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Federal Court: Women’s Homeless Shelter is not a Public Accommodation

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Late last week, the federal court in Alaska granted a homeless shelter’s request to stop the City of Anchorage from designating is as a public accommodation under the Anchorage Municipal Code. My friends and former colleagues at Alliance Defending Freedom have been litigating this case. The issues in this case may sound technical, but what is at stake has profound ministry implications for nonprofit ministries. Read More

What Disclosure Obligations Do REALTORS® Owe to Buyers?

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“To whom much is given, much is required.” This principal applies to REALTORS® who, under Article 26 of the Arizona Constitution, may “draft any and all instruments, including contracts, incident to the sale, exchange, trade, or leasing of property.”  See Article 26 §1, Arizona Constitution. Because of this authority, REALTORS® bear the responsibility of explaining to their clients what the real estate transaction documents actually mean. Morley v. J. Pagel Realty & Ins., 27 Ariz. App. 62, 66, 550 P.2d 1104 (1976). Put another way, to meet their standard of care, REALTORS® must have the real estate drafting skills and real estate knowledge of an attorney. Read More

7th Circuit says church organist cannot sue for employment discrimination

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Yesterday, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided an important case under the ministerial exception to employment discrimination laws. The case was Sterlinski v. Catholic Bishop of Chicago and it involved a lawsuit brought by Stanislaw Sterlinski who claimed he was fired from his position as a church organist because of his Polish heritage. Mr. Sterlinski used to hold the position as Director of Music but was then demoted to the job of organist and subsequently terminated from employment. The Court stated that, while Sterlinski was Director of Music, he was a “minister” for purposes of the ministerial exception to Title VII and could have been fired for any reason. But the question the Court wrestled with was whether Sterlinski could be considered a “minister” after he was demoted to the position of organist and, more importantly, who gets to decide the answer to that question? Read More

Considerations For Dividing Assets In A Divorce

Congress Passes New Law Regulating Short Term Rentals

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Vacation Rentals Update:

Congress Passes New Law Regulating

Short Term Rentals

 Our state legislature and Governor have spoken, and short-term rentals are here to stay. Since the inception of online platforms like VRBO and Airbnb nearly a decade ago, short term rentals have steadily grown in popularity, in terms of demand and availability. The opportunity to rent a home or condo for a short duration provides new income opportunity to owners, and new lodging options for travelers and local residents alike. But not everyone is thrilled about short-term rentals in their neighborhoods. Stories abound about wild bachelor parties, wedding venues, and other large groups. Read More

Explaining how easements work

UNDERSTANDING EASEMENTS

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By: Bryan Eastin, Esq.

The Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion explaining how easements can be extinguished in certain circumstances. Specifically, the Court ruled, as a matter of first impression, that common ownership of adjoining parcels might eradicate an easement even if the title owners are technically different.  Here is why this matters. Read More

Phoenix Law Firm, Provident Law, Scottsdale Law Firm

Are Nonrecourse Loans Feasible?

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LAYING DOWN THE LAW
with
Christopher J. Charles, Esq. and David F. Kotter

Are Nonrecourse Loans Feasible?

At first blush, asking a lender for nonrecourse financing seems like someone asking for your first-born child – weird and awkward. But in today’s economic and real estate climate, under the right conditions, nonrecourse loans can make sense.

Practically speaking, most commercial loans are essentially “full recourse,” which means that because many lenders insist on personal guaranties, the guarantors are personally liable for the loan balance – meaning if the borrower defaults, the lender can sue the guarantor (and the borrower in some cases) for the unpaid balance, plus interest, and attorneys’ fees.  And the lender can pursue collection against the guarantor’s non-exempt assets, which typically includes bank accounts, wages, stocks, bonds, automobiles, and of course, real estate. Read More

Understand short-term lease is

Legal Headaches: Can Tenants Sue Their Landlord for Annoyance or Emotional Distress Concerning a Property’s Condition?

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LAYING DOWN THE LAW
with
Christopher J. Charles, Esq. and Philip A. Overcash, Esq.

Legal Headaches: Can Tenants Sue Their Landlord for Annoyance or Emotional Distress Concerning a Property’s Condition?
The Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, A.R.S. § 33–1301 et seq., (the “Act”), provides a comprehensive framework regulating the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants under a lease for residential properties. Arizona courts have interpreted the Act to provide broad protections to tenants, as well as a wide array of damages which the tenant may recover when the landlord breaches the lease.

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WHY MEDIATION TRUMPS LITIGATION

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“Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but an abundant harvest comes through the strength of the ox.” Proverbs 14:4. Put another way, if you don’t do any work, you might have a clean stable, but you won’t have any crops. Applying this principal to business, if you are involved with enough real estate deals in this litigious culture, sooner or later, you are bound to run into a dispute. Common real estate disputes include failure to close, lack of proper disclosure, title issues, and other issues concerning the property’s condition. Resolving disputes through the courts is often costly and inefficient.   Read More

Greed Doesn’t Pay: Excessive Interest Charged by Lender May Result in No Interest

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Pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered. That is why hard-money lenders should avoid seeking hyper aggressive interest rates. Although conventional mortgage interest rates remain historically low, interest rates on private loans, or “hard money” loans range anywhere from 5% to multiples of the principal amount. But if lenders overreach, they may end up forfeiting all interest. Indeed, the defenses of usury and unconscionability are alive and well. Read More