There are few among us who have not, through either direct experience, reading the paper or watching the eleven o’clock news, dealt with or heard about home improvement contractors who have done anything but improvement work. Whether a contractor takes deposit monies and runs (having never bothered to show up to do the work), does
Deceptive Vacation Packages
From time to time, a “lodging package marketer” or “prepaid vacation provider” makes the news, with consumers claiming that such entity engages in tactics such as:
- Vacation packages that are provided (often at a steep fee) ultimately do not measure up to what was expected;
- Strong-arm sales pitches, with consumers given no time to think
The Apology Bill
“The Apology Bill,” or “the Benevolent Gesture bill,” passed the House 200-0 on October 22, and was signed by Governor Corbett on October 23. This new law is the culmination of eight years of proposed legislation. It does not allow mere statements of an apology to be admissible at trial, but does allow statements that include an admission of negligence or fault.
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Return of Security Deposits Under the Pennsylvania Landlord and Tenant Act
In Pennsylvania, “The Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951” (“The Act”) governs all residential leases entered in Pennsylvania. The Act provides certain terms in the relationship between a landlord and tenant that cannot be waived by the tenant, even where the written lease has provisions contrary to the Act.
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Discharging a Mechanics’ Lien Claim by Surety Bond or Payment of Cash into Court
A Mechanics’ Lien Claim can present problems for Owners seeking to sell or refinance a home or other real estate. Likewise, higher-tiered Contractors and Subcontractors can encounter headaches where a Subcontractor files a Lien Claim of questionable legitimacy or for defective work, jeopardizing the Contractor’s reputation or relationship with customers.
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United States Supreme Court Case Involving Anna Nicole Smith Highlights Exceptions to Federal Court Jurisdiction
A 2006 Supreme Court Case arising from a story most laypeople learned from supermarket tabloids reaffirms an age old exception to the jurisdiction of the Federal Courts. As many people know, deceased model and celebrity personality Anna Nicole Smith (then aged 26) married billionaire Oil Industry magnate J. Howard Marshall when Marshall was 89 years of age. Famously, the marriage lasted fourteen months, until Marhsall’s death, leading many to comment that Marshall must have died a happy man. Following Marshall’s passing, Smith (whose real name was Vicky Lynn Marshall) became embroiled in a protracted dispute over the estate of her late husband with the deceased billionaire’s son and her own adult step-son, E. Pierce Marshall.
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Clearing Clouds Upon Title to Real Property in Pennsylvania: Quiet Title Actions
In Pennsylvania, where a “cloud” upon a title to real property exists, a party may initiate a civil action in order to adjudicate rights to the property. Such actions fall under two related kinds: 1) Actions to Quiet Title, and 2) Actions in Ejectment.
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The Doctrine of “Consentable Lines” Resolves Some Property Line Disputes Between Adjoining Land Owners
One of the most common sources of litigation involving real property is that of disputes between adjoining property owners. Of these disputes, many involve a disagreement regarding where the property line between the two parcels of land is actually located, and one party’s objection to his neighbor’s use of the property beyond the legal boundary between the properties. Pennsylvania has a well-developed practical approach to such disputes where a line between the properties has been respected and acquiesced to for a requisite period of years.
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The Pennsylvania Fraudulent Transfers Act: A Useful Tool to Avoid Debtors’ Sham Sales of Assets and Turn Judgments into Dollars in a Slowing Economy
The Pennsylvania Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act, (PUFTA) 12 Pa.C.S.A. § 5101 et seq., grants a statutory remedy to creditors where a debtor has acted to hinder his creditors and identifies several factors for scrutinizing transfers as fraudulent to creditors. Where a transfer has been proven to be fraudulent as to a debtor’s creditors, remedies available to a creditor include voiding the fraudulent transfer, attaching the transferred property, injunctions against the debtor’s future disposition of assets, and Court appointment of a receiver to take charge of fraudulently transferred assets.
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New Amendments to the Pennsylvania Mechanic’s Lien Law Permit Up-front Waivers for More Residential Projects
Many Contractors may have become familiar with the recent Amendments to the Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law which became effective in January of 2007. Those Amendments were the first Amendments to the Law since the Law’s adoption in 1963, and reflected an effort on the part of the Pennsylvania Legislature to re-assert the Contractors’ and Subcontractors’ right to file Mechanics’ Liens for non-payment by restricting effective Up-front Lien Waivers and providing a bonding procedure to ensure payment where Up-front Waivers were required…
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