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.

Top Posts

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.

Tag Archives: DOT

How Important Is That Little Green Card? Pretty Darn Important Says One Court.

Posted in Case Law, Claims and Disputes, Georgia, Legal Trends
We live in a world of e-mails, IMs, texts, Snapchats, Instagrams and the occasional fax.  Although information is transmitted instantaneously in today’s environment, proof of receipt of that information (often called “Notice”) remains subject to some very strict rules imposed by contract, case law or statute. Notice of Claims.  In a recent transportation case involving a… Continue Reading

How the Government Shutdown Affects the Department of Transportation DBE Regulations

Posted in Federal Construction
We have all read about the consequences of the recent government shutdown,  including postal services ,  the housing market , and even OSHA investigations.  Thanks to my partner, Mark Leach, for sharing an example of how the shutdown has affected the transportation and road building industry. Last year, the Department of Transportation issued a notice of proposed… Continue Reading

USDOT Provides “So-So” Update on MAP-21 for Transportation Projects

Posted in Federal Construction
On May 21, 2013, the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Transportation provided an update to Congress on the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), requiring the Acceleration of Project Delivery (Subtitle C).  MAP-21 is the first long-term surface transportation authorization since 2005 and provides for $105 billion… Continue Reading

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas…and Comments Were Due on DBE Rule Changes

Posted in Federal Construction, Transportation
Today’s guest post is from my good friend and law partner, Mark Leach, who focuses on health care law, construction disputes and public procurement matters.  Mark served as a panel member on DBE Compliance at the October 25, 2012, ARTBA Construction Law and Regulatory Forum. You can contact Mark at (502) 681-0583 or Comment… Continue Reading

Severin Doctrine: It’s Another Name for “Pass-Through-Plus” Claims

Posted in Transportation
A contractor’s recovery from an owner for damages suffered by its subcontractor is limited in certain circumstances. The Severin doctrine provides that a general contractor cannot sue an owner on behalf of one of its subcontractors to recover monies due to the subcontractor unless the general contractor is itself liable to the subcontractor. The Background.… Continue Reading

Why You Should Understand DBE Laws and Regulations

Posted in Best Practices, Federal Construction
I recently spoke to a group of highway contractors about disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) laws and regulations and some of the different policies among the state departments of transportation.  Did you know that in FYI 2010, special agents with USDOT’s Office of Inspector General (DOT-OIG) were responsible for 92 indictments, 72 convictions and over $18… Continue Reading

New Rules on Joint Ventures Between Section 8(a) and Large Contractors

Posted in Federal Construction
Some of the most frequent public contracting questions I receive are about the permissible activities for joint ventures between a minority contractor and a larger contractor.  In February 2011, the Small Business Administration made some significant changes to its Section 8(a) business development program, which helped me answer many of those questions.  One major category… Continue Reading

New Report: FHWA’s Oversight of Federal-Aid and Federal Recovery Act Projects

Posted in Federal Construction, Transportation
On July 15, 2011, the USDOT’s Office of Inspector General (DOT-OIG) issued a final report on the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) oversight of federal-aid and Recovery Act projects administered by Local Public Agencies (LPA).  You can download a copy of the report here [pdf]. The DOT-OIG initiated the audit because the FHWA previously acknowledged that LPAs… Continue Reading

Watch and Listen to House Reauthorization Bill Roll Out

Posted in Transportation
I just received an alert from my friend, Kent Starwalt, Executive Vice President for the Tennessee Road Builders Association, announcing an important hearing on Thursday morning. House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) has invited ARTBA members to join a webcast and conference call tomorrow where he will provide an overview of his… Continue Reading

Heart and Mind: Joint Venture Agreements on Construction and Transportation Projects

Posted in Best Practices, Legal Trends
A recent article in the Nashville Business Journal equated a joint venture on a construction project to a marriage: "Want a successful joint venture? Think seamless."   The article offered several points of what should be addressed in the joint venture agreement before pursuing work:  Address potential consequences.  Parties should address the potential consequences of joining finances… 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

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

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