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Construction Law Signal

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

Category Archives: Contract

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New York Case Reminds Us That Some Courts Take Notice Provisions Very Seriously

Posted in Construction, Contract, New York
A New York appellate court issued a decision in 2016 that serves as an important reminder to all tiers of the construction industry: courts take the notice provisions in your construction contracts very seriously. In the Schindler Elevator Corp. v. Tully Const. Co., Inc. case, the Appellate Division dismissed a subcontractor’s claim in its entirety… Continue Reading

The Early Contractor Gets the Worm: The Active Process of Preserving Construction Claims

Posted in Construction, Contract
In the world of construction, the old legal saying “equity aids the vigilant, not those who slumber on their rights” rings true. A weary contractor risks more than an OSHA violation – when a contractor fails to protect its legal rights, it can wake up near the end of the project only to find that… 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

Ignorance is not Bliss: Construction Contract Provisions You Need to Know

Posted in Cohen Seglias News & Events, Contract, District of Columbia, Liens
On February 11, join Roy Cohen, Ed Seglias, and Jackson Nichols at the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association (SMACNA) Mid-Atlantic Chapter in Greenbelt, MD for their presentation, “Ignorance is not Bliss: Construction Contract Provisions You Need to Know.” They will discuss provisions that allocate risk for different site conditions, and examine contract provisions addressing payment, indemnity, change… Continue Reading

Ignorance is not Bliss: Construction Contract Provisions You Need to Know

Posted in Construction, Contract
On January 21, 2016, Please join us for Ed Seglias and Jason Copley‘s seminar, “Ignorance is not Bliss: Construction Contract Provisions You Need to Know,” for the General Building Contractors Association (GBCA) in Philadelphia, PA. This seminar will focus on key provisions in the standardized contract forms that often affect the risks and outcomes on a typical commercial… Continue Reading

To Be or Not to Be in Arbitration? That is the Question

Posted in Construction, Contract
Arbitration has become a very common and effective way to resolve construction disputes in lieu of traditional litigation, and it is easy to understand why: The parties can select arbitrators with construction expertise who speak their language and are more likely to understand complex construction issues than a general court of law. Arbitrations are characteristically… Continue Reading

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

Posted in Bonds, 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

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

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

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

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

Will Pennsylvania Get It's Own Version of the False Claims Act?

Posted in Contract, Edward DeLisle, Pennsylvania
Law360, an on-line publication, has reported that two Pennsylvania  Democrats, Rep. Brendon Newman (D – Washington) and  Rep. Anthony DeLuca (D – Allegheny), are preparing to introduce legislation that may bring the False Claims Act (FCA) to the Commonwealth.  Twenty-nine  (29) states currently have their own version of the FCA, which has been used with much… Continue Reading

Contractual Notice Provisions: Read Them, Understand Them, and Follow Them

Posted in Contract, Daniel Fierstein
One of the most commonly overlooked yet critically impactful provisions of a construction contract is a notice provision.  In their most typical form, a contractual notice provision will require contractors to provide written notice to their customers to advise them of critical project issues (e.g., delays and claims for extra work) that may require additional… Continue Reading

Potential for Design-Build Bidding At the New Jersey Turnpike Authority - What You Need to Know

Posted in Contract, Daniel Fierstein, Design and Technology, George Pallas, Jennifer Budd, New Jersey
By: Jennifer R. Budd and George E. Pallas A bill allowing the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (“NJTA”) to enter into design-build contracts has been introduced in the New Jersey Assembly (A1561) and the Senate (S1211). The NJTA is the entity charged with maintaining and implementing capital improvements on the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State… Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Court Finds That Use of a Subcontractor's Bid Does Not Create a Contract

Posted in Contract, Pennsylvania, Robert Obrien, Robert Ruggieri
By: Robert J. O’Brien and Robert G. Ruggieri In a matter of first impression in Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth Court in Ribarchak v. Municipal Authority of the City of Monongahela recently addressed the issue of whether the use of a subcontractor’s bid as part of a general contractor’s bid proposal creates a contract between the subcontractor… Continue Reading

Primer Piece - "No Damage for Delay" Clauses

Posted in Contract, Jennifer Horn, Maryland, New Jersey
By: Jennifer M. Horn As part of an ongoing series, Construction Law Signal will examine basic construction contract clauses and offer tips for navigating the nuanced arena that is the negotiated construction contract. “No Damage for Delay” Clauses On Public Projects: In the Mid-Atlantic Region, Geography Matters A “No Damage for Delay” provision is a… Continue Reading

Breaking Bad: Top Signs That The Subcontractor Is In Trouble

Posted in Contract, Jennifer Horn, Project Management
It goes without saying that subcontractor management is a tricky business for those who select and contract with subcontractors in these interesting economic times. The earlier a general contractor can recognize the warning signs of a subcontractor’s financial troubles, the better. Early diagnosis of a subcontractor’s potential financial troubles can give a general contractor a… Continue Reading

Unlicensed Subcontractor's Claim Against General Contractor Valid

Posted in Contract, Maryland
By: Jennifer M. Horn For over ninety years, Maryland’s Court of Appeals has refused to honor the claims of unlicensed entities, including those of subcontractors and contractors who failed to adhere to the applicable regulatory licensing requirements. In late October, however, Maryland’s high court upheld the reversal of this precedent and allowed an unlicensed subcontractor… Continue Reading

The Third Circuit Weighs In On Pay-If-Paid/Pay-When-Paid Clauses

Posted in Contract
By: Jennifer M. Horn In a precedential opinion that overturned a Pennsylvania District Court ruling, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (the Third Circuit) interpreted several important provisions of a construction contract. This blog post addresses the Third Circuit’s discussion of the payment provisions commonly referred to as “pay-if-paid/pay-when-paid.” Future posts will… Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act: Contractor Awarded Attorneys' Fees Incurred During Collection Proceeding

Posted in Contract, Pennsylvania
Owners and contractors should be aware of a significant October, 2009 Pennsylvania Superior Court decision, Zimmerman v. Harrisburg Fudd I, L.P., which clarifies the standard for the award of post-judgment interest and attorneys’ fees under the Pennsylvania Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act (CASPA). In this case, the Superior Court held that a contractor who has… Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Court Decision Limits Unjust Enrichment Claims for Subcontractors

Posted in Contract, Liens, Pennsylvania
It is not uncommon, especially in today’s economy, for a subcontractor to perform work on a project but not get paid. Under Pennsylvania law, there are several courses of action a subcontractor can take to recover payment. One option is for a subcontractor to seek payment directly from the general contractor under a breach of… Continue Reading

Governor Christie and New Jersey Legislature Resolve New Jersey Department of Transportation Stop Work Order

Posted in Contract, Jobs, New Jersey
Governor Chris Christie’s decision to halt work on all projects funded by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) led to a total cessation of work on nearly 100 construction and 200 design projects today. Governor Christie stopped the work in response to the Legislature’s reluctance to approve a $1.25 billion sale of bonds to… Continue Reading