Articles in Construction

WEBINAR: Delays in Digging: Best Practices in Handling Unexpected Finds on the Job Site

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Rich Reizen, co-chair of Gould & Ratner’s Construction Practice, discussed the best practices for contractors and even landowners to avoid unexpected finds and to mitigate their risks in the event of uncovering something unexpected on a job site. Because federal regulations protect culturally significant items that are uncovered, and often state regulations regarding any remains uncovered also apply, contractors need Read More

A brave new world – major changes to the construction industry announced

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A brave new world - Project Bank Accounts, increased powers of the QBCC and the amendment and amalgamation of the Security of Payment and Subcontractors Charges legislation Last night, in accordance with one of its key election promises the Queensland Government introduced the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Bill 2017 (Bill) into Queensland Parliament. The stated objects of the Read More

Arbitration and “Appellate” Review: Competing Legal Principles

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In this article, published in the American Bar Association’s Construction Litigation magazine, Gould & Ratner partner Eric Sparks discusses how arbitration has begun to mimic litigation by including discovery, motion practice and even the possibility of merits-based review of awards. The full article can be found here (registration and/or subscription may be required). Read More

Collateral warranties – What do they do and when are they required?

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The parties directly involved in a construction project will usually enter into written contracts detailing the duties and obligations each has to the other. For example, building contracts are entered into between developers and contractors, appointments between developers or contractors and consultants and sub-contracts between contractors and sub-contractors. However there will almost always be other third parties who have an Read More

Underground surprises: When You Find Human Remains or Culturally Significant Artifacts on Your Construction Site, Stop, Call and Preserve

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When preparing for an archeological dig, New Hampshire state archeologist Richard Boisvert once succinctly stated: “If we knew what was there, we wouldn’t have to dig.” Because we don’t know what is there, contractors often stumble upon artifacts, ancient burial grounds, cemeteries and human remains while in the midst of a construction project. Because federal regulations protect culturally significant items Read More

New energy requirements turn up the heat in the commercial property market in Scotland

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New energy performance regulations that came into force in Scotland last month (September 2016) could have significant financial implications for owners and tenants of commercial property. On the one hand, the regulations will add costs for owners and tenants. On the other, owners or tenants who do their homework can manage the cost and even benefit from the change – Read More

Substituting a Bond to Remove a Mechanic’s Lien: An Overview of The New Amendment to the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act

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At the start of this year, a new provision of the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act became effective. 770 ILCS 60/38.1 (2016). Section 38.1 of the Act allows for certain parties to substitute a court-approved surety bond as collateral in place of the mechanic’s lien against the affected real estate, allowing litigation over the merits of a mechanic’s lien claim to Read More

Identifying “Acts of God” in the Age of Climate Change and Political Upheaval: The Importance of Having a Well-Drafted Force Majeure Clause in Construction Contracts

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The British humorist, Alan Coren, satirically and accurately pointed out that the Act of God provisions in insurance policies mean “roughly that you cannot be insured for the accidents that are most likely to happen to you.” In the era of climate change, 1000 year floods which occur every year, and political instability throughout the world, Mr. Coren’s humor is Read More