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

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

Washington’s legislators had their eye on common interest communities (CICs) during the 2023 regular session, which ended on April 23, 2023. Three bills relating to or affecting CICs become effective on July 23, 2023. One became effective immediately. Here is a brief summary of the new laws.

The party responding to a proposed design or construction contract may satisfy itself that the contract proposes arbitration or litigation to resolve any disputes and leave it at that—as long as the method of resolution is generally aligned with the party’s preferences. In order to eliminate surprises for their clients if a dispute arises and

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 by the Daily Journal of Commerce on February 28, 2023.

Owning or developing a parcel of contaminated real property, or a “brownfield,” has historically been a risky endeavor. But brownfields are abundant in the United States, and there are several incentives available to those who develop clean energy facilities on a dirty project