Construction Law Signal

Construction Law Signal

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

Category Archives: By Subject

Subscribe to By Subject RSS Feed

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

Disparate Impact is Here to Stay: What the Supreme Court's Decision Means for the Multi-Family Industry

Posted in Real Estate
On June 25, 2015, Justice Kennedy delivered the Supreme Court’s decision in Texas v. Inclusive Communities Project.  In the case, the Court determined that the Fair Housing Act of 1968 includes disparate impact claims.  Prior to Texas v. Inclusive Communities Project, nine of the twelve federal Courts of Appeals had ruled that the Act encompassed… Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Issues New Guidance on Misclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors

Posted in Business, Construction, Labor and Employment
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance on July 15 aimed at curbing the misclassification of employees as independent contractors.  The guidance provides several examples of workers in the construction industry.  It is now clear that the DOL is bent on targeting contractors and subcontractors.  If you have mechanics, installers, estimators, or any workers… Continue Reading

OSHA'S New Rule Increases Protection to Construction Workers in Confined Spaces

Posted in Construction
Last month, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) added a new rule that provides increased protections to those working in confined spaces on construction projects.  The new rule, which goes into effect on August 3, 2015, applies to manholes, crawl spaces, tanks and other confined spaces not intended for continuous occupancy that are located… 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

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

Best Practices in Construction Webinar

Posted in Compliance, Contract, Federal, New Construction, Small Business
On December 3, Jennifer Horn and Maria Panichelli presented the second webinar in their core construction curriculum series for Women Impacting Public Policy and Give Me 5%. The presentation, entitled “Best Practices in Construction,” covered suggested best practices for before, during, and after conclusion of a construction project, in the context of both state and… Continue Reading

Webinar on Federal Acquisition Regulations and Federal Procurement for WIPP and Give Me 5%

Posted in Small Business
On November 12, Jennifer Horn and Maria Panichelli presented the first webinar in their core construction curriculum series on the Federal Acquisition Regulations and Federal Procurement for Women Impacting Public Policy and Give Me 5%. The presentation covered the bidding process for both sealed bidding and negotiated procurement. Improve your understanding of FAR and its… Continue Reading

Jennifer M. Horn and Maria L. Panichelli To Begin Core Construction Curriculum Series for WIPP and Give Me 5%

Posted in Federal, Small Business
Please join Jennifer M. Horn and Maria L. Panichelli as they begin their “Core Construction Curriculum” series for Women Impacting Public Policy’s Give Me 5% program. WIPP is a national nonpartisan public policy organization advocating on behalf of its coalition of 4.7 million businesswomen including 75 business organizations. WIPP identifies important trends and opportunities and… 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

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

Schuylkill Products: Important Lessons and Reminders about the Power of the False Claims Act

Posted in Daniel Fierstein, Federal, Jennifer Horn, Small Business
By: Jennifer M. Horn, Daniel E. Fierstein and Katherine Tohanczyn As many federal government contractors know, the False Claims Act (FCA) is a tool used by the federal government to deter fraud. Those found to have knowingly submitted false information to the government in violation of the FCA stand to suffer the imposition of fines, forfeiture… 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

Messy Solar Construction Litigation Sheds a Little Light on the Intersection of New Jersey Lien Statutes and Public Private Partnership

Posted in Daniel Fierstein, Jennifer Horn, Liens
A recent case before the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey (Morris County Improvement Authority and Somerset County Improvement Authority v. Power Partners Mastec, LLC) involving solar construction has shed light (pun intended) on the complications associated with projects that are publicly and privately owned and financed, especially with regard to municipal… Continue Reading

The Consequences To A Contractor: The Case Of A Harsh On-Line Review

Posted in Business, Consumer Protection, Jennifer Horn, Wendy Bennett
Forums like Angie’s List, Yelp, or even Yahoo Community Listserves allow homeowners and other contractor clients to recommend a contractor for a job well done. Just as often, however, disgruntled clients use these venues to vent about shoddy workmanship, defective construction, and unfinished contractor punchlist work. Although these forums seem safe and anonymous, anyone posting… 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

Construction Lunch & Learn Seminar

Posted in Jennifer Horn, New Construction
Jennifer Horn, Partner in the Construction group of Cohen Seglias is speaking on Comparative Analysis of Critical Construction and Design Provisions Between Mid-Atlantic States at Providence Engineering in Lancaster, PA, on Tuesday, January 14th. For an increasing number of construction related entities – including design professionals – survival in the current economy has meant expansion… Continue Reading

New Permitting and Licensure Requirements Take Effect in Philadelphia

Posted in Catherine Nguyen, Daniel Fierstein, Insurance
As we reflect upon the past year, few in the Delaware Valley will forget the fateful day in June when a building located at 22nd and Market Streets collapsed in the midst of demolition work performed by contractor Griffin Campbell, which claimed six lives. In an effort to improve safety and prevent such tragedies from… Continue Reading