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.

Many standard construction contracts include a placeholder for incentives for a contractor that completes a new project on time and under budget. Possible rewards include early completion bonuses and/or sharing in the project savings, if any, which can be calculated in several ways. In my latest article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, I

A construction project can be delayed for a multitude of reasons. Where the cause of the delay is not force majeure, or other excusable delay by a contractor, and where the contractor has some fault, what level of actions must a contractor take to satisfy the terms “best efforts” or “reasonable efforts” or “commercially reasonable

Originally published by the Daily Journal of Commerce on March 16, 2023.

Chapter 18.27 of the Revised Code of Washington (“chapter”) contains the requirements for contractors performing services in Washington state. This chapter governs who is considered a contractor, the registration requirements of those contractors, and what could happen if those contractors do not register.

Originally published as an Op-Ed by the Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce on February 16, 2023.

Introduced as a ballot measure, Oregon’s Employer Liability Law (ELL) was described in a voter’s pamphlet from 1910 as “a law requiring protection for persons engaged in hazardous employments, defining and extending the liability of employers, and providing that

Originally published as an Op-Ed by the Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce on November 17, 2022.

Selection of a contractor should be done carefully. There are many good contractors, but not all are the right fit for your project. Most owner-contractor relationships are long-term engagements that require good communication, patience, and trust. This is equally

In a very recently published case dealing with issues of first impression in California, here, the Second Appellate District in Los Angeles determined that the disgorgement penalty under BPC 7031(b) triggers a one-year statute of limitations given that it is a penalty, and the cause of action accrues from either the completion or cessation

On December 13, 2019, I will be giving a presentation on construction-related topics arising from commercial lease improvements.  The presentation is part of a two-day seminar on Advanced Commercial Real Estate Leases, co-chaired by my colleague, John A. Fandel, and hosted by Law Seminars International.  Topic will include insurance coverage, mechanic’s liens, scheduling, indemnity, safety,

The Washington Department of Labor & Industries, Division of Occupational Safety and Health, is considering changes to Washington’s fall protection regulations. These are rules intended to protect construction workers from injury caused by falls on a jobsite.  The Division has been interested in this topic since 2013, when the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration