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
When reviewing a proposed design or construction contract, the responding party will often do a cursory check to see whether the contract proposes arbitration or litigation for dispute resolution. So long as the proposed method generally aligns with that party’s preferences, it will not look further at the specifics of the proposed process. For the uninitiated, this can lead to surprises when a dispute arises, especially when it comes to issues like whether the arbitration will be held before a single arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators, the rules that will apply to the arbitration, and the scope of discovery.
Construction and design attorneys, on the other hand, spend many working hours (and sometimes nonworking hours) contemplating these exact issues. I have developed a checklist of items that I advise my clients to consider in their arbitration provisions. The combined goal of these considerations is eliminating surprises if a dispute arises and balancing efficiency with the desire for a fair process. Typically, that checklist includes the following topics:
- Rules applicable to the arbitration
- Single arbitrator or panel of arbitrators?
- Scope of discovery
- Maximizing opportunity for resolution in a single proceeding
The full article, including details on each of these topics can be found at What Parties Ought To Consider When Considering Arbitration Provisions | Stoel Rives LLP.
This article was originally published in by the Daily Journal of Commerce on April 20, 2023.
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…
In a world of pure cooperation, if the owner of a construction project or a contractor causes a problem, the responsible party would admit fault and make amends—rendering the negotiation of a construction contract unnecessary. In our less than ideal world, owners and contractors have adverse interests, the party at fault is not always clear…
Originally published as an Op-Ed by the Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce on December 15, 2022.
A common feature of construction contracts is a clause requiring formal mediation of disputes relating to the project. Sometimes the clause is aspirational, merely “requiring” that the parties consider mediation. Other times, however, the clause is designed as a binding…
Originally published by the Daily Journal of Commerce on December 6, 2022.
With more and more corporate tenants and institutional owners looking to reduce their carbon footprints, clean energy improvements in initial project development as well as upgrades to existing projects have become more appealing. However, with interest rates and material costs on the rise…
The Washington Supreme Court recently published an opinion that appears to invalidate any homebuyer warranty that requires the buyer to file suit in less than six years. In Tadych v. Noble Ridge Construction, Inc., the owners of a custom home sued their builder for breach of warranty three years after occupying the home. Their…
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…
Originally published by the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce on November 3, 2022.
In a 5-4 decision, the Washington Supreme Court recently ruled in Tadych v. Noble Ridge Construction, Inc. that a contract provision providing a one-year limitation period for filing a construction defect lawsuit was “unconscionable” and therefore unenforceable.
The court’s ruling revives a…