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.

Tag Archives: Project Management

What I Learned from My Kids About Delay Claims

Posted in Claims
This past week, I came home to a complete mess in our backyard—it was littered with debris, trash, plates and utensils, and overturn patio furniture.  My instruction to the kids yesterday morning was stern: “Clean up this mess by the time I get home…or else!” One kid fixed the furniture in 15 minutes. One kid… 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

Coaching Football and Planning Construction Projects: It’s All the Same Thing

Posted in Best Practices
My good friend and mentor Cordell Parvin once suggested that planning done by contractors for a successful construction project is not unlike the planning done by football coaches for a successful season. He is right! Coaching football.  Successful football organizations consist of specialized teams or units: (a) the offense; (b) the defense; and (c) and special… Continue Reading

Top 20 Contract Issues for Contractors and Subcontractors (Part 4)

Posted in Contract Docs, Document Management, Project Management
You probably thought you would never see the finish line to this series of posts on the Top 20 contract issues for contractors and subcontractors.  Well, here we are, at the finish line. In this final part of the four-part series, I share the last few areas of concern for contractors and subcontractors when reviewing… Continue Reading

Top 20 Contract Issues for Contractors and Subcontractors (Part 3)

Posted in Contract Docs, Document Management, Project Management
My friend Melissa Brumback of Construction Law in North Carolina said that my post yesterday on construction contract issues was SCARY (…although I think she only wanted a shout-out…).  In any event, I am glad that I am receiving good feedback on my list of Top 20 Contract Issues.  In this third part of a… Continue Reading

Dear Contractor, Here is a List of Common Scheduling Mistakes

Posted in Federal Construction, 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

Three Problems with Partnering on Construction Projects

Posted in Project Management, Transportation
Last week, I spoke at the annual meeting of the Tennessee Road Builders Association.  Fellow speaker and lobbyist,  Dave Bauer of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, gave a legislative update on the status of Federal transportation funding.  During his talk, Dave suggested that Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) can help, but are not a solution… Continue Reading

Digital Signatures in Construction Contracts: Are They As Good As the Real Thing?

Posted in Document Management, Legal Trends, Project Management, Technology
A few months ago, I did a webinar on project documentation.  At the end of the webinar, one of the participants asked, Are digital signatures as good as hard copy signatures? I addressed this exact question in a feature article that I wrote for ABC’s Construction Executive magazine on the paperless construction project.  In the… Continue Reading

Collaborative Construction: Using Technology and Construction Apps for Project Management

Posted in Project Management, Technology
I recently discovered that eight out of ten of the top key word searches on this site over the past few months included variations of the following words: construction, iPad, technology and apps.  The searches were referred primarily to a blog post I did about my favorite apps for the construction industry.  Construction apps are more… Continue Reading

Hot Air Balloons: The Sky’s the Limit in Construction Contracting and Project Management

Posted in Claims and Disputes, Contract Docs, Document Management, Indian Construction, New Mexico, Project Management
There is a lot of hot air in Albuquerque, New Mexico this week. And it's not because I was in town ... it's because of the Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. This post is about some lessons learned in project management on Indian projects.… Continue Reading

Project Management: What to Do When People Come and Go

Posted in Human Resources, Project Management
A headline from the Wall Street Journal caught my attention this morning: “When People Come and Go: Project teams often have different workers at different times. And that can create problems.” Imagine the potential problems that exist in an industry where project team members change regularly such as in the construction industry. What does history report on… Continue Reading

Colin Reed: Leadership Lessons from Nashville’s Flood Recovery

Posted in Human Resources, Leadership, Project Management
Last week, I attended the Nashville Chamber of Commerce CEO Speaker Series featuring Colin Reed, Chairman and CEO of Gaylord Entertainment.  Reed is a very good speaker and he spent the morning with an audience of 200 sharing some lessons he learned following the flood in Nashville in May 2010.  If you have not seen the pictures… Continue Reading

New Policy? New Position? Riding the Waves of Change in the Workplace

Posted in Best Practices, Georgia, Human Resources, Kentucky, Project Management, Tennessee
You may have noticed that I recently transitioned to a new law firm this week.  I am happy to announce that I have joined Stites & Harbison PLLC as a partner in the Construction Service Group and the Green Law Practice Group.  The past few weeks have seemed like a tropical storm … and the only… Continue Reading

The Top Three Causes of Disputes on a Construction Project

Posted in Claims and Disputes, Contract Docs, Document Management, Human Resources, Project Management, Scheduling
Earlier this week, I was talking with fellow attorney who does not practice construction law.  At one point in our conversation, he threw out a goocher of a question: "I know this is a hard question, but what do you think causes most of the disputes on a construction project?  I am sure there could be plenty… Continue Reading