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: Transportation

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What Do Courts Say About Raiding State Transportation Trust Funds?

Posted in Legal Trends, Transportation
Let’s get ready to rumble! According to an ENR-Southeast article by Scott Judy, the road builders in Florida are preparing for another fight against legislators who have raided the state’s transportation trust fund.  This is the second year in a row the Florida legislature has taken measures to raid the transportation funds for general uses.… Continue Reading

Federal Stimilus Monies: Where Employment and Construction Law Intersect

Posted in Federal Construction, Legal Trends, Transportation
A portion of my construction practice involves employment issues.  You can imagine the types of employment-related questions that arise on the project site: Hiring, firing and layoffs Harassment and discrimination Wage payment and commission claims Employee policies, including computer use and social media On-the-job injuries and fatalities State and Federal OSHA requirements Prevailing wage laws,… 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

Tennessee Governor Haslam Talks to Road Builders About Jobs, Business Growth and Tort Reform

Posted in Transportation
In a room filled with more than a hundred highway and bridge contractors, yesterday Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam helped kick off the Tennessee Road Builder Association’s "Day on the Hill" event.  Haslam’s was a welcome voice to this group of business men and women who wanted to hear about ideas for growth, as well as… 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

Can PPPs Revive Highway and Bridge Construction?

Posted in Transportation
My friend Kent Starwalt of the Tennessee Road Builder’s Association sent out a legislative update this morning about the tension between Obama Administration and the Republican controlled Congress on infrastructure investment.     According to the Stateline article, the divisions over transportation investment include high-speed rail, roads, bridges and access to high-speed internet: The president… Continue Reading

FHWA Policy Defines What Land Can Be Acquired by Roadway Contractor

Posted in Federal Construction, Transportation
This must be the week for transportation.  Yesterday, I received an update from the Tennessee Road Builder’s Association about the acquisition of right of ways on Federal funded projects.  According to a memo from TDOT’s Chief Engineer Paul Degges, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will be enforcing its policy that all property must be acquired… Continue Reading

TDOT Resists Borrowing for Bridges … and Other Project Finance Options

Posted in Federal Construction, Transportation
As I drove into work this morning, Nashville Public Radio had a piece this morning about TDOT’s resistance to borrow for bridge construction.  In case you did not know, TDOT employs a pay-as-you go method, which means the state will not borrow for new projects even when it has the opportunity. Last year, the Legislature… Continue Reading

They’re Great! TIGER Grants Lead to Construction Projects in Tennessee and Alabama

Posted in Transportation
The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program was created under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) with a $1.5 billion dollar multi-modal discretionary grant program.  It was designed to provide support for innovative transportation projects of national, regional, and local significance.  The TIGER program included projects that were often difficult to fund under… 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

New Reports Cites “Underinvestment in Transportation” as Major Cause of Project Losses and Layoffs

Posted in Transportation
In a new federal report released last week entitled "An Economic Analysis of Infrastructure Investment"(pdf), the Department of the Treasury, Council of Economic Advisers outlined why now is an optimal time to increase investment in transportation infrastructure. The short twenty-five page report is, according to AGC, "a sobering reminder of the tremendous economic costs of… Continue Reading