Thomas E. Gibbs is a partner in the Orange County office of Allen Matkins Leck Gamble & Mallory. He specializes in real estate litigation (including lease problems, purchase and sale contract disputes, business torts, construction problems and insurance coverage). He can be reached at (949) 553-1313. Timothy J. Hoban is in-house regional counsel for Toll Brothers, Inc., a home building company. He can be reached at (714) 347-1300.
Many types of transactions, but especially real estate and construction projects, are fraught with minefields, making the possibility of litigation almost inevitable. Volumes have been written on alternative approaches to resolving disputes without having to cede control of the outcome to a judge or jury. There is also the “preventative law” approach in which attorneys counsel their clients how to navigate around disputes once they have arisen. However, these approaches do not address how to prevent disputes from arising in the first place. This article fills that gap. We suggest what parties can do to prevent conflicts altogether, as well as how to nip them in the bud if they do occur to prevent them from maturing into a full-fledged litigation.