From the category archives: Legal

Legal

Be Proactive About Crafting a Company Drone Policy

  Construction firms should expect the drone compliance topic to develop rapidly, as other agencies may provide supplementary rules to address the impact of unmanned aircraft on the areas they regulate. It is important for contractors and their attorneys to stay up to speed on current developments to ensure that they are managing their risks effectively. 

AIA’s New Insurance and Bonding Exhibit Creates Flexibility

  To keep up with legal and practice developments, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has put together a comprehensive set of revisions to its 2017 owner-​contractor agreements. The single most significant 2017 revision to the A201 Family is the creation of an Insurance and Bonds Exhibit to accompany the key owner-contractor agreements.

P3s: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

With government officials’ increasing understanding of the P3 structure, the narrowing difference in financing cost thanks to federal programs, and a focus on life cycle costs and risk transfer, governments across the country are beginning to look to P3s as a way to deliver on promises of infrastructure investment. Many governments are in the process of evaluating public-private partnerships in meaningful ways, conducting rigorous analyses to determine whether a P3 is the prudent way to procure a project. 

Negligence Claim Proves Designers Can Be Held Directly Liable to Subcontractors

Is it reasonable for a subcontractor bidding on a design-build project to assume that the designer has followed the owner’s requirements in preparing the preliminary design documents? The answer is yes, according to a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which affirmed a jury verdict from the District Court. The ruling was in favor of two paving subcontractors against the project engineer, Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. 

Conflict in Court Over Income Recognition for Construction Contractors

  The 9th Circuit Court’s review of how construction contractors should recognize income had a somewhat surprising outcome. The key question being considered was: When should developers recognize income under the completed contract method? Is it when the entire project is complete, is it on percentage of completion, or is it upon the sale of each individual home sold?  

Shea Homes, which used the completed contract method to account for its planned development communities, claimed that final completion and acceptance under Reg. 1.460-1(c)(3) did not occur until the last road was paved and the final bond
was released. However, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) contended that final completion took place upon the sale of each home.

Farewell John Hancock: The Emerging Use of Digital Signatures

The law of electronic signatures primarily derives from two statutes: the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act 2000 (ESIGN), which governs at the federal level, and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA), which governs each state (except New York, Illinois and Washington). Both laws establish that electronic signatures are legal with only a few exceptions.

Decision Opens the Door to Joint Employer Liability for Contractors

On Jan. 25, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a significant blow to the traditional contractor-subcontractor relationship. In finding that a contractor and subcontractor could be considered “joint employers” of the subcontractor’s workers for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the court’s decision has opened a Pandora’s Box of potential wage and hour issues, including claims for overtime pay against contractors and higher-tier subcontractors from the employees of lower-tier subcontractors.

Before Employees Leave, Protect Your Assets

  Construction companies that cater to the demands unique to each type of employee will find an edge in the employment marketplace. 

The Power of the Congressional Review Act

  For more than a decade, it was common for elected officials on Capitol Hill to say, “the Congressional Review Act (CRA) has only ever been successful once.” However, under the Trump administration, the rarely used CRA has successfully overturned eight overreaching Obama-era regulations. Passed in 1996, the CRA allows new regulations to be overturned by Congress through a joint resolution of disapproval.

What Merit Shop Contractors Should Expect From the Trump Administration

While controversies over the first nominee for Secretary of Labor slowed implementation of the Trump administration’s labor agenda during the first 100 days of the president’s term, construction industry leaders are already seeing a sharp contrast with the anti-business agenda of the Obama administration, as federal labor agencies have begun to review and in some cases retract burdensome regulations imposed by previous officials. 
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