Whether you want to construct a new building or make changes to an existing one, there’s a good chance your project will mean a journey into the world of land development and zoning.
If someone tells you “I’m a doctor,” they’re really only telling you a small part of what their job entails. They might be a pediatrician or a podiatrist or an oncologist or a surgeon.
The same is true in the legal world. A lawyer who handles criminal cases and an attorney who specializes in real estate law have very different jobs.
And then there are attorneys who handle business law. That’s a pretty vast field, as anyone who’s sought out the services of a Bucks County business litigation attorney can tell you. Working in business law involves handling a wide array of different cases.
Here are a few of the most common reasons business owners might need to call on a lawyer who specializes in business litigation cases.
“I’ll see you in court.”
These aren’t words anyone wants to hear, but we live in a litigious world. If you own a home or a business or hold public office, there’s a chance that some decision you make might some day wind up before a judge.
Fortunately, a growing number of people are choosing to forego having matters decided in court in favor of what’s known as alternative dispute resolution. Bucks County plaintiffs and defendants alike can benefit from this process. Here’s how it works.
When England drafted the Magna Carta in 1215, it required the crown to make immediate cash payments for any land it took over.
Here in the states, we have a similar system: eminent domain. Under the law, if the government wants to seize private land, it needs to provide “just compensation.”
That doesn’t mean anyone looks forward to having their land taken away. In fact, the words “eminent domain” strike fear into the hearts of most property owners.
If your property is in the path of a government project, a real estate attorney in Bucks County can help. In the meantime, here is what you need to know about eminent domain.
If you’re seeking alternative dispute resolution in Bucks County, you’re not alone.
Individuals, companies, and even government organizations are all subject to lawsuits, and this can often result in painful court battles, which is why people to go the ADR route instead.
Anyone who has been tangled up in a lawsuit knows the significant costs involved. The legal system in America isn’t cheap, especially for the little guy. Cost reduction is a primary driver for those seeking alternative dispute resolution in Bucks County.
And depending on the specifics of your complaint or suit, you may be involved in the litigation process for over a year or more. ADR, in a best case, can create a legally-binding resolution in a matter of hours, rather than months.
Let’s look at some of the most common forms of ADR, and how they work.
You might greet the prospect of hiring a lawyer for your business with one simple thought: What’s that going to cost us?
And yes, it’s unlikely you will find a business lawyer willing to work for free. There are also some things you can handle on your own, such as:
But hiring an attorney can save your company money in the long term. Here’s how:
In a perfect world, every last commercial and residential building constructed would be perfectly designed and flawlessly executed. Buildings would stand for hundreds of years, with nary a foundation issue or ceiling crack or crooked window to speak of.
But this is the real world, and construction defects happen. They’re so common in the construction industry, in fact, that construction litigation deals with four separate categories, into which every conceivable type of building issue can be placed.
There are design issues (professional errors by engineers or architects); project or material deficiencies (the use of inappropriate or low-quality materials); workmanship issues (errors in wiring, plumbing, or other major systems); and subsurface problems (settling issues or foundation cracks).
There’s no doubt that being the owner of a residence or commercial property with serious construction defects can lead to some seriously stressful situations. Unfortunately, without an experienced construction attorney in Bucks County on your side, the issues you’re dealing with are very unlikely to disappear or resolve themselves anytime soon.
We’ll be the first to admit that buying or selling a home can be psychologically taxing. If you’ve ever purchased a home, you know that it’s also quite complicated. There are mountains of paperwork filled with unfamiliar legalese, as well as contacts and closing dates and various forms of financing. And yet, it’s still nowhere near as intricate as buying or selling a commercial property.
Having a PA real estate lawyer on your side when conducting a commercial property transaction is not just a favorable convenience. On the contrary, we’d argue that it’s an absolute must. The world of commercial real estate is full of complexities and nuances. There are any number of legal issues you need to be aware of, and which offer a great degree of risk to the buyer or seller who goes about them in the wrong way.
But as Bucks County property tax attorneys, we’re here to talk about another tax-related deadline: August 1. That’s the last day for Bucks County property owners to appeal their property tax assessment.
Pennsylvania property taxes are based on two factors: the value of your home/commercial property as determined by your county assessment office, and the local property tax rates, which are set by your county, school district and municipality.
The assessed value is a percentage of what your home/property would sell for. To decide what you would owe, government bodies multiply the assessed value by the tax rate. So if you live in a home with an assessed value of $200,000 and the tax rate is $10 for every $1,000 of taxable value, you’ll pay a $2,000 bill.
Much of the upkeep related to your property – mowing the lawn, shoveling snow – will likely be taken care of for you. And because most HOAs have relatively strict rules governing the physical changes that can be made to the properties within its community, you’ll probably never experience the sort of eyesores that can be common in non-HOA neighborhoods: front lawns that are overgrown with weeds, say, or rusted cars propped up on cinderblocks in a neighbor’s driveway.
Of course, the rules and regulations that govern an HOA community (they’re known as covenants, conditions and restrictions, or CC&Rs) cut both ways. If your community, building or subdivision happens to be run by an HOA with an iron fist, you may very well find yourself on the business end of a substantial fine, or even a lawsuit, if you deign to disobey any of its CC&Rs.