Best Practices Construction Law

Best Practices Construction Law

Best Practices Resources

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

Top Posts

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: Claims and Disputes

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How To Track Increased Construction Costs For Proving Claims

Posted in Best Practices, Claims, Claims and Disputes
I previously blogged about the importance of using daily reports to prove construction claims. In addition to daily reports, the following records should be prepared and maintained in the normal course of business to help prove claims and effectively manage the project: Correspondence file containing all correspondence relating to a specific claim, including letters and/or… Continue Reading

Top 14 Most Common Scheduling Mistakes by Contractors

Posted in Claims and Disputes, Project Management, Scheduling
Many delay, disruption, and loss of productivity claims are lost or substantially reduced in value because mistakes, errors and carelessness are reflected in the original schedule and plan of operations. The original schedule is often the first piece of documentation that the owner receives demonstrating the contractor’s professionalism in planning and management. Contractors should pay… Continue Reading

Eeeek! What To Do When You Find Bones or Human Remains On the Construction Site?

Posted in Best Practices, Claims and Disputes, Project Management
Last month, authorities in Suffolk, Virginia were investigating a construction site where human bones were found.  Forensic experts were called in to excavate the site and determine whether they were recent or from an old burial ground.  Has this ever happened at one of your sites? If you find bones or other archaeological artifacts during… Continue Reading

Subcontractor’s Failure to Strictly Comply With Notice Provision Costs $200,000

Posted in Best Practices, Case Law, Claims and Disputes, Legal Trends, Tennessee
Whether you are an owner, contractor, subcontractor or supplier, you will want to read the rest of this post since it illustrates precisely what all those attorneys have been telling you for years: “Please, please, please read your contract.” In this instance, one party’s failure to strictly follow the contractual notice provision was a $209,235.36… Continue Reading

One Awesome Case Discussing The Difference Between Delay and Disruption Damages!

Posted in Case Law, Claims and Disputes, Legal Trends, Scheduling, Texas, Transportation
Rarely do you find a case that succinctly addresses a construction law issue.  Today, one of my legal alerts pointed me to one such case dealing with delay damages and disruption damages. This is a must read! In County of Galveston v. Triple B Services, LLP, decided on May 26, 2016, the Court of Appeals of Texas… Continue Reading

Public Owner Recovers Liquidated Damages Even After Terminating Contractor for Convenience

Posted in Case Law, Claims and Disputes, Legal Trends
You can’t have your cake and eat it too.  That’s no fun!  Why even get the cake if you are not allowed to eat it?  Recently, a court held that a public owner could have both a termination for convenience, as well as liquidated damages. In Old Colony Construction, LLC v. Southington, 316 Conn. 202… Continue Reading

Proceed Wisely, Ninja Contractor, Because Suing Your DOT May Have Limitations

Posted in Case Law, Claims, Claims and Disputes, Federal Construction, Legal Trends, Transportation
No self-respecting Ninja goes into battle without a plan, right? You need to know your environment, your opponent and the rules of the battle.  For you Ninja contractors, it’s a good thing to fully understand your potential recovery before you spend countless months and thousands of dollars pursuing a claim against your state DOT for… Continue Reading

Provide Notice (and 10 Other Tasks) When Pursuing a Construction Claim

Posted in Best Practices, Case Law, Claims and Disputes, Project Management, Scheduling
When dealing with construction claims—whether one for construction defects, outstanding payment, or delay damages—an initial hurdle is making sure that proper notice has been given.  Generally, you have to make sure that you comply with the contract or insurance provisions by: (1) giving written notice of the claim; (2) to the correct party; (3) within… Continue Reading

Risk or Reward? Using Drones on Your Construction Project

Posted in Best Practices, Claims and Disputes, Technology
In this week’s issue of ENR, technology writer Luke Abaffy details the use of drones by Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to conduct bridge inspections. We’ve all seen the YouTube videos or Facebook posts of a drone in action. The recent article in the ENR magazine highlights a new testing program by MnDOT that is… Continue Reading

Government Contractors: Threatening to File a Claim is Not the Same as Filing a Claim

Posted in Case Law, Claims and Disputes, Federal Construction, Legal Trends
Words matter. Grammar matters. Even punctuation matters: Let’s eat, Grandma! Let’s eat Grandma! For one government contractor, its claim was recently rejected by the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals because the Board found that the Contractor did not properly state its claim.  In Construction Group LLC v. Dept. of Homeland Security, 15-1 BCA para. 35900… Continue Reading

Brrrrrr, It’s Cold! How to Best Prepare a Delay Claim for Unusually Severe Weather

Posted in Best Practices, Case Law, Claims and Disputes, Federal Construction, Transportation
In anticipation of what could be an influx of wintry weather, the Tennessee Department of Transportation has made arrangements to ensure the state’s roadways stay clear. According to the Johnson City Press, TDOT has distributed more than 200,000 tons of salt and 2 million gallons of brine to stations in each of the state’s 95… Continue Reading

Best Practices for Developing a Contractor’s Request for Compensation

Posted in Best Practices, Claims and Disputes
My mentor and good friend, Cordell Parvin, has over the years shared with me some great best practices for contractors—whether talking about bid protests, accidents on the jobsite, or filing a claim. Recently, Cordell sent me a list of items that all contractors should review when developing a request for additional compensation.  I have edited… Continue Reading

Bargaining Room v. False Claims: 5 Tips for Negotiation of Construction Claims

Posted in Best Practices, Claims and Disputes, Federal Construction
Earlier this week, a settlement was reached in dispute where the contractor and designer were alleged to have filed false claims with the U.S. Government on two road projects in South Carolina.  The issue raises an important question: What should a contractor do during negotiations to allow for some “bargaining room” so as to avoid… Continue Reading

8 Best Practice Tips for a Schedule Analysis of Construction Delays

Posted in Best Practices, Claims and Disputes
A number of families will be traveling this holiday weekend, and some are travel-savvy enough to check out travel websites like www.911.Virginia.org for real-time traffic information and identification of construction delays.  When savvy contractors face delays on a project, they immediately take steps to provide notice, document, evaluate and plan for recovery from those delays.It… Continue Reading

Any Problems with One Owner and Multiple Contractors? Sometimes.

Posted in Best Practices, Claims and Disputes
Increasingly, two or more contractors may each have a separate contract with the owner for different portions of the work on a single project. Interference may arise, for example, from one contractor’s storage of materials on a site where the other has work to perform, or from one contractor’s failure to progress with work that… Continue Reading

Can a Subcontractor Recover When Delays Are Caused by Another Subcontractor?

Posted in Best Practices, Claims and Disputes
Recovery for unreasonable delays caused by others can be based upon a breach of an implied obligation not to hinder or delay the other party’s performance. Wow, that’s a mouthful! Let’s look at an example. In Foster & Creighton Company v. Wilson Contracting, the Tennessee Court of Appeals reviewed a case involving a project at… Continue Reading

Recovering Loss of Productivity Through Measured Mile Analysis

Posted in Best Practices, Claims and Disputes, Transportation
You don’t need to go any further than this Washington Post article to read about a delayed construction project where the parties are passing blame back and forth.  The Silver Spring Transit Center is reported to be two years behind schedule and suffering from significant cost increases. No doubt the dispute will be resolved in… Continue Reading