Construction Contracts

News & Analysis as of

Lessons from November and December of 2016 That Will Help You Get Off to a Great Start in 2017

From the time that I was in elementary school through my years in law school, my grandfather always stressed the importance of getting off to a good start each new academic year. The importance of a good start is just as...more

New North Carolina Sales Tax Provisions for Contracts Related to Real Property

This alert is relevant for contractors who perform construction services on real property in the state of North Carolina. In South Carolina, contractors remain subject to the traditional sales or use tax at the time of all...more

The Construction Industry Scheme: Change in the air?

What does real estate investment have to do with the problem of tax evasion made possible by cash-in-hand payments in the building industry? Very little, one might suspect, but that has not prevented real estate investors...more

Construction One-Minute Read: Preparing Change Orders

Because change orders are ubiquitous in the construction industry, they are often prepared with less scrutiny and attention to detail than is needed. Each change order is intended to be a modification to the original (prime...more

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

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

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

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

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

The Importance of Construction Contracts and Items to Consider When Preparing Construction Contracts

It's important for parties entering into any significant economic transaction to have written contracts.  This is especially true for construction projects which are, by their nature, complicated.  A contract on a...more

The Wendel Report: Construction and Infrastructure Update, January 2017

2017 California Construction Law Update - While the presidential elections took the headlines in 2016, California’s state legislature was busy at work passing a number of bills impacting the construction industry. Here’s...more

Significant Government Contract Litigation: A Year in Review

Last year provided a number of important claims and cases that further developed various aspects of litigation regarding the Contract Disputes Act (CDA). The major issues raised in some of the more notable claims include...more

Picerne Construction Corp. v. Castellino Villas (Feb. 18, 2016, C071197)

The Third District Court of Appeal recently held that completion under the mechanics lien statute requires actual completion of the work of improvement, meaning completion of the entire structure or scheme of improvement as a...more

New FAR Changes Incentivize Prime Contractors Not to Be Deadbeats in Meeting Their Payment Obligations to Their Small Business...

One common complaint we hear from our subcontractor clients is “HOW CAN WE GET PAID????” Our experience has shown that whether through inadvertence, lack of subcontract management resources – or even as a predatory business...more

Illinois Court Addresses Contractual "Pay-If-Paid" Provisions - Appellate Ruling: Strict Standard is Required for Forfeiture of...

The Illinois First District Appellate Court recently addressed the longstanding principle in A.A. Conte Inc. v. Campbell-Lowrie-Lautermilch Corp., 132 Ill. App. 3d 325 (1st Dist. 1985), of barring payments by general...more

Federal Court in Hawaii Holds that an Unlicensed Subcontractor May Pursue Contract Claims Against Contractor Notwithstanding...

U.S. Pipelining LLC v. Johnson Controls, Inc., No. 16-00132 HG-RLP, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150767 (D. Haw. Oct. 31, 2016) - This action arose out of the renovation of a condominium complex on Maui (Project). Johnson...more

Unfair Contract Terms with Small Businesses: Implications for the Construction Industry

The unfair contract term prohibitions in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) were recently extended to cover standard form contracts with small businesses. The new law provides for unfair contract terms to be...more

New York Case Reminds Us That Some Courts Take Notice Provisions Very Seriously

A New York appellate court issued a decision in 2016 that serves as an important reminder to all tiers of the construction industry: courts take the notice provisions in your construction contracts very seriously. In the...more

Proposed New Jersey Law Takes Aim at Mandatory Arbitration

Assembly Bill A-3064, which the New Jersey Assembly passed on October 20, 2016, will come up for consideration in the Senate this year. If the Senate passes and the Governor signs A-3064, no company that wants to do business...more

Obama Trumped? Top Five Trump Targets Among Obama’s Executive Orders

The election of Donald Trump will significantly affect companies that contract with the federal government. Trump’s business background and campaign promises suggest many upcoming changes in the way the federal government...more

The Risks of Suspension under Construction Contracts

Two recent cases from Australia and Hong Kong highlight the serious dangers of a wrongful suspension of works under a construction contract. Wrongful suspension may ultimately lead to the termination of a contract, and...more

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