News & Analysis as of

Calling a Letter a “Reservation of Rights” Does Not Necessarily Make It So

Many insurers are in the habit of sending perfunctory “reservation of rights” letters to their insureds throughout the lifetime of a claim. The reason they do so is not a very well-guarded secret in the insurance industry. An...more

Texas Supreme Court Upholds Class Representative's Authority to Dispose of Unclaimed Settlement Proceeds

A sharply divided Texas Supreme Court recently held that unclaimed class action settlement funds may be disposed of in the manner selected by the parties and are not subject to the state’s Unclaimed Property Act. In Highland...more

Construction & Land Use Newsletter - September 2014

In This Issue: - Water, Water, Everywhere - D.C. Office of Planning Takes a Stand Against Pop- Ups with New Zoning Text Amendment - Excerpt from Water, Water, Everywhere: Despite the lingering...more

September 2014 Ruling Clears Way for New York City Service Worker Wage Hike

Some New York City service workers could have their wages and benefits doubled following an August 8, 2014, court order removing the last obstacle to implementing New York City’s own prevailing wage law. Enacted over...more

NSW Supreme Court Confirms Definition of a 'Construction Contract' Under the Building and Construction Industry Security of...

The recent NSW Supreme Court case of Seabreeze Manly v Toposu, (Seabreeze Case), is a useful reminder to the building and construction industry as to what 'arrangements' will give rise to a 'construction contract' under the...more

OFCCP Notice of Proposed Extension of Record-Keeping Requirements for Construction Contractors

On September 2, 2014, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published in the Federal Register a proposed renewal of the current record-keeping, notice, and reporting requirements imposed by Executive...more

Texas Supreme Court Reinforces that Subcontractors May be Liable to Property Owners

On August 22, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that both the trial court and the court of appeals improperly dismissed a property owner's claim for negligence against a subcontractor for improper plumbing installation in...more

In California, Looks Really Do Matter: Visual Appearance and Internal Consistency of Policy Language Supports Application of...

In Yu v. Landmark American Ins. Co., 2014 WL 4162365 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 22, 2014)*, the California Court of Appeals relied on the visual appearance and internal consistency of an endorsement entitled “EXCLUSION – YOUR PRIOR...more

Summary of California’s Prompt Payment Laws

The California legislature has enacted a comprehensive series of prompt payment statutes that are designed to ensure the prompt payment of progress payments and retention payments to downstream contractors by imposing harsh...more

Reminder: Just Being Incorporated Isn’t Enough

Being incorporated isn't enough for a construction company to keep its assets protected. As a contractor or subcontractor you need to keep up the corporate formalities to avoid the possibility of personal assets being on the...more

President, OFCCP Set New Employment Rules For Federal Contractors

While chastising Congress as “doing nothing,” the executive and administrative branches of the federal government were busy making new employment rules for federal contractors and subcontractors. This summer, President...more

Drafting Contracts to Minimize or Avoid Claims

Many claims that arise in design and construction may be mitigated or avoided as a result of prudent contract drafting at the outset of the project. This article provides practical tips for drafting contracts to minimize or...more

Arizona Supreme Court to Contractor: Sorry But Equitable Subrogation of a Bank’s Later Deed of Trust Trumps Earlier Mechanics’...

The smoke has finally cleared in a hard and long-fought battle between a bank and contractor both claiming priority to foreclose millions of dollars on a Phoenix condominium project. The project, well-known as Summit at...more

LITIGATION ALERT: Texas Supreme Court Limits the Application of the Economic Loss Rule

In Texas, the economic loss rule has been applied by courts to prevent a plaintiff from recovering purely economic losses in a negligence or strict liability action. In products liability cases, when a loss results from the...more

OFCCP’s Newest Directive: Gender Identity and Sex Discrimination

The stated purpose of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP) August 19, 2014 Directive 2014-02 is to make clear that discrimination “based on sex” includes discrimination on the bases of gender identity...more

"Construction Alert" Texas Supreme Court Confirms Owners May Bring Negligence Claim Directly Against Subcontractors

Several cases have held that a homeowner cannot sue a subcontractor for defective work because the homeowner’s contract is with the general contractor and not the subcontractor. Those cases left it to the general contractor...more

Texas Supreme Court Opinions and Orders (8/14 - Part 2)

In its weekly orders on Friday, August 22, 2014, the Supreme Court was busy. The Court issued 7 opinions, granted 4 petitions for review, and set 4 mandamus petitions for argument. Scott Stolley summarized 3 of the opinions,...more

The Construction Advantage – Issue 8

In our eighth issue of The Construction Advantage, we provide you with three new cases, with two of them coming from the Maine courts. We hope that this newsletter has been helpful and informative to you so far in 2014....more

Back to School OMA/FOIA Update: Public Access Counselor (PAC) Decisions this Summer

The summer is nearly behind us, and it has been a busy summer for the Public Access Counselor (PAC) office of the Illinois Attorney General, which issued five binding decisions since May on Open Meetings Act (OMA) and Freedom...more

Being a Contractor Just Got a Whole Lot Scarier

If you’re fortunate enough to live and work in California you have a lot to be thankful for. Temperate weather, beautiful beaches, rugged mountains and an array of attractions whether you’re an urbanite, outdoorsman or thrill...more

New retainage law goes into effect November 6

Massachusetts enacted a new retainage law that will require owners, prime contractors and subcontractors to pay retainage according to the law’s terms on a construction contract if... ...more

California Public Works Contractors Must Register With State by March 2015

The California Legislature imposed a new registration requirement for contractors and subcontractors involved in public works projects. Senate Bill 854, passed in June, created a registration program, which went into effect...more

Second Commandment of Government Contractors: Thou shalt study thy adversary

The movie “Patton” contains many memorable scenes, but one that will always stay etched in my memory is where the great German field marshal Erwin Rommel, the Desert Fox, begins his retreat after being beaten by Patton at El...more

DOL Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Requiring Equal Pay Report

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to amend the regulations implementing Executive Order 11246, which addresses affirmative action requirements for federal contractors and...more

Talk is Cheap – Promises to Pay Are a Poor Substitute for Adherence to Contractual Notice Provisions

A recent Wyoming case – JEM Contracting, Inc. v. Morrison – Maierle, Inc. – serves as a reminder to contractors and subcontractors of the importance of following the contractual requirements for notice when differing site...more

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