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Construction Law Signal

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

Category Archives: By State

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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

Want to Appeal a Bid Protest Decision Involving A Maryland State Contract? If New Legislation Becomes Law, You May Have to Pay to Play . . .

Posted in Bond, Jennifer Horn, Maryland
New Proposed Legislation Would Require Bond: If House Bill 1488 becomes law in Maryland, bid protesters of state contracts appealing a decision to the Maryland Board of Contract Appeals would be required to simultaneously submit a “protest appeal bond or other form of acceptable security” along with their bid protest appeal. For mid-sized and large businesses, … Continue Reading

Maryland Shortlists Teams on Purple Line P3 Rail Project

Posted in Jason Tomasulo, Maryland
The Maryland Department of Transportation/Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT/MTA) recently announced that four of the six teams that submitted qualification statements will be permitted to submit proposals to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain the Purple Line light rail public private partnership (P3) project that will run from Bethesda to New Carollton in Montgomery and Prince … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Issues Request for Qualifications for Rapid Bridge Replacement P3

Posted in Anthony Byler, Jason Tomasulo, Pennsylvania
In the wake of the significant transportation funding legislation passed at the end of November 2013, Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation wasted no time issuing a request for qualifications (“RFQ“), seeking statements of qualifications from potential concessionaires to replace hundreds of structurally deficient bridges through a public private partnership (“P3″).  PennDOT has also issued four addenda to … Continue Reading

Home Inspector Liability: Home Owners Should Inspect Their Inspectors and Their Contracts

Posted in Jennifer Horn, Matthew Tom, Pennsylvania
Owning a home can be an immensely rewarding experience, the keystone of the American Dream. Buying a home, however, can be an immensely complicated experience fraught with risks. Before taking the plunge into homeownership, it is important for a prospective home owner to engage a qualified home inspector. When done right, a home inspection can … Continue Reading

Primer on Mechanics' Liens and Bond Claims

Posted in Jennifer Horn, Pennsylvania
Jennifer Horn of Cohen Seglias is participating in the upcoming PBI construction seminar Primer on Mechanics’ Liens and Bond Claims - Everything you need to know about Pennsylvania Mechanics Lien Law after Bricklayers The seminar will cover topics including: - What are mechanics’ lien bonds - How do mechanics’ lien bonds work - Overview of the … Continue Reading

Homeowners Affected by Stucco Defects Should Watch This Pennsylvania Supreme Court Case

Posted in Consumer Protection, Jennifer Horn, Matthew Tom, Pennsylvania
Unfortunately, dealing with the serious and often financially debilitating issues related to defective stucco is nothing new to many Pennsylvania homeowners. In addition to repairing defective work, a homeowner’s status as a first purchaser of the home, as opposed to a subsequent purchaser, impacts his or her case against the builder. Recently, the Pennsylvania Supreme … Continue Reading

How Pay if Paid Provisions are Treated in the Empire State

Posted in Joyce Sun, New York, Peter Plevritis
By: Joyce J. Sun and Peter Plevritis As a contractor or subcontractor, timely receipt of payment can be the difference between continuing to grow your company and closing its doors. Because of this, contractors and subcontractors will frequently try to shift the risk of nonpayment by the owner onto their subcontractors through the use of … Continue Reading

PA's Right to Know Law: An Overlooked Weapon On Public Construction Projects

Posted in Jennifer Horn, Pennsylvania
The phrase “knowledge is power,” like most clichés, proves true more often than not – especially on construction projects where the status and amount of payments, terms of written agreements, and the content of project documents are key. On public construction projects in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law (“RTKL”) provides an effective – … Continue Reading

ABA Forum on the Construction Industry Fall Meeting Delivers on Public-Private Partnerships

Posted in Jason Tomasulo, Maryland
Last week, the construction law section of the American Bar Association held its annual Fall Meeting. The program, held in Washington, DC, was entitled “Capital Projects: P3s, Design-Build, and Beyond.” The ABA Forum on the Construction Industry presented a well-run, compelling program that addressed many of the complex issues involving public-private partnerships (P3s). Speakers explored … Continue Reading

Recent New Jersey Supreme Court Case Drastically Affects Mediation: What You Need to Know

Posted in Anthony Byler, Kathleen Morley, New Jersey
In the construction industry, mediation has become an extremely popular vehicle for resolving disputes that develop during and after projects. It is particularly appealing because (i) it can provide an early opportunity for the parties to resolve a case in lieu of more protracted and expensive litigation and (ii) if the case does not resolve, … Continue Reading

ENR Webinar: Technology for Secure Job Sites

Posted in Pennsylvania
Join our Construction Partner, George Pallas, for the webinar “Technology for Secure Job Sites” on September 12th with Engineering News-Record. Reducing risk on the job site begins by controlling the perimeter fence and entry gate, and on big projects with large workforces just managing that can turn into a huge, daily proposition. Contractors are increasingly … Continue Reading

Ridge Flats, By Onion Flats, Sets the Mark for Sustainable Development in the Philadelphia Area

Posted in Jennifer Budd, Jobs, Lane Kelman, Pennsylvania
Two weeks ago, the Philadelphia Zoning Board approved the construction of Ridge Flats at 4300 Ridge Avenue in East Falls—a project proposed by developer and design-builder Onion Flats. The Project The five story building will provide 146 residential units and 9,300 square feet of retail space.  More importantly, Ridge Flats will be Philadelphia’s first – … Continue Reading

Maryland's First P3 Project after Recent Legislation: $2.2 billion "Purple Line" Light Rail Project

Posted in Jason Tomasulo, Maryland
As our readership knows, states are increasingly looking to public-private partnerships as a means of construction and development.  Maryland is one such state.  We previously reported that Maryland had revised its existing public private partnership (“P3″) law to encourage public-private project development in Maryland and address Maryland’s infrastructure needs. The Project Governor Martin O’Malley has … Continue Reading