Tamara Boeck

Tamara Boeck

Tamara Boeck focuses her practice on representing clients in the areas of construction law and litigation, and she provides risk management advice relating to construction development projects from concept through dispute. Tami, a Partner in Stoel Rives’ Construction and Design group, works with clients on a wide range of projects including commercial, residential and mixed-use projects, as well as construction-related aspects of oil and gas, mining, food processing, solar, wind, geothermal, biofuel, wastewater treatment and other industrial facilities. In addition to counseling her clients on ways to avoid protracted litigation through thoughtful negotiations and effective contracts, she handles construction disputes in litigation and arbitration, encompassing business conflicts, delay, workmanship and performance, as well as those matters involving lien laws, insurance coverage, toxic tort, product liability and catastrophic injuries. She has been listed in Best Lawyers in America© for Construction Law from 2010 to 2017.

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Is “As-Is” Really “As-Is” in Real Estate Contracts? Tell the Truth, the Whole Truth, or Risk Liability for Nondisclosure

The inclusion of an “as-is” clause in a contract for a real estate transaction has led courts in Oregon to allow parties to a deal to allocate the risk as to the property differently than through the historic concept of “caveat emptor” (let the buyer beware), which permitted a seller to shift the obligation to … Continue Reading

Under California’s Right to Repair Act, Ignore Deadlines at Your Own Peril

In a very recent decision, the Fourth District Court of Appeal in Blanchette v. Superior Court affirmed the plain language of the Home Builder’s Right to Repair Act, holding that even a facially insufficient notice of defect triggers the obligation of a builder to respond within 14 days.  The statute, Civil Code section 895 et. … Continue Reading

Is Late Notice A Big Deal? Ninth Circuit Asks For An Opinion From CA Supreme Court On Insurance Question

So, what’s the big deal if you’re a little “late” in giving your insurer notice of the claim or lawsuit against your company?  That’s the question, albeit in essence, that the Ninth Circuit has posed to the California Supreme Court recently in an Order Certifying Questions, Pitzer College v. Indian Harbor Insurance Co. Specifically, the … Continue Reading

Idaho Reads Force Majeure Clause Broadly as Written

In a ruling supporting common sense, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled that a county could not avoid the application of a broad force majeure clause in its development agreement with a developer based on the county’s denial of the rezoning required for the very development. The key facts in Burns Concrete, Inc. v. Teton County, … Continue Reading

Redefining Priorities: Risk Management, Enhanced Quality, and Minimizing Disputes

When engaging in a new construction project, the primary focus is frequently on the immediate issues — plans, permits and the build-out itself.   But building good risk management procedures and techniques into the front end of your project planning can have bottom-line business benefits. In my recent article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, written … Continue Reading

Concerns over California’s Increased Earthquakes? Landlords and Developers Should Manage Their Risks Now

During the last month or two there has been a rise of news reports regarding potential earthquakes in California at a greater magnitude than in recent history:  see here and here.  These risks have even been reported recently in a London newspaper.  While the unusual Southern California “big one” warning is now past, the risk has … Continue Reading

One Unanticipated Cost of Being an Owner-Builder in California: Liability for Retained Control over Safety

Many times I hear from people who want to “save money” and serve as their own “owner-builder” under the exemption to the California Contractor’s Licensing law, which generally requires that any “construction” work over $500 to be performed by a licensed California contractor in the absence of an exemption.  (Bus. & Prof. Code section 7048).  … Continue Reading

“All Risk” Coverage Is Not Equal to “All Loss” Coverage Under Customary Provisions in California Builder’s Risk Policies

A common insurance question asked by our owner/developer clients when they discover that their completed project has defects is whether their own insurance will cover the cost to fix the defect or any damage from the defect.  While trying hard not to sound like the proverbial lawyer, we often have to say “it depends.”  What … Continue Reading

Yes, Contractor Licensing May Be Required Under California Law Even if the Contractor Does Not Physically Build Anything Itself

It seems that almost weekly, and certainly monthly, I receive a call or inquiry from colleagues and/or prospective clients as to whether a license is really required if the prospective “contractor” is not actually building anything but is merely facilitating a “deal” or is hiring otherwise qualified and licensed contractors and trades. Virtually every time … Continue Reading

Freedom to Contract: PUC Has Jurisdiction to Evaluate Force Majeure Clause Under Idaho Law

The Idaho Supreme Court recently determined in Idaho Power Company v. New Energy Two, LLC, No. 40882-2013 (Idaho June 17, 2014), that the Idaho Public Utilities Commission has jurisdiction to interpret or enforce contracts when given the authority by the parties. In May 2010, IPC and the defendants entered into two energy contracts that were … Continue Reading

No Duty By Insurer: Affirmation That There Must Be Damage To Other Property, Not Just Defective Workmanship In CA

California has held for at least a decade that in order for there to be insurance coverage under a standard Comprehensive General Liability for a claim arising out of a construction project, including a duty to defend by the insurer, there must be damage to other property, not solely to the property on which the … Continue Reading

Heavy Fines for All: Working Without a Contractor’s License in California is Costly

I am surprised, and yet not surprised, to read about yet another subcontractor and general contractor that were cited for the subcontractor’s lack of a California contractor’s license. See "Another Subcontractor on Large Southern California Project Told To Halt Work, Fined for Not Having Contractors License" (May 13, 2014 notification by CSLB — see below). … Continue Reading

California CSLB’s Reminder for C-57 Licensees

In the midst of a serious California drought, water concerns have brought with it a rise in well drilling.  Today, the California Contractors State License Board sent out a timely reminder that C-57 well drilling licensees in the Central Valley must register portable internal combustion engines of 50 horsepower or greater used to power drilling … Continue Reading

The Latest DIRT in California: Additional Mandatory Reporting for Excavators, Operators and Contractors?

Those that “dig in the dirt” are very familiar with the Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT), which was launched in 2003 by the Common Ground Alliance (CGA). Over the years California has enacted several statutes requiring anyone moving dirt to notify a regional notification center of the area of planned disturbance that may impact a subsurface … Continue Reading

Contractors Still Have Time: Certain CA Energy-Related Regulations Delayed to July 1, 2014

Residential and non-residential contractors in California have been waiting for the new California energy-related regulations to be issued for the January 1, 2014 compliance deadline.  Although many became effective on January 1, delays in the software performance compliance programs by the California Energy Commission required that additional time be provided for contractors to obtain and … Continue Reading

Surety Has “Sole and Absolute Discretion” to Settle Bond Claim in California

While surety bonds have always been required for most public projects, they are being used extensively in many large private construction projects by project owners to secure faithful performance (or payment via settlement) of the contract if the contractor defaults.  But does the contractor have the same standing and rights against the Surety as an … Continue Reading

Take Time With Four ‘Standard’ Contract Terms

In my latest Daily Journal of Commerce Construction column, I discuss the potentially serious risks associated with overlooking four “standard” terms in construction contracts. With proper advance consideration of the scope of project, insurance terms, indemnity provisions and lien waivers, constructions projects are more likely to be successful.  Read the full article at the Daily Journal … Continue Reading

Bah Humbug: California Supreme Court Won’t Hear Dispute Arising From Overbroad SB800 Decision

You may have recently heard that on December 11, 2013, the California Supreme Court denied the builder’s Petition for Review of the published decision in Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. v. Brookfield Crystal Cove LLC, 163 Cal. Rptr. 3d 600, Cal. App. 4th 98 (2013). For builders and contractors, this is very frustrating news and undermines the … Continue Reading

Idaho Verifies That Priority Position Remains Relevant After Bond Posting

In a case of first impression in Idaho, the Supreme Court in American Bank v. Wadsworth Golf Construction Co. of Southwest, No. 39415 (Idaho Aug. 16, 2013) (slip op.), determined that priority of lien filings on a property remain subject to a lien priority analysis even after a statutory lien release bond is filed to … Continue Reading

Sophisticated Parties? You May Shorten Both the Start and Length of the Statute of Limitations in CA Commercial Construction Contracts

Can parties waive both the commencement and length of the statutory limitation periods for construction defect actions?  Yes, answered the Fourth Appellate District, by allowing the parties to contractually preclude the application of the “delayed discovery” rule that normally triggers the commencement of the limitation time period and affirming case law permitting the shortening of … Continue Reading

When Is a Private Project a Public Work for Prevailing Wage Application in California?

In recent years, the Department of Industrial Relations (“DIR”), the Legislature and the California courts have expanded the application of the prevailing wage law to projects through the broad definition of a “public works,” beyond what most contractors, owners and even counsel would expect.  While most involved in construction anticipate that any work directly for, … Continue Reading

Contractor’s “Wage Theft” Enforcement Increased on California Public Projects

The California Labor Commission, also known as the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement, which is a division of the Department of Industrial Relations, is “reinvigorating” its enforcement actions against public contractors that try to dodge the state’s wage and labor laws. Recently, the Commission issued orders and hefty fines to nine contractors for violations totaling over … Continue Reading

A Contract Means What It Says: Construction Manager Awarded Equitable Fee Increase in Idaho

A reminder from the Idaho Supreme Court for parties to a construction contract:  the plain language of the parties’ contract governs the obligations between them in the absence of ambiguity.  In City of Meridian v. Petra, Inc., No. 39006, 2013 WL 1286014 (Idaho Apr. 1, 2013), the Idaho Supreme Court reviewed a construction dispute between … Continue Reading
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