolved before they even hired a lawyer. We held an association meeting attended by all of the impacted homeowners, listened to their concerns, then hired an independent contractor to identify the actual problems with the project. The contractor obtained competitive bids for the repairs, hired qualified subcontractors and oversaw the repairs. Each of the homeowners was satisfied with the outcome and signed a full and final release. This approach allowed the insurance carrier to manage the risk and avoid the costs of litigation while protecting the general contractor client.
Practical Solutions to Legal Concerns
By focusing on practical solutions, we are often able to eliminate significant attorney's fees. When these approaches are not feasible or effective, you can rely on our skills as negotiators and trial lawyers. We handle a legal matter from before a lawsuit is filed through mediation, trial, and appeal. We have the capability to handle construction defect defense of every type at all stages of the legal process.
To speak to us regarding construction defect defense or mechanics' liens, please call (602) 483-6352.
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