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Legal Advice

Owners: Set the Foundation with a Better Design Agreement

Posted: March 22, 2018 | Legal Advice

Often the first contract in a construction project is the contract between the ultimate owner of the project and the lead design professional – the architect or engineer – which sets the foundation for the entire project. Architects and engineers often suggest their preferred contract be based on an industry standard contract that becomes a legally-binding plan. That might not be the best contract for an owner. Before signing a contract, consider carefully some fundamental questions.

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Professional Standard Of Care For Architects And Engineers

Posted: December 20, 2017 | Legal Advice

As architects and engineers we all do our utmost to carry out faithfully the terms and conditions of the professional service agreements we enter into. We all strive to do our very best professional work, but occasionally the physical or administrative results as perceived by our clients are not completely acceptable.

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LEGALLY SPEAKING:  Differing Site Conditions: Court Affirms Contractor’s Reliance on Owner-Provided Geotech Information

Posted: August 24, 2016 | Legal Advice

A recent opinion from the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit adds further support for contractors' reliance on owner-provided geotechnical data. The decision dealt, in part, with the Differing Site Conditions clause in the federal contract. Since many other standard contracts employ similar language in their Differing Site Condition clause, the decision may have some impact beyond federal contracts.

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LEGALLY SPEAKING:  Construction Superintendent - Exempt from Overtime?

Posted: January 28, 2016 | Legal Advice

The lowest rung on the management ladder for most contractors is the superintendent. While residing on the lowest rung on the management ladder, the position is one of critical importance to profitability and repeat business. The superintendent's performance results in an on time, on budget project, or a loss. Due to their importance, many contractors pay superintendents even when they do not have an active project, are not working, and provide them with company-owned trucks. When working, superintendents work long hours and are not paid overtime.

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LEGALLY SPEAKING:  Arbitration:  What is it? Why should you care?

Posted: January 28, 2016 | Legal Advice

When parties to a construction project find themselves in a dispute, there are a few options to help find a resolution. These can include: engaging in informal settlement discussions, taking the dispute to an initial decision maker identified in the contract, or hiring a third-party mediator to help the parties find a resolution. If the dispute does not settle at that point, the parties can turn to the courts and engage in litigation. 

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