Civil Procedure Construction

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Alabama Supreme Court Reverses Course, Finds Insurance Coverage for Faulty Workmanship Claims

Companies such as homebuilders, construction companies and contractors face significant financial risk from bodily injury and property damage claims arising from allegedly faulty workmanship or construction defects. Although...more

Trial Court's Calculation of Lodestar Is Affirmed

In Syers Properties III, Inc. v. Rankin the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District affirmed the trial court’s grant of an award of attorney fees. The appellant contended that the trial court should not...more

Federal Miller Act Rights Trump State Statute Precluding Claims by Non-Licensed Contractors

In a recent decision, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held, for the first time, that California’s contractor licensing requirement cannot be used to bar a federal subcontractor from pursuing a claim under the Miller...more

Insurance Coverage – Duty to Defend – Construction Defects

Regional Steel Corporation v. Liberty Surplus Insurance Corporation - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (June 13, 2014) - There has been a split of decisions in California as to whether incorporation of...more

5th Circuit Holds No Duty to Indemnify Based on Contractual Liability Exclusion

In its recent decision in Crownover v. Mid-Continent Cas. Co., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12158 (5th Cir. June 27, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit had occasion to consider whether the Contractual...more

CSLL Does Not Bar Successor Entity’s Compensation Claims After Contractor’s Change of Business Entity During Construction

A recent decision by the California Court of Appeal imposed a sensible limit on the prohibition of compensation claims by unlicensed contractors under the Contractors’ State License Law (“CSLL”), specifically California Bus....more

Massachusetts Superior Court Holds Construction Manager At-Risk Responsible for Design Errors / Holds that Spearin Doctrine Does...

The Worcester Superior Court recently issued a potentially landmark decision clarifying the risk that construction managers assume when entering into CM-At Risk contracts. ...more

Third Circuit affirms dismissal of False Claims Act suit, citing contract ambiguity

Ambiguous contract terms are ordinarily a liability for government contractors, opening the possibility of misunderstandings, expensive disputes, and, potentially, unpaid additional work. However, contract ambiguity recently...more

Pennsylvania Mechanics' Lien Law Amended, Clarifying Open-End Construction Loan Mortgage Priority

On July 9, 2014, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed into law Act 117 of 2014, which amends the Pennsylvania Mechanics' Lien Law (MLL), 49 P.S. 1101, et seq., to provide that a construction loan secured by an open-end...more

Principal Architects on Residential Projects Liable for Construction Defects Outside Their Control; Developers and Owners May Pay...

On July 3, 2014, the California Supreme Court decided the much watched case Beacon Residential Community Assoc. v. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP. The court held that the “principal architect” “owes a duty of care to future...more

Include A Clear and Unequivocal Statement in Your CDA Claim

As most contractors are aware, the Contract Disputes Act requires that a contractor must present the Contracting Officer with a certified claim prior to proceeding with a formal claim before the Board of Contract Appeals or...more

Appellate Federal Court Overturns District Court Ruling; Federal Government Contractor Must Disclose Internal Investigation...

In our current Williams Mullen Construction Industry News, the article titled “Federal Contractors” discussed a ruling on March 6, 2014 by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordering a federal government...more

Fifth Circuit Limits the Reach of ESA "Take Liability" for State Regulatory Agencies Based on "Proximate Causation" Principles

The Fifth Circuit's decision provides important legal and factual guidance for whether an action will cause a "take" under the ESA. While the decision only affects states covered by the Fifth Circuit (Texas, Louisiana and...more

When Can a CGL Policy Do a Disappearing Act?

In Evanston Insurance Company v North American Capacity Company, 2014 U.S. LEXIS 92682, Evanston Insurance Company sued in U.S. District Court to seek contribution from North American Capacity Insurance Company where both...more

California Supreme Court Holds Design Professionals Owe a Duty of Care to Future Homeowners

The California Supreme Court in Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP (July 3, 2014), held – based on common law principles – that an architect owes a “duty of care” to future homeowners...more

Architectural Copyrights Should Be Treated No Differently than Other Copyrights

Zalewski v. Cicero Builder Dev., Inc. - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in addressing the extent to which architectural works are protectable copyright material and the proper framework for assessing...more

The California Supreme Court Decides In Favor Of Homeowners In Disputes With California’s Architects

In the case of Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore Owings and Merrill et. al. (July 3, 2014, S208173) Cal.4th, a condominium homeowners association, sued the developer of the project and the project architect...more

Limitation of Liability Clauses

Many industry form documents and custom construction contracts contain provisions shifting or limiting the respective parties’ risks. One of the more potentially significant risk-limiting provisions seen primarily in...more

News for Contractors and Construction Lenders in Arizona and Nevada – The Contractors' Lien May Trump the Bank's

In addition to an arid climate and plenty of sunshine, Arizona and Nevada have something more to offer contractors: a potentially advantageous position over lenders when a project goes bad. When a project derails and...more

Disclosure By Developer Binds Condo Purchasers

Condominium purchasers often do not read the Disclosure documentation which accompanies their Agreement of Purchase and Sale. The Disclosure documentation is important because it contains information which may have an impact...more

Court of Appeal Ameliorates (a Bit) the "Harshness" of Business and Professions Code Section 7031

California courts have variously described Business and Professions Code section 7031 as “draconian,” “harsh[ ]“ and “[u]njust[ ],” but nonetheless enforceable. Section 7031 both prohibits unlicensed or improperly...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Design Professionals' Duty to Future Residential Purchasers

Design professionals, such as architects and engineers, often seek to avoid liability to third party property purchasers for their negligence by arguing that their role in preparing plans was too remote for a duty to be...more

Architects May Be Sued Directly by Homeowners Association for Design Defects

In a unanimous decision, California’s Supreme Court has ruled that the principal architects for a condominium project may be sued directly by a condominium homeowners association for design defects. The case, decided July 3,...more

Construction Contracts – Limitation on Recovery For Unlicensed Contractor

E.J. Franks Construction, Inc. v Bhupinder K. Sahota, et al. - Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District (June 5, 2014) - The purpose of the Contractors’ State License Law (Business & Professions Code sections...more

Texas Supreme Court Unanimously Blocks Contractors' Economic Loss Tort Claims Against Designers

Texas contractors have long tried to directly sue their owners’ professional design firms -- rarely with success -- when faulty plans cause economic losses such as increased costs from delays and disruptions. A few cases in...more

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