With Memorial Day weekend upon us, I am looking forward to a trip to New Hampshire to enjoy warm sunshine, cold beverages and a little R&R sitting on the front porch and looking at the mountain view. But before I get there, I will be one of the 38 million Americans expected to travel. This
Lisa Andrzejewski represents clients throughout the construction industry, including owners, contractors, subcontractors, design professionals, sureties, and high net-worth homeowners. As a member of the firm’s Construction Group, she manages complex construction matters through litigation mediation and arbitration. Lisa also provides transactional services to her clientele. Read her full bio here.
I recently attended an ABA conference in Newark, New Jersey in which the theme was “Finding Common Ground in Drafting and Negotiating Design Clauses” in construction contracts. One of the speakers presented a segment regarding differing site conditions in which he articulated the major risks that differing site conditions present to both owners and contractors and the potential impact of an “unfavorable” drafting of this clause. His presentation laid the “groundwork” (pun intended) for the challenges of owners and contractors in finding “common ground” (yep, another bad play on words) in the site conditions contract clause.
On the one hand, the owner’s goal is to ensure that the design and the construction means and methods are compatible with the site conditions and that the site-related costs are captured in the project’s budget. The Contractor’s goal is to ensure that its bid either incorporates a contingency to cover the risk of an unforeseen site condition or has assurances that the contract provides a mechanism to allow for reimbursement for the work.
Continue Reading Finding “Common Ground” in a Site Conditions Clause
The Common Interest Privilege May Offer More Protection Than You Thought.
Consider for a moment a situation when an Owner and a General Contractor want to exchange confidential communications relating to a potential legal matter. When the Owner and Contractor are not both parties in a suit, what protections might they have?
One possible consideration…
Firms are Ready to Hire.
In October 2014, the Associated General Contractors of America conducted a survey of nearly 900 construction firms across 48 states and the District of Columbia to discuss construction industry hiring in 2015. (To view the survey results and report, “Ready to Hire Again: The Construction Hiring and Business Outlook.” The survey reported that hiring plans are on the rise. Nearly 80% of the firms surveyed expect to hire more employees, which is an 25% increase from 2014. (See Jeanie J. Clapp, Ready to Hire Again AGC Members Forecast a Bright 2015, Constructor Magazine, (March/April 2015). In fact, as of March 2015, construction employment totaled 6,344,000 and the unemployment rate fell to 9.5%. But companies will face challenges finding enough qualified people to hire.
Labor Shortages Loom.
While hiring is on the rise, 87% of the AGC firms who are hiring, report difficulties filling positions, with the greatest hiring challenges for roofers, carpenters and operators. This figure is up more than 10% from 2014. Simply put, there are not enough skilled workers to go around. A study by the Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) estimates that there is currently a shortage of two million skilled construction workers. Based on the circumstances that created the market shortage, closing the gap will not happen quickly.
Labor Market Gap Widens.
- The construction industry lost 2.3 million jobs during 2007-2009 and has only recouped less than half a million. By 2016 it is predicted that the construction will require 6.7 million workers, 50% more workers than are currently available today.
In construction law, contracts are at the heart of our business; contracts between: owners and architects; owners and general contractors; contractors and subcontractors; and subcontractors and sub-subcontractors. Contract language often determines the path of dispute resolution, with arbitration clauses playing a prominent role. In Dichele v. Goldsmith, 2014 Conn. Super. LEXIS 1889 (Conn. Super. …