Construction Updates

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

Serving contractual notices: wrong method, right result

Contracts usually stipulate for specific requirements that need to be carefully followed in serving contractual notices, failing which serious issues may arise. Two recent cases highlight the courts' approach to notice...more

JAMS Global Construction Solutions Newsletter, Spring 2017

Reallocation Actions and Settlement Agreements: What Did We Settle? - The purpose of a settlement and release agreement is to fully and finally dispose of a disputed matter. However, more and more often, a dispute cannot...more

Building a Favorable Project Record During Construction Disputes

The value and importance of the written record in a dispute arising from a major construction project cannot be overstated. Even when project personnel are available to provide first-hand accounts—which often is challenging...more

Fraud and Performance Securities

Performance securities are an everyday feature of construction and engineering projects. It is increasingly common to see calls on performance securities challenged on the basis of "fraud". Two recent cases from the English...more

California Court Of Appeals Holds Builder Must Respond To Notice of Claim Under The Right to Repair Act Within Statutory Period...

In William Blanchette v. The Superior Court of Imperial County [D070545, 2/20/17], the California Court of Appeals strictly construed the statutory requirement that a builder respond to a notice of claim of defects under the...more

They threatened to sue! What do I do? (Law note on construction disputes)

I just spent some time answering emails from folks worried because they’ve been threatened with a lawsuit over a construction project gone bad. They want to know: Can they do that? What can they get? But what...more

Construction Defect – Application of the Right to Repair Statute to Material Suppliers

The Right to Repair Statute in California requires a homeowner show a breach of contract or negligence to succeed. Acqua Vista Homeowners Association v. MWI, Inc. - California Court of Appeals, Fourth Appellate...more

Inclusionary Housing Recommendations a Mixed Bag for Developers

The City is one step closer to sorting out inclusionary housing requirements and local implementation of the State Density Bonus law now that the City Controller has released its final recommendations to the Board of...more

Texas Court of Appeals Holds That Owner’s Change to Contractor’s Means and Methods Resulted in a “Breach,” Instead of a “Change”...

Port of Houston Auth. of Harris Cnty. v. Zachry Constr. Corp., 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 13306 (Tex. App. Houston 14th Dist. Dec. 15, 2016) - This contract dispute dates back to 2004, when the Port of Houston Authority...more

Fourth Circuit Decision Opens the Door to Joint Employer Liability for Contractors - Could Your Company Be At Risk?

On January 25, 2017, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals[1] dealt a significant blow to the traditional contractor-subcontractor relationship. In finding that a contractor and subcontractor could be considered “joint...more

FEMA Requires Compliance with National Standard Building Codes for Restoration of Facilities Funded Through Public Assistance...

Several recent disasters will test the practical implications of a policy update released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) late last year. In issuing Recovery Policy FP-104-009-4, FEMA envisions that...more

Bills Proposed in Maryland General Assembly to Limit Restrictions Imposed By Condominium Developers on the Ability of the Council...

Proposed legislation now pending in the Maryland General Assembly would prevent condominium developers from limiting the ability of the council of unit owners and individual unit owners to bring construction defect claims for...more

When Construction Contracts Go Sideways in Bankruptcy

The contractor on a project files a bankruptcy case. How should the property owner and subcontractors proceed? When a party to a contract files bankruptcy, the other party’s actions are constrained by the bankruptcy code....more

Status quo Returns: the High Court Weighs in on Reference Dates and the NSW Court of Appeal Clears up the Grounds for Challenge

The decisions of the High Court in Southern Han Breakfast Point Pty Ltd (In Liq) v Lewence Construction Pty Ltd [2016] HCA 52 and the New South Wales Court of Appeal in Shade Systems Pty Ltd v Probuild Constructions (Aust)...more

Public Private Partnerships: Securing Payment for Labor and Materials

What happens to contractors and subcontractors who are without lien rights when a private developer is building on public land with private money? A recent court decision clarified the parties’ rights and obligations for...more

Tidal lagoons - turning the tide

This article was originally published in Building.co.uk, and is reproduced with permission. Charles Hendry, an ex-energy minister, found in his recently published report that tidal lagoons can play a cost effective role in...more

It's Official: PA Construction Notices Directory Is Up and Running

By now, you have probably heard enough from us about the new changes to the Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law. If a newsletter article and several blog posts were not enough, here is one more reminder that the long-anticipated...more

Arizona Court of Appeals Confirms “Subcontractor Exception” to “Your Work” Exclusion Does Not Apply to Additional Insured General...

In Double AA Builders, Ltd. v. Preferred Contractors Insurance Company, LLC, --- P.3d ----, 2016 WL 7508079, *1 (Ariz. Ct. App. Dec. 30, 2016), the Arizona Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s grant of summary...more

Contractor not liable following tunnel collapse

A recent Scottish case absolved a contractor from liability for the collapse of a tunnel as part of a hydroelectric scheme. This was because the contractor exercised reasonable skill and care, and did not guarantee the...more

Change for employers tendering and performing building work

At a Glance - The Turnbull government is likely to secure an earlier commencement date for provisions within an important component of the new Australian Building and Construction Commission laws ('ABCC laws') — the...more

"Buy American, Hire American"—From Rhetoric to Regulation

“We will follow two simple rules: buy American and hire American.” While world leaders are pondering what these words from President Trump’s Inaugural Address mean for international trade, a different question looms for U.S....more

Virginia Supreme Court Holds That Subcontractors Did Not Waive Statute of Limitations, With The Result That The General Contractor...

Hensel Phelps Constr. Co. v. Thompson Masonry Contractor, Inc., et. al., No. 151780, 2016 Va. LEXIS 166 (Va. Nov. 3, 2016) - The dispute arose from the construction of a student health and fitness center at Virginia...more

Transportation Demand Management Program Takes Effect in SF: How Will Your Project Comply?

On February 7th, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the implementing ordinance for San Francisco’s Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Program. Pending the Mayor’s approval, the TDM Program will...more

Another Joint Employer Test Makes Its Debut

On January 25, 2017, a federal appeals court that covers Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and North and South Carolina was the latest to craft a joint employer test, holding that a Maryland general contractor was the joint...more

Fourth Circuit Says Construction General Contractor Responsible to Subcontractor's Employees for FLSA Violations

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state wage payment laws, employers are responsible for compliance with wage payment requirements. Plaintiffs cannot sue non-employers claiming overtime or minimum wage violations....more

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