The Steps of Construction Litigation

Most contracting agreements move forward without any problems, but when disputes between contracting parties come up, it can be confusing to understand the legal process to take. The legal experts at Aldrich Legal Services want to make the experience as straightforward as possible, so we put together a list of steps to expect during the construction litigation process. Keep reading to learn more about the process and how we can help you seek the justice you seek. 

Step 1: Case Investigations

An attorney does a case investigation to decide if there is enough evidence to file or defend a lawsuit. A good attorney will track down witnesses, detail their testimony, and explore all aspects of the events that led to the disputed situation.

Step 2: Pleadings

The pleadings will depend on whether the client is the plaintiff, the party bringing the suit, or the defendant, the accused party. An attorney working on the side of the plaintiff could draft summons, whereas when on the defense side and attorney would focus on forming responses to allegations.

Step 3: Discovery

Discovery is the time for both parties to exchange relevant information. Your attorney will use this opportunity to note any issues ahead of time and begin to construct a strategy. For each side to gain the information, they would need to follow a form of discovery including requests for production or admission, depositions, motions to compel, and more.

Step 4: Pre-Trial

Most cases resolve without going to court. If two parties cannot come to an understanding, a trial becomes necessary. The pre-trial phase launches from discovery into new territory, including developing a trial strategy based on the evidence gained during discovery and retaining expert witnesses. 

Step 5: Trial

When the trial begins, the planning should be done, and your construction litigation attorney will execute their strategy. Most of the actions your lawyer does at this point take place in the courtroom, but there are still points of preparation. This phase has an attorney preparing witnesses to provide testimony, develop persuasive arguments to present evidence, present opening and closing statements, examine and cross-examine witnesses, and argue trial motions. 

Step 6: Settlement

A settlement can be given at any point of the litigation process, effectively ending the original proceedings. Each party will conduct negotiations and possibly enter alternative dispute resolution methods to reach agreements or confirm releases. 

Step 7: Appeal

If a positive outcome from trial does not occur, your attorney may recommend an appeal. During the appeals process, your attorney may identify issues for appeal, gather additional evidence, draft new documents, present oral arguments before the court. 

The experienced attorneys at Aldrich Legal Services have been in the industry for over 21 years helping construction professionals negotiate agreements. Give us a call today at (734) 404-3000 to explore how our team can help you.

FAMILY LAW 37: Referee recommended against changing legal custody or parenting time.

Plaintiff requested sole legal custody, arguing that she and defendant had difficulty co-parenting and that defendant would not agree to medical treatment for the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD, need for orthodontic work, and need for vision testing and glasses. Plaintiff also requested an alternating weekly or biweekly schedule during the summer, which would increase her overall parenting time.

REAL ESTATE 40: Tax Tribunal denied petitioner’s claim of a principal residence exemption (PRE).

MCL 211.7cc(2) provides that an owner of property can claim the PRE by filing an affidavit that must state that the property is owned and occupied as a principal residence by that owner of the property on the date that the affidavit is signed and shall state that the owner has not claimed a substantially similar exemption, deduction, or credit on property in another state.

REAL ESTATE 38: Plaintiff fails to make land contract payments.

The land contract stated that T Company sold real property to plaintiff. The land contract further stated that if plaintiff failed to make a monthly payment, T Company could execute the quitclaim deed, thereby terminating plaintiff’s rights to the real property under the land contract.

CONTRACTS 6: Do you understand the clauses in your Purchase Agreement?

The trial court granted defendants’ motion for summary disposition, concluding that the claims against the realty companies were barred by the valid release contained in the purchase agreement and that the claims against sellers were required to be resolved in arbitration because they fell within the scope of the arbitration clause in the purchase agreement.

DIVORCE 29: Spousal support in gross is non-modifiable, whereas periodic is subject to modification.

As the name implies, periodic spousal support payments are made on a periodic basis. Periodic spousal support payments are subject to any contingency, such as death or remarriage of a spouse, whereas spousal support in gross is paid as a lump sum or a definite sum to be paid in installments. In addition, one major difference between the two types of spousal support is modifiability. Spousal support in gross is non-modifiable, whereas periodic spousal support is subject to modification pursuant to MCL 555.28.1.

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PROBATE 28: Probate court enters a protective order providing support for a community spouse.

A probate court’s consideration of the couple’s circumstances cannot involve an assumption that the institutionalized spouse should receive 100% free medical care under Medicaid or an assumption that a community spouse is entitled to maintain his or her standard of living. Medicaid is a need-based program, and a Medicaid recipient is obligated to contribute to his or her care.

REAL ESTATE 36: Plaintiff argued that her claim was not time-barred because it did not accrue until the grandmother’s death.

Plaintiff’s interest in the subject property is best characterized as a remainder estate, because her right to possession of the property was postponed until the occurrence of a specific contingency, that being the deaths of the grandparents. Plaintiff pursued this action within the 15-year limitation period; accordingly, this action is not barred by MCL 600.5801(4).

LITIGATION 6: The terms of the agreement prevails over the course of performance.

The trial court determined that under the UCC, the express terms of the parties’ agreements prevailed over the course of their performance and course of dealing. Although a course of performance may show that parties have waived a specific contractual term under MCL 440.1303(6), the statute does not similarly provide that a course of dealing may demonstrate waiver.

PROBATE 27: Petitioner filed a petition for mental-health treatment.

In support of the allegations, petitioner attached clinical certificates from a physician and a psychiatrist who observed respondent at the hospital. Both doctors diagnosed respondent with bipolar disorder, determined that she displayed a likelihood of injuring herself and that she did not understand the need for treatment, and recommended a course of treatment that consisted of 60 days of hospitalization and 90 days of outpatient care.

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