Bart Reed

Bart Reed

Bart W. Reed has extensive experience and direct involvement in complex and sophisticated construction law and multistate litigation and focuses his practice on handling many different construction-related disputes, representing owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors, design professionals and sureties in diverse construction matters on both private and government projects. More specifically, his experience covers a wide range of issues impacting construction clients, including issues of contract formation, non-payment and surety claims, mechanic’s and materialman’s liens and payment bond (Miller Act and “Little Miller Act”) claims, design disputes and construction defect cases, as well as scheduling issues in the defense and prosecution of delay, impact and labor inefficiency claims.

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WSBA Construction Section Annual Seminar – June 9, 2017

On June 9, 2017, my colleague, Karl Oles, and I (both from the Seattle office of Stoel Rives) will present at the annual meeting and seminar for WSBA’s Construction Section, which this year is entitled Washington Statutes Affecting Construction.  This seminar, located at the WSBA Conference Center in Seattle, will feature in-depth discussions regarding important … Continue Reading

“Blurred Lines”: Important Caveats to Consider with Integrated Project Delivery

The shared risk/reward concept of an integrated project delivery (IPD) arrangement is an increasingly attractive collaborative approach to construction projects.  But IPD is still a relatively new concept with unique risks and challenges.  In my recent article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, I discuss some key points that should be considered before undertaking any … Continue Reading

Calling All Owners and Contractors! Pay Attention to Disclosure Statement Requirement to Protect Against or Preserve Lien Claims in Washington

Lurking in the depths of the Contractor Registration Act (Chapter 18.27 RCW) is an important statute that has the potential to eviscerate lien rights if not satisfied by contractors furnishing improvements on certain projects in Washington. RCW 18.27.114 requires that contractors working on residential projects or commercial projects of limited scope furnish a Model Disclosure … Continue Reading

Joint Washington/Oregon Construction Law Seminar – November 4, 2016

On November 4, 2016, my colleague, Andrew Gibson (from the Portland office of Stoel Rives), and I will co-chair a joint OSBA/WSBA construction law CLE, entitled Two States of Construction Law: Working in Both Washington and Oregon, located at the Heathman Lodge in Vancouver, Washington. This seminar will include a panel of knowledgeable lawyers with … Continue Reading

“Slip Sliding Away”: Recent Washington Court of Appeals Decision Further Erodes Economic Loss Rule and Expands Independent Duty Doctrine Against Design Professionals

On May 3, 2016, Division 2 of the Washington Court of Appeals issued a decision that renders seemingly moribund the economic loss rule and extends the reach of the independent duty doctrine (“IDD”) against design professionals. The case of Pointe at Westport Harbor Homeowners’ Association v. Engineers Northwest, Inc. P.S., 193 Wn. App. 695, — … Continue Reading

KIRO 7 Interviews Joe McCarthy on Pitfalls of Washington Condo Act – Developers Beware!

Joseph McCarthy, a real estate attorney in Stoel Rives’ Seattle office, was recently interviewed by television station KIRO 7 in Seattle for a segment titled “Law meant to protect Wash. homeowners instead pushing up condo prices.” The piece discusses how the consumer warranties contained in the Washington Condominium Act, found at Chapter 64.34 RCW, fostered … Continue Reading

Recent Survey Lauds Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), But Are There Risks with IPD?

According to an October 15, 2015 report published in the Engineering News-Record, covering the broadest survey performed to date on IPD, the industry is moving toward more collaborative contracting schemes, with what appears to be an overwhelmingly positive response strongly supporting risk and reward sharing multi-party agreements.  Conducted by the University of Minnesota and sponsored … Continue Reading

Court of Appeals affirms Brightwater judgment, reviews law regarding differing site conditions and surety obligations

On November 9, 2015, Division One of the Court of Appeals affirmed a 2012 King County trial court judgment that joint-venture tunneling contractor Vinci Construction Grands Projets/Parsons RCI/Frontier-Kemper (VPFK) was liable to King County for $144 million in damages and attorney fees. The case arose from the Brightwater project, a wastewater treatment plant north of … Continue Reading

Key Aspects of Joint Check Agreements

Joint checks are a useful tool in the construction industry to give owners and prime contractors peace of mind that lower-tier subcontractors or suppliers are being paid and potential lien claims are avoided.  But joint check agreements and the subsequent actions can result in unintended consequences and liability. In my recent article for the Daily … Continue Reading

New Amendment to Washington’s Contractor Registration Act

A recent legislative amendment to the Washington Contractor Registration Act (the “CRA”) underscores  the need for residential property developers to assess whether the development activities they perform on their Washington projects constitute those of a “contractor” and thus require registration with the Department of Labor and Industries. On April 22, 2015, Washington Governor Jay Inslee … Continue Reading

Contract Conflict Bears a Cautionary Tale

In the haste to get design and construction moving on real estate projects, one may lose sight of important lien priority issues when negotiating and executing contracts. In my recent article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, I discuss a notable Washington appellate case that addresses a lien priority issue in the context of multiple … Continue Reading

Beware of LEED Minimum Program Requirements

In my latest Daily Journal of Commerce Construction column, I discuss some the potential risks for project teams to consider when drafting construction agreements under the current version of the LEED building rating program (3.0).  Version 3.0 provides for Minimum Program Requirements ("MPRs") which a project must comply with to be certified under the LEED … Continue Reading

Pay Attention to Your Contract Terms and Scope – Recent Washington Supreme Court Decision Reshapes Independent Duty Doctrine

In a recent case, Donatelli v. D.R. Strong Consulting Engineers, Inc., 312 P.3d 620 (Wash. 2013), a sharply divided 5-4 opinion by the Washington Supreme Court provides further evidence that the line between Washington’s “economic loss” rule and “independent duty” doctrine remains quite blurred.  The case arose out of an agreement between property owners, the … Continue Reading

Are LEED certification challenges on the horizon?

In my latest Daily Journal of Commerce Construction column, I discuss generally the grounds for, and the potential consequences of, certification challenges on LEED-rated projects. As LEED-certified projects grow in popularity and abundance in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere, all project participants need to know the basis for challenging LEED certification and the impacts arising from … Continue Reading

Should Design Professionals in Washington File a Pre-Claim Notice to Protect Lien Rights? Yes!

Washington’s lien laws, like those of other states, set forth pre-claim notice requirements that, if not satisfied, may result in the forfeiture of lien rights. The applicable statute, RCW 60.04.031, presents an interesting array of “if-then” scenarios in which the notice requirements are imposed. Generally, unless falling under one of three exempted categories, RCW 60.04.031 … Continue Reading

Is Your Contractual Arbitration Clause “Unconscionable” and Thus Unenforceable?

The Washington Supreme Court—in Gandee v. LDL Freedom Enterprises, Inc., 176 Wn.2d 598 (2013)—recently examined the validity and enforceability of a contractual arbitration provision and found, under the circumstances, that the clause was “unconscionable” and therefore unenforceable. Although the case did not occur within a construction setting, it nevertheless presents important lessons to consider when drafting, … Continue Reading
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