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.

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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: Contract Docs

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Tips for Drafting Commercial Real Estate, Development and Construction Contracts

Posted in Best Practices, Contract Docs
Noted author and business attorney, Peter Siviglia, once said: "In this world, … there are two forms of writing: creative (such as novels, plays, and poetry) and expository (such as treatises, letters, memorandums, and briefs).  I’ve tried both and prefer a third: contracts, which do not entertain, do not convey information or ideas, and do not try to persuade."… 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

Hot Off the Press: ConsensusDOCS Releases Green Building Addendum

Posted in Contract Docs, Green Building, LEED
As much as possible, I like to highlight various forms of construction contract documents.  In most of my green building presentations over the past few months, I have talked about the "soon to be released" Green Building Addendum from ConsensusDOCS.  Well, that day has finally come! Based upon my preliminary review of the 310 Green Building Addendum, I… Continue Reading

The Problem with Words: They Can LEED to Miscommunication

Posted in Best Practices, Building Information Modeling, Claims and Disputes, Contract Docs, Document Management, LEED, Legal Trends
I have my Google reader set to search various blogs, news sites, and Twitter feeds to help me keep current with the latest trends in the construction industry.  There remains one major problem: the words we use have different meanings for everyone.   Take, for example, my search of Twitter feeds (above) for Building Information Modeling (BIM).  If you were to do the… Continue Reading

When…Not If…Does BIM Become Mainstream? Wisconsin Says Now!

Posted in Building Information Modeling, Contract Docs
Last month, I wrote about how Building Information Modeling (BIM) helped a project meet its time and money goals when local legislation requiring LEED certification was enacted in Wasington, D.C.  The original article that appeared in McGraw Hill Construction provided an excellent overview of BIM uses and strategies for all construction projects, including green ones.  The question that keeps running through my… 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

ConsensusDOCS Beats AIA to the Punch: Releases Federal Gov’t Contract

Posted in Contract Docs, Project Management
In case you have not heard, on June 11, 2009, ConsensusDOCS released what is reported to be the first and only standard contract designed specifically for federal government construction projects. The ConsensusDOCS 752-Subcontract for Federal Construction Projects provides all of the necessary terms and conditions essential to comply with the Federal Acquisition Regulation ("FAR"). In… Continue Reading

CM + AIA = New Construction Manager Contract Docs

Posted in Contract Docs, Technology
That’s a pretty old looking contract … hanging in the historic courthouse in downtown Arthur, Nebraska.  Good thing our standard form construction contracts are not that old! Last week, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) held its national convention in San Francisco, California. Although “construction manager” (CM) contract documents had been released in 2007 and 2008, AIA… Continue Reading