The Inconvenient Termination for Convenience

Many construction contracts in New York make reference to how or why one or both parties are provided the right to terminate the agreement. One such typical form of termination, ‘Termination for Convenience’, may be provided.

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Construction Contract Document Conflict

 

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? Continue reading “Construction Contract Document Conflict”

Essential Provisions for Subcontractor Agreements

When it comes to subcontractor agreements, there are numerous types of agreements that might be used and the fine print in these agreements can be crucial. Some documents, such as the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 401 and the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) Form 640 serve as standard forms of agreement.

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Top 7 Owner Risks in New York Construction Contracts

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.

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Alternative Dispute Resolution An Option For Construction Contractors Under NY’S Prompt Payment Act

 

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.

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Punitive Damages Claims in New York Construction Contract Disputes

 

One topic that came up in my practice recently was a contractor’s potential exposure to liability for punitive damages under New York law. As the name suggests, punitive damages are awarded above and beyond their contract or property damages, ‘where the wrong done was aggravated by circumstances of violence, oppression, malice, fraud, … on the part of the defendant, and are intended to address the plaintiff’s mental anguish or other aggravation, to punish the defendant for its behavior.’ Black’s Law Dictionary 390 (6th Ed. 1991).

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Changes vs. Cardinal Changes: The Limit of Construction Contract Changes

 

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?

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Considerations When Hiring an Architect

Often owners find themselves wondering if they need an Architect for their project, and might be unfamiliar with terms and forms of contract used. This article provides a refresher on the types of projects an Owner should have an architect, and the typical forms of contracts used.

An architect licensed and registered in New York provides services related to the design and construction of buildings and the spaces around them, where the safeguarding of life, health, property, and public welfare is concerned.[1]

Although there are situations where involving an Architect is discretionary on the part of the owner, generally, if new construction, alteration to an existing structure, plumbing, or HVAC is contemplated, construction drawings sealed by an architect will be required by your building department before your project can begin.

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Contractor Scaffold Law Liability

Much construction litigation arises from disputes over Scaffold Law liability. Simply, the Scaffold Law makes certain contractors and project owners liable for injuries to workers on construction sites. The Scaffold Law has been criticized for the burdens it imposes on contractors and owners and for allowing workers to collect even if they have ignored safety rules.

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Appellate Court Upholds Contractor Indemnification

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.

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