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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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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

Fake IDs: Undocumented Workers Grounds for Breach of Construction Contract?

Posted in Legislation
Last week Scott Judy, Editor-in-Chief of Southeast Construction magazine, sent me a tweet about a courthouse project in Jacksonsville, Florida where a large number of fake IDs surfaced on the site.   As reported in the article, Federal officials discovered about 100 fake documents after looking at the paperwork collected by the city.  The mayor was expected to forward the list of 100 illegal… Continue Reading

Tennessee Update: Legislature Looks to Suspend Workers’ Comp Requirements

Posted in Legislation, Tennessee
Following on my earlier post … nevermind.  Leadership of the Tennessee House and Senate recently reached a bipartisan agreement to immediately introduce legislation in January 2010 to suspend the effective date of Public Chapter 1041 from January 1, 2010 to February 28, 2011.  As reported last week, the new law was enacted to require a sole proprietor… Continue Reading

Tennessee Legislative Update: Workers’ Comp Coverage is Required for Sole Proprietors in Construction Industry

Posted in Legislation, Tennessee
Over the past two months, I have received a few inquiries from small business owners about an amendment to Tennessee’s workers’ compensation laws.  The primary question is whether the new law, which takes effect on December 31, 2009, will require a sole proprietor to carry workers’ comp insurance on himself?  (Traditionally, there was an exclusion for sole… Continue Reading

Vandy Football: “Lack of Knowledge” About E-Verify Is No Excuse

Posted in Legal Trends, Legislation
This weekend my eldest son turned six years old.  What right of passage does every six-year-old boy celebrate in the South?  He goes to a SEC football game.  And so we set out on Saturday evening for a little "guy time" with the Vanderbilt Commodores, hot dogs, nachos and popcorn.  My son was decked out in his new blue polo shirt… Continue Reading

Nashville Ordinance Seeks to Allow Alternative to LEED Certification

Posted in LEED, Legislation
A few weeks ago I tweeted about the local building code in Nashville "under review."  Actually, those words were a little weak.  What about these words: "Contractor Leads Attack Against Nashville’s LEED Legislation" … the exact words used by my colleague Stephen Del Percio, attorney and author of Green Real Estate Law Journal.  A good analysis by… Continue Reading

BNA: “Climate Change Bill Offers Construction Opportunities, Raises Concerns”

Posted in Environmental, Legislation
Within the past couple of months, BNA started a new report called Infrastructure Investment & Policy Report.  Earlier this week, I was contacted by BNA reporter Kate Naseef to share some thoughts about HR 2454, the climate change legislation that was recently approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee and its affect on the construction industry.  According to AGC and ABC representatives,… Continue Reading

LEED Legislation Wrecks Havoc: BIM Saves the Day!

Posted in Building Information Modeling, Green Building, LEED, Legislation, Technology
That’s not exactly how the headline reads … but close enough.  The actual title is BIM Promotes Sustainability: Practitioners are Finding Paths to Green through Interoperable Software.  As reported by McGraw Hill Construction, this article demonstrates the practical utility of Building Information Modeling (BIM) on a construction project … a green one!  MH reports about the restoration… Continue Reading

Green Power Hits the Radio Waves … Affects Construction Industry

Posted in Case Law, Environmental, Legal Trends, Legislation
As I was driving to work, a super-hero-like voice interrupted my morning news program on the radio: "Green Power Switch is coming to a neighborhood near you!  Green Power Switch will allow you, the consumer, to choose to purchase “green” energy from the companies that sell the power that TVA generates." That’s right! The Tennessee… Continue Reading