Opinion—The quiet revolution taking place under the Trump administration

By Don Wallis   Environmental regulation is changing dramatically. The cover story for the Nov. 6, 2017, issue of TIME magazine is entitled—The Wrecking Crew. How Trump’s cabinet is dismantling government as we know it. Massimo Calabresi in his lead article, Demolition Crew, explains that, unnoticed in all the uproar over President Trump’s tweeting and […]

Federal Government has a Duty to Provide Accurate Cost Data

Contractors can rely upon quantity estimates provided by the government. The federal government often supplies contractors with estimates on the quantity of work that will be performed by the successful bidder. Contractors base their cost estimates and bids on this information. Even if these estimates are not exact, they must be reasonable and provided in […]

Piercing the Corporate Veil Now Easier In New York

Protection for shareholders has been significantly reduced One of the most long-standing and sacrosanct reasons for incorporating is to protect shareholders from liability in lawsuits against the corporate entity. Owners of corporations, large and small, rely upon this protection as a legal given. Courts throughout the country have traditionally only allowed the “piercing of the […]

OSHA Has Established Requirements for Monitoring Respirable Crystalline Silica

The reporting requirements are complex. An excellent article in California Construction Law Blog by Garret Murai outlines the compliance requirements established under OSHA’s Respirable Crystalline Silica in Construction Standard that went into effect on October 23, 2017. The rules are designed to protect workers who work with “materials like sand, stone, concrete, and mortar [that] […]

Withdrawal Liability Exemptions for Contractors

Under very specific conditions, contractors are exempt from withdrawal liability. ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974) stipulates that employers who withdraw from a multi-employer pension plan remain liable for any shortfall in the funding of the plan. According to an article by Jeffrey Herman in Nuts &Bolts Construction Law Blog, this means […]

Does Foreign Ownership of U.S. Contractors Affect the Way they Do Business?

The 2017 Construction SuperConference (CSC) will feature an outstanding plenary panel session on Tuesday, Dec. 5, featuring a brilliant lineup of panelists. Led by Steven Charney, Chairman of Peckar & Abramson, P.C. the panel will be rounded out by Georg vonBronk, General Counsel, Hochteif AG and Ricardo Cuesta, General Counsel, Dragados. Kevin Gaffney, CSC conference director, […]

EPA “Sue and Settle” Practice Now Limited

The EPA has issued a directive limiting the sue and settle practice. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has traditionally allowed suits regarding non-discretionary statutory deadlines brought against the Agency by environmental advocate groups to be settled relatively quickly. The EPA, environmentalists, and both Democrats and Republicans, all claim the practice is abused. An […]

Federal Court Strikes Down the Fair Play and Safe Workplaces Order

This ruling eliminates onerous reporting requirements for contractors The revisions to the Fair Play and Safe Workplaces Rule (FAR), enacted by Executive Order 13673 and the Department of Labor, have been contested by the construction industry since they were promulgated. Contractors have argued that the Order places an unreasonable and unconstitutional reporting burden on construction […]

Indemnification Agreements May Require Defense of Unproven Negligence

The wording of an indemnification clause is important. Indemnification clauses are usually part of construction contracts between owners, and contractors or design professionals. They stipulate that the contractor or design professional will “indemnify” or defend the owner if a legal action for negligence arises on a project. In a recent New Hampshire case, Penta Corporation […]

“Fake President” Fraud Coverage Decisions Leave Contractors in Legal Limbo

Differing district court opinions make it difficult to prepare for email fraud. Large companies with significant cash flows are increasingly the target of criminals who represent, via email, that they are the president of the company requesting that employees send large sums of money to fraudulent accounts. Contractors should take note. James Vorhis, in a […]

AGC to Offer Lean Construction for Executives Session at 2017 Construction SuperConference

Kevin Gaffney, conference director, “This is a great opportunity for executive and leaders in the legal and construction fields to investigate the benefits and revenue opportunities associated with lean construction.” : Read the Full Story » AGC is excited to unite with the Construction SuperConference this year and offer a Lean Construction for Executives Session […]

Opinion—What are the economic benefits of President Trump’s wall?

By Don Wallis The wall could be a boon to the construction industry It remains unclear whether the security barrier along the border between Mexico and the United States should or will be built. President Trump says the project will cost $12 to $15 billion. The Senate Democratic Report has the cost at $70 billion. […]

Contract and On-site Actions Determine Liability for Accidents

The general contractor is held liable despite transfer of responsibility to subcontractors. An Indiana appellate court has ruled that a general contractor that contractually agrees to actively oversee job safety cannot escape liability for on-site injuries by contractually transferring its safety obligations to a subcontractor. The court’s reasoning in Ryan v. TCI Architects/Engineers/Contractors, Inc., 72 […]

Texas Court Overturns Obama’s Overtime Rule

The 2014 DOL rules remain in place One of President Obama’s last acts while in office was to instruct the Department of Labor to revise the Fair Labor Standards Act’s “executive, administrative, and professional (‘EAP’) exemptions.” As an article in the SEYFARTH SHAW blog by Brett C. Bartlett, Alexander J. Passantino and Kevin M. Young […]