Joe Virene

Joe Virene

Gray Reed & McGraw

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Latest Publications


How to Manage Credit and Collect Unpaid Bills in Today’s Oil Patch

Everybody from the well site to the board room has an opinion about when oil prices will “rebound”. Rather than an opinion, we have a question: How do I collect my money while we’re waiting? This post is a refresher for...more

5/21/2015 - Energy Sector Oil & Gas Royalties Vendor Contacts

Implied Warranties: Part One (Goods)

Texas law imposes certain implied warranties on the sale of goods, regardless of whether the warranties are mentioned in the contract. In particular, Texas law creates the warranty of “merchantability” and the warranty that...more

7/28/2014 - Fitness for Particular Purpose Warranties

Filing A Lien When The Work Is Done For A Tenant Rather Than An Owner

Commercial landlords often allow commercial tenants to construct a buildout tailored to their business (e.g., retail stores, restaurants, redesigning office space, etc.). Such tenants hire general contractors who in turn hire...more

12/20/2013 - Commercial Property Owners Construction Disputes Construction Liens Contractors Landlords Renovations Subcontractors Tenants

How To Perfect And Enforce A Mineral Lien: Six Steps

If you furnish labor or materials to an oil or gas well and are not paid, then you should consider filing a mineral lien. Below are the steps to perfect a mineral lien....more

12/16/2013 - Liens Mineral Rights Oil & Gas

7 Ways To Manage The Credit Risk Of A New Customer

Get the project information up front - You should ask your customer for the owner’s name and address, the location of the project, a copy of the payment bond (if any), and the general contractor’s name and address (if...more

10/31/2013 - Bonds Contractors General Contractors Liens Notice Requirements Payment Bonds Subcontractors

Increasing Your Recovery Under A Federal Payment Bond Claim

Federally owned construction projects are covered by a Miller Act Payment Bond for the benefit of the subcontractors and suppliers thereof. If you make a claim for payment under the Miller Act, you may, under certain...more

10/10/2013 - Attorney's Fees Bonds Miller Act Prejudgment Interest Subcontractors Suppliers Surety & Fidelity

The Supreme Court Blesses Arbitration Clauses In Covenants Not To Compete, But Is Arbitrating A Non-Compete Always A Good Idea?

Non-competes are governed by different rules from other contracts. Courts limit non-competes to certain circumstances, such as when an individual has received confidential information, goodwill, or specialized training; even...more

9/4/2013 - Arbitration Federal Arbitration Act Mandatory Arbitration Clauses Nitro-Lift Technologies Non-Compete Agreements Restrictive Covenants SCOTUS

Ten Drafting Tips For Covenants Not To Compete

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal discussed the rise in litigation regarding covenants not to compete, along with a summary of the positives and negatives of these covenants....more

8/26/2013 - Contract Drafting Employment Contract Non-Compete Agreements Restrictive Covenants

Legislative Update

Construction legislation in the 2013 session was much different from 2011. In 2011 many new construction related laws were passed including governance of indemnities and mechanic’s liens. In 2013 many significant...more

8/20/2013 - Architects Construction Disputes Criminal Records Engineering Indemnification Judgment Creditors Licenses Mechanics Lien Modification New Legislation Procurement Guidelines Proposed Legislation Sovereign Immunity Venue Vicarious Liability

Collecting Attorney Fees For Lien And Bond Claims

Previously, Texas law provided that a court “may” award costs and reasonable attorney fees in a suit to foreclose a lien, enforce a payment bond claim or declare a lien to be invalid to the extent that such costs and...more

6/25/2013 - Attorney's Fees Bonds Foreclosure Liens

Broad Form Indemnities In Construction Contracts

Indemnifying someone for their own negligence is a tough pill to swallow. ...more

6/20/2013 - Construction Contracts Contract Drafting Indemnification Negligence Oil & Gas

Important Contract Clauses For Subcontractors And Suppliers

Because of time constraints and the desire to get the business, subcontractors and suppliers routinely sign lengthy subcontracts and master service agreements without closely reading the terms and conditions. ...more

6/11/2013 - Arbitration Change Orders Choice-of-Law Contract Drafting Indemnification Liens Payment Schedules Subcontractors Suppliers Termination Warranties

Arbitration Clause Tips

If you decide to agree to an arbitration clause, then you should carefully consider what issues you want to address in the clause. ...more

6/5/2013 - Arbitration Arbitrators Judicial Remedies Mandatory Arbitration Clauses Mediation

Arbitration vs. Bench Trial

Arbitration clauses are very common in contracts in the construction and energy industries. Many industry players reflexively insist on arbitration despite its pitfalls. ...more

5/28/2013 - Appeals Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Confidential Information Construction Contracts

Pay-If-Paid Clauses: A Powerful Shield From Payment

Subcontracts typically contain either a pay-when-paid clause or a pay-if-paid (i.e., contingent payment) clause. A pay-when-paid clause only deals with the timing of the obligation to pay the subcontractor. ...more

5/20/2013 - Condition Precedent Contractors Pay if Paid Subcontractors Subcontracts Unconscionable Contracts

The New Lien Waiver Form Prevents Subs And Suppliers From Being Strong Armed

Historically, subcontractors and suppliers were compelled to sign onerous and overreaching lien waivers and releases in order to receive payment. In addition, many subcontracts contain lien waivers lurking in the boiler...more

5/14/2013 - Liens Subcontractors Suppliers Waivers

The New Texas Expedited Trial Rule’s Effect On Subcontractors And Suppliers

It has been said many times “the wheels of justice grind slowly.” Indeed most cases take well over a year, and some a few years, to try. To help solve this problem the Texas Legislature created a new procedural rule to...more

5/8/2013 - Expedited Actions Process Subcontractors Suppliers

Why Delivery Tickets Matter

Paperwork can win or lose a lawsuit. This is especially so in construction litigation. To be entitled to a lien, bond, or any other claim for payment for materials delivered to a construction project, you are not required...more


Your Last Resort: The Unpaid Account

A suit on an unpaid account against your customer will likely entitle you to the principal balance plus interest and attorney fees. But a suit on an unpaid account is only as good as your customer’s ability to satisfy the...more

4/29/2013 - Attorney's Fees Creditors Interest Payments Principal Balance Unpaid Accounts

Joint Check Agreements

If you supply construction materials and/or equipment then you likely have encountered a joint check agreement. For those that have not yet encountered this arrangement, a joint check agreement is a credit facility...more


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