When it comes to construction contracts, arbitration and mediation (Alternate Dispute Resolution) are both commonly specified for out of court dispute resolution. The use of mediation and arbitration in construction contracts, both for small and large construction, has been increasingly common over the past decade.
Continue reading “Top 3 New Construction Arbitration Rules That Expand Powers and Challenge Assumptions”
For contractors and subcontractors in New York, Mechanic’s Lien Waivers are a part of life, but the potential risks to the contractor in waiving more than intended or understanding of the terms are not always as common. Owners (and often their lender) require that the project be kept lien free through progression of the work to final completion.
Continue reading “Top 5 Mechanic’s Lien Waiver Pitfalls for Contractors and Subs”
Under New York construction law, much emphasis is placed on the “improvement” of real property (real estate). Indeed reference to improvements are often found in New York construction contracts, and establishing an improvement is required for a contractor to establish a valid lien on a privately owned project. But what specifically are the ins and outs?
Continue reading “So What Is an Improvement, Anyhow?”
Whenever we hear the terms Usury and Racketeering, we think of two things, organized crime, and the RICO Act. But did you know that these two terms are very common within the New York Construction industry? Whether you are a homeowner, a contractor or a commercial business owner, usury and racketeering come in many different shapes and sizes. What are the types of Construction Usury, and how can we protect ourselves?
Continue reading “Protecting Yourself from Usury and Racketeering in Construction”
Contractors and subcontractors frequently consult with their attorneys in the negotiation of construction contracts before they are signed, but counsel’s involvement generally ends at that point until and unless litigation arises down the road. Nevertheless, additional consultation with attorneys after execution of contracts can ensure that contractors and subcontractors meet their respective obligations and may confer savings that far offset the costs.
Continue reading “Post Contract Signing Considerations For The New York Contractor”
Construction is filled with countless risks, from weather conditions, labor strikes, material unavailability, subsurface conditions, inaccurate plans, and specifications, among others variables. Each has the potential to delay the project, cause increased completion costs, and increase the likelihood of disputes, liens, or litigation. Problems stemming from inaccurate plans and specs can quickly become the obstacles of others beyond just the design professional itself.
It is certain that New York construction law imposes principal responsibility for plan and specification accuracy on the design professional itself. The design professional is required to use the degree of skill, knowledge, and judgment generally used by other design professionals in the same geographic area.
Continue reading “Defects By Design; Who is Liable for Bad Plans?”
The New York Education Department, Office of the Professions, regulates the licensing of the various professions, such as Lawyers, Certified Public Accountants, Architects, and other professions practicing within the state. Typically these professionals must pass initial education and examination requirements, and are also required to maintain certain levels of continuing education units. These requirements are intended to foster continued education and training throughout their career.
Continue reading “Should Architects Be Exempt From Continuing Education?”
The traditional maxim of “let the buyer beware” is softened in the context of Article 36-B of the New York General Business Law, which imposes a warranty in favor of the buyers of new homes and holds construction contractors to a standard of skilled workmanship.
Continue reading “The Implied Warranty on the Sale of New Homes: What Homeowners & Contractors Need to Know”
Many homeowners who consult with me regarding construction disputes are not only financially damaged but emotionally distressed, and understandably so. Our homes are not only our biggest financial investments but our sanctuaries, and misconduct by unscrupulous contractors that damages those sanctuaries makes us feel that we have no place of safety and, in some instances, makes us worry that we may be homeless altogether. Thus, the question is often posed to me whether homeowners can collect damages for emotional distress that results from construction contract disputes, in addition to their economic damages.
Continue reading “Homeowners Unable To Recover For Emotional Distress In Construction Disputes”
Oftentimes, owners find themselves wondering if they need an architect of design professional for their project, and might be unfamiliar with the terms and forms used in their contracts. This article provides a refresher on the types of projects an owner should have an architect for, and the typical forms of contracts used for the project.
Continue reading “Considerations When Hiring an Architect”