Construction Law Blog

Blog Disclaimer: The content provided on this website is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Transmission of this information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. The information provided is intended for general information which may or may not reflect the most current developments. Read More

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Limiting Contractors’ Exposure to Delay Damages – Part I

Date: November 18, 2014  /  Author: John P. Ahlers  /  Categories: Contracting, Construction News and Notes, Delay Claims, Damages  /  Comments (0)

This is part one of a two-part blog series informing contractors how they can limit their exposure to owner's project delay damages, which in many instances may exceed the fee the contractor might otherwise make on the construction project.  Part I of this blog series discusses how utilizing well-drafted liquidated damages clauses can protect a contractor from potentially limitless actual damages.

A Primer on Bid Shopping in Public Contracts - Part II

Date: November 13, 2014  /  Author: John P. Ahlers  /  Categories: Recent Legislation, Construction News and Notes, Construction Bidding, Government Contracts  /  Comments (0)

This is the second installment of a two-part blog on bid shopping in public contracts.  Part I introduced the Subcontractor Listing Statute, RCW 39.30.060, which requires all general contractors bidding on public works projects of $1 million or more must submit the names of the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) subcontractors, with whom the prime contractor will contract.  Part II discusses actions arising out of the Subcontractor Listing Statute in more detail.

A Primer on Bid Shopping in Public Contracts - Part I

Date: November 11, 2014  /  Author: John P. Ahlers  /  Categories: Recent Legislation, Construction News and Notes, Construction Bidding, Government Contracts  /  Comments (1)

This is a two-part blog on bid shopping in public contracts.  Part I of this blog series explores bid shopping in general, including what it means to bid shop, bid peddle, and the consequences of bid shopping, and Washington's anti-bid shopping laws. Part II discusses actions arising out of the Subcontractor Listing Statute in more detail.

SCAM ALERT - BUSINESS OWNERS

Date: November 4, 2014  /  Author: Lawrence S. Glosser  /  Categories: Out of the Ordinary, Regulatory Administration, Construction News and Notes  /  Comments (0)

Please be aware that companies doing business as ANNUAL BUSINESS SERVICES, COMPLIANCE SERVICES, or CORPORATE RECORDS SERVICE (not to be confused with the Washington corporation, Compliance Services, Inc.) are mailing unsolicited notices to business entities in Washington State requesting that "Annual Minutes" and a fee of $125.00 be sent to them for filing.  You can see an example here.

New DBE Rules In Effect Today – November 3, 2014!

Date: November 3, 2014  /  Author: Lindsay K. Taft  /  Categories: Recent Legislation, Construction News and Notes, Government Contracts, MBE/DBE/WBE  /  Comments (0)

On October 2, 2014, the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) issued a final rule impacting USDOT’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) regulations that has been in the works for over two years.   The rule, first proposed on September 6, 2012, makes several changes to both the administration and the implementation of the DBE program regulations.   Given the number of changes, this post will be broken up into two parts.  Part one will focus on the new application forms as well as the changes related to economic disadvantage and size standards: 

Contractor's Surety Taking Over Project was Not Permitted to Recover Progress Payment Made by Owner to Contractor's Bank Loan Account

Date: October 21, 2014  /  Author: Masaki (Saki) Yamada  /  Categories: Government Contracts, Contracting, Construction News and Notes, Indemnity, Claims  /  Comments (0)

It is commonly known in the construction industry that general contractors who perform public works projects are required to post a payment bond and performance bond, in part, to ensure that subcontractors are paid and the project is completed in the event the general contractor is unable to fulfill its contractual obligations.  A typical circumstance in which these bonds are relied upon is when the general contractor becomes financially unable to pay or perform (i.e. bankruptcy) before the public works project is completed.  Generally, under the payment bond, a surety would pay those subcontractors that have not been paid by the general contractor and, under the performance bond, the surety would take over the work left unperformed by the general contractor. 

Doctrine of Adverse Domination Saves Lawsuit Against HOA Board from Statute of Limitations

Date: October 9, 2014  /  Author: Matt Paxton  /  Categories: Construction News and Notes, Construction Defect, Claims  /  Comments (0)

On May 12, 2014, Division I of the Washington Court of Appeals adopted the doctrine of "adverse dominiation" in a lawsuit by condominium owners against HOA Board members, tolling the applicable statute of limitations against the board members until the homeowner had knowledge of the breach.

Suit Against Limited Liability Company Held Not to Be Time Barred When Brought More Than Three Years After Dissolution

Date: September 30, 2014  /  Author: Matt Paxton  /  Comments (0)

In March 2014, Division III of the Washington Court of Appeals reversed a trial court's refusal to dismiss a suit by homeowners against a developer as untimely when it was brought more than three years after the developer dissolved its limited liability company.  Read more here.  In that case, Division III reasoned that RCW 25.15.303, as it existed until mid-2010, controlled, and the 2010 amendment was not retroactive.

Washington Supreme Court Upholds Tribal Corporation's Waiver of Sovereign Immunity and Consent to State Court Jurisdiction

Date: September 25, 2014  /  Author: Bruce A. Cohen  /  Categories: Construction News and Notes, Contracting, Out of the Ordinary  /  Comments (0)

As many readers of this blog may be aware, special care must be taken when contracting with tribal nations and their corporations.  First and foremost, the tribe must specifically "waive sovereign immunity."  This means the tribe expressly consents and agrees it may be sued for claims arising under the contract.  Without such a waiver, the tribe or its corporations cannot be sued in any court or arbitration proceeding, no matter how valid the claim.  Second, many businesses also insist that the tribe consent to the jurisdiction of the U.S. federal or state courts.  Absent such consent, any claim arising out of the contract would have to be brought in tribal court.  

Fighting Over Meaning: How Courts and Legislatures Grapple with Language

Date: September 16, 2014  /  Author: Brad Westmoreland  /  Categories: Claims, Recent Legislation, Construction News and Notes  /  Comments (0)

The separation of powers principle is an important cornerstone of American political governance.  America's tripartite version of this principle - memorialized in the U.S. Constitution - allocates certain governing responsibilities among three branches:  the legislative branch, which makes the laws; the judicial branch, which interprets the laws; and the executive branch, which enforces the laws.  In theory, the system allows for the effective administration of government without centralizing too much power in a single body.  In practice, government branches sometimes step on one another's toes when confronting cross-jurisdictional issues.