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Experienced Trial Attorneys Serving Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia
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News And Reflections On Legal Issues In Western Pennsylvania And West Virginia

Reasons why you should consider hiring a real estate broker

If you are interested in buying or selling a property in Pennsylvania, chances are you have spent considerable time preparing for a successful outcome. If you are buying, your time has most likely been spent weighing different options, considering amenities and analyzing property valuations. If you are selling, you have probably spent time staging your property, updating things and creating a space that is desirable on an ever-competitive real estate market. At Gesk Moritz LLC, we are experienced in working with both buyers and sellers and we understand the risks they face. 

Because buying or selling properties can be so much work and require significant resources at times, you may have considered hiring a real estate broker to facilitate your property transfer. According to, there are many benefits you can enjoy from choosing to rely on a broker regardless of if you are buying or selling. When you are looking at buying a property, a professional can give you accessibility to the market's latest offerings and provide considerable insight regarding property comparisons and benchmarks. Additionally, they can help you to understand your financing options which can be complicated at times. 

Can you build lasting relationships with subcontractors?

As a general contractor in Pennsylvania, you have probably noticed that a large part of your success is a direct result of the reliability of the subcontractors you hire to help you complete certain projects. Without dependable partners who are committed to facilitating the success of your project, you may run into costly problems including delays, missed deadlines and shoddy work. Fortunately, there are simple measures you can take to build lasting relationships with your subcontractors to better protect your company's reputation and the satisfaction of your customers. 

According to Construction Business Owner, some of the important things you should be doing when working with a subcontractor, include the following:  

  • Set boundaries and declare expectations: From the beginning of a project, clearly define your expectations for work ethic. Create boundaries designed to protect your company and prevent your subcontractors from taking advantage of your resources. 
  • Be respectful and professional: Even though your subcontractors are often employed for a temporary period of time, always treat them with respect and the same level of professionalism as you would other business partners. Doing so will give them satisfaction in feeling both validated and appreciated. 
  • Maintain open communication: Always maintain communication with the subcontractors you have hired. Frequent, open communication allows both you and your subcontractors to discuss progress and concerns, and to clarify any confusion that could potentially lead to costly errors. Make yourself available for communicating and position yourself as someone who is personable and willing to help to encourage your subcontractors to come to you with any questions. 

Elderly woman dies after airport fall, family sues

For families with disabled loved ones in Pennsylvania, one of the primary concerns they have is the safety and support of their family members who require assistance. While many public entities go to great lengths to accommodate disabled individuals and provide reliable help, there are times when lapses in communication, general oversight and even carelessness can result in the injury of those who rely on the vigilance of others to stay safe. 

An incident at an airport in Portland, Oregon, has gained national attention after an elderly grandmother sustained traumatic injuries when her motorized wheelchair went down an escalator. The woman's family members claim they requested gate-to-gate assistance for the disabled woman who was both an amputee and suffered from unnamed health problems. The lawsuit they have filed against Alaskan Airlines alleges that airline professionals failed to do their due diligence in seeing that the woman received vigilant assistance between her connecting flight from Hawaii to Washington. The wrongful death lawsuit also names Huntleigh USA, which provides passengers with transit assistance under contract with Alaskan Air. 

How can I avoid a slip-and-fall accident?

As the temperatures drop and snow and ice accumulate on the ground in Carnegie, the risk of slip-and-fall accidents increases. Many people underestimate their safety when walking on various surfaces, especially during the cold season. Slip-and-fall accidents can cause serious injury. In 2014, 31,959 people died in unintentional fall accidents, states the Centers for Disease Control. 

Not all surfaces that are unsafe for use are easy to identify. Some sidewalks, floors and stairs may be covered in thin layers of ice (black ice) that is hard for people to detect. Usually, the places that people think are the safest contain the most hazards for fall accidents. Here are some suggestions for people to consider to reduce their chances of slipping and falling. 

Preparing a home to sell in the competitive world of real estate

Real estate is an ever-growing market that becomes increasingly competitive with the development of technology and other valuable selling tools. At times, the real estate market is so saturated with properties for sale, that effectively advertising a home appears next to impossible in Pennsylvania. However, if interested sellers leverage the right strategies and implement valuable sales practices, they can increase their selling success exponentially. 

A common mistake that many people make when they list a property for sale is to falsely assume that their property has enough appealing factors that little to no preparation will be required to make it marketable. Regardless of a property's condition, some simple actions have the ability to transform a colorless advertisement into something much more exciting and appealing. According to HGTV, some of the things sellers may consider doing include the following:

Your dream home is defective. Now what?

You spend months, no, years planning your dream house and finally you see it coming to life right before your eyes. There are truly few things as exciting as watching your home plans take shape. However, the dream can suddenly turn into a nightmare when you realize that the builder you worked with cut corners, leading to defects.

Unfortunately, residential construction defects are very common in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Some of the most common construction defects include:

  • Mold and water issues
  • Electrical or heating issues
  • Soil and drainage issues
  • Cracks in the foundation, wall or roof
  • Structural issues

A closer look at how you can prevent construction disputes

If you work in Pennsylvania's construction industry, you may be well aware that on occasion, disputes can occur. Often, these disagreements are in regards to contractual terms that may have been previously misunderstood or modified by one or more parties. Fortunately, with your proactive endeavors to educate your employees and with your own familiarity with prevention techniques, you can reduce the chances of having to deal with costly disputes. At Gesk Moritz LLC, we are experienced at working with professionals in the construction industry and understand the unique challenges they face each day.

According to Construction Executive, while you cannot entirely prevent all construction disputes, there are things you can do to protect your organization and reduce the chances of conflict from occurring. Some of the things you can do include the following:

  • Look out for specific clauses in your contract that may be confusing or vague. Negotiate terms and clarify meaning to determine that all parties have a mutual understanding.
  • Be proactive about dealing with issues when you first detect them. Waiting can only worsen problems and create more confusion and frustration.
  • Stay on top of communication with vital business partners including estimators, schedulers and subcontractors. Your diligence can build trust and create valued relationships to deter contention and disagreements.
  • Make sure that you understand all of the content included in your contract and that you are deciphering the context the correct way.
  • Be sure to accurately and swiftly record any disputes that occur. These valuable documents may save you significant time and stress in the future.

Reviewing the reasons for terminating contracts

As a contractor, you rely heavily on the strength of your contractual agreements to not only guarantee continued work, but also to reinforce your reputation in the local community. When you enter into a contract with a client, you do so with every expectation that as long as you fulfill your terms, the other party will have no reason to end your agreement (or to not reciprocate). Are there any scenarios where it can do just that? 

According to the American Bar Association, a client can attempt to end a contractual agreement for default (many also refer to this as "termination for cause"). To cite cause as a reason for termination, your client has to prove that your default has essentially defeated the basic objective of the contract. To do this, it must prove the following elements: 

  • That you had an obligation to fulfill under your agreement
  • That the obligation was a material term
  • That you indeed did fail to perform that obligation
  • That it (the client) fulfilled all of its responsibilities under the contract

Business real estate transactions: What mistakes should I avoid?

If you are getting ready to purchase a commercial property for your business in Carnegie, there are some things you should first take into consideration. You do not want to end up entering into an agreement that is one-sided or fraught with pitfalls for you. The right decisions and agreement can make your real estate transaction a successful one. 

Keep in mind that commercial real estate transactions involve a lot more risk than residential ones. To keep you from losing your business and hard-earned money, here are some mistakes that often occur in commercial real estate transactions that you want to avoid. 

What remedies do you really have after a breach of contract?

As a homeowner or small business owner, you feel good when you’ve finished negotiating a contract and your deal is in writing. You may have some lingering concern that you could have negotiated a better deal. You might wish it wasn’t going to cost so much. But ultimately, you had a project you needed done and now you’ve got a contract. You’re on your way.

In an ideal world, everything would go as planned. In the real world, contractors are sometimes late. Sometimes they don’t follow the plan. Sometimes their work is defective. Sometimes they don’t show up at all. Any of these can be a breach of contract.