Purchase agreements for construction, development, or real estate-related projects frequently offer parties the option of early mediation for settling a dispute before proceeding to arbitration or court litigation. While in my experience early mediation sessions tend to fail, additional mediation sessions held months later have a better chance of succeeding. In my latest column for

Washington’s construction lien statute, RCW 60.04, balances the interests of persons performing work to improve real property with the interests of property owners in avoiding the necessity of paying for the same work twice. An unpaid contractor can assert a lien against property it has improved, but the owner has a right to notice that the work is taking place. On commercial projects, a contractor that is not under contract with the owner or prime contractor (a “lower-tier” subcontractor) usually must give a pre-claim notice to the owner to preserve its lien right. A contractor supplying only labor is expressly exempt from this requirement, though there has been some question regarding whether a lower-tier subcontractor providing both labor and materials is subject to the notice requirement.

Over this past summer, our colleague Mario R. Nicholas penned an article for the Daily Journal of Commerce entitled “Can Artificial Intelligence Be Trusted to Draft a Construction Contract?”  It is a great read, and we borrow from it here in many places.

In his article, Mario principally focused on why chatbots like

Construction contracts generally outline when and how contractors should notify parties about potential claims for additional compensation and/or time. These provisions are intended to provide project stakeholders with the information necessary to address unforeseen circumstances and streamline claim resolutions within the project rather than resorting to legal actions. However, in some cases, the contract provisions

In their focus on starting a construction project, developers, designers, and contractors can fall prey to unintended consequences arising from their deferral to and use of an “industry standard” contract form—as opposed to taking the time to precisely tailor the contract to the project’s needs and risks. In my latest article for the Daily Journal

On October 6, 2023, I will be on the panel “Trying Large Construction Disputes,” to be presented during The Seminar Group’s 30th Annual Washington Construction Law conference on October 5 and 6, 2023, in Seattle or online. Intended for anyone who practices construction law, desires to practice construction law, or is confronted with matters involving

In the construction industry, “retainage”—the practice of withholding by an owner or contractor a portion of the funds that are due to a contractor or subcontractor for a construction project until its completion—is a term frequently negotiated in contracts for private construction projects as a means to mitigate the risk of default since the monies