Tag: Construction Liens

Recession Warnings Pile Up: Harbinger of Liens?

Some economic indicators point to a recession in the not-too-distant future, and parties involved in construction projects should take steps to avoid (or perfect) liens and protect their rights if there is a downturn. The complexities of Oregon’s lien laws are best negotiated with the assistance of experienced counsel. In my inaugural article for the … Continue Reading

Washington Court of Appeals Provides Guidance Regarding Frivolous and Excessive Lien Claims Against Condominium Projects

Recently, Division One of the Washington Court of Appeals issued an opinion providing guidance regarding the scope of Washington’s frivolous lien statute and the subtle intricacies of preparing and filing a construction lien against a condominium project.   This article provides a high-level overview of how to file a lien against a condominium project in Washington … 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

Lien Rights of Employee Benefit Plans Clarified in Washington

A question left open in Stoel Rives’ recent Washington lien law treatise relates to the lien rights of employee benefit plans. The rights granted in RCW 60.04.011(4) (where benefit plans are included in the definition of “furnishing labor”) were called into question by two Washington Supreme Court decisions barring employee benefit plans from pursuing lien-like … Continue Reading

Lien Rights of Architects and Engineers

In my latest Daily Journal of Commerce Construction column, I discuss the construction lien rights for architects and engineers in Washington and Oregon.  In these states, once construction lien rights have arisen the law requires further acts (such as sending notices to the project owner or recording formal notices within specific time frames) to keep … Continue Reading

Announcing a New Washington Lien Law Treatise

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new Stoel Rives Washington state lien law treatise. Written by construction law attorneys Karl Oles and Bart Reed, the treatise builds on two earlier works: Professor Brian A. Blum’s Mechanics’ and Construction Liens in Alaska, Oregon and Washington, and Michael F. Keyes Construction Lien Practice and … 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

Should Design Professionals in Washington File a Pre-Claim Notice to Protect Lien Rights? Yes!

Washington’s lien laws, like those of other states, set forth pre-claim notice requirements that, if not satisfied, may result in the forfeiture of lien rights. The applicable statute, RCW 60.04.031, presents an interesting array of “if-then” scenarios in which the notice requirements are imposed. Generally, unless falling under one of three exempted categories, RCW 60.04.031 … Continue Reading

Nevada Lenders Beware! Mechanic’s Liens Not Easily Avoided

Following the market crash in 2008-09, the $2.8 billion Fontainebleau development in Las Vegas was halted with 70 percent of the construction completed. Naturally, numerous mechanic’s liens were filed by contractors, subcontractors, professionals and suppliers ("claimants"). In the bankruptcy proceeding, the lenders asserted novel and potentially legally destabilizing theories against the claimants’ rights: a.) the … Continue Reading

Starting a New Project? Don’t Forget to Send a Notice of Right to a Lien to Trust Deed Holders and Mortgagees

Under Oregon law, a construction lien generally has priority over a trust deed or mortgage on an improvement.  ORS 87.025(1).  If a construction lien claimant has priority over a trust deed or mortgage, the construction lien claimant will get paid from the proceeds of a foreclosure sale before the trust deed holder or mortgagee.  Having … Continue Reading

Washington Supreme Court Reverses Williams

In Williams v. Athletic Field, Inc., 155 Wn. App. 434 (2010), the Washington Court of Appeals ruled that a lien filing was invalid because it was not properly acknowledged. This decision created a stir among Washington construction lawyers, because the lien claimant had used a lien filing service which in turn had used a form … Continue Reading

But I already paid for that! So you have a mechanic’s lien; now what? (Part 2)

Four Practical Points for Avoiding and Responding to Construction Liens Step 1: Who’s healthy in 2010? Within the bounds of the Fair Credit and Reporting Act and any state obligations, it is imperative for both owners and general contractors to understand the financial fortitude of the parties doing the work. If you don’t obtain the … Continue Reading

But I already paid for that! So you have a mechanic’s lien; now what? (Part 1)

Your project is coming along fine, despite the economy. You’ve weathered the squalls of bids, design changes, agency approval, and credit (mercifully), and now even construction completion is looking good. You can see the finish line through the haze on the horizon, and you’re fairly pleased with how you have pulled everything together with what … Continue Reading

WA Supreme Court Confirms Right to Claim Liens over Improvements on Public Property

It is well known that public property is not lienable in most states, including Washington. However, it has been generally assumed that under Washington’s mechanic’s lien statute (RCW 60.04), improvements constructed on public property are lienable. In Estate of Haselwood v. Bremerton Ice Arena, Inc., No. 80411-7 (June 25, 2009) the Supreme Court of Washington, … Continue Reading

Owner/Developer Insolvencies and the Risks to Contractors

Developer insolvencies are unfortunately becoming more and more common in our current economic climate and often result in partially completed projects being stopped. The consequences to contractors can be significant. A number of recent resort projects illustrate what the contractors and subs can typically expect. First, the obvious, immediate problem is nonpayment, which in turn requires the … Continue Reading

Common Lien Mistakes

While the technical requirements for preparing and filing liens offer countless opportunities for mistakes, two in particular seem to predominate. The first is the failure to properly calculate the 75-day period for filing the lien. The 75-day period begins to run from the earlier of (i) the day the contractor or supplier ceased to provide labor or … Continue Reading
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