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

Posted in Jennifer Horn, Matthew Erlanger, Pennsylvania
By: Jennifer M. Horn and Matthew L. Erlanger 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. … 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
By: Jason Copley and Lori Wisniewski Azzara 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 … 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
By: Lisa M. Wampler and Lori Wisniewski Azzara 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 … 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
By: Jason Copley and Daniel E. Fierstein 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 … 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
By: Jennifer M. Horn 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 … Continue Reading

Maryland Shortlists Teams on Purple Line P3 Rail Project

Posted in Jason Tomasulo, Maryland
By: Jason C. Tomasulo 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 … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Issues Request for Qualifications for Rapid Bridge Replacement P3

Posted in Anthony Byler, Jason Tomasulo, Pennsylvania
By: Jason C. Tomasulo and Anthony Byler 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”).  … Continue Reading

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

Posted in Jennifer Horn, Matthew Tom, Pennsylvania
By: Jennifer M. Horn and Matthew G. Tom 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 … 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
By: Jennifer M. Horn and Matthew G. Tom 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 … 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
By: Jennifer Horn 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 … Continue Reading

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

Posted in Jason Tomasulo, Maryland
By: Jason C. Tomasulo  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 … Continue Reading

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

Posted in Anthony Byler, Kathleen Morley, New Jersey
By: Anthony Byler and Kathleen Morley 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) … 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
By: Lane Kelman and Jennifer Budd 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 … Continue Reading

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

Posted in Jason Tomasulo, Maryland
By: Jason Tomasulo 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 … Continue Reading

New Jersey Supreme Court Sheds Light on Liability for Latent Construction Defects

Posted in Daniel Fierstein, Jonathan Cass, New Jersey
By: Jonathan Cass and Daniel Fierstein A few weeks ago, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued a decision that could have a profound effect on members of New Jersey’s construction community.  In Town of Kearny v. Louis F. Brandt, the Court issued two major holdings: (i) under New Jersey’s Statute of Repose, an architect with … Continue Reading

Is My Surety the Same As My Insurance Carrier? Not So Much Says a Federal Court in Pennsylvania

Posted in Bond, Daniel Fierstein, Insurance, John Greenhall, Lori Azzara, Pennsylvania
By: John Greenhall, Lori Wisniewski Azzara and Dan Fierstein As members of the construction industry know, to describe the relationship between a surety and the party to whom it issues a surety bond (the principal) as confusing would be an understatement.  In fact, many believe that the surety-principal relationship is similar, if not identical, to … Continue Reading

New Legislation to Take Effect That Aims to Bolster NYC's Small Business Community

Posted in Joyce Sun, New York
By Joyce J. Sun In just a few days, a new law (Local Law No. 1 of the City of New York for the Year 2013) will take effect in New York City aimed towards increasing participation of Minority-Owned Business Enterprises (MBEs), Women-Owned Business Enterprises (WBEs) and Emerging Business Enterprises (EBEs) in City procurement.  Some … Continue Reading

Proposed Changes To PA Mechanics' Lien Law Will Require Advance Notice To Preserve Lien Claim Rights

Posted in Catherine Nguyen, Jason Copley, Liens, Pennsylvania
By: Jason A. Copley As most contractors recall, the Pennsylvania Lien Law was modified in 2007 to reinstate lien rights.  We have previously reported on proposed changes to the lien law and lien rights preservation.  Additional proposed changes to the lien law, if passed, would have widespread impact across the industry.  Pending Pennsylvania House Bill … Continue Reading