Construction Contracts

News & Analysis as of

U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania Dismisses Owner’s Claim Against Performance Bond Surety – Repeated Instances of Poor...

Milton Reg’l Sewer Auth. v. Travelers Casualty & Surety Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155419 (M.D. Pa. Nov. 3, 2014) - The United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania ruled that multiple...more

A Cautionary Tale for General Contractors

Construction lenders often go to great lengths to ensure their deeds of trust have priority over mechanic’s liens. Typically, as part of the construction loan process, general contractors are asked to sign documents...more

Not in My Kitchen – California Supreme Court Decertifies Golden State Boring Case

On November 11, 2014, the California Supreme Court rejected the recent California Court of Appeals decision Golden State Boring & Pipe Jacking, Inc. v Eastern Municipal Water District, 228 Cal.App.4th 273 (2014) which we...more

The Construction Advantage – Issue 11

Welcome to the first Thanksgiving edition of The Construction Advantage! In this issue, we bring you yet another tale of a mechanics lien case and a priority between an engineer and a lender in a failed golf course project....more

California Court Holds Mechanic’s Lien Claimants Entitled to Pre-Judgment Interest of 7 Percent, Not 10 Percent, Against...

Under California Civil Code (CC) Section 3289, a mechanic’s lien claimant may obtain pre-judgment interest against contracting property owners calculated at 10 percent per annum from the date of breach. In Palomar Grading &...more

Time Limit on Filing Certain Construction Lawsuits Extended

A recent Illinois Appellate Court decision extends the time period in which a certain type of legal claim can be made against a general contractor on a construction project. The decision, 15th Place Condominium Association v....more

Recent Changes to the Mechanics’ Law

Mechanics’ Lien - • An In Rem lien (against real property). • For the payment of all debts due by an owner to a contractor (or by a contractor to his subcontractors) for Labor or Materials furnished....more

Ninth Circuit Enforces Waiver of Subrogation Clause in Design/Build Agreement Against Post-Construction Property Insurer

Travelers Indem. Co. v. Crown Corr, Inc., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21101 (9th Cir. 2014) - This action arose out of the construction of the University of Phoenix Stadium (the “Stadium”), home of the Arizona Cardinals. ...more

Statutory Limit on Change Orders Bars Contractor Claim in Virginia

A recent Virginia case strictly construing a statutory limit on the amount of contract change orders has raised concerns among contractors doing business with Virginia state and local agencies. In Carnell Construction Corp....more

CEB’s Mechanics Liens and Related Remedies – 2014 Update

I’ve been writing for the CEB – the Continuing Education of the Bar – which publishes legal practice guides for lawyers for some time now. But I don’t think I’ve been quite as excited to write for the CEB than writing...more

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Subcontractor Should Have Proceeded Against Project Bond

Last month, a divided Supreme Court held that a subcontractor on a public works program should have timely proceeded against the project bond, and had no remedy against the Village after the general contractor went bankrupt...more

Expo 2020 - part 4: ignorance isn’t bliss – Taking care to ensure that the contractual arrangements are properly documented

With the upcoming finalisation and the approval process of the Master Planning for Dubai Expo 2020, the early site activities are set to commence in the initial part of 2015 to ensure that the event is well on track for the...more

Liquidated Damages in Your Contract? Not So Fast

Parties often include terms in a contract providing for predetermined damages, or liquidated damages, in the event of a breach by one of the parties. In construction contracts, liquidated damages provisions typically apply to...more

Site Selection in a Build-to-Suit Project: Should the Land and Developer Be Selected Separately or Together?

Site selection is a critical issue in build-to-suit (BTS) projects. There may be nothing more important to the success of a build-to-suit project than its location. Factors such as the strength of local labor markets, the...more

Hawaii Finds Unilateral Arbitrator-Selection Provision Fundamentally Unfair

The Supreme Court of Hawai’i concluded last week that it is fundamentally unfair to allow one party to an arbitration agreement to unilaterally select the arbitral forum. Nishimura v. Gentry Homes, Ltd., __ P.3d__, 2014 WL...more

New York Court Revisits Architect’s Duty Under Contract and Tort Principles

Issues of privity and whether claims sound in breach of contract or negligence are common in construction defect cases involving architects and New York is no exception. Indeed, New York courts have long wrestled with...more

10 Answers to Those Nagging Mechanics Lien Questions Keeping You Up at Night. Kind of

Construction lawyers may not ponder the great questions in life. We leave that to the estate planning attorneys. But ponder we do. And the next case, as I’ll explain below, “kind of” answers 10 important...more

Pennsylvania Amends Mechanics’ Lien Law To Create Online State Construction Notices Directory

The Pennsylvania Legislature recently passed, and Governor Tom Corbett signed into law, Act 142 amending the Mechanics’ Lien Law of 1963 to create the State Construction Notices Directory. The Directory, which is slated to...more

The Texas Department of Transportation Shortlists Three Development Teams for the Grand Parkway Segments H, I-1 and I-2 Project

On July 31, 2014, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) soliciting qualifications from teams interested in entering into a design-build contract and a comprehensive...more

Construction Case Law Update - October 2014 #3

Insurance, Sinkhole litigation -- Neither “Concealment or Fraud” nor “Duties After Loss” provision in homeowner’s insurance policy required insured to provide insurer with expert’s sinkhole damage analysis solicited by...more

Six Teams Submit SOQs for Reissued UC Merced 2020 Project RFQ

The Regents of the University of California (the “Regents”), on behalf of the University of California, Merced (“UC Merced”), announced on October 30, 2014 that it received Statements of Qualifications (SOQs) from six teams...more

DOL Issues Final Rule on Enforcement of Contractors' Minimum Wage Executive Order

On October 1, 2014, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued its "Final Rule" on enforcement of Executive Order No.13658: Minimum Wage for Contractors, which was signed by President Obama on February 12, 2014.The Executive Order...more

The Construction Advantage – Issue 10

Wyoming Supreme Court Concludes Contractor to Pay For Damages In Excess of Original Project Cost - An opinion released in a mid-August from the Wyoming Supreme Court concluded that repair damages were appropriate in a...more

Lakewood Passes Construction Defect Action Reform

On October 13, 2014, Lakewood’s City Council passed Ordinance O-2014-21, which reforms the process for handling construction defect claims on condominium projects in the City of Lakewood. The ordinance has three primary...more

City of Lakewood Adopts Ordinance to Encourage Condominium Construction and Reduce Construction Defect Litigation

On Monday, October 13, 2014, the City of Lakewood became the first Colorado municipality to adopt legislation intended to encourage construction of “for sale” multifamily projects by mitigating the risks to developers and...more

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