Construction Updates

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Construction issues written by leading professionals.
News & Analysis as of

California is Flooding with Water…Issues, Lawsuits, Rules and Legislation

We Californians are well aware of the impact of the four-year drought. We have read about town wells drying up like in East Porterville; we have seen the incredibly scary low water marks in lakes and reservoirs; we have heard...more

AAA Issues Revised Rules for Arbitration in Construction Industry Disputes

The American Arbitration Association recently updated its Construction Industry Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures, effective July 1, 2015. There are six new rules, some of which are borrowed from litigation...more

Clean Water Rule Halted in Arizona and 12 Other States

On August 27, the day before it was set to become final, a federal district court in North Dakota halted implementation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers’ “Waters of The...more

Land Use Matters, August 2015

City of Los Angeles - City Council - Mobility Plan 2035 Approved - On August 11, 2015, the city council passed “Mobility Plan 2035,” a comprehensive revision of the 1999 Transportation Element of the General Plan....more

Three Ways to Avoid Bidding Pitfalls

When submitting a bid, contractors must take care to fulfill all pre-bid obligations to help the project run smoothly. What are the most important pre-bid actions to take? I was reminded of three critical points every...more

Pennsylvania’s Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act Does Not Apply to Public Projects

Pennsylvania’s Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act (“CASPA”) is a powerful tool for contractors and subcontractors to ensure that they receive prompt payment for their work and may entitle them to expansive remedies,...more

Federal Court Upholds Louisiana Ban on Project Labor Agreements

A federal court in the Eastern District of Louisiana recently ruled that Louisiana’s ban on project labor agreements on public works projects was neither unconstitutional nor preempted by the National Labor Relations Act...more

Red Flags for Homebuilders Related to DOL's Latest Guidance on Independent Contractors

On July 15, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued an “Administrator’s Interpretation” (AI 2015-1) providing guidance on whether workers are employees or independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act...more

Pennsylvania and Maryland Active with P3 Transportation Projects

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (“PennDOT”) expects to award bids to develop compressed natural gas (“CNG”) refueling stations throughout the state by the end of 2015 as the agency and its counterpart in...more

When Contract Forms Cause Unintended Consequences

Inclusion of unrevised Standard AIA contract forms in your construction agreements can cause serious unintended consequences. A case decided by the Indiana Supreme Court, Bd. of Comm’rs. Cty of Jefferson v. Teton Corp., 30...more

McMillin Albany, LLC v. Superior Court Rejects Reasoning and Outcome of Liberty Mutual on SB800

In McMillin Albany, LLC v. Superior Court (available here), the Fifth Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal held that SB800 (Civil Code sections 895 through 945.5, the “Right to Repair Act”) is the only remedy...more

Reports of the Death of SB800 are Greatly Exaggerated – The Court of Appeal Revives Mandatory SB800 Procedures

In a 20 page opinion, the Court of Appeal for the Fifth District repudiated the holding of Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. v. Brookfield Crystal Cove, LLC (2013) 219 Cal.App.4th 98 (“Liberty Mutual”), and held that plaintiffs in...more

Defamation and the Common Interest Privilege in the Construction Industry

Construction projects often involve a complex array of contractors, subcontractors, banks, bonding agents, architects, engineers and so on. With that many parties depending on each other to complete a project, negative...more

The Construction Advantage – Issue 20

This month marks the 20th edition of The Construction Advantage! In our August issue, Emily Kahn provides a pro and con summary of alternatives to the design bid build project delivery model, Mike Bosse discusses the Rhode...more

Don’t Guess On How to Assert A Mechanic’s Lien

Many contractors and subcontractors have learned this the hard way: failure to comply with the filing and notice requirements for a mechanic’s lien can result in losing the lien and an effective way of ensuring payment for a...more

Public Bid Rejected Based on Access to Inside Information

The Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General (“AGO”) this month denied a bid protest by a low bidder because it had access to “insider knowledge” about the University of Massachusetts building project through its...more

TxDOT Shortlists Five Proposer Teams for the SH 249 Extension Project

Three months after the May 15, 2015 issuance of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), the SH 249 Extension Project is another step closer to development. The RFQ solicited qualifications from teams interested in entering into...more

Prepare the ground for effective contract administration: the UK’s Privy Council looks at termination risks and the employer’s...

Introductory remarks - The UK’s Privy Council recently considered the interpretation of two clauses in the FIDIC Red Book 1999, concerning the obligations of an employer to evidence financial arrangements and to notify...more

Insurance Recovery Law - August 2015 #2

Good News for Corporate Policyholders: Insurer Cannot Refuse Coverage Based on Insured's Assignment of Rights Under Policies After Loss Has Occurred - Why it matters: Reversing its holding in a 2003 case, the Supreme...more

Construction & Engineering Toolkit: The Construction Industry Tax Deduction Scheme (CIS) - August 2015

In This Issue: The Construction Industry Tax Deduction Scheme (CIS) The Construction Industry Scheme (or CIS, as it is more commonly known) is a tax deduction scheme. It concerns construction work and...more

California Court of Appeal allows construction defect class action to proceed against homebuilders

In an unpublished decision on August 19, the California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, reinstated a class action asserting construction defect claims against a nationwide homebuilder. The case is located at 2015 WL...more

Decision Reflects Danger in Misclassifying Employees as Independent Contractors

A recent decision by a federal district court in Maryland highlights the dangers in classifying individuals as independent contractors instead of employees. (Randolph v. PowerComm Construction, Inc.) In this case, the...more

Federal Government Can Revoke Acceptance Years Later and Demand Replacement of Work

Many contractors mistakenly think that once the government accepts work and pays for it, that the work is, well, "accepted." Some also believe that the one-year warranty provided in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)...more

[Webinar] How Will Browning-Ferris Change the Test for Joint-Employer Status for Union and Non-Union Employers? - August 31st,...

The NLRB is expected to release its long-anticipated decision in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. shortly, possibly today. This decision will likely mark a radical departure from the currently accepted standard...more

Indiana Employment Law Update: 5 Changes to Laws You Should Know

A number of significant changes to Indiana employment law took effect on July 1, 2015. These changes affected employer’s obligations in areas such as hiring, wages, discrimination, and termination. If employers have not...more

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