News

Law Article April 07, 2011
Dispute resolution provisions in contracts and subcontracts frequently contain language requiring a claimant to mediate a dispute before instituting arbitration or litigation.   These clauses are intended to ensure that parties to the contract formally attempt to resolve a dispute before they...
Law Article March 10, 2011
One of the most commonly repeated project-management errors I observe in my practice involves performing extra work before receiving written authorization from the owner to do so.   Many times, the contractor has the verbal assurance from the owner to pay for the work—or so he or she believes. When...
Law Article February 10, 2011
Variation in Estimated Quantity (VEQ) clauses appear in most public-highway construction contracts because they are mandated by law when federal funding is involved.   Because they have become part of state highway departments’ (SHA) standard specifications, such clauses generally apply to state-...
Law Article January 13, 2011
Prime contractors performing work on public projects typically seek to limit their liability to subcontractors for so-called “pass-through claims” to that which the prime receives from the owner on the subcontractor’s behalf. Most important, these provisions usually provide that the subcontractor...
Law Article December 17, 2010
  A disappointed bidder on a public project is always under tight time restraints to acquaint itself with all of the relevant facts surrounding the procurement and to decide whether a protest is appropriate.   In most cases, the triggering event that starts the protest clock running is the public...
Law Article November 19, 2010
Public entities typically possess the right to reject all bids and rebid the project. In many instances, this decision is made to “get it right the second time” in response to a bid protest that raises legitimate issues. As a recent case in Nevada illustrates, however, the right to reject all bids...
Law Article October 01, 2010
Most prime contractors seek to insulate themselves from liability to subcontractors for actions of the project owner, yet provide a conduit for them to recover via pass-through or sponsored claims to the owner. As a few recent cases demonstrate, the laws among the states vary considerably.  ...
Law Article September 07, 2010
Because most state highway departments assume the risk of fuel-cost escalation and include price-adjustment clauses in their contracts, contractors generally feel no financial effects by varying fuel prices. These clauses, however, are not always clear, and as a case in Mississippi demonstrates,...
Law Article August 02, 2010
I try to avoid writing on similar subjects during any one calendar year, but my fascination with the evolution of innovative contracting within our industry has gotten the best of me. As I have noted in previous articles, the public has a natural inclination toward being suspicious of any...
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