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Construction Law Signal

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

Category Archives: Liens

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It's Official: PA Construction Notices Directory Is Up and Running

Posted in Liens, Pennsylvania
By now, you have probably heard enough from us about the new changes to the Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law. If a newsletter article and several blog posts were not enough, here is one more reminder that the long-anticipated Pennsylvania State Construction Notices Directory is up and running. Already, owners have been active in registering searchable… Continue Reading

PA Construction Notices Directory Goes Live December 31, 2016

Posted in Liens, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Road SignThe new — and much anticipated — Pennsylvania State Construction Notices Directory (“Directory”) is expected to go live this December 31. With this rollout, the PA legislature will have established a statewide directory system for owners to list projects and create a new lien notice requirement for projects in excess of $1.5 million. The Directory for the… 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in Catherine Nguyen, Jason Copley, Liens, Pennsylvania
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 473 seeks to amend… Continue Reading

Can I File a Mechanics' Lien on a Building that was Never Built? Maybe...

Posted in Daniel Fierstein, Jennifer Horn, Liens
The Backdrop Since the Recession of 2008, the story of the construction project that fell through shortly after breaking ground has repeated itself far too frequently.  In too many of these situations, financing dries up, leaving owners without project funds to pay general contractors and general contractors without funds to pay early-phase subcontractors who have… Continue Reading

New Pennsylvania Case: When Does a Contractor's Mechanics' Lien Rights Begin to Expire?

Posted in Anthony Byler, Kathleen Morley, Liens, Pennsylvania
By: Tony Byler and Kathleen Morley Mechanics’ lien claims are powerful tools for contractors and suppliers who are owed payment for work or materials. To be enforceable, the contractor or supplier (“Contractor”) must file a lien claim within six months of completing its work. Recently, in Neelu Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a KB Builders v. Ashok Agarwal… Continue Reading

Protecting Supplier Lien Rights in New Jersey - Follow the Money

Posted in Anthony Byler, Liens, New Jersey
By: Tony Byler and Daniella Gordon Suppliers frequently provide supplies on lines of credit to contractor customers who are involved in multiple construction projects.  In an ideal world, both the customer and the supplier would maintain accounting records keeping each construction project and the payments attributable to those construction projects separate and accurate.  Out of… Continue Reading

Getting One's Priorities Straight: Bank vs. Contractor - PA Case Could Have A Significant Impact

Posted in Daniel Fierstein, Jennifer Horn, Liens, New Construction, Pennsylvania
By: Daniel E. Fierstein and Jennifer M. Horn Banks do not typically loan money if they can not be assured “priority” status over any other encumbrances that may arise. “Priority” in this context refers to the order in which various encumbrances, such as mortgages or mechanic’s liens, are paid off from the sale proceeds. As… Continue Reading

Definition of "subcontractor" in Pennsylvania Mechanics' Lien Law Given Liberal Interpretation by Pennsylvania Superior Court

Posted in Jason Copley, Liens, Lori Azzara, Pennsylvania
By: Jason A. Copley and Lori Wisniewski Azzara  On January 6, 2012, the Pennsylvania Superior Court, in a 7-2 decision, significantly expanded the Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law’s definition of a “subcontractor” in Bricklayers of Western Pennsylvania Combined Funds, Inc. v. Scott’s Development Co., 2012 Pa. Super 4. In this case, the trustees of employee benefit funds… Continue Reading

Update on PA House Bill 1602: Proposed Legislative Changes to Pennsylvania's Mechanic's Lien Law

Posted in Liens, Pennsylvania
Last week, Pennsylvania’s House Labor and Industry Committee considered PA House Bill 1602  (HB 1602). Construction industry experts, including Cohen Seglias’ own Jason A. Copley, critiqued the bill in testimony presented at a televised public hearing. If approved, HB 1602 would require additional notice provisions and reduce a claimant’s time to file a lien from… Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Superior Court Permits Mechanic's Lien Claim For Excavation Work Despite Cancellation of Project

Posted in Liens, Pennsylvania
On June 7, 2011, the Pennsylvania Superior Court, in what appears to be a departure from past rulings and conventional interpretations of Pennsylvania’s Mechanic’s Lien Law (Lien Law), issued a ruling that permits an excavating contractor to pursue a mechanic’s lien claim for work it performed on a project even though the two planned structures… Continue Reading

New Jersey Construction Lien Law Changes: Protect Your Right to Get Paid

Posted in Liens, New Jersey
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently enacted legislation revising the New Jersey Construction Lien Law, which was last amended in 1994. The amendments are effective immediately, and include changes to critical timing, definitional, and enforcement requirements. Please note that the changes affect only commercial and private projects and have no bearing on the Municipal Mechanics… Continue Reading

Subcontractors in Pennsylvania Must Be Careful When Filing a Lien for Work Performed On Multiple Plots of Land

Posted in Liens, Pennsylvania, Real Estate
Smart contractors now more than ever must be vigilant about preserving their rights to mechanics’ liens. Lien rights provide another avenue of protection if and when payment is not made for work performed. Contractors should beware however, when performing work or supplying materials on Pennsylvania projects that cover multiple plots of land. Recently, a contractor… Continue Reading

Perfecting Mechanics' Liens in Pennsylvania

Posted in Liens, Pennsylvania
Contractors and subcontractors must be particularly vigilant in protecting their lien rights in these uncertain economic times. Despite an investment of time and labor into a project, contractors and subcontractors may be faced with a defaulting owner, or even worse, an owner who files for bankruptcy before paying for the construction work. To fully protect… Continue Reading

Perfection of a Mechanics' Lien on New Jersey Residential Projects

Posted in Liens, New Jersey
Although nobody is immune from the effects of the downturn in the economy, contractors and subcontractors are especially vulnerable in these uncertain times. Even after investing time and labor, contractors and subcontractors face the possibility of not getting paid. To fully protect itself from a defaulting owner, a contractor or subcontractor must file a mechanics’… 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

Establishment of a Mechanics' Lien in Maryland

Posted in Liens, Maryland
When payment for good work performed on a construction project is delayed, contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers alike must act quickly to preserve their mechanics’ lien rights in Maryland.  A mechanics’ lien is a way for contractors,subcontractors or suppliers whose work improved the value of a property to receive payment. The lien, when established, attaches to the property… Continue Reading