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Dirt Law at Ground Level - SLEEPLESS IN SUN VALLEY

December 02, 2013

It rains equally on the just and the unjust, according to Ecclesiastes (or maybe Ned Perme, I forget which). In particular, being rich and famous won't necessarily insulate you from the hassles which seem to be inevitable in high-end home construction.

Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson contracted with a builder to construct a home for them near Sun Valley, Idaho (a cozy little cottage, no doubt). When construction was almost complete, disputes arose with the contractor, who demanded that his claims be submitted to arbitration. The Hanks/Wilsons counterclaimed alleging substandard and incorrect work. The form of contract itself called for resolution of such disputes by arbitration, unless both parties waived it, which was not the case here.