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.
Recently, a contractor asked me how to create a good contract. After further discussion, I understood that this contractor was not licensed, but wanted advice on obtaining a good contract. Well, what is a good contract after all?
John Caravella, Esq. of The Law Offices of John Caravella, P.C. will be one of three presenters at the Nassau County Bar Association Construction Law Committee’s seminar, next in its series of presentations addressing issues in the field of Construction Law.
On December 18, 2012, at 12:30 pm, the Construction Law Committee in the Founders Room at the Home of the Association, will present Deconstructing the Construction Contract.
Can homeowners be held responsible for injuries that may occur to contractors while work is being done on their property? Many homeowners love new home face-lifts, but did they ever think what a dangerous home improvement job consisted of? Well, what happens if a contractor is injured while working? Who is responsible for their medical costs?
Given the large number and variety of documents required to administer a construction project today (plans, specifications, contracts, etc.), the likelihood of discrepancies arising between these different sources is almost unavoidable. Do you know how these documents rate in terms of their authority?
Changes are an unavoidable aspect of construction. Although thorough effort and coordination are required in preparing the original project contract, specifications and construction drawings, there will still be changes. This is why owners are provided the right to make changes to the work under a typical contract changes clause.
However, the ability for owner requested changes, even if provided in the contract, are not without limitations, restrictions, and consequences. After all, what purpose would any of the project documents, contracts and drawings serve if they were subject to constant change? What good would the contract serve if the owner could make any change(s) without consequence?
To minimize potential legal problems when planning construction, whether the project is a large commercial project, a new residence, or even a renovation to an existing structure, care must be taken to have essential terms included in the contract.
Indemnification is an important legal concept which impacts nearly all construction contracts. It has several forms and types, but generally amounts to a contract requirement where one party party agrees to restore the other party from any losses. Where an anticipated loss should occur, the damaged party can expect reimbursement for the loss.
Perhaps the most common construction-related dispute is the refusal of a party to make payment to its contractors or subcontractors. While litigation is the traditional avenue for resolving such disputes, methods of alternative dispute resolution such as arbitration and mediation are enjoying growing importance in the field of construction law.
Construction is fraught with countless risks, from weather conditions, labor strikes, material unavailability, subsurface conditions, and inaccurate plans and specifications, among others. Each has the potential to delay the project, cause increased completion costs, and increase the likelihood of disputes, liens, and litigation.