Legal Briefs

Arizona’s Mechanics and Materialmen Lien Laws

In 1998 and 1999, the Arizona legislature made substantial changes to Arizona’s lien laws. New Stop Notice procedures have been added. The definition of “completion” and the number of days from “completion” that lien claimants have to record their Notice and Claim of Lien have been changed. These changes impact residential and commercial construction. If you are not aware of the changes, you might fall victim to the penalty for recording an invalid Notice and Claim of Lien or for serving an invalid Stop Notice, which remains at $5,000 or treble actual damages, which ever is greater. For more information concerning the recent legislative amendments, or to set up an appointment for an in-house seminar, contact the attorneys at Jennings Haug Cunningham .

Contact: D. Kim Lough
Contact: Jim Csontos

Construction Defect Litigation

In the last ten years, Arizona has seen a rapid increase in large-scale construction defect litigation. Homeowner associations and apartment complex owners have increasingly chose to litigate claims against developers, architects, contractors and subcontractors. These actions may involve hundreds of units, or homes, and millions of dollars of alleged damages. Many law firms and consulting firms from out-of-state are coming to Arizona to prosecute these actions. The attorneys at Jennings Haug Cunningham have years of experience in representing owners, architects, contractors and subcontractors in construction defect litigations. For more information on Construction Defect litigation matters, or pending legislation aimed at decreasing the amount and/or cost of such litigations, contact one of the attorneys practicing in the firm’s Construction Defect or Construction Law Sections.

Contact: Chad L. Schexnayder Contact: Matthew H. Sloan

Doing Business on the Reservation

Doing business with a tribe or tribal entity has its own set of potential problems and pitfalls, many of which must be addressed in the contracts that are used with the tribal entity. Contractors and their sureties and other businesses who do work on the Reservation must do their homework prior to signing the contract, surety bond or other obligation. With the correct modifications to the contract, most concerns can be addressed, allowing your business venture on the Reservation to be a success. For more information on how to make your next tribal business venture a success, give us a call.

Contact: Ed Rubacha

Estate Planning

Recent federal tax code amendments allow for the greater transfer of wealth without the payment of estate or gift taxes. New revisions to Arizona’s trust statutes have changed the reporting requirements for some trusts. Prior estate plans and trusts may not take full advantage of the recent amendments, and this could result in unnecessary reporting requirements and payment of estate and gift taxes. To have your estate plan prepared, or to update an existing estate plan to take advantage of the recent changes to the law, contact us and let us know how we can be of service.

Managing Risk with LEED-Certified Buildings

As more consumers and businesses shift to environmentally friendly mindsets, the sustainable movement will continue to boom. Among the fastest-growing construction trends: LEED-certified buildings that are designed to save energy, increase ventilation, maximize natural resources and reduce construction waste.

Most of the risks associated with green building can be addressed by precise contract language, clearly identifying the scope of work and obligations of each party involved. This may mean specifying who between the owner, architect, engineer and contractor is responsible for obtaining certain LEED credits and selecting the products and technologies to be used.

With thoughtful planning, the parties should be able to adequately address the particular risks each is assuming and plan accordingly. These factors, coupled with clear communication, will result in a smooth project and a limitation of liability to those involved. If you need help navigating these new risks, or reviewing, revising and negotiating construction contracts, insurance contracts or surety bonds on any green building or LEED projects, please give us a call.

Contact: Matthew H. Sloan

The Changing Business Environment

During the past few years, substantial amendments have been made to Arizona’s Uniform Commercial Code, including substantial changes to the Bankruptcy Code. Every business must know how to protect their credit and asset based financing from the changes to these Codes, particularly in the current marketplace. The attorneys at Jennings Haug Cunningham can help you understand these changes, and can help assist you in protecting your existing and subsequent transactions under the new requirements. For more information on the changes to the Uniform Commercial Code, and how the changes will impact credit and asset based finance agreements, contact John Sinodis.

Contact: John G. Sinodis