Tag: Construction Industry

Inflation: The Elephant in a Construction Dispute or Contract Negotiation

Inflation has spared no part of the U.S. economy, but the construction market in particular is feeling its effects, and it is crucial that owners , contractors, and design professionals be cognizant of the risks presented by inflation and aware of and understand the options to mitigate them. In my latest column for the Daily … Continue Reading

War-fueled Construction Cost Increases May Warrant Look at Force Majeure

In the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and economic sanctions imposed by countries around the world in response, supply chain disruptions and the resulting scarcity of construction have resulted in price escalation that threatens construction project budgets. To allocate the risk of these sorts of cost increases, project owners and contractors may use … Continue Reading

Construction Project Scheduling & Delay Claims CLE — Seattle

On May 6, 2022, I will be presenting as part of The Seminar Group CLE seminar Construction Project Scheduling & Delay Claims, which you can attend in Seattle or online. Intended for architects, attorneys, contractors, engineers, and municipal and government employees, the seminar will cover critical-path schedule and delay concepts and legal concepts and strategies … Continue Reading

Don’t Overlook Your Liquidated Damages Provision

Among contractual provisions that sometimes go unnoticed or unappreciated is the “liquidated damages” provision, which is often used in construction contracts to identify the amount of damages that a contractor will owe the owner if there is a delay in completing construction. In my latest article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, I provide some … Continue Reading

A Key Battleground: Material Price Escalations and Supply Chain Disruptions

At the forefront of concerns for those in the construction industry is the escalation in material prices and disruptions to supply chains that were in large part a byproduct of the pandemic. Project owners and contractors want to understand their rights with regard to these risks and also how the risks should be apportioned. In … Continue Reading

Benefits and Risks of Involving a Project’s Contractor in The Design

The roles of designers and contractors are being combined for more and more construction projects, an approach that comes with both benefits and risks. Several methods of project delivery are commonly in use, none of which is entirely exclusive — different projects may include different and overlapping roles for owner, designer and contractor. In my … Continue Reading

Three Tips for Owners and Contractors to Improve Their Odds of Success in 2021

While all of us begin 2021 still confronting the challenge of COVID-19, construction project owners face particular pandemic-related issues in their industry, including the need to maintain strict best practices for projects and manage scheduling and labor challenges for existing and new projects. In my latest article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, I provide … Continue Reading

As COVID Continues to Cripple Businesses, New Safety Technologies Emerge

The economic ruin caused by COVID-19 is out of control.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report dated August 7, 2020, unemployment is at approximately 10.2%.  However, the economic impact of COVID-19 does not stop at America’s unemployment rates. In August 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an Order that … Continue Reading

When to Prepare for Project Disputes? Always.

Originally published as an Op-Ed in the Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce on June 19, 2020. Whether you are an owner, contractor, or design professional, construction disputes are, unfortunately, inevitable.  Below are some tips to avoid potential pitfalls and help resolve disputes as efficiently as possible, whether before or after formal litigation (or arbitration) commences. … Continue Reading

Latest OSHA COVID-19 Safety Tips for the Construction Industry & Guidance on Drafting a COVID-19 Policy and Administering the Job Site to Minimize the Hazard

OSHA’s General Duty Clause requires an employer to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.  In the current pandemic,  COVID-19 qualifies and contractors should draft a COVID-19 policy for their worksites implementing the latest guidance in order to minimize the hazard and protect employees. In … Continue Reading

Can (or Should) My Project Continue During the Shutdown?

Several weeks have passed since Governor Brown formally ordered all Oregonians to “Stay Home, Save Lives,” and owners, project designers, and contractors have all had the opportunity to absorb its initial impacts.  While many stakeholders were initially relieved that construction projects in Oregon could apparently continue—subject to the various social distancing and travel restrictions described … Continue Reading

Cross-Laminated Timber Projects: The Pacific Northwest’s Next Big Timber Development

Cross-laminated timber (“CLT”) is a leading building technology that has been employed by European developers for decades, but the product’s use in the United States only recently took hold after its adoption by the 2015 International Building Code. A type of structural timber product composed of dimensional timber layers bonded together with structural adhesives, CLT … Continue Reading

Managing Risk from Gaps in Your Construction Project

Experienced project developers know that managing risk on a major project involves initial planning, design, construction, and commissioning. These tasks call for different skill sets — making it tempting to think of them as separate — but they need to be coordinated to prevent the creation of troublesome gaps in areas of responsibility. In my latest … Continue Reading

The Owner’s Guide to Negotiating Construction Contracts During Volatile Trade Negotiations

President Trump’s new tariffs and ongoing trade negotiations concerning building commodities like steel, aluminum, and lumber have resulted in uncertain market conditions for those in the construction industry, making it nearly impossible for owners, developers, contractors, and suppliers to accurately analyze and allocate risks during construction contract negotiations. In my latest article for the Daily … 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

Contracting For Construction In Oregon? You Need to Know the Law

In my latest Daily Journal of Commerce Construction column, I discuss the need to know Oregon construction contracting law to avoid unwanted consequences. In Oregon, construction contracts are subject to a wide variety of legal requirements, many of which are often ignored or, in some cases, violated with disastrous results. Following link will provide a summary … 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

A Valid Contract Limits the Amount of a Mechanic’s Lien, Even Against a Party with No Direct Contract with a Contractor

A California appellate court recently held that the value of an original construction contract is admissible as evidence to limit a contractor’s right to recovery under Civil Code section 3123(a), even by a property buyer that was not a party to the construction contract. Appel v. Los Angeles Superior Court (CA No. B244590, Mar. 11, 2013). The … Continue Reading

Five Tips to Prepare for Delay

As they say, timing is everything, and the success of a development project often hinges on when it will be complete. Whether it’s a new business, a new school, or some other project, delay can be disastrous for an owner. Here are five tips to reduce the risks of project delay. Avoid terms that shift … Continue Reading

The Litigation Process: An Upper Division School of Hard Knocks

Litigation can be one of the most time-consuming and expensive ways to resolve disputes in the construction industry. Often, parties to construction-related disputes prefer to resolve them through alternate dispute resolution procedures, such as mediation or arbitration. However, sometimes litigation cannot be avoided. In his latest article in the Daily Journal of Commerce, Guy Randles … Continue Reading

What if I Don’t Have a Change Order?

A California appellate court has clarified for public owners and contractors (a) what the results may be if the owner does not timely sign a change order and (b) under what circumstances a change order is required. In G. Voskanian Construction, Inc. v. Alhambra Unified School District, No. B221005 (Cal. Ct. App. Mar. 29, 2012), … Continue Reading
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