Construction Civil Remedies

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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

North Dakota Supreme Court Establishes Defense to “No Damage for Delay” Clause

In June 2014, the North Dakota Supreme Court issued its decision in C&C Plumbing & Heating, LLP v. Williams County et al, No. 20130297. The Court articulated a new defense to the application of a “no damage for delay” clause....more

The Construction Advantage – Issue 7

Reed Construction Data – Economy Improving Slowly but Surely - Reed Construction Data reports that the economy continues to improve but challenges remain. Based upon recent construction data from Reed Construction, the...more

California Court of Appeal Allows Taxpayer Lawsuit Against Contractors on Public Works Projects

Public works contractors: Beware of accusations of corruption. In Gilbane Building Company v. Superior Court, 223 Cal.App.4th 1527 (2014), an appellate court cleared the way for taxpayers to sue contractors for engaging in...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

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

The Alabama Supreme Court Changes Its Mind on Coverage Under CGL Policy

Last September the Alabama Supreme Court issued an opinion addressing the applicability of the “own work” exclusion to claims against a contractor for defective construction. However, on March 28, 2014, the Alabama Supreme...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

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

The Construction Advantage – Issue 6

In our sixth issue of The Construction Advantage, we provide you with an all New England edition, focusing on the increased employment in the construction sector in Maine, a large court award related to the Big Dig, and the...more

Construction Lenders Beware: Unbonded Stop-Payment Notices May Be Worth More Than The Paper They Are Written On

A common perception in the construction industry is that the most valuable part of an unbonded stop payment notice is the paper it is written on, at least when it is served on a construction lender. While an unbonded stop...more

Legal Alert: Supreme Court of Texas Finds Contractors Cannot Recover Delay Damages for Negligent Misrepresentation Against an...

On June 20, Texas joined a number of states that apply the economic loss rule to damages claims arising from negligent misrepresentation between contractors and the owner’s architect. In LAN/STV v. Martin K. Eby Construction...more

Fourth Circuit Reestablishes Subcontractors’ Right to Perfect Liens After Bankruptcy Filing

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled in the case of In re Construction Supervision Services that the property interest underlying a subcontractor’s lien on funds arises from the date it first furnishes labor or...more

No Lawsuit for You! When Subcontractors Cannot Sue the General Contractor

Can a subcontractor sue a general contractor over a work site accident? A recent decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court loudly and clearly said, "NO." Why not? The court ruled in Patton v. Worthington Associations, Inc....more

U.S. Supreme Court Case Could Alter Retiree Health Benefit Landscape

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review a 2013 Sixth Circuit decision that could alter the way collective bargaining agreement provisions covering retiree health benefits are interpreted. In Taketts v. M&G Polymers, the...more

N.C. Supreme Court Poised to Decide Value of Long-Term Express Warranties on Construction Projects

Is a twenty-year product or construction warranty really good for twenty years? The North Carolina Supreme Court is poised to hear arguments in the case of Christie v. Hartley Construction, Inc. and the outcome will be...more

License? We Don’t Need No Stinking License!

I know. You’ve heard it from me, or your construction attorney, ad naseum. When in doubt get a license. We’ve paraded out the list of terribles: If you don’t get paid, and you were required to...more

Are No-Damage-for-Delay Provisions Worth the Paper they are Written On?

No-damage-for-delay provisions are routinely inserted into construction contracts to protect the upstream party in the event of a delay during the course of a project. However, many states have passed statutes declaring that...more

Duped Subcontractor Can’t Recover From Landowner Payments Owed by General Contractor Under CERCLA

On March 18, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit resolved a dispute of apparent first impression regarding the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The...more

Certain Residential Developers are Unprotected by the Anti-Deficiency Statute after Foreclosure of a Deed of Trust on Vacant...

Nearly three years ago, in M&I Marshall & Isley Bank v. Mueller, the Arizona Court of Appeals held that the Arizona anti-deficiency statute (A.R.S. § 33-814) protects a borrower who started, but never completed, construction...more

Liquidated Damages – Carefully Crafted to Avoid Litigation

Necessity may be the mother of invention, but uncertainty is certainly the mother of litigation. In the context of construction contracts, the uncertainty that most often results in an expensive trial is not whether a party...more

Amendments to Arizona’s Anti-deficiency Statute Exclude Homebuilders from Anti-Deficiency Protection

Last Tuesday, April 20, 2014, Arizona’s Governor, Jan Brewer, signed HB 2018 into law. This bill closes a long-standing loophole that allowed commercial homebuilders to take advantage of Arizona’s anti-deficiency statute,...more

The Construction Advantage – Issue 4

In our fourth issue of The Construction Advantage, we depart from summaries of regional and national case law to provide you with some helpful information from George Burns, David Ray and Michael Bosse on contract drafting,...more

Developer's Subdivision Project for County Deemed Private Work of Improvement for Purposes of Subcontractor's Claim, Extending...

The California Court of Appeal recently held that where a developer hires a subcontractor to perform work in connection with a subdivision agreement with a public entity, the project may be considered a private work of...more

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