22 Apr · Tue 2014
The Natural Effect of Recording a Lien Bond
11 Apr · Fri 2014
Property Owner Is Strictly Liable for Building Code Violation
Duane Morris' Construction Group Nominated for 2014 Chambers USA Award for Excellence
Duane Morris is pleased to announce that the firm's Construction Group has once again been nominated for one of the prestigious Chambers USA Awards for Excellence. This is the fourth overall nomination for the group, which has been recognized among the top national practices by Chambers for the past several years. Duane Morris is one of only five firms to be finalists in the construction category this year.[Read More]
04 Apr · Fri 2014
Duane Morris Partner Albert Bates, Jr. to Present at the Deloitte Energy Conference
27 Mar · Thu 2014
Property Owner’s Liability under CERCLA for Unpaid Remediation Subcontractor
 Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act. The federal law imposes liability on a property owner for the cost of cleaning up contamination on the property.
Georgia House Declines to Vote on Broad P3 Legislation
In case you missed it, last week the Georgia House let the legislative session end without voting on Georgia SB 255, a broad enabling legislation for a wide range of public private partnerships (“P3”). SB 255 would enable the state and political subdivisions to utilize P3 procurement for any project that “meets a public purpose and has previously been identified as a public need by the elected or appointed leaders.” Qualifying projects expressly included “operation of any existing public facility in a manner that results in reduced operating costs,” including public schools, local government buildings and higher education institutions.
SB 255 passed the Georgia Senate earlier this year in overwhelming fashion (43-8), but the house never voted on the bill. And with the session now ended, the bill is effectively dead and would need to be re-introduced next session.
Georgia’s current P3 procurement laws allow P3 financing for projects related to certain water reservoirs, facilities, and systems. The P3 process for water projects includes multiple opportunities for public comment, bidders responding to written request for proposals and the applicable authority engaging in discussions with respondents. Under the current, more limited procedure, announcement of the “most meritorious” proposal is then followed by period or competitive negotiations and an award based on value and ability of the final project’s characteristics to meet goals consistent with state, regional and local comprehensive plans.
P3 has become a topic of interest lately because of the coinciding need for infrastructure improvements and the public lethargy in funding such improvements. Georgia Governor Deal stated (when he signed Georgia’s P3 legislation on water infrastructure), “This stretches public dollars by attracting partners to move forward with public works projects that will benefit the citizens of the state for generations. The lack of funding has hampered progress, even with a punishing drought in recent memory.” Still, even with the benefits that P3 might bring, broad and sweeping delegation of public services to the private sector encounters skepticism, and Georgia chose not to enact broad legislation this time around. We’ll report back on this issue next session.
17 Mar · Mon 2014
Construction Workforce Trends Point to Increased Risk on Construction Projects
Tony Dungy once stated, "It’s not necessarily who has the most talent but what team sticks together and executes their fundamentals the best." This success principle – executing on the fundamentals – applies unforgivingly in construction, an industry where every mistake must be corrected, every cost accounted for and every delay in work comes at significant costs. Numerous construction professionals have pointed out that executing fundamentals has become more difficult in the construction industry for a number of reasons, including contractor and subcontractor defaults, international procurement, transitions in how risks are contractually apportioned, and increasingly specialized construction materials and methods of construction, among others. And by numerous accounts, keeping a "team [that] sticks together" will become increasingly difficult too, as workforce availability problems look to be both abrupt and sustained.[Read More]
13 Mar · Thu 2014
Waiver of Subrogation – “Work” versus “Non-Work”
The Indiana Court of Appeals has been busy addressing the scope of subrogation waivers. The latest decision is an argument over whether the waiver extends to property that is not part of the contractor’s “Work” (as defined in the AIA contract form used by the parties). The court decided to follow what has been referred to as the majority rule on this issue, and held that the waiver of subrogation bars subrogated claims concerning non-Work property. I wrote about a similar case on a related issue just last month.[Read More]
10 Mar · Mon 2014
Managing Snow and Weather Related Delays on a Construction Project
This winter it seems like no one has been able to escape the fury of Mother Nature. As a result, construction projects all over the country are now behind schedule. Because “time is money” for all of the project participants, disputes related to time extensions, liquidated damages, acceleration claims, and other delay damages are expected. In anticipation of these disputes, contractors and owners should review their contracts and consult with an attorney before submitting or responding to a weather related claim.[Read More]
Recent Changes in New York City's Standard Construction Contract
28 Feb · Fri 2014
Arbitrator Jurisdiction: Don’t Just Talk the Talk, But Walk the Walk
Can a party repeatedly object to the arbitrator’s jurisdiction, continue in the arbitration process, and then contest the arbitration award after the fact? That issue was recently considered by a federal court in Michigan. The court held that a subcontractor who filed a counterclaim and participated in discovery and arbitration hearings, had waived its rights to contest the jurisdiction of the arbitrator, despite written objections periodically placed on the record. This is another warning to those who want or need to seriously challenge the jurisdiction of arbitrators: don’t continue in the process if you’re going to object to arbitrability![Read More]
18 Feb · Tue 2014
Itemization of Mechanic’s Lien Not Necessary Where Construction Contract Apprised Owner of Lienor’s Claim
Section 38 of the NY Lien Law requires a holder of a mechanic’s lien to supply an itemized statement of labor and/or material which make up the amount for which a lien is claimed. The itemization is necessary to apprise the owner of the details of the lienor’s claim. The itemization, however, may excused in the limited circumstance where the lienor alleges that it has fully performed a fixed price construction contract.[Read More]
11 Feb · Tue 2014
Bertha and the Big (or not so big) Warranty
05 Feb · Wed 2014
Waiver of Subrogation – Two Reminders
30 Jan · Thu 2014
Duane Morris' Robert Hendrickson and Ron Oliner on "Public Works Projects and Municipal Bankruptcies"