Public Works

News & Analysis as of

No More “Aliens”: Outdated Term Shipped Back to Home Planet

Did you know that California law currently allows employers in certain circumstances to give preferential treatment to candidates who aren’t “aliens”? No, you didn’t miss the new Independence Day movie (what took so long?) or...more

CPP Sets First National Standards Limiting Power Plants' Carbon Pollution

President Obama unveiled the final Clean Power Plan (CPP) rule on Aug. 3, 2015, which sets forth a historic and ambitious regulation for cutting greenhouse-gas pollution. The CPP establishes the first-ever national standards...more

Contractor’s Repeated Material Breach Excuses Subcontractor From Further Performance

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York in U.W. Marx, Inc. v. Koko Contracting, Inc. affirmed judgment in favor of a subcontractor, holding that the general contractor’s failure to make three successive...more

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Holds Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act (“CASPA”) Inapplicable to Public Works Projects

Clipper Pipe & Service, Inc. v. The Ohio Cas. Ins. Co., 2015 Pa. LEXIS 1275 (PA June 15, 2015) - The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held that CASPA, 73 P.S. §§501-516, “does not apply to a construction project where...more

Arizona State Legislature Expands Prompt Payment to Design Professionals on Public Works Projects

Arizona law has long protected the rights of contractors, subcontractors and suppliers to prompt payment. However, all such protections have not extended to design professionals. For example, in 2013, the Arizona Court of...more

Arizona Court of Appeals Interprets Stricter Requirements for Payment Bond Claimants

Arizona has long protected the rights of subcontractors and material suppliers to seek recovery from the payment bond surety on public bonded projects. Arizona’s Little Miller Act, A.R.S. § 34-223, provides that claimants...more

Supreme Court to Decide Class Action Issues Involving Settlement Offers to Named Plaintiffs, Statistical Sampling and Class Member...

I’ve been delayed a bit in reporting on this, but the October 2015 term of the U.S. Supreme Court is shaping up to be a blockbuster one for class action law. Perhaps even bigger than the October 2010 term, which brought us...more

Transit Dis-Oriented Development?

Over the last decade-and-a-half, Massachusetts, particularly eastern Massachusetts, has begun to truly embrace the tenets of transit oriented development (TOD). After some fits and starts, our state, once viewed as somewhat...more

When It Comes to Property Acquisitions and Private Development, Timing May Be Everything

As the old adage goes, the three most important things to consider with real estate are location, location, and location. But any developer who has lived through a real estate cycle, and any public agency that is under a...more

North Carolina Gearing Up for Major Road Improvement Projects

Few things shout “economic development” louder than substantial road improvement projects. For Division 9 of the North Carolina Department of Transportation (“NCDOT”), many more developments are underway. The Winston-Salem...more

Ober|Kaler's Construction Group Helps Client Win Bid Protest in Connecticut and Secure $153,000,000 Public Works Contract

Joseph C. Kovars and Jackson B. Boyd of Ober|Kaler's Construction Group recently helped a client win a bid protest in Connecticut and secure a contract worth over $153,000,000 to improve and expand a water pollution control...more

Court Dismisses Case For No Diversity Jurisdiction 2 Days After Filing

In an unusual display of speedy discretion, federal District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell wasted no time in dismissing the complaint on a public works payment bond filed by Advance Industrial Coating, LLC in Advance Indus....more

Tips for Suspending Work for Non-Payment without Getting Fired

All work and no pay making you crazy? A temporary suspension of work may be an appropriate self-help remedy for an owner’s or contractor’s non-payment. Although termination of the contract for the material breach of...more

2015 Arizona Prime Contracting Transaction Privilege Tax Reform: Will This Third Annual Legislative Enactment (SB 1446) Bridge the...

For three years in a row, the Arizona legislature has enacted significant changes to the Arizona state and local tax on construction activity, known as the “prime contracting” transaction privilege tax (TPT). If anything,...more

General Contractor, Not Employer

JP Cullen was the general contractor on a public renovation project. A subcontractor, EMI, hired its own subcontractors, including UCI. JP Cullen gave UCI work orders, and UCI passed those orders on to its employee, Walter...more

Virginia General Assembly Addresses Fourth Circuit Decision to Uphold Statutory Cap on Recovery by Public Works Contractors for...

In Carnell Construction Corp. v. Danville Redevelopment & Housing Authority, 745 F.3d 703 (2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the trial court’s ruling that, without government approval,...more

Does the 72-Hour Rule Allow a Contractor in Maryland to Fix a Mistake in its MBE Participation Schedule After Bid Opening?

A recent Maryland Board of Public Works meeting addressed whether the state has flexibility in applying minority business enterprise (MBE) regulatory requirements in State contracts....more

The One New Year’s Resolution You’ll Want to Keep if You’re Involved in Public Works Projects

New Year’s resolutions are hard to keep. In fact, studies (which I have a sneaking suspicion may have been paid for by the tobacco, donut and vacation timeshare lobbies) have found that only 8% of New Year’s...more

Construction Matters

Rental Apartment Construction At 27 Year High. Construction of multifamily units nationally is proceeding at the strongest pace since 1987. Multifamily construction starts have now eclipsed the previous high water mark during...more

Are You Done Yet? Compensation for Impacts of Public Works in Alberta

During the recent resurfacing of Bow Trail there was a message posted on a pylon sign by an adjacent business owner that read “Bow Trail is not Rome. Please Complete” (see “Road Construction Delays Cause Headaches for...more

All California Contractors and Subcontractors Involved with Public Works Projects Now Required to Register With State by March 1,...

Urgency Legislation SB 854 Passed by California Legislature - The California Legislature has imposed a new registration requirement for contractors and subcontractors involved with public works projects. Senate Bill...more

To Be or Not to Be – Subdivision Bonds Does Not a Public Works Project, Make it Be

I’ve never been much of a Shakespeare fan. I only moderately tolerated even the MTV-inspired Romeo + Juliet set in fair Verona Beach with rapiers metaphorically replaced with guns manufactured by Dagger and Sword. But...more

Charter Cities Challenge Legislation Restricting Access to State Funding Based on Compliance with Prevailing Wage Law

Cities Sue State Calling SB 7 an Unconstitutional Restriction on Municipal Affairs - Several California charter cities challenged the constitutionality of Senate Bill 7 (SB 7) last week by filing a writ of mandate and...more

Changes to California Prevailing Wage Law: Implications for Solar Projects

Recent changes to California’s prevailing wage laws highlight the importance of complying with them. Prevailing wage laws are aimed at ensuring that a contractor’s ability to win a public works contract is not based on paying...more

Public Works and Government Services Canada Integrity Clauses

This information circular provides an overview of the integrity provisions recently implemented by Public Works and Government Services Canada (“Public Works”), as they apply to real estate transactions across Canada...more

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