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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: Legislation

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How Construction May Be Affected by President Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration

Posted in Federal Construction, Legal Trends, Legislation
With all the talk about billions of dollars of investment in infrastructure and sweeping reversal of prior executive orders affecting construction labor and federal contracts, it should come as no surprise that President Trump’s recent executive orders on immigration may have an affect on the construction industry. What Happened?  Beginning on January 25, 2017, the… Continue Reading

Texas Court Gobble-Gobbles New Federal Overtime Rules

Posted in Best Practices, Federal Construction, Legislation
On this Thanksgiving Eve, contractors and other employers can take a breathe and gobble down some extra turkey and pumpkin pie without worrying about the new increases in overtime rules. On Tuesday, November 22, 2016, a Texas federal court entered a nationwide injunction blocking the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) new federal overtime rules from… Continue Reading

Do Your Employees and Construction Laborers Belong to You? Depends.

Posted in Best Practices, Federal Construction, Legislation
When walking through the mall or the grocery store with my children, I inevitably get asked, “Are they all yours?”  Depending on my mood, I may or may not claim them all.  As a general contractor, you will want to know the law on whether laborers hired through a staffing company will be considered “yours”… Continue Reading

TN Passes Legislation on What Constitutes “Good and Solvent” Surety Bonds for Construction Projects

Posted in Legislation
I just received an update from Kent Starwalt at the Tennessee Association of Road Builders and Brian Egan, Construction Division Director at TDOT, regarding new state requirements for payment and performance bonds in Tennessee. The requirements apply to "contractors entering into contracts with any city, county or state authority for public works within this state." The… Continue Reading

Tennessee Approves Pilot Program for CM/GC Project Delivery on Select TDOT Projects

Posted in Legislation
It has been some time in the making, but on May 13, 2013, Governor Haslam signed into law HB-0183, which authorizes a pilot program for the use of a construction manager / general contractor (CM/GC) project deliver method in the development and construction of transportation projects. Generally, the CM/GC project delivery method allows an owner… Continue Reading

New Pennsylvania Law Allows PPPs for Construction Projects

Posted in Legislation
Last week, ENR’s Digital Wire highlighted an article in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette by Jon Schmitz about Pennsylvania’s new law to boost private investment in public projects through PPPs. According to the article, there are numerous major projects in the pipeline that will garner interest from private investors, including highways, bridges and other transportation facilities.  Under… Continue Reading

Tennessee Adopts New “Loser Pays” Rule

Posted in Legislation, Tennessee
Today’s guest post is by J. Matthew Kroplin, a fellow attorney at Stites & Harbison PLLC.  Matthew is a member of the Business Litigation and Creditors’ Rights & Bankruptcy Service Groups. He represents and advises clients in the areas of business and commercial litigation, bankruptcy and financial restructuring, and construction law.  Matthew has represented a number of… Continue Reading

A Federal Lien? Bill Would Require Repayment of Federal $$ in Privatization of Projects

Posted in Federal Construction, Legislation
There’s a debate in Congress.  There’s a debate in Congress between Chicago’s two senators.  There’s a debate in Congress between Chicago’s two senators about privatization. Last week, Bob Sechler of the Wall Street Journal described newly introduced legislation from Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill) called “The Protecting Taxpayers in Transportation Asset Transfers Act.”  The bill seeks… Continue Reading

Check Out the 2011 Construction Law Update for Construction Cases and Statutes

Posted in Case Law, Legal Trends, Legislation
In the weeks leading up to the ABA Forum on the Construction Industry’s annual meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, a number of construction attorneys and I were feverishly reviewing submissions for this year’s Construction Law Update.  The document is a compilation of cases and legislation affecting the construction industry.  The updates are provided throughout the year by attorneys all over the… Continue Reading

Heads Up Public Contractors! Nashville to Pass Non-Discrimination Bill Including Gender and Sexual Orientation

Posted in Human Resources, Legal Trends, Legislation
As reported in the Nashville Business Journal and News Channel 5 (video), a non-discrimination bill passed on a second reading at Metro Council last week.  The council voted 21 to 16 in favor of the bill that would add two new classes to the procurement code Metro contractors already follow. These companies would not be… Continue Reading

Medicinal Marijuana and the Job Site: The Conflict Between Federal and State Laws

Posted in Legislation, Safety
Depending on where you live, owners of construction companies may have a new dilemma to address with their employees: medicinal marijuana.  The conflict puts the company’s safety and employment policies often dictated by federal law directly up against what may be an individual’s rights under state law.  Stephanie Simon reports in this morning’s Wall Street… Continue Reading

Muchos Problemas: Music City Center Highlights TN’s “Immigrant Labor” Construction Laws

Posted in Legislation, Tennessee
Last night, the evening news reported that Tennessee House Democrat Leader Mike Turner planned to file a complaint with the Department of Labor, alleging that "one of the contractors working on the Music City Center project is hiring illegal immigrants."  Turner stated that he received the information from an inside source.   While there may… Continue Reading

Cost v. LEED Certification Debate Continues: One County Finds Middle Ground

Posted in Green Building, LEED, Legislation
It really is impossible to put your arms around the number of green building and energy performance policies and codes that are sprouting up all across the nation.  When a project involves private commercial development or public investment, one of the most discussed issues is whether the cost of obtaining LEED certification from the U.S.… Continue Reading

Reading Between the Lines: Construction Industry Targeted in Congressional Health Care Reform Package

Posted in Legislation
On December 24, 2009, the United States Senate voted to pass its own version of the health care package.  You have probably heard cries about the length of the bill (1,990 pages).  You have probably heard the cries about the costs.  But have you heard about an amendment that may significantly affect the construction industry? According to a letter from… Continue Reading

TN Legislative Update: New Workers’ Comp Law Affecting Construction Industry Goes Into Effect January 1, 2010

Posted in Legislation, Tennessee
Back in November, I wrote about a Tennessee Attorney General Opinion that addressed the new workers’ compensation law in Tennessee that requires sole proprietors to carry workers’ compensation insurance on themselves. (Traditionally, there was an exclusion for sole proprietors.)  Just after release of the AG-Opinion, the leadership in the state house and senate came to an agreement to suspend… Continue Reading

EPA Issues Rule to Reduce Water Pollution from Construction Sites

Posted in Environmental, Legislation
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency yesterday issued a final rule in an effort to reduce water pollution on construction sites. The rule, which is set to take effect in February 2010 over a four-year period, is targeted to improve the quality of water nationwide.  According to a press release by the EPA, the impact is significant:  Construction activities like clearing, excavating and grading significantly… Continue Reading