Best Practices Construction Law

Best Practices Construction Law

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Matt has written articles and given presentations on all aspects of construction law. Find a resource here.

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Best Practices top posts include claims preparation, contract drafting, and litigation pitfalls. You don’t want to miss these ones.

Matthew DeVries

Matt is a construction & litigation attorney at Burr & Forman LLP and father of seven young kids.

Category Archives: Alternative Dispute Resolution

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Construction Contracts And Arbitration Provisions: Is The Word “May” Mandatory? Maybe!

Posted in Arbitration, Case Law, Legal Trends
You don’t always say what you mean. And you don’t always mean what you say.  In construction contracts, parties attempt to use plain and ordinary words to describe their respective obligations. As an example, when the parties use the word “shall” in their agreement, they generally understand that the obligation specified is mandatory. Or when parties use the… Continue Reading

Tony Piazza and Eric Green: Ask The Experts Any Mediation Question!

Posted in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitration, Best Practices, Mediation
When it comes to identifying the best mediators in the country, Tony Piazza and Eric Green are at the top of the list.  And, on October 8, 2015, they will be sharing the stage in Austin, Texas for the Construction ADR Summit (pdf) sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Forum on Construction Law. The program.  When a… Continue Reading

Revised AAA Construction Rules Take Effect July 1, 2015

Posted in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitration, Legal Trends, Mediation
The past week has been one of sweeping changes. (…no comment…)  But one set of non-controversial changes is the Revised Construction Industry Arbitration and Mediation Procedures released by the American Arbitration Association. The Rules, which take effect July 1, 2015, can be downloaded here.  The major revisions include: A mediation step for all cases with… Continue Reading

Happy Birthday AAA Supplementary Construction Rules for Fixed Time and Cost

Posted in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitration, Best Practices
Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday Dear AAA Supplementary Rules! Happy Birthday to you! One year ago, the American Arbitration Association implemented new rules to provide an arbitration process that would be more predictable in terms of time and cost. The Supplementary Rules for Fixed Time and Cost Construction Arbitration (“Supplementary… Continue Reading

“Sole Option” Arbitration Provision in Construction Contract Can Be Good

Posted in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitration
Sometimes it is a race to the courthouse and dispute resolution for construction disputes can take many forms: litigation, mediation, arbitration, med-arb, dispute review boards, flip-a-coin, etc. Every now and then, I will review a construction contract where one of the parties . . . “at its sole option” . . . has the right… Continue Reading

New Book (and Website) on Construction ADR Released This Week!

Posted in Alternative Dispute Resolution
As many of you know, I am heavily involved in the American Bar Association’s Forum on the Construction Industry.   For you non-lawyers, that’s a group (about 6,000) of geeky construction lawyers who get together three times a year for some of the best presentations on construction law, new technologies, risk management, financing, and many others… Continue Reading

Arbitration: What Is It? Why Should You Care?

Posted in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitration
When parties to a construction project find themselves in a dispute, there are a few options to help find a resolution. These can include: engaging in informal settlement discussions, taking the dispute to an initial decision maker identified in the contract, or hiring a third-party mediator to help the parties find a resolution. If the… Continue Reading

Contracts Must Be Clear on “Arbitrability” Question, Especially for $56M Claims

Posted in Arbitration
I’ve blogged about arbitration in construction disputes on numerous occasions.  Just like any other construction contract dispute, the resolution in arbitration often comes down to the language used in the parties’ agreement.  This is especially true when the gateway question is: Who decides whether the dispute is arbitrable—the court or the arbitrator? In Massachusetts Highway… Continue Reading

Construction Law Seminars in the Music City

Posted in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Legal Trends, Tennessee
For all my Nashville and Middle-Tennessee friends, I want to take a moment to highlight two upcoming conferences.  Although the programs are geared towards construction lawyers, don’t shy away if you did not get a “shark degree” from Build ‘Em Big University … Each conference offers a little different glimpse depending on your career path.  What do I mean? The… Continue Reading

Arbitrating Construction Disputes: Would You Like “Reason” With That Award?

Posted in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitration
Who knew that dispute resolution was a lot like ordering from a menu?  Would you like one arbitrator or a panel of three arbitrators?  Would you like your jurisdictional questions to be determined by the court or the arbitrator?  Which arbitration rules do you want to apply?  So many choices . . . Recently, the American Arbitration Association revised and… Continue Reading

Construction Contracts and Arbitration Provisions: Is the Word “May” Mandatory? Maybe!

Posted in Arbitration, Case Law, Claims and Disputes, Contract Docs, Legal Trends
You don’t always say what you mean. And you don’t always mean what you say.  In construction contracts, parties attempt to use plain and ordinary words to describe their respective obligations. For example, when the parties use the word “shall” in their agreement, they generally understand that the obligation specified is mandatory. Or when parties use the word… Continue Reading