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Legal Advice

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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Architect’s Certification of Payments to the Contractor

Posted: December 29, 2015 | Legal Advice

No duty of an architect is subject to more scrutiny than the issuance of payment certificates. The owner, naturally, does not want to pay money prematurely or needlessly. The contractor, on the other hand, wants, needs, and is entitled to the money as soon as possible. Both owners and contractors are generally acutely aware of the interest value of money.

A second tier of concerned critics hover in the background protecting their interests in the payment. These include lenders, insurers, sureties, subcontractors, subsubcontractors, labor, material suppliers, and manufacturers. All of these entities are surrounded by their expert advisors including lawyers, accountants, architects, engineers, contractors, and numerous other business and construction authorities.

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LEGALLY SPEAKING:  From PDFs to IPD to BIM:  Lessons on Today’s Technology-Driven Construction Project

Posted: December 19, 2015 | Legal Advice

With today's technologies, the construction project is being performed quicker, more efficiently, less costly and even safer than ever before. Whether you are now using email to communicate with your project team, whether you have implemented building information modeling ("BIM") into the design and construction process, or whether you have gone entirely paperless with PDF drawings and contract documents, there are a few lessons to keep in mind to ensure success when using new technologies.

Benefits of a Paperless Project. Paperless success involves more than simply scanning every project document and putting it into a digital file cabinet. That would be nothing more than moving the archived documents from Building A to Building B. The successful protocol will involve using new technologies, such as project management software and other web-based programs to consolidate project documentation; to increase efficiency in project communications; to establish a good audit trail; and (if necessary) to prove liability and damages in the event of a dispute.

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