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: Project Management

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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

Architect and Contractor Sitting in a Tree . . . K-I-S-S-I-N-G

Posted in Contract Docs
Yesterday, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) announced a marketing partnership agreement that is designed to foster a greater understanding and exchange of ideas between architects and contractors in the construction industry. According to the press release, the industry giants have great things to say about each other. AIA… Continue Reading

Five AIA Construction Documents Go Green

Posted in Contract Docs, Green Building
Earlier this week, I received an alert that "Five AIA Contract Documents are going green!" Developed using AIA’s flagship documents as a base, and incorporating concepts and model language from the AIA’s Guide for Sustainable Projects, the new documents address the unique roles, risks and opportunities encountered on sustainable design and construction projects.  “The development… Continue Reading

Who Can Help Interpret a Construction Contract: No One? The Contract? The Industry?

Posted in Case Law, Contract Docs
Last week, the Supreme Court of Tennessee heard oral arguments on a contract interpretation issue in a construction dispute between Ray Bell Construction and Tennessee Department of Transportation.  You can get the details here, but the real lesson is one about how to interpret contracts, whether you are talking about the scope of work, changes, compensation… Continue Reading

Economical Litigation Agreements: Can We Learn to Reduce Construction Litigation and Discovery Costs?

Posted in Contract Docs
As a construction lawyer involved in complex litigation, I am often asked to prepare a "litigation and discovery budget" for a client.  As a construction client, your stomach may turn when you receive one of these budgets from your lawyer.  Is there a way to control the costs of discovery in construction litigation?    According… Continue Reading

Contractors, How Long Should You Keep Your Tax (and Project) Records?

Posted in Best Practices, Claims and Disputes, Document Management
I received an alert from my friends at KraftCPAs yesterday with the following subject line: "How long should your keep you tax records?" The post by Morganne Keel contains some very basic, succinct and easy-to-implement ideas for document retention of tax records, including the following: _________________________________________________________________ Individual taxpayers Keep at least three years, but six year… Continue Reading

Floods and Heavy Rains: How to Best Prepare a Delay Claim for Unusually Severe Weather

Posted in Case Law, Federal Construction, Scheduling, Transportation
Yesterday, highway and bridge contractors in Tennessee received an alert from from TDOT officials about the affect of heavy rain in the area: "I’m sure most are aware of the anticipated rise in the Mississippi River, but could you please share with all that are working in the Mississippi River area and the backwater areas of… Continue Reading

The Four Stages of Documentation on a Construction Project

Posted in Document Management
Last week, I was in Las Vegas speaking at the AGC National Convention and attending CONEXPO / CON-AGG, an international tradeshow featuring more than 2,000 exhibitors showcasing the latest in construction equipment, technologies and services.  Later this week, I will share some thoughts about the tradeshow, including some of my favorite exhibits. In the meantime,… 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

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

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