Eric Grasberger

Eric Grasberger

Eric Grasberger was selected by Best Lawyers® as Portland Construction Law Lawyer of the Year for 2015 . His practice focuses on development and construction law, including development risk analysis and risk shifting, contract drafting and negotiating, insurance review and analysis, construction defect claims, delay and impact claims, lien and bond claims, and public contracts, bid disputes and public improvement exemptions. He has represented numerous private and public owners and developers, as well as contractors, in all facets of development and construction law. Eric, a partner of Stoel Rives in the Construction and Design group, is Co-Chair of Stoel Rives Sustainable Real Estate Development Team and Chair of Stoel Rives Construction and Design Section.

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Oregon Women In Construction Conference

Stoel Rives is proud to have co-created and been the leading sponsor in the first annual “Oregon Women In Construction Conference” hosted by the University of Oregon last Thursday, April 27.  The event was emceed by City of Portland construction attorney Molly Washington (who led all aspects of the event including topics, speakers, locale, etc.) … Continue Reading

Self-Imposed ADA Audits: The Developer’s Best Option

Recent rulings indicate that courts across the country view project owners’ and developers’ liability for ADA claims differently than they do other compliance violations.  Owners’ attempts to raise questions of contractor negligence, breach of contract or breach of warranty are being rejected.  So what can a project owner do? In my recent article for the … Continue Reading

Architect Off the Hook for ADA Defects

Continuing a disturbing trend, another recent case finds that an architect is not liable for a design that failed to comply with the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (RA). In Chicago Housing Authority v. DeStefano & Partners, Ltd. (here), an Illinois appellate court followed several other federal and state decisions in holding … Continue Reading

Termination Clauses a Must for Owners

The recent termination of the joint venture of Skanska-Hunt from the Washington State Convention Center project (article here) is a good reminder of the importance of well-written termination clauses in your owner-contractor contracts.  The reasons for termination (or “severance,” a slightly kinder word) can be many, including failure to agree on pricing (the reason given … Continue Reading

NYC Crane Collapse Likely to Fuel Crane Objections and Easements

On Friday, February 5, one man died and three were injured when a 565-foot crane toppled in gusty winds in lower Manhattan, not far from the World Trade Center. The investigation will likely take weeks to months as experts try to reconstruct whether the engineering, erection, operation or manufacture of the crane, or some combination … Continue Reading

The Trend Towards Liability Waivers in Design and Construction

The increasing presence of liability waivers in construction and design contracts is of concern to owners, general contractors and architects alike.  In my recent article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, I address a variety of clauses that limit liability and offer tips for negotiating more reasonable conditions and limits.  Read the full article here. … Continue Reading

Construction Projects and the Clean Water Act: Revised Turbidity Standards for NPDES Permits

Authored by Daniel Lee On March 6, 2014, EPA revised its Clean Water Act regulations for construction projects that are required to obtain NPDES permits for discharges of stormwater and other wastewater. The revised regulations clarify required management practices and provide some additional flexibility for implementing them. The revisions include three elements. First, the rule provides a … Continue Reading

Multi-Family Sellers Beware: Don’t “Alienate” Your Project from Insurance Coverage for Construction Defects

The apartment business is booming right now. Unfortunately, construction defects persist as well, particularly in garden-style and wood-framed construction. Most developers are savvy enough to maintain a good insurance program, but many do not understand (until too late) that the policies they bought may not cover the risk of construction defects.  As an owner-developer, neither your property … Continue Reading

“Best Law Firms” Survey Results: Stoel Rives Recognized Nationally for Construction Law Practice

The 2014 U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” survey was published November 1, and we were pleased to learn that you—our clients and professional colleagues—helped us achieve another prestigious national first-tier ranking in Construction Law for Stoel Rives. We’d like to thank all of you who took the time to respond to the … Continue Reading

SB 254A and Oregon’s CMGC Rules Are Overblown

Oregon Senate Bill 254A and the CMGC method generally garner more attention than is justified. Here is the background. On a typical non-CMGC project, the general contractor will bid on a complete or nearly complete set of design documents. This is referred to as “design-bid-build.” In public construction, competitive bidding is required by statute to reduce expenditure of … Continue Reading

The Case for Construction Claims Reform

In my latest Daily Journal of Commerce Construction column, I discuss the case for construction claims reform. Construction industry participants all have one thing in common: they hate litigation. While avoiding claims is not always possible, the number of disputed issues can be reduced. Some states have enacted statutes eliminating much of the uncertainty surrounding … Continue Reading

ADA Claims: The Buck Stops with Developers

In my latest Daily Journal of Commerce Construction column, I discuss tips for developers to help handle claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In the column, I recommend several mitigation efforts to reduce liability for ADA defects including: hire vendors with a track record of compliance and competence, verify that all participants insurance policies … Continue Reading

The Litigation Process: An Upper Division School of Hard Knocks

Litigation can be one of the most time-consuming and expensive ways to resolve disputes in the construction industry. Often, parties to construction-related disputes prefer to resolve them through alternate dispute resolution procedures, such as mediation or arbitration. However, sometimes litigation cannot be avoided. In his latest article in the Daily Journal of Commerce, Guy Randles … Continue Reading

Evolving Concepts of ‘Fairness’ in Construction Contracts

In my recent article “Evolving Concepts of ‘Fairness’ in Construction Contracts,” published in the Daily Journal of Commerce, I outline the key battlegrounds in redefining a ‘fair’ construction contract. From limited liability to contractors signing waivers and claim releases, this article provides the foundation for understanding the evolving complexities in construction contracts.  To read more, click … Continue Reading

Multi-Party Construction Defect Litigation CLE

In a recent national webinar by the Strafford Publication Group, I spoke about the key challenges facing plaintiffs in construction defect cases, including initial case evaluation, discovery issues, expert issues and allocating damages among multiple defendants. My co-presenters from two firms in Dallas, Texas followed my presentation with the key challenges facing defendants. The slides … Continue Reading

Developer Licensing

As any Oregon real estate developer likely knows, the Construction Contractor’s Board will require you to be registered as a contractor if you are developing land owned by another for a fee or developing land you own with the intent to sell. But many developers have followed what might be an overly conservative path: the … Continue Reading

Adopting Strategies to Minimize Liability Exposure

On Wednesday, February 29, 2012, Sean Gay will speak at a seminar sponsored by HalfMoon LLC entitled “Minimizing Engineering Liability Exposure.”  Mr. Gay will speak about adopting strategies to minimize liability exposure.  The seminar will be held at the Doubletree Hotel, 1000 NE Multnomah Street, Portland, Oregon from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.    Click here … Continue Reading

The Increasing Importance of Performance Bonds

There are now 25 states in the U.S. that hold that construction defects are not an “occurrence” and are therefore not covered under commercial general liability policies insuring contractors.  Couple this troubling statistic with the ever increasing number of policy exclusions and limitations, and we begin to realize that in many situations the contractor’s insurance … Continue Reading

Dispute resolution clauses: getting the prenup right before you say “I do.”

Before using AIA forms  or any other agreement to begin a project, owners should review and revise those forms to ensure that they contain appropriate provisions governing dispute resolution. Otherwise, you may be stuck suing different parties in different forums for the same set of construction and design defects, you may be unable to recover the … Continue Reading

OSHA Creep

OSHA compliance recently became harder and costlier, and may continue to do so, thanks to several developments at the federal and state level. (Click here for a prior post on OSHA reform.) You may go to prison if you discipline or terminate an employee who might be worried about an unsafe working condition—even though your … Continue Reading
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