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The Construction Advantage – Issue 3

Reaffirming the Iron Hand of an Arbitration Agreement - Does the fact that the named arbitration company has gone out of business make an arbitration clause unenforceable? Given the legislative bias toward arbitration,...more

Reviving Construction Projects — How to Avoid Creating a Frankenstein Monster

Reviving dead or moth-balled projects presents risks and rewards. The rewards include a shorter ramp-up period. The risks include the revival of claims akin to the unintended creation of a Frankenstein monster. But those...more

Guidance For Developers: Protect Against Liability Through Planning And Regulatory Compliance

Recently, Phillips Lytle attorneys successfully appealed an award of punitive damages against a developer found liable for flooding neighboring property. Unanimously reversing the Appellate Division, the New York Court of...more

Indiana Court of Appeals Once More Asked to Interpret AIA Standard Construction Contract

This week's discussion focuses on the interpretation of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) standard construction contract by the Indiana Court of Appeals in the recent case Allen County Public Library v. Shambaugh &...more

Under Construction - September 2013: Arizona Court to Architect: You Have One Less Payment Tool than Your Contractor Counterparts

Architects occasionally get into payment disputes with project owners in much the same way as general contractors do. When that relationship sours, and litigation becomes necessary to secure payment, architects and...more

Under Construction - September 2013: Summary of Nevada Law on the Economic Loss Doctrine in the Context of Commercial Construction...

The Nevada Supreme Court has addressed the economic loss doctrine in the context of commercial construction disputes in a number of cases over the past several years. Nevada’s general rule, as detailed below, is that the...more

Under Construction - September 2013: California’s Economic Loss Doctrine – Limits on Tort Recovery

In California, the economic loss rule addresses the distinction between suits in contract and tort. A contract claim can typically be pursued to recover all damages proximately caused by breach of contract, unless expressly...more

Rogers Towers: Are Delay Damages Lienable?

The old adage “time is money” is truer perhaps in the construction industry than anywhere else. Delays can cause significant economic damages for everyone involved on a construction project....more

Nevada Supreme Court Extends Design Professional Economic Loss Rule Defense to Negligent Misrepresentation Claims on Commercial...

In 2009, the Nevada Supreme Court (“NSC”) applied the economic loss rule to bar claims of professional negligence by design professionals in commercial construction projects, ruling that “[i]n the context of engineers and...more

The Complexities of Mechanic’s Liens in West Virginia

West Virginia has seven "mechanic's and materialman’s lien" statutes to protect the interests of those performing or supplying construction-related work in the state. Although these statutes are interpreted by the courts to...more

So, You’re Having a Pennsylvania Mechanic’s Lien Type of Day?

(or, Can I Get My Hands on That Red Pickup?) Three months ago, the general contractor (GC) showed up driving a brand new, fire-engine-red, extended cab, turbo-charged 425-horsepower diesel dually that set him back...more

Lien on Me? A Synopsis of South Carolina Lien Law

What is a Mechanic’s Lien? In South Carolina, construction liens, called mechanic’s liens, are automatically created by statute to protect anyone “to whom a debt is due for labor performed or furnished or for materials...more

Connecticut Supreme Court Determines Damage Caused by Unintended Faulty Work Constitutes Property Damage Resulting from an...

Jurisdictions are split over whether defective construction can give rise to an occurrence under commercial general liability insurance policies. Some jurisdictions have held that faulty workmanship cannot constitute the...more

Georgia Lien Law Revised In Favor of Contractors

Legislation signed into law this week will have meaningful impacts on contractors asserting liens against property owners for non-payment. On Tuesday, May 7, 2013, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed into law House Bill 434,...more

The Mechanics of Mechanics Liens

One of the most effective payment remedies for direct contractors, subcontractors and material suppliers is the mechanics lien. First conceived by Thomas Jefferson to encourage construction of the then “new” capital city of...more

Be Prepared: New Commercial Lease Disclosure Requirements Under California Disability Access Laws Take Effect July 1, 2013

In the fall of 2012, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1186 (SB 1186). Among other things, SB 1186 reforms California’s disability access laws by: (1) banning pre-lawsuit letters from lawyers demanding money;...more

Arizona Court of Appeals Renders Two Decisions Affecting Awards of Attorneys’ Fees in Lawsuits to Enforce Mechanics’ Liens

This past month, the Arizona Court of Appeals issued two decisions that could have significant implications for mechanics’ lien claimants....more

Subcontractor Loses Delay Claim for Delays Occurring Before Execution of Subcontract

Both an Illinois circuit and appellate court had little sympathy for a subcontractor that suffered significant delays before executing a subcontract, which failed to allow for compensation for the prior delays. Asset Recovery...more

Consequential Damages: What are they? Should I waive them? (law note)

A client asked me about a contract he was asked to sign in which consequential damages were being waived. Consequential damages are those things that cost money which arise indirectly out of a failure of a party on a...more

Although Unlikely to be Immediately Adopted Elsewhere, A Recent Tennessee Decision Regarding an Owner’s Liquidated Damage Claim...

A Tennessee Court of Appeals recently held that liquidated damages under an AIA Contract (A201 -1997 Gen. Conditions) are neither automatic nor self-executing. RCR Building Corp. v Pinnacle Hospitality Partners, 2012 WL...more

Suppliers Must Take Affirmative Steps to Determine Source of Payments to Protect Construction Lien Claim Rights

In L&W Supply Corp. v. Joe DeSilva, et al., (Docket No. A-2960-10T2, December 19, 2012) (“L&W Supply”), a decision recently approved for publication, the Appellate Division provides guidance to material suppliers seeking to...more

New N.C. Lien Laws Take Effect Next Week. Is Your Company Ready?

The North Carolina construction world was abuzz during 2012 about new legislation bringing significant changes to North Carolina’s mechanic’s lien and payment bond laws. Governor Perdue signed SB 42 and HB 1052 into law this...more

Construction Concepts Tip #3: Liquidated Damages

A recent report from McGraw-Hill Construction’s research and analytics unit reported that the total volume of construction contracts in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area has reached $2.29 billion for the year to date, a 54...more

Nevada Supreme Court Clarifies Lender v. Mechanics' Lien Priority Disputes

On October 25, 2012, the Nevada Supreme Court, in a case of first impression, held that equitable subrogation cannot be used as a method to repair broken priority over mechanics' liens, but left the door open to the potential...more

Required "Owner Notice" Language under Iowa's New Lien Law

Under Iowa's new Mechanic's Lien Law, general contractors utilizing subcontractors and/or suppliers on residential projects (both on new construction and remodeling/repair projects) will generally be required to post a...more

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