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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

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

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

Men at Work: California Public Works Projects and Prevailing Wage Laws

California’s prevailing wage law, set forth in the California Labor Code, provides that each worker employed by contractors or subcontractors on a public works project must be paid not less than the general prevailing wage...more

It is Critical to Understand the Applicable Lien Law

Recently, a Louisiana Appellate Court affirmed a lower court's ruling that, to preserve its lien claim under Louisiana state law, a material supplier on a public works project must provide notice of nonpayment for each month...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

Proceed with Caution: D.C. District Court Says Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Doctrine Do Not Survive Internal Fraud...

On March 6, 2014, the District Court for the District of Columbia issued an opinion in United States ex rel. Barko v. Halliburton Company et al. that should serve as a wake-up call for all companies conducting internal...more

ConstructLaw - January 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Forum-Selection Clauses Are Presumptively Enforceable - Atl. Marine Constr. Co. v. United States Dist. Court 2013 U.S. LEXIS 8775 (U.S. 2013) - This action arose out of a forum-selection...more

On Second Thought, Wage Ordinance Does Not Expand Federal Court's Jurisdiction

Miami-Dade County's prevailing wage ordinance, which sets minimum wages on publicly funded construction projects, does not authorize plaintiffs to litigate prevailing wage claims in court under the auspices of the Fair Labor...more

U.S. Supreme Court May Strongly Enforce Forum Selection Clauses: Many Businesses Will Breathe a Sigh of Relief, While Smaller...

The U.S. Supreme Court appears poised — for the first time in 25 years — to uphold the enforceability of forum selection clauses, which permit contracting parties to prospectively determine the location/court where a lawsuit...more

Illinois Supreme Court to Decide Who Pays When the General Contractor Goes Bust

Today, as we await the start of the Court’s November term, we begin our first look previews at the most recent additions to the Court’s civil docket. First up is Lake County Grading Company, LLC v. The Village of Antioch, a...more

Contractors Beware: Raising The Stakes In Davis-Bacon Compliance

A recent decision by a Pennsylvania district court lends support for a growing trend of filing claims under the Federal False Claims Act based on allegations that contractors on federally funded construction projects...more

Ninth Circuit Overturns Precedent, Finds Miller Act’s One-Year Statute of Limitations Is a Claim-Processing Rule, Not a...

First In United States ex rel. Air Control Technologies, Inc. v. Pre Con Industries, Inc., --- F.3d ---, 2013 WL 3242673 (9th Cir., June 28, 2013), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the one-year statute of...more

You Say “Tomato,” I Say “Tomahto” – Not All Deadlines Are Created Equally – At Least Under the Miller Act

Deadlines. Being a litigator I take deadlines serious. Cases can be won or lost by failing to meet deadlines. But when is a failure to meet a deadline an absolute bar to making a claim and when might it...more

Second Circuit Reaffirms That Private Prevailing Wage Claims Are Barred By Davis-Bacon Act

Carrion v. Agfa Construction, Inc., Nos. 11-5098, 11-5334 (2d. Cir. June 13, 2013): On appeal from an order by District Judge Brian M. Cogan in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, the...more

Under Construction - March 2013

In This Issue: - Letter From the Editor - Tips for Presenting, Analyzing and Resolving Delay and Impact Claims - The Ever-Shrinking Federal Budget: Preparing for Contract Cut-Backs - Colorado Court of...more

Even After Work is Completed and Accepted by the Project Owner, Contractors Have an Ongoing Duty to Maintain Construction Site...

On November 21, 2012, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued a decision with potentially far-reaching implications. In Collard v. Vista Paving Corp., 2012 COA 208 (2012), the court concluded that contractors have a duty to warn...more

Off the Beaten Path: The Federal Circuit Departs From Precedent in Lumbermens

On August 23, 2011, the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area was surprised and shocked by an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.8, leading to the evacuation and temporary closing of multiple public and private buildings, and...more

Connecticut Supreme Court Reaffirms State's Immunity from Statutes of Limitation

In a decision followed closely by the construction industry, Connecticut's Supreme Court has issued a unanimous decision confirming a long-standing rule that statutes of limitations do not run against the State. The...more

Equitable Estoppel Against Municipalities Restricted by Illinois Supreme Court

The doctrine of equitable estoppel bars a party from denying a fact, or opposing a claim, based on that party's previous statements or conduct. As a general rule, depending on the circumstances, it can be based on either...more

Prevailing Wage Update: Charter City Public Works Projects Are Not Subject to Prevailing Wage Requirements

Charter cities are not required to comply with California’s prevailing wage law with respect to construction contracts for public buildings, according to a July 2, 2012, California Supreme Court decision. The underlying facts...more

California Supreme Court Rules that Prevailing Wage Laws Do Not Apply to Charter Cities

In a much anticipated decision, the California Supreme Court ruled on July 2, 2012, that charter cities in California may exempt themselves from state prevailing-wage requirements. In doing so, the Court affirmed the...more

Court Broadly Defines Subcontractors Who Qualify For Payment Bond Claims

Can a supplier of construction materials be considered a "subcontractor" for purposes of enforcing its claim on a public works payment bond? The answer is "yes" according to a recent decision of the California Court of...more

Choice Deprives Public Entity of Attorneys’ Fees on Stop Notice

The California Court of Appeal clarified the law on a public entity’s right to recover attorneys’ fees in connection with its withholding of funds from a general contractor because of a stop notice filed by a subcontractor. ...more

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