Best Practices Construction Law

Best Practices Construction Law

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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: Tennessee

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“Was Not” versus “Is So”: Court Clarifies Whether Exceeding Monetary License Limit Affects Contractor’s Recovery

Posted in Legal Trends, Tennessee
After a great extended weekend on the beaches of Florida, we embarked upon the drive back to Nashville with six kids.  Despite the clearly defined travel rules, the antagonizing kid was putting his feet on the emotional kid. The creative kid was writing on the seat with markers, while the perfect kid screamed foul.  The lazy… 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

Discover an Underground Storage Tank During Construction? What Next?

Posted in Best Practices, Tennessee, Transportation
HQ Construction, the Tennessee Department of Transportation‘s new monthly newsletter, recently highlighted in its June 2015 issue an instance when a road builder discovered what appeared to be an underground storage tank (UST).  That can certainly disrupt construction, right? During excavation activities of the I-40 Fast Fix 8 project, Kiewit Construction unearthed what appeared to… Continue Reading

Infographic: Safety In Construction Industry Explained

Posted in Regional Construction, Safety, Tennessee
On June 2, 2014, the AGC of Middle Tennessee will be partnering with other construction trade associations across the state, Tennessee OSHA Outreach Training Centers, as well as TOSHA to have a statewide construction “Fall Protection Safety Stand Down.”  As you may be aware, fall construction accidents are one of OSHA’s Focus Four Hazards. On… Continue Reading

How Contractors Can Make Sure to Receive DBE Participation Credit

Posted in Federal Construction, Tennessee, Transportation
Last week, I received an alert from Deborah Luter, TDOT’s Program Director for the Small Business Development Office (SBDP) regarding DBE participation credits. Many prime contractors may be unaware that subcontracting to a DBE on a TDOT contract does not necessarily mean DBE goal participation credit will be awarded. To receive credit for utilizing a… Continue Reading

TDOT Requires List of Subcontractors from Apparent Low Bidder

Posted in Tennessee, Transportation
While I know this was not coordinated to start on my birthday (…hint…hint…send gifts to my law firm address…), but for the July 12, 2013 letting and going forward, TDOT will require the apparent low bidder to submit a “Bidders List” identifying all subcontractors that provided a quote on that particular project/contract. This measure is… Continue Reading

Are Electronic Toll Collection Systems Subject to Competitive Bidding?

Posted in Case Law, Federal Construction, Tennessee, Transportation, VA, DC, MD
I was working in our Virginia office this past week and was amazed at the amount of highway construction at and around Tyson’s Corner.  What also caught my attention was the progress of the 495 Express Lanes project, which includes the construction of high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes that will operate on the I-495/Capital Beltway.… Continue Reading

Tennessee Adopts New “Loser Pays” Rule

Posted in Legislation, Tennessee
Today’s guest post is by J. Matthew Kroplin, a fellow attorney at Stites & Harbison PLLC.  Matthew is a member of the Business Litigation and Creditors’ Rights & Bankruptcy Service Groups. He represents and advises clients in the areas of business and commercial litigation, bankruptcy and financial restructuring, and construction law.  Matthew has represented a number of… Continue Reading

End of the Road for One Highway Contractor’s Claim

Posted in Case Law, Federal Construction, Tennessee, Transportation
Words matter. Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Tennessee released its decision in a construction dispute between Ray Bell Construction Company and the Tennessee Department of Transportation.  Where the contractor won the first two rounds at the trial court and intermediate appellate court levels, TDOT prevailed in the final appeal. The Dispute.  The primary issue in… Continue Reading

Local Construction Laborer Thankful This Season

Posted in Tennessee
We all need to hear stories of determination, hope and recovery. It’s what the construction industry as a whole wants to see happen.  It’s what our economy needs to see happen.  It’s what local construction laborer Rodney Johnson embodies. From our friends at Trojan Labor in Nashville, I wanted to share a great interview with… Continue Reading

Ghostly Voice: “Tennessee Supreme Court Addresses Non-Delegable Duties to Subcontractors”

Posted in Case Law, Tennessee
Happy Halloween!  Today’s post is not about ghosts, ghouls and goblins, though.  It’s much scarier … it’s about contractors, subcontractors and insurance companies! (….shriek….) In a noteworthy decision issued last week, the Tennessee Supreme Court held that all construction contracts have an implied duty on part of the contractor to perform in a "careful, skillful,… Continue Reading

Green Roof Benefits and Risks: Music City Center in Nashville May Have Both

Posted in Green Building, Tennessee
When asked about potential cost overruns on the Music City Center almost year ago, the Center’s representative Larry Atema stated bluntly, "There aren’t going to be any."  True to that commitment, Anne Paine of the Tennessean reported this past weekend that the Center’s "green roof has grown less green." According to the article, two pieces… Continue Reading

Lead from the Center: Lessons from Tennessee’s Outgoing Governor Phil Bredesen

Posted in Leadership, Tennessee
Earlier today, outgoing Governor Phil Bredesen spoke at the final 2010 membership lunch of the Exchange Club of Nashville.  Bredesen addressed numerous successes over the past eight years as governor, including conservation efforts to set aside 350,000 acres of land in Tennessee, economic development opportunities such as landing a new Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, and… Continue Reading

After Two Rounds, Road Builder Wins $2.5 Million Bonus from TDOT

Posted in Case Law, Tennessee, Transportation
If you are a contractor, you love hearing about these types of boxing tales: Contractor works his butt off. Owner benefits from the accelerated work. Contractor seeks early completion bonus. Owner rejects the claim based upon technicality. Contractor fights in court … fights on appeal … and wins!  That is exactly what happened in Ray Bell… Continue Reading

Divided Tennessee Supreme Court Concludes that “Opinion” Can Form Basis of Intentional Misrepresentation Claim

Posted in Case Law, Tennessee
Some court decisions provide little instruction for future disputes.  Other court decisions give you a great road map for analyzing your claims.  Every now and then you find a decision where the court is split and you wonder which side is right, such as the opinion in Davis v. McGuigan (pdf), issued by the Supreme… Continue Reading

Tennessee Court Resolves (For Now) Venue Rules in Construction Disputes

Posted in Case Law, Tennessee
In Kampert v. Valley Farmer Cooperative (pdf), an opinion issued on October 19, 2010, the Tennessee Court of Appeals validated a forum selection clause in a construction contract that specified venue in a county other than where the property was located.  The primary issue in dispute was whether the proper venue in a case involving the… Continue Reading