Breaking up can be hard to do, especially with your lawyer. But if you and your attorney aren’t seeing eye to eye, you may want to find an attorney who represents you to your liking. Having a robust legal representation is needed when fighting construction defect cases in California. Switching lawyers mid-case may be the right decision, but there are a few things you should know before looking for a new attorney.
Before you replace or switch lawyers mid-case, it is a good idea to have a conversation about what is making you uncomfortable or unhappy, giving your lawyer a chance to correct the problem. If you cannot resolve the issues, or if you’re still wondering how to switch lawyers, you should know you have the right to fire your lawyer and replace them.
Construction defect claims and the law
The laws relating to damages for injury to real property is one of the areas that attorneys need to be well-versed in to handle a construction defect case. A deficiency in the design or construction of a home resulting from a failure to design or construct in a reasonable, professional manner, and in line with a buyer’s reasonable expectation is at the heart of a construction defect claim.
When a contractor constructs property or makes improvements or repairs on it, this work must be performed to certain standards. If the work is completed in a defective manner, the property owner may have the right to seek compensation through a construction defect lawsuit. However, there are strict time deadlines that the property owner must meet to avoid having his or her claim thrown out.
Timing and construction defect claims
Your legal representative must also understand that with construction defect cases, time really is of the essence. How much time homeowners have when pursuing a construction defect claim depends on the actual cause of action that he/she is asserting. Possible causes of action related to construction defects include breach of contract, breach of implied warranty, negligence, nuisance, fraud, and strict liability. Each cause of action carries with it a different statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a law that establishes a limit on the right to file a claim for a specific cause of action.
The statute of limitations sets the time limit to bring forth a suit. If the claim is not brought within the relevant statute of limitations, the claim cannot be pursued. For example, a statute of limitations may state that the plaintiff has three years from the date that a cause of action arose to bring forth a case. California statutes overlap and can be confusing and unclear about the application to a particular set of facts.
Before switching lawyers mid-case
Because of the importance of time in construction defect cases, homeowners should give a lot of thought before switching lawyers mid-case. If you are considering changing attorneys or asking yourself if you can switch lawyers, it is helpful to seek the advice of an experienced attorney who specializes in construction law.
This type of consultation can provide an overview of your case and a useful evaluation of the effect of the statute of limitations. Real estate and construction defect attorney Timothy Norton specializes in handling all types of construction-related claims. Contact Norton & Associates today online or at 310-706-4134 to learn how our team of construction defect attorneys can assist you.