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Sometimes You Survive Without Written Change Orders (But I Wouldn’t Recommend It)

As anyone who reads Construction Law Musings on even an irregular basis knows, I am a major advocate of getting everything ( especially change orders ) in writing. This is particularly true where your construction contract documents require written change orders. In other words, you should make your...

Reminder: Pay if Paid Not All Encompassing (but Could it be?)

On numerous occasions, I have discussed the need to be careful with so called "pay if paid" clauses in construction contracts. While such clauses are enforceable in Virginia (when phrased correctly), there are exceptions and limitations (for instance in the Miller Act context ). One...

Williams Mullen: Another Reminder on Change Orders: “Don’t Worry” About Payment for Extra Work Is Not Enforceable

BY: WILLIAM R. MAUCK, JR. The importance of following change order provisions in a construction contract was emphasized yet again in a recent federal court decision: Carolina Conduit Systems, Inc. v. MasTec North America, Inc . [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ] In this...

Yet Another Reason That Your Contract Matters

I have discussed on several occasions the fact that construction contracts matter . The words in them matter and, in Virginia (as well as other states), most provisions, if not all will be enforced to the letter . Recently, the Western District of Virginia federal court ruled in a way that reminded...

Read Your Construction Contract Arbitration Clauses Carefully

In May of last year, we discussed an opinion in U.S. ex rel. Thyssenkrupp Safway Inc. v. Tessa Structures LLC . If you recall, this case involves a three way payment dispute between a supplier, Thyssenkrupp, a subcontractor, Tessa Structures, and a general contractor, Vista Contracting. As discussed...

Proper Notice Can “Accelerate” Your Construction Recovery

I have discussed the importance of every word in a construction contract on multiple occasions at Construction Law Musings. The United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia recently gave another reminder that one area that can act as a sword or shield in a contract is the language...

Reminder: Quantum Meruit and Breach of Construction Contract Don’t Mix

Construction contracts ( preferably written ones ) are near and dear to my heart here at Construction Law Musings. In a world where the contract is king , having a written construction agreement is a key component of any properly run construction project. However, even with the best construction contract...

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning From Defectively Installed In-Floor Radiant Heating System Was a Pollutant

In Midwest Family Mut. Ins. Co. v. Wolters , 2013 Minn. LEXIS 304 (Minn. May 31, 2013) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the Supreme Court of Minnesota held that an absolute pollution exclusion applied to bodily injury that had resulted from an indoor release of carbon monoxide...

Sometimes Scope Of Work Isn’t Obvious

We discuss contracts often here at Construction Law Musings . Why? Because in most states, and particularly in my home state of Virginia, the contract creates the “law” that will govern your interaction on a construction project. In construction, every word of the contract will be read carefully...

For Subcontractors-Incorporation by Reference-A Contract Clause Worth Negotiating

Authored by Attorney Casaundra Maimone Subcontractors should review proposed terms and negotiate final terms that are best suited to their role on the project. One concern is the impact of clauses incorporated by reference that might involve scope of work, quality, payment and disputes. In government...

Headline: Voluntary Construction Mediation Works

Well, I’m back. After a busy week of meeting with clients, college visits with my daughter and a successful mediation (this time as co-counsel), I am back to what I hope to be a more consistent posting schedule. Luckily for me, my friend Seth Smiley stepped in with a great Guest Post Friday...

Stick to Your Guns on Price and Pricing with Construction Contracts

In recent posts here at Construction Law Musings , I have discussed the need for clarity of contract , trusting your gut , and assuring that your contract has the necessities . All of these bits of advice (along with my usual advice of working with an experienced construction attorney ) are true with...