Latest Publications


A Timely Reminder From the CSLB and a Funny Acronym to Boot

Growing up in Sacramento, California I remember it being so hot that you could feel your tennis shoes stick to the asphalt on the playground. As California enters it’s worst drought in 119 years concern over water has...more

4/16/2014 - Drought Licenses Water Water Supplies

Sometimes the Real Fight is Before the Fight

One of the things I learned while lobbying in Washington, D.C. is the importance of the House Rules Committee. The Rules Committee, as its name suggests, sets the rules. Specifically, the scheduling of bills, the allotted...more

4/15/2014 - Construction Defects Construction Litigation Housing Developers Mediation Right to Repair

Cities Alive: The Future of Green Infrastructure

If you follow the construction industry you know that green is the new gold. As well as LEED bronze, silver and platinum. Green building, which not long ago conjured images of hippie architects and wealthy eccentrics,...more

4/8/2014 - Building Standards Infrastructure LEED Certified LEED Rules

The Most [Fill in the Blank] Bid Dispute, Ever

We’ve all heard of those lawsuits which cause us to scratch our heads wondering, what were they thinking? Think woman sues fast food restaurant for serving hot coffee, man sues beer company when beautiful women did not...more

4/1/2014 - Competitive Bidding Construction Disputes

Rumble in the Construction Defect Jungle

Lately, reading the advance sheets of construction defect cases has been like watching one of the Rocky movies. There’s the punches (owww!). Then there’s the counter-punches (ohhh!). And on and on it goes with blow meeting...more

3/25/2014 - Construction Defects Construction Disputes

And So it Begins . . .

This past year I wrote about a case that caused an uproar in the homebuilding industry - Liberty Mutual Insurance Company v. Brookfield Crystal Cove LLC, 219 Cal.App.4th 98 (August 28, 2013) – in which the California Court of...more

3/18/2014 - Breach of Contract Housing Developers Housing Market Negligence Real Estate Market Repairs

Google’s Floating Mystery Boxes

It was moored quietly in the Bay. But when a four story structure made up of shipping containers was erected, questions began to be asked. Elected officials said they didn’t know. The police said it wasn’t in...more

3/10/2014 - Construction Permits Google Technology

To Be or Not to Be – Subdivision Bonds Does Not a Public Works Project, Make it Be

I’ve never been much of a Shakespeare fan. I only moderately tolerated even the MTV-inspired Romeo + Juliet set in fair Verona Beach with rapiers metaphorically replaced with guns manufactured by Dagger and Sword. But...more

3/4/2014 - Municipal Bonds Public Works Subdivision

California Building Energy Efficiency Standards Delayed to July 1, 2014

The California Contractors State License Board (“CSLB”) has issued an Industry Bulletin providing further information regarding the delayed implementation of the California Building Energy Efficiency Standards which has been...more

2/25/2014 - Energy Efficiency Energy Policy Environmental Policies

The Big “B” – Bankruptcy on the Construction Project

It’s not often that I find myself in bankruptcy court, but there I was. A lone construction attorney surrounded by bankruptcy lawyers speaking in a foreign tongue – “cram down!,” “cash collateral!,” “executory...more

2/4/2014 - Chapter 11 Chapter 13 Chapter 7 Commercial Bankruptcy Construction Contracts Construction Disputes Mechanics Lien

The Not So Fine Print

It seems like there’s been a lot of labor law news lately. From the California Labor Commissioner’s crackdown on labor law violations this past year to new labor law-related legislation this year. And here’s another....more

1/30/2014 - Appeals Bonds Contractors Deadlines Employer Liability Issues Wage and Hour

The 49ers May Not Be Going to the Superbowl . . . But Their Consolation Prize Ain’t Bad

I’m not much of a sports guy, but like many in the San Francisco Bay Area, I watched the 49ers-Seahawk game over the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day weekend....more

1/27/2014 - LEED Certified NFL Sports Super Bowl

Playing NSA at the Job Site. Just Less Sneakily

The U.S. National Security Agency (“NSA”) has been getting a lot of bad press lately. From backdoor hacking into Google and Yahoo to the mass data collection program known as PRISM to spying on gaming platforms such as Second...more

1/22/2014 - Cameras Surveillance

Public-Private Partnerships, Putin Style

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia is just around the corner. It will be the most expensive Olympics in history costing an estimated $51 billion. By way of comparison, the 2012 Summer Olympics in London cost...more

1/14/2014 - Olympics Public-Private Partnerships Russia Vladimir Putin

Contractors State License Board Releases New Complaint Form Aimed at Illegal Advertising

The California Contractors State License Board (“CSLB”) has released a new complaint form aimed at illegal contractor advertising. Under California Business and Professions Code section 7048, a California contractors...more

1/7/2014 - Advertising Construction Workers Contractors Licensing Rules

Contractors State License Board Beefs Up Public Works Unit

The California Contractors State License Board (“CSLB”) has announced that it’s beefing up its Public Works Unit to help ensure that contractors bidding and performing work on public works projects are complying with wage and...more

12/31/2013 - Contractors Prevailing Wages Public Works Wages

Supreme’s Decision is Music to the Ears of Large General Contractors

In Atlantic Marine Construction Co., Inc. v. United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, Case No 12-929 (December 3, 2013), the Supremes weighed in on the enforceability of forum selection clauses . . ....more

12/17/2013 - Atlantic Marine Construction Company Construction Contracts Forum Selection Clause General Contractors SCOTUS

Reminder: 2013 California Building Code and 2013 California Building Energy Efficiency Standards Go Into Effect January 1, 2014

Not to be a nag, but just a reminder that in addition to all the new laws, new regulations will also go into effect in 2014....more

12/10/2013 - Building Codes Energy Efficiency

2014 California Construction Law Update

Approximately 2,000 bills were introduced in the California State Legislature during the 2013-2014 legislative session. Of these, 896 bills made it to Governor Brown’s desk and 800 were signed into law....more

12/3/2013 - Construction Contracts Construction Disputes Construction Workers Design-Bid-Build Licensing Rules Public-Private Partnerships

If it Walks Like a Duck and Talks Like a Duck . . . It May Just be a Goose

If you’re involved in public works projects you know that direct contractors are required to furnish payment bonds on public works projects exceeding $25,000. Specifically, Civil Code section 9550 provides that “[a] direct...more

11/19/2013 - Bonds Contractors Public Projects Public Works

What You Need to Know About Maintaining Your Contractor’s License in California

Earlier, I wrote a post on What You Need to Know About Obtaining a Contractor’s License in California. This post focuses on what you need to know about maintaining your contractor’s license in California. As with my earlier...more

11/6/2013 - Contractors Licenses

Halloween Construction Facts

As you get ready for the ghouls and goblins who will descend on your neighborhood this week, here are a few Halloween greetingsHalloween construction facts: Halloween wouldn’t be Halloween without haunted houses. It...more

10/31/2013 - Halloween

Renting Your California Contractor’s License. Probably Not Such a Good Idea

For those of you who are licensed contractors in California, or if you’re thinking about getting a contractor’s license in California, you know that you need a “qualifying individual” in order to maintain or obtain a license....more

10/25/2013 - Contractors Liability Licenses

Who’s On First? Secured Party Not a Third-Party Beneficiary Under Improvement Agreements

It’s fairly common, particularly for new developments on previously undeveloped property, for public entities to require that the developer agree to construct, install or pay for improvements such as roads, sewage, storm...more

10/22/2013 - Department of Transportation Land Developers Property Improvements Roads Third-Party Beneficiaries

CSLB Warns Contractors to Dial Before You Dig

The California Contractors State License Board (“CSLB”) is warning contractors that it’s stepping up its CSLB enforcement activities against contractors who excavate without permits. Under the law, contractors are required to...more

10/18/2013 - Contractors Excavation Licenses Permits

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