Construction Law Signal

Construction Law Signal

Insights & Information on Current & Emerging Developments affecting the Construction Industry

Category Archives: By State

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Attention Philadelphia Employers: New and Important Changes to the "Ban The Box" Law

Posted in Labor and Employment, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia’s 2011 “Ban the Box” law, which restricts an employer’s ability to inquire into a job applicant’s criminal history at the initial stages of the application process, is “old news” – but the recent changes that went into effect on March 14, 2016 are anything but. Our firm will be getting into the details of… Continue Reading

Maryland Approves P3 Contract for Purple Line Light Rail Project

Posted in Maryland, Transportation
The Maryland Department of Transportation/Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT/MTA) recently announced its selection of Purple Line Transit Partners as the concessionaire for the new 16.2 mile, 21-station, light rail Purple Line that will run through Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. On April 6, 2016, the Maryland Board of Public Works, comprised of Governor Larry Hogan, Treasurer Nancy Kopp,… Continue Reading

Real Estate 101: Knowing Your Property Value and Challenging Your Tax Assessment

Posted in Business, Pennsylvania, Real Estate, Tax
After months, maybe years, of planning, raising capital, obtaining permits and waiting out construction, your gleaming new building is open and occupied. Soon, you’ll get a simple, one-page letter from your county’s Tax Assessment Office. What should you do if that letter indicates that your property is worth about a half-million dollars more than your appraisal… Continue Reading

Can a Contractor Sue a Design Professional Without a Contract? Not in Maryland

Posted in Contract, Design and Technology, Maryland
In some states, courts allow contractors to sue design professionals for negligence even in the absence of a contract. In others, like Maryland, courts apply a rule known as the Economic Loss Rule (ELR) to bar such claims. Courts apply the ELR when, without a contract in place, someone sues another for purely financial losses… Continue Reading

Beware: New Rigorous Safety Sweeps of NYC Construction Sites to Begin

Posted in Compliance, Construction, New Jersey, New York
On February 12, 2016, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler announced a new aggressive campaign to improve worker safety on construction sites. Specifically, commencing next Tuesday, February 16, rigorous safety sweeps of constructions sites ten stories or less are expected to be performed. Doubtlessly,… Continue Reading

Carpenters' Company Master Builder Dialogues: Building the Buildings of the Future

Posted in Bond, Contract, Liens, Pennsylvania, Project Management
Please join us tomorrow, 11/4, for Shawn Farrell‘s presentation “Construction Disputes: Lessons Learned” at the Carpenters’ Company of City and County of Philadelphia’s Master Builder Dialogues. Shawn Farrell has over 20 years of experience litigating construction disputes, and will share the lessons he learned to demonstrate how an effective project management team can identify and manage the risks… Continue Reading

Which Design-Build Contract is Right for You & Your Projects? - DBIA - AIA - CONSENSUS DOCS - EJCDC?

Posted in Pennsylvania
Please join us for Ed Seglias‘ presentation at the Design-Build Institute of America Tri-State Chapter Inaugural Event on October 6, 2015 in Philadelphia. Ed and Kevin Peartree of Ernstrom & Dreste will discuss and compare form contracts commonly used in Design-Build Projects including AIA, Consensus Docs and EJCDC Design-Build Forms. Their discussion will highlight the benefits… Continue Reading

West Virginia Government Contractors Must Continue to Work While Awaiting Approval of a Change Order

Posted in Construction, Contract, Lisa Wampler, Lori Azzara, West Virginia
Construction change orderIn late July, the West Virginia Purchasing Division of the Department of Administration issued an “emergency rule” that exempts construction contracts from a new law regarding change order approval. This new law, which went into effect on July 1, originally required that all change orders be approved by the Purchasing Division and the Attorney General… Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Clarifies Applicability of Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act

Posted in Pennsylvania, Prompt Payment Act
Last week, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania  issued a decision which has important consequences for all members of the construction industry involved with public works projects. In Clipper Pipe & Service, Inc. v. The Ohio Casualty Insurance Co., the Court held that the Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act (CASPA), which is a statute that addresses… Continue Reading

New Jersey Supreme Court to Consider Important Public Bidding Case – Practical Considerations for Contractors

Posted in Bidding, New Jersey
In April, the New Jersey Supreme Court agreed to review the case of Waste Management of New Jersey, Inc. v. Mercer County Improvement Authority.  The matter concerns a defect in a bid submitted under the New Jersey Public Contracts Law (“LPCL”).  This case proves, yet again, that it is critical to pay close attention not… Continue Reading

7th Annual Labor & Employment Law Seminar

Posted in Firm News, Labor and Employment, Pennsylvania
Join Cohen Seglias’ Labor & Employment Group for a seminar on cutting edge labor and employment law issues impacting your business.  Featuring speakers Marc Furman, Jonathan Landesman, Steven Williams, Christopher Carusone and Mark Leavy, the team will present on April 28th at the Union League in Philadelphia, May 5th at the Hershey Country Club and… Continue Reading

New Prevailing Wage Law in West Virginia

Posted in West Virginia
This month, West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomlin signed Senate Bill 361, which significantly adjusts the state’s calculation of prevailing wages to establish an amount more reflective of actual earnings in regions across the state.  As Governor Tomlin states, the new law will “address the concerns of hardworking West Virginians while establishing a common sense… Continue Reading

2014 A Busy Year for Pennsylvania Mechanics' Lien Law: More New Changes Take Effect

Posted in Liens, Pennsylvania
When it comes to the Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law (Lien Statute), the Pennsylvania legislature was quite active in 2014.  In July, Governor Corbett signed into law certain changes to the Lien Statute affecting residential lien rights and lien priority.  We previously covered these changes. On October 14, 2014, Governor Corbett signed into law additional changes… Continue Reading

What We Can Learn from PennDOT's Award of the First Rapid Bridge Replacement P3 Project

Posted in Infrastructure, Pennsylvania
Background In the first significant public private partnership (“P3”) infrastructure project in Pennsylvania, PennDOT recently selected Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners (“Plenary Walsh”) for award of the Rapid Bridge Replacement program. Under the P3 agreement, Plenary Walsh is required to demolish 558 bridges in various states of disrepair throughout Pennsylvania and to construct new bridges in… Continue Reading

Crisis Management: Are You Ready for the BIG Surprise?

Posted in Business, Consumer Protection, Pennsylvania
Having designated legal counsel is critical to any comprehensive crisis management strategy. Whether you are in pre-crisis, crisis or post-crisis—having an attorney involved in your decision-making process can be the difference between surviving or even thriving in a crisis and having a crisis disrupt your business or derail your career permanently. How can your attorney… Continue Reading

New Changes to Pennsylvania Mechanics' Lien Law Take Effect

Posted in Consumer Protection, Liens, Pennsylvania
On July 9, 2014, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed a bill (S.B. 145) into law that amends the Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law of 1963 (the “Lien Law”). The new law took effect on September 8, 2014 and affects subcontractor lien rights on residential construction projects as well as the order of lien priority between mechanics’… Continue Reading

Shafer Electric & Construction v. Mantia: PA Supreme Court holds that noncompliance with the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act does not entitle homeowners to free work

Posted in Consumer Protection, Contract, Home Improvement, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania’s Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act (“HICPA”), which went into effect in 2009, generally requires that home improvement contracts be in writing and contain thirteen specific items (including the contractor’s home improvement contractor registration number, the date of the transaction and the name, address and telephone number of the contractor).  Absent inclusion of all items,… Continue Reading

Update on Discoverability of Attorney-Expert Communications

Posted in Jennifer Horn, Matthew Erlanger, Pennsylvania
On April 29, 2014 an evenly divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Barrick v. Holy Spirit Hospital upheld a lower court ruling holding that communications between a party’s attorney and a party’s expert witness are exempt from disclosure during discovery.  This case was previously discussed in “Pennsylvania Supreme Court Evenly Divided on Discoverability of Attorney-Expert Communications“.… Continue Reading

Amendments to Ohio P3 Legislation Add Bonding Requirements with a Twist

Posted in Bond, Lisa Wampler, Lori Azzara, Ohio
It is no secret within the construction industry that public-private partnership (P3) project delivery has recently become all the rage.  The demand for infrastructure repairs and improvements is high, and the public dollars needed to fund them are scarce.  P3 projects incorporating public and private funding have, therefore, become a creative delivery alternative that states… Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Evenly Divided on Discoverability of Attorney-Expert Communications

Posted in Jennifer Horn, Matthew Erlanger, Pennsylvania
On April 29, 2014, an evenly divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an order affirming the Pennsylvania Superior Court’s decision in Barrick v. Holy Spirit Hospital. The ruling means that communications between a party’s counsel and a party’s expert witness remain exempt from disclosure during discovery. Barrick v. Holy Spirit Hospital In this case, arising out… Continue Reading

PA Supreme Court Decides Bricklayers Case: Unions No Longer Have Mechanics' Lien Rights in Pennsylvania

Posted in Jason Copley, Liens, Lori Azzara, Pennsylvania
As we first reported back in January of 2012, the Pennsylvania Superior Court issued a decision in Bricklayers of Western Pennsylvania Combined Funds v. Scott’s Development Co. that significantly changed the meaning of the Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law. In its decision, the Superior Court expanded the Lien Law’s definition of “subcontractor” to include union members,… Continue Reading

Contractors Beware: Doing Change Order Work for School Districts Without Proper Approval May Waive Future Claim for Payment

Posted in Contract, Lisa Wampler, Lori Azzara, Pennsylvania
While by no means a recent law, Section 508 of the Pennsylvania Public School Code, 24 P.S. § 5-508, is becoming one that school districts are repeatedly relying upon to avoid paying contractors for work performed outside the original scope of their contracts. Specifically, Section 508 requires a majority vote of all members of a… Continue Reading

Labor & Employment Law Seminar

Posted in Pennsylvania
Join Cohen Seglias’ Labor & Employment Group, including speakers Marc Furman, Jonathan Landesman, Shawn R. Farrell, and Steven M. Williams for a seminar on cutting edge labor and employment law issues impacting your business, April 30th at the Union League in Philadelphia and May 6th at the Hershey Country Club. Topics include: • A Year… Continue Reading

Supreme Court's Pass on Berks Products Impacts PA Contractors

Posted in Daniel Fierstein, Jason Copley, Pennsylvania
Counterintuitive as it may seem, courts can exert significant influence by deciding not to consider a case. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania did just that on April 1, 2014 when it decided not to consider an appeal in the Berks Products Corp. v. Arch Insurance Co. case (Berks). The underlying case involved a material supplier’s payment bond… Continue Reading