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California Supreme Court Establishes the Standard of Review for the Unusual Circumstances Exception to CEQA Categorical Exemptions...

Breathing life into the use of CEQA categorical exemptions, on March 2, 2015, the California Supreme Court held that a reasonable possibility that a project may result in significant effects on the environment alone is not...more

Developer Catches a Break in California Supreme Court CEQA Ruling

In Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley, No. S201116 (Cal. Mar. 2, 2015) (slip op), the California Supreme Court overturned an appeals court ruling that banned developers from using an exemption under the...more

Is Toxic Flooring the New Chinese Drywall?

A few days ago, the popular television program “60 Minutes” aired a story about a national flooring retailer selling Chinese-manufactured laminate flooring that contains extremely high levels of the cancer-causing chemical...more

War (and Construction Scheduling) is Hell?

On February 26, 2015, Roy Cooper of Arcadis and I reprised our popular Workshop for the University of Hartford’s Construction Institute, “Managing Legal Exposures.” One of the slides in our presentation quotes a wise jurist...more

Arlington’s New Take on Density Exclusions

A new memorandum issued by Arlington County’s Director of the Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development, Bob Brosnan, is proposing to change which areas in a building developers can expect to exclude from...more

Drones, Googleplexes and Hyperloops

I don’t know if it’s just me, or if there has been a lot of news lately along the fringes of technology and construction... ...more

California Supreme Court’s CEQA Ruling Reaches Beyond Residential Development

On Monday March 2, the California Supreme Court handed down a decision allowing a Berkeley home builder to use an exemption from detailed environmental assessment under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) in its...more

New Development Opportunities Through Public-Private Partnerships

Homebuilders and developers may want to consider availing themselves of opportunities arising through public-private partnerships (P3s). The Obama administration has recently proposed several creative approaches to P3s. Those...more

Texas Legislature Gets in Gear

The biennial Texas Legislative Session started January 13. Two months later, they are now setting committee hearings other than finance ones. But Mondays and Fridays are still pretty much travel days. So, last Friday I...more

Give Way or Yield? The jurisdiction of your contract does matter! (Law note)

Have you ever been to England? If so, you’ve likely seen their version of our “Yield” sign– the “Give Way” sign. It is a bit jarring to those from this side of the “big pond”....more

New York Appellate Division Holds That Subcontractor’s Failure to Give Cure Notice Before Stopping Work Did Not Bar Recovery...

U.W. Marx, Inc. v. Koko Contracting, Inc., No. 518611, 2015 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 600 (N.Y. App. Div. Jan. 22, 2015) - The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York affirmed judgment in favor of a...more

CA Supreme Court Provides Key CEQA Guidance Regarding Categorical Exemptions

The California Supreme Court issued a long-awaited ruling regarding categorical exemptions under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) reversing a court of appeal decision that would have sharply curtailed the use...more

Restrictive Covenants in the Construction Industry: An Often Overlooked and Underutilized Source of Protection

Restrictive covenants come in many forms; they can be stand-alone agreements, such as a confidentiality agreement, or they can be included in various types of contracts, such as noncompete or nonsolicitation provisions in...more

Development Trend to Circumvent CEQA Through Ballot Initiative Emphasizes Need for Reform

The Los Angeles Times recently reported that proposed football stadium developers have chosen to incur the cost of collecting signatures to qualify an initiative for the ballot to obtain land use approvals rather than face...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Most Commonly Used CEQA Categorical Exemptions

The California Supreme Court has issued its long-awaited decision in Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley, No. S201116 (March 2, 2015). The Court’s decision clears up some of the ambiguity that surrounded the...more

Benford’s Law: A Seldom Used Weapon in Forensic Accounting

What is Digit Analysis and Why it Should be of Interest to Construction Attorneys? - Benford’s Law was named after Frank Benford, a General Electric physicist.  Mr. Benford was the first to discover that “leading...more

Arbitration’s Diamond in the Rough: Lessons from the Dichele Superior Court Ruling

In construction law, contracts are at the heart of our business; contracts between: owners and architects; owners and general contractors; contractors and subcontractors; and subcontractors and sub-subcontractors....more

No Stone Undisclosed: City of Vancouver and Developer Appeal New Public Disclosure Standards for Development Projects

The City of Vancouver and Brenhill Developments Ltd. have appealed the January 27, 2014 decision of the BC Supreme Court in Community Association of New Yaletown v Vancouver (City), 2015 BCSC 117 (the Brenhill/New Yaletown...more

Look Out Below

How Subs Can Cause Problems For General Contractors - The U.S. Labor Department (DOL) often sets its sights up the food chain, focusing enforcement efforts on general contractors (GCs) for the wage violations of their...more

The Impact is Being Felt

The University of Miami held its fourth annual Real Estate Impact Conference on February 18th at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami in Downtown Miami. In front of a standing room only crowd of approximately 600 people, both local...more

Construction Case Law Update - March 2015

Racial discrimination; City Contracting Ordinances; Federal Affirmative Action Compliance in Contracting – Plaintiff-contractor sued the City of Jacksonville, alleging racial discrimination against him and other...more

The Latest on Major Defense Verdicts in Arizona

What’s the latest news on Arizona’s civil defense verdicts? Here are some interesting defense verdicts from 2014: - Steak Out Restaurant & Saloon, L.L.C. et al. v. Old Lobos T&T, L.L.C. et al. Steak Out Restaurant...more

Foreign Bribery And Corruption - Australian Law

Increasingly, Australian companies are entering into cross border business relationships and in doing so are discovering that the law and the local culture can be quite different. This is especially true in the use of bribes...more

Western District of Washington: Insured That Violated Duties of Notice and Cooperation Could Not Make Out Claim for Bad Faith...

Granite State Ins. Co. v. Integrity Structures, LLC, No. C14-5085BHS, 2015 WL 136006 (W.D. Wash. Jan. 9, 2015). The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington held that an insurer did not act in bad faith...more

Affordable Housing is an Economic Development Benefit

When we think of economic development opportunities that lead to greater prosperity, we are likely to think of major employers such as factories, corporate offices, universities or health care centers. ...more

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