Archive - November 2014

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Cover Me
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Sophisticated Parties May Shorten the Statute of Limitations for Construction Defect Claims
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Riverside County Superior Court To Designate One Courtroom To Handle Complex Litigation

Cover Me

The Transfer of Risk Through Express Indemnity does not Always Lessen Uncertainty when a Claim Arises

By: Daniel A. Cribbs and Ravi R. Mehta
November 30, 2014
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The transfer of risk through express indemnity does not always lessen uncertainty when a claim arises

Additional insured endorsements and express indemnity provisions are common risk transfer mechanisms, but they have generated uncommonly complex and difficult-to-reconcile judicial holdings. Litigation concerning priority-of-coverage disputes that include consideration of the vertical and horizontal exhaustion doctrines is necessarily complex, but it is part of an evaluation of the risks, rights, and obligations of clients engaging in commercial contracts. Courts must consider the insurance policies of the parties as well as the agreements between the insureds to determine the order in which each party’s policies must respond to a given loss. As one court has observed, “[E]stablishing a pecking order among multiple insurers covering the same risk…has been characterized as ‘a court’s nightmare.…’”1

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Sophisticated Parties May Shorten the Statute of Limitations for Construction Defect Claims

Brisbane Lodging L.P. v. Webcor Builders, Inc. (2013) 216 Cal.App.4th 1249

By: Jon A. Turigliatto and David A. Napper
November 19, 2014

The recent decision by the First District Court of Appeal in Brisbane Lodging L.P. v. Webcor Builders, Inc. (2013) 216 Cal.App.4th 1249 is now final and is citable authority in California as the appellant did not petition the decision for review by the California Supreme Court. The decision is noteworthy for contractors and builders across the State as the Court has held that parties can contractually agree to limit the statutory limitations period for construction defect claims and the date on which the limitations period commences. Despite some limitations set forth below, the Court established important precedent by enforcing certain contract language in a standard AIA form general contract to shorten the statute of limitations for construction defect claims to four (4) years from the date of substantial completion of the project. A brief synopsis of the facts, court’s reasoning, and impact is set forth below.

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Riverside County Superior Court To Designate One Courtroom To Handle Complex Litigation

By: Richard H. Glucksman and David A. Napper
November 12, 2014

Riverside County Superior Court expects to consolidate complex civil litigation into one courtroom by early 2015. Many other counties, including Los Angeles, Orange, San Francisco, Sacramento, Alameda, and Santa Clara already have designated complex civil litigation courtrooms. Riverside Court Superior Court currently distributes the complex cases among 10 civil judges, most of which are handled by seven judges at the Main St. Riverside courthouse location.

Riverside Judge Sharon Waters stated that “[i]t’s been something that I personally have felt has been long overdue” and that “[t]he idea is that put it with one judge and let him or her develop the expertise.” Judge Waters believes “[t]he potential value of establishing a complex litigation courtroom [is that] it allows the judge to focus on the cases full time.”1

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