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    Construction Law Now Blog

    Construction Law Now provides the rapidly changing construction industry and those operating within it with timely and relevant information as well as practical commentary and analysis from the Cohen Seglias Construction Group.

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    Labor & Employment
    New Overtime Rules Become Effective On January 1, 2020
    BY Jonathan Landesman

    Under the Department of Labor’s new overtime rules, which become effective January 1, 2020, all employees with a salary of less than $35,568 must be treated as hourly employees entitled to overtime compensation whenever they work more than 40 ...

    Labor & Employment
    Failing to Run Weekly Payroll Exposes NY Contractors to Substantial Liability
    BY Jonathan Landesman

    Breaking from prior legal precedent, an appellate court in New York ruled that if a contractor pays employees performing manual work on a biweekly basis (or less frequently), the affected employees may bring a private lawsuit or class action case ...

    Labor & Employment
    Employers Beware! NY Revamps Its Sexual Harassment Law
    BY Jonathan Landesman

    Cohen Seglias Summer Associate Jordan L. Cramer also contributed to this article. On August 12, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed new legislation (Senate Bill S6577, A8421) making it significantly easier for employees to file sexual harassment ...

    Pennsylvania
    PA Construction Legislative Update

    Harrisburg has seen a number of proposed bills during the past few weeks, many of which will have significant legal impacts on the construction industry. On the top of the list is an anti-indemnity statute that would put Pennsylvania among the ranks ...

    District of Columbia
    Webinar Recap: How to Get Paid – Tips and Tricks for Construction Companies in DC, MD, and VA
    BY Jackson S. Nichols

    I hope you enjoyed my recent webinar on payment techniques for contractors in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. If you missed it, you can access the recording here. Below are some of the highlights: Payment Techniques Traditional payment techniques for ...

    Labor & Employment
    OSHA Review: What You May Have Missed In the Past Six Months

    The past six months have seen plenty of activity from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The following recaps the developments affecting the construction industry. As each changes the regulatory landscape, construction ...

    Insurance
    Who is an Insured Anyway? New Additional Insured Requirements for New York Construction Professionals
    BY Jonathan A. Cass, Sydney Pierce

    Construction professionals in New York face new hurdles in ensuring they are covered as additional insureds under other parties’ commercial general liability insurance policies. In 2002, a New York City agency contracted with a general contractor ...

    Labor & Employment
    The Long Wait is Over: DOL Increases Minimum Salary Threshold With Proposed New Overtime Rule

    On March 7, 2019, the United States Department of Labor issued a proposed new overtime rule that will raise the minimum salary threshold for workers to qualify for the white-collar exemption to the overtime provisions of the federal Fair Labor ...

    Insurance
    Contractors Beware – Ohio Joins Minority of States in Insurance Coverage Row
    BY Jonathan A. Cass

    The Ohio Supreme Court’s October 9, 2018 decision in Ohio Northern University v. Charles Construction Services, Inc., 2018-Ohio-4057 issued a blow to general contractors attempting to obtain insurance coverage under their commercial general ...

    Construction
    PA CASPA Amendments Become Effective October 10

    On October 10, 2018, the amendments to the Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act, 73 P.S. § 501, et seq. (CASPA) will take effect and significantly impact the rights and duties of owners, contractors, and subcontractors on all Pennsylvania ...

    Internal Investigations
    Lessons from the Kavanaugh Hearing
    BY Jonathan Landesman

    I’m a management-side employment lawyer. It’s my job to go to court and defend employers and executives accused of all different types of misconduct, including sexual harassment. Over the last 20 years, I have seen it all. Some of my cases ...

    Contract
    New Maryland Law Exposes General Contractors and Subcontractors to Greater Wage and Hour Liability
    BY Jackson S. Nichols

    Effective October 1, 2018, general contractors with projects in Maryland will have a new headache to deal with. That’s when Maryland’s new law, the General Contractor Liability for Unpaid Wages Act, will go into effect. Under the Act, GCs will ...

    Compliance
    Recent OSHA Regulatory Shifts May Address Concerns About Electronically Submitting Workplace Injury and Illness Data
    BY Michael Metz-Topodas

    Recent OSHA activity indicates possible changes in the scope and enforcement of the newly-created Improve Tracking of Workplace Injury and Illnesses Rule (Electronic Reporting Rule). OSHA intends to collect less data than the rule requires in order ...

    Compliance
    ICYMI: Federal Appeals Court Upholds New OSHA Silica Rule
    BY Michael Metz-Topodas

    A recent federal appeals court decision rejected a challenge to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s new rule for respirable crystalline silica (silica) exposure in the construction industry (the Silica Rule), keeping the rule ...

    Labor & Employment
    Breastfeeding Discrimination Banned by Pivotal Amendment to NJLAD

    Breastfeeding is now a protected act and category under New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”). Employers are prohibited from discriminating against an employee in compensation, hiring, or firing because they breastfeed. ...

    Pennsylvania
    “Best Value” Procurement Takes Hold in Philadelphia: What it Means for the Construction Industry
    BY Edward Seglias, Zachary D. Sanders

    Traditionally, public agencies have awarded construction contracts via the “lowest responsible bidder” procurement method, where bidders submit sealed bids and contracts are awarded to the lowest responsible bidder. However, a number of ...

    Labor & Employment
    A Response to the #MeToo Movement: NJ Bill Tightens Position on Employment Agreements

    Last month a bill was introduced to the New Jersey State Assembly (A-5287) by Assemblymen John McKeon (Essex and Morris) and Jon Bramnick (Morris, Somerset, and Union) that would bar provisions in employment contracts that waive any substantive or ...

    Pennsylvania
    PA Residential Landlords Beware!
    BY Steven M. Williams

    Pennsylvania Court Adds ‘Last Month’s Rent’ to Definition of ‘Security Deposit’ As most residential landlords know, the Pennsylvania Landlord and Tenant Act (the “Act”) contains comprehensive and complicated ...

    Business
    New IRS Partnership Audit Rules Take Effect Jan 1: What You Need to Know
    BY Marian A. Kornilowicz

    On January 1, 2018, the rules and procedures relating to IRS audits of partnerships, including those limited liability companies taxed as partnerships, (for purposes here, collectively, the “Partnerships”) will change. The Bipartisan Budget Act ...

    Labor & Employment
    ‘Tis the Season for Employers: NLRB Reverses Course with Four Key Rulings
    BY Marc Furman

    For employers, the tide is making its long awaited turn in our nation’s capital at the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”). Last week, the NLRB reversed precedent on four significant rules that were widely viewed as favorable to unions and ...

    Compliance
    One Final Reminder: OSHA Electronic Records Submission Deadline December 15, 2017
    BY Shawn R. Farrell, Michael Metz-Topodas

    UPDATE: On November 22, 2017, OSHA announced that it moved the electronic reporting deadline for 2016 data and information from December 1, 2017 to December 15, 2017. The following blog post has been updated to reflect this change. No other parts of ...

    Business
    First Department of New York Loosens the Standard for “Piercing the Corporate Veil”
    BY Carol A. Sigmond

    One of the general and principal benefits of incorporating a business entity is limited liability; the owners of a corporation are not liable for the corporation’s actions or debts. There are, however, exceptions. One of the exceptions is the ...

    Labor & Employment
    What Every Contractor Needs to Know About Withdrawal Liability
    BY Jonathan Landesman

    This article was originally published in the 2017 edition of the Utility and Transportation Contractor Association’s Magazine. If you are a union contractor, you are probably making contributions into one or more union pension funds every ...

    Business
    Contractors: Protect your Investment in Materials

    Have you ever been in a situation where your subcontractor or fabricator did not have the financial ability to purchase material needed for a project? Have you ever offered your assistance by way of either directly purchasing the material and ...

    Design and Technology
    Still “Up in the Air”: More Drones and More Regulations

    In a previous post, we wrote about drones (which are more formally referred to as “unmanned aircraft systems” or UAS), as well as the nascent federal and state statutory and regulatory framework. Since our last article, drone use – as ...

    Cohen Seglias News & Events
    Mechanical & Service Contractors Association: Killer Contract Clauses for Construction & Service
    BY Kerstin Isaacs

    On July 26th join Cohen Seglias attorneys Matt Gioffre and Dan Fierstein for their seminar, “Killer Contract Clauses for Construction & Service” for the Mechanical & Service Contractors Association (M&SCA) in Blue ...

    Contract
    KY Contractors Can Now Assert Claims for Negligent Misrepresentation Against an Architect Despite Absence of a Contract
    BY Lori Wisniewski Azzara

    Design professionals doing business in Kentucky beware: the Kentucky Court of Appeals recently held that a contractor may pursue a negligent misrepresentation claim against an architect for delays to a project resulting from allegedly defective ...

    Cohen Seglias News & Events
    Cohen Seglias Attorneys Selected to the 2017 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers List
    BY Kerstin Isaacs

    We are pleased to announce that eleven Cohen Seglias attorneys were selected to this year’s Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list and eight attorneys to the Pennsylvania Rising Stars list in the areas of Construction Litigation, Government ...

    Construction
    Delaware Valley Green Building Council Lunch & Learn: Liability in Green Building
    BY Kerstin Isaacs

    Liability in Green Building On June 13th, join Lane Kelman and Jennifer Budd for their Delaware Valley Green Building Council Lunch & Learn on liability in green building. The Lunch & Learn will be held at the Philadelphia office of ...

    Construction
    Adams v. Hellings Builders, Inc.: PA Superior Court holds that a homebuilder can be liable for representations made in its promotional materials

    In Pennsylvania, it is well-established that a homeowner can assert claims for fraud and violation of Pennsylvania’s consumer protection statute – the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (“UTPCPL”) – ...

    LIENS
    It’s Official: PA Construction Notices Directory Is Up and Running
    BY Jason A. Copley, Daniel E. Fierstein

    By now, you have probably heard enough from us about the new changes to the Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law. If a newsletter article and several blog posts were not enough, here is one more reminder that the long-anticipated Pennsylvania ...

    Labor & Employment
    Philadelphia Becomes First City to Prohibit Employers from Inquiring About Prospective Employees’ Past Earnings
    BY Jonathan Landesman

    On January 23, 2017, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed into law a wage equity ordinance that makes it unlawful for an employer in the city of Philadelphia to ask about the wage history of a prospective employee at any stage of the hiring process. ...

    Contract
    New York Case Reminds Us That Some Courts Take Notice Provisions Very Seriously
    BY Carol A. Sigmond, Kathleen M. Morley

    A New York appellate court issued a decision in 2016 that serves as an important reminder to all tiers of the construction industry: courts take the notice provisions in your construction contracts very seriously. In the Schindler Elevator Corp. v. ...

    LIENS
    PA Construction Notices Directory Goes Live December 31, 2016

    The new — and much anticipated — Pennsylvania State Construction Notices Directory (“Directory”) is expected to go live this December 31. With this rollout, the PA legislature will have established a statewide directory system for ...

    New Jersey
    A Deal on New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund: What Does it Mean for Affected Contractors?
    BY Shawn R. Farrell, Jennifer R. Budd

    As a follow-up to our July post on New Jersey state budget problems threatening public construction projects, the political fight over funding New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund (“TTF”) finally ended on September 30, 2016. ...

    Labor & Employment
    Federal Judge Blocks DOL Overtime Rule
    BY Marc Furman

    On November 21, 2016, a federal judge in Texas issued a nationwide injunction blocking the Department of  Labor’s new overtime rule, which sought to expand the obligations of employers to pay overtime by, among other things, doubling the ...

    Contract
    The Early Contractor Gets the Worm: The Active Process of Preserving Construction Claims

    In the world of construction, the old legal saying “equity aids the vigilant, not those who slumber on their rights” rings true. A weary contractor risks more than an OSHA violation – when a contractor fails to protect its legal ...

    Insurance
    NJ Supreme Court Gets it Right! Consequential Damages Caused by a Subcontractor’s Defective Construction Work is Insured
    BY Jonathan A. Cass, Rene David Quinlan

    [Note from the Editor: Due to an inadvertent editing error, omitted from our post entitled NJ Supreme Court Gets It Right! Consequential Damages Caused By A Subcontractor’s Defective Construction Work Is Insured was the fact that the property ...

    Cohen Seglias News & Events
    FREE Two-Day OSHA 10 Safety Training

    Philadelphia law now requires everyone working at a construction or demolition site to have completed OSHA-10 Safety Training. Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) and the Mid-Atlantic Construction Safety Council ...

    Litigation
    Contractor Payment Rights on Public Projects affected by PA Supreme Court Decision
    BY Lane F. Kelman, Matthew Gioffre

    Contractors doing work on publicly-owned projects in Pennsylvania may find it more difficult to recover statutory penalties and attorneys’ fees if the owner withholds funds in bad faith. Pennsylvania’s Procurement Code, which governs ...

    New Jersey
    State Budget Problems Threatening Public Construction Projects: 5 Key Points to Remember
    BY Brian A. Lawton, Jennifer R. Budd

    Over the past year, many states experienced budget crises that threaten public works spending and, in some cases, caused entire project shut downs. In Pennsylvania, a stalemate over the budget for Fiscal Year 2016-2017 lasted almost nine months, ...

    Litigation
    It’s Good to be King: Time to File a Lawsuit Does Not Run Against the Pennsylvania Government

    In the recent case of Township of Salem v. Miller Penn Development, LLC, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court invoked the often overlooked doctrine of nullum tempus occurrit regi. Read literally as “time does not run against the king,” as ...

    Construction
    5 Simple Ways Construction Companies Can Reduce E-Discovery Costs

    Almost any construction project carries the potential for disputes, which all too often lead to litigation and associated costs. As litigation costs increase, they eat into potential recovery or limit defense strategies. Finding ways to lower ...

    District of Columbia
    $113M in Construction Financing Approved for One of Washington D.C.’s Most Ambitious Projects – the “Wharf”

    The developers of the Wharf, an ongoing waterfront development at 1100 Maine Avenue SW in Washington, D.C., recently announced that they have secured $113 million of debt financing for the project. PN Hoffman and Madison Marquette, the ...

    Energy
    Lights Out for Maryland’s Power Plant Construction Subsidy Program
    BY Jason A. Copley

    It’s not every day that a decision by the United States Supreme Court has the potential to impact the construction industry. But the Court handed down a decision last month that could hinder the pace of power plant construction around the ...

    Business
    Does your Employee Handbook stand up to the Supreme Court’s latest decision about accommodations for pregnant workers?
    BY Marc Furman

    In a recent U.S. Supreme Court case about pregnancy discrimination, Justice Breyer asked: “Why, when the employer accommodated so many, could it not accommodate pregnant women as well?”  As an employer, that is a question you should now ...

    Labor & Employment
    Attention Philadelphia Employers: New and Important Changes to the “Ban The Box” Law
    BY Jonathan Landesman

    Philadelphia’s 2011 “Ban the Box” law, which restricts an employer’s ability to inquire into a job applicant’s criminal history at the initial stages of the application process, is “old news” – but the ...

    MaryLand
    Maryland Approves P3 Contract for Purple Line Light Rail Project

    The Maryland Department of Transportation/Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT/MTA) recently announced its selection of Purple Line Transit Partners as the concessionaire for the new 16.2 mile, 21-station, light rail Purple Line that will run ...

    Business
    Real Estate 101: Knowing Your Property Value and Challenging Your Tax Assessment
    BY Michael L. Solomon

    After months, maybe years, of planning, raising capital, obtaining permits and waiting out construction, your gleaming new building is open and occupied. Soon, you’ll get a simple, one-page letter from your county’s Tax Assessment ...

    Contract
    Can a Contractor Sue a Design Professional Without a Contract? Not in Maryland
    BY Steven M. Williams

    In some states, courts allow contractors to sue design professionals for negligence even in the absence of a contract. In others, like Maryland, courts apply a rule known as the Economic Loss Rule (ELR) to bar such claims. Courts apply the ELR when, ...

    Compliance
    Attention Philadelphia Contractors: Do You Comply with OSHA Training and Supervision Requirements?
    BY Jonathan A. Cass

    The City of Philadelphia has issued new code requirements for construction worker safety training. The new rules went into effect on October 1, 2015, and the Department of Licenses and Inspections has announced that strict enforcement will begin on ...

    Cohen Seglias News & Events
    Lisa Wampler Named Managing Partner of Cohen Seglias’ Pittsburgh Office
    BY Kerstin Isaacs

    Cohen Seglias has announced the promotion of Lisa M. Wampler to Managing Partner of the Firm’s Pittsburgh office. The announcement marks the first female managing partner in the Firm’s history. “Lisa has been instrumental in the ...

    Design and Technology
    Up in the Air: Drones and the Future of the Construction Job Site
    BY Edward Seglias, Robert J. O’Brien

    Unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly referred to as “drones,” are appearing more frequently in the skies over construction project sites. Drones typically operate from a handheld device, such as an iPhone, and can be connected to a Wi-Fi ...

    Compliance
    Beware: New Rigorous Safety Sweeps of NYC Construction Sites to Begin
    BY Carol A. Sigmond, George E. Pallas

    On February 12, 2016, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler announced a new aggressive campaign to improve worker safety on construction sites. Specifically, commencing next Tuesday, ...

    Cohen Seglias News & Events
    Ignorance is not Bliss: Construction Contract Provisions You Need to Know
    BY Kerstin Isaacs

    On February 11, join Roy Cohen, Ed Seglias, and Jackson Nichols at the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association (SMACNA) Mid-Atlantic Chapter in Greenbelt, MD for their presentation, “Ignorance is not Bliss: ...

    Project Management
    OSHA Continues Delayed Enforcement of Confined Space Standard for Residential Contractors

    As we discussed last summer, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a new Confined Space in Construction Standard, which went into effect on August 3, 2015 and required heightened training, continuous worksite evaluations ...

    Contract
    Ignorance is not Bliss: Construction Contract Provisions You Need to Know
    BY Kerstin Isaacs

    On January 21, 2016, Please join us for Ed Seglias and Jason Copley‘s seminar, “Ignorance is not Bliss: Construction Contract Provisions You Need to Know,” for the General Building Contractors Association (GBCA) in Philadelphia, ...

    Contract
    To Be or Not to Be in Arbitration? That is the Question
    BY Anthony L. Byler, Daniel E. Fierstein

    Arbitration has become a very common and effective way to resolve construction disputes in lieu of traditional litigation, and it is easy to understand why: The parties can select arbitrators with construction expertise who speak their language and ...

    Bonds
    Carpenters’ Company Master Builder Dialogues: Building the Buildings of the Future
    BY Kerstin Isaacs

    Please join us tomorrow, 11/4, for Shawn Farrell‘s presentation “Construction Disputes: Lessons Learned” at the Carpenters’ Company of City and County of Philadelphia’s Master Builder Dialogues. Shawn Farrell has ...

    Pennsylvania
    Which Design-Build Contract is Right for You & Your Projects? – DBIA – AIA – CONSENSUS DOCS – EJCDC?
    BY Kerstin Isaacs

    Please join us for Ed Seglias‘ presentation at the Design-Build Institute of America Tri-State Chapter Inaugural Event on October 6, 2015 in Philadelphia. Ed and Kevin Peartree of Ernstrom & Dreste will discuss and compare form contracts ...

    Contract
    West Virginia Government Contractors Must Continue to Work While Awaiting Approval of a Change Order
    BY Lisa M. Wampler, Lori Wisniewski Azzara

    In late July, the West Virginia Purchasing Division of the Department of Administration issued an “emergency rule” that exempts construction contracts from a new law regarding change order approval. This new law, which went into effect ...

    Real Estate
    Disparate Impact is Here to Stay: What the Supreme Court’s Decision Means for the Multi-Family Industry

    On June 25, 2015, Justice Kennedy delivered the Supreme Court’s decision in Texas v. Inclusive Communities Project.  In the case, the Court determined that the Fair Housing Act of 1968 includes disparate impact claims.  Prior to Texas v. ...

    Business
    U.S. Department of Labor Issues New Guidance on Misclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors
    BY Jonathan Landesman

    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance on July 15 aimed at curbing the misclassification of employees as independent contractors.  The guidance provides several examples of workers in the construction industry.  It is now clear that ...

    Pennsylvania
    Pennsylvania Supreme Court Clarifies Applicability of Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act

    Last week, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania  issued a decision which has important consequences for all members of the construction industry involved with public works projects. In Clipper Pipe & Service, Inc. v. The Ohio Casualty Insurance ...

    Bidding
    New Jersey Supreme Court to Consider Important Public Bidding Case – Practical Considerations for Contractors

    In April, the New Jersey Supreme Court agreed to review the case of Waste Management of New Jersey, Inc. v. Mercer County Improvement Authority.  The matter concerns a defect in a bid submitted under the New Jersey Public Contracts Law ...

    West Virginia
    New Prevailing Wage Law in West Virginia

    This month, West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomlin signed Senate Bill 361, which significantly adjusts the state’s calculation of prevailing wages to establish an amount more reflective of actual earnings in regions across the state.  As ...

    LIENS
    2014 A Busy Year for Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law: More New Changes Take Effect

    When it comes to the Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law (Lien Statute), the Pennsylvania legislature was quite active in 2014.  In July, Governor Corbett signed into law certain changes to the Lien Statute affecting residential lien rights and ...

    Infrastructure
    What We Can Learn from PennDOT’s Award of the First Rapid Bridge Replacement P3 Project
    BY Anthony L. Byler

    Background In the first significant public private partnership (“P3”) infrastructure project in Pennsylvania, PennDOT recently selected Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners (“Plenary Walsh”) for award of the Rapid Bridge ...

    Business
    Crisis Management: Are You Ready for the BIG Surprise?

    Having designated legal counsel is critical to any comprehensive crisis management strategy. Whether you are in pre-crisis, crisis or post-crisis—having an attorney involved in your decision-making process can be the difference between surviving ...

    Compliance
    Best Practices in Construction Webinar

    On December 3, Jennifer Horn and Maria Panichelli presented the second webinar in their core construction curriculum series for Women Impacting Public Policy and Give Me 5%. The presentation, entitled “Best Practices in Construction,” ...

    Small Business
    Webinar on Federal Acquisition Regulations and Federal Procurement for WIPP and Give Me 5%

    On November 12, Jennifer Horn and Maria Panichelli presented the first webinar in their core construction curriculum series on the Federal Acquisition Regulations and Federal Procurement for Women Impacting Public Policy and Give Me 5%. The ...

    Federal
    Jennifer M. Horn and Maria L. Panichelli To Begin Core Construction Curriculum Series for WIPP and Give Me 5%

    Please join Jennifer M. Horn and Maria L. Panichelli as they begin their “Core Construction Curriculum” series for Women Impacting Public Policy’s Give Me 5% program. WIPP is a national nonpartisan public policy organization ...

    Consumer Protection
    New Changes to Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law Take Effect
    BY Jason A. Copley, Daniel E. Fierstein

    On July 9, 2014, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed a bill (S.B. 145) into law that amends the Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law of 1963 (the “Lien Law”). The new law took effect on September 8, 2014 and affects subcontractor ...

    Consumer Protection
    Shafer Electric & Construction v. Mantia: PA Supreme Court holds that noncompliance with the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act does not entitle homeowners to free work
    BY Matthew L. Erlanger

    Pennsylvania’s Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act (“HICPA”), which went into effect in 2009, generally requires that home improvement contracts be in writing and contain thirteen specific items (including the ...

    Pennsylvania
    Update on Discoverability of Attorney-Expert Communications
    BY Matthew L. Erlanger

    On April 29, 2014 an evenly divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Barrick v. Holy Spirit Hospital upheld a lower court ruling holding that communications between a party’s attorney and a party’s expert witness are exempt from disclosure ...

    Bonds
    Amendments to Ohio P3 Legislation Add Bonding Requirements with a Twist

    It is no secret within the construction industry that public-private partnership (P3) project delivery has recently become all the rage.  The demand for infrastructure repairs and improvements is high, and the public dollars needed to fund them are ...

    Federal
    Schuylkill Products: Important Lessons and Reminders about the Power of the False Claims Act
    BY Daniel E. Fierstein

    By: Jennifer M. Horn, Daniel E. Fierstein and Katherine Tohanczyn As many federal government contractors know, the False Claims Act (FCA) is a tool used by the federal government to deter fraud. Those found to have knowingly submitted false ...

    Pennsylvania
    Pennsylvania Supreme Court Evenly Divided on Discoverability of Attorney-Expert Communications
    BY Matthew L. Erlanger

    On April 29, 2014, an evenly divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an order affirming the Pennsylvania Superior Court’s decision in Barrick v. Holy Spirit Hospital. The ruling means that communications between a party’s counsel and a ...

    LIENS
    PA Supreme Court Decides Bricklayers Case: Unions No Longer Have Mechanics’ Lien Rights in Pennsylvania

    As we first reported back in January of 2012, the Pennsylvania Superior Court issued a decision in Bricklayers of Western Pennsylvania Combined Funds v. Scott’s Development Co. that significantly changed the meaning of the Pennsylvania ...

    Contract
    Contractors Beware: Doing Change Order Work for School Districts Without Proper Approval May Waive Future Claim for Payment

    While by no means a recent law, Section 508 of the Pennsylvania Public School Code, 24 P.S. § 5-508, is becoming one that school districts are repeatedly relying upon to avoid paying contractors for work performed outside the original scope of ...

    Pennsylvania
    Supreme Court’s Pass on Berks Products Impacts PA Contractors

    Counterintuitive as it may seem, courts can exert significant influence by deciding not to consider a case. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania did just that on April 1, 2014 when it decided not to consider an appeal in the Berks Products Corp. v. ...

    LIENS
    Messy Solar Construction Litigation Sheds a Little Light on the Intersection of New Jersey Lien Statutes and Public Private Partnership
    BY Daniel E. Fierstein

    A recent case before the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey (Morris County Improvement Authority and Somerset County Improvement Authority v. Power Partners Mastec, LLC) involving solar construction has shed light (pun intended) ...

    Business
    The Consequences To A Contractor: The Case Of A Harsh On-Line Review

    Forums like Angie’s List, Yelp, or even Yahoo Community Listserves allow homeowners and other contractor clients to recommend a contractor for a job well done. Just as often, however, disgruntled clients use these venues to vent about shoddy ...

    Bonds
    Want to Appeal a Bid Protest Decision Involving A Maryland State Contract? If New Legislation Becomes Law, You May Have to Pay to Play . . .

    New Proposed Legislation Would Require Bond: If House Bill 1488 becomes law in Maryland, bid protesters of state contracts appealing a decision to the Maryland Board of Contract Appeals would be required to simultaneously submit a “protest ...

    MaryLand
    Maryland Shortlists Teams on Purple Line P3 Rail Project

    The Maryland Department of Transportation/Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT/MTA) recently announced that four of the six teams that submitted qualification statements will be permitted to submit proposals to design, build, finance, operate, and ...

    Pennsylvania
    Pennsylvania Issues Request for Qualifications for Rapid Bridge Replacement P3

    In the wake of the significant transportation funding legislation passed at the end of November 2013, Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation wasted no time issuing a request for qualifications (“RFQ“), seeking statements of ...

    New Construction
    Construction Lunch & Learn Seminar

    Jennifer Horn, Partner in the Construction group of Cohen Seglias is speaking on Comparative Analysis of Critical Construction and Design Provisions Between Mid-Atlantic States at Providence Engineering in Lancaster, PA, on Tuesday, January ...

    Insurance
    New Permitting and Licensure Requirements Take Effect in Philadelphia
    BY Daniel E. Fierstein

    As we reflect upon the past year, few in the Delaware Valley will forget the fateful day in June when a building located at 22nd and Market Streets collapsed in the midst of demolition work performed by contractor Griffin Campbell, which claimed six ...

    Green Building
    Renewable Energy Construction: Moving into Federal Buildings

    In recent years, concepts such as “green construction” and “renewable energy” seem to have become almost commonplace. In what is perhaps an effort to lead the world by example in these areas, President Barack Obama recently ...

    Pennsylvania
    Home Inspector Liability: Home Owners Should Inspect Their Inspectors and Their Contracts

    Owning a home can be an immensely rewarding experience, the keystone of the American Dream. Buying a home, however, can be an immensely complicated experience fraught with risks. Before taking the plunge into homeownership, it is important for a ...

    Pennsylvania
    Primer on Mechanics’ Liens and Bond Claims

    Jennifer Horn of Cohen Seglias is participating in the upcoming PBI construction seminar Primer on Mechanics’ Liens and Bond Claims – Everything you need to know about Pennsylvania Mechanics Lien Law after Bricklayers The seminar will ...

    Green Building
    GREENBUILD 2013: EXHIBITORS AND ATTENDEES LEAVE PHILADELPHIA RE-ENERGIZED
    BY Lane F. Kelman, Jennifer R. Budd

    As the Greenbuild 2013 posters, web cafés and stages are removed from the Convention Center in Philadelphia, attendees and exhibitors from across the country have been reenergized in thinking about green building, sustainability and resiliency. ...

    MaryLand
    Consumer Protection
    Homeowners Affected by Stucco Defects Should Watch This Pennsylvania Supreme Court Case

    Unfortunately, dealing with the serious and often financially debilitating issues related to defective stucco is nothing new to many Pennsylvania homeowners. In addition to repairing defective work, a homeowner’s status as a first purchaser of ...

    New York
    How Pay if Paid Provisions are Treated in the Empire State

    By: Joyce J. Sun and Peter Plevritis As a contractor or subcontractor, timely receipt of payment can be the difference between continuing to grow your company and closing its doors. Because of this, contractors and subcontractors will frequently try ...

    Pennsylvania
    PA’s Right to Know Law: An Overlooked Weapon On Public Construction Projects

    The phrase “knowledge is power,” like most clichés, proves true more often than not – especially on construction projects where the status and amount of payments, terms of written agreements, and the content of project documents are ...

    MaryLand
    ABA Forum on the Construction Industry Fall Meeting Delivers on Public-Private Partnerships

    Last week, the construction law section of the American Bar Association held its annual Fall Meeting. The program, held in Washington, DC, was entitled “Capital Projects: P3s, Design-Build, and Beyond.” The ABA Forum on the Construction ...

    MaryLand
    Is BIM Worth it? Discover the Benefits and Risks

    Risk is unavoidable. It doesn’t matter what part of a project you are involved in or if you are the architect, engineer or contractor. What does matter is having a plan because risk management brings value to your company’s work and the ...

    New Jersey
    Recent New Jersey Supreme Court Case Drastically Affects Mediation: What You Need to Know
    BY Anthony L. Byler, Kathleen M. Morley

    In the construction industry, mediation has become an extremely popular vehicle for resolving disputes that develop during and after projects. It is particularly appealing because (i) it can provide an early opportunity for the parties to resolve a ...

    Pennsylvania
    ENR Webinar: Technology for Secure Job Sites
    BY Kerstin Isaacs

    Join our Construction Partner, George Pallas, for the webinar “Technology for Secure Job Sites” on September 12th with Engineering News-Record. Reducing risk on the job site begins by controlling the perimeter fence and entry gate, and ...

    Architecture
    Whatever it Takes? School District of Philadelphia Sues Dozens of its Architecture and Design Professionals
    BY Daniel E. Fierstein, Lane F. Kelman

    As schools across the country open, most people in the Delaware Valley are well aware of the School District of Philadelphia’s financial woes. As the School District considers measures to help close its massive budget deficit, it has recently ...

    Jobs
    Ridge Flats, By Onion Flats, Sets the Mark for Sustainable Development in the Philadelphia Area
    BY Jennifer R. Budd, Lane F. Kelman

    Two weeks ago, the Philadelphia Zoning Board approved the construction of Ridge Flats at 4300 Ridge Avenue in East Falls—a project proposed by developer and design-builder Onion Flats. The Project The five story building will provide 146 ...

    Design and Technology
    Are Apps Taking Over the Construction Industry?

    Loyal readers will recall our previous discussion regarding the prevalence of tablets and iPads on construction project sites.  As the industry becomes increasingly connected, user-friendly apps for mobile devices are changing the way contractors ...

    MaryLand
    Maryland’s First P3 Project after Recent Legislation: $2.2 billion “Purple Line” Light Rail Project

    As our readership knows, states are increasingly looking to public-private partnerships as a means of construction and development.  Maryland is one such state.  We previously reported that Maryland had revised its existing public private ...

    New Jersey
    New Jersey Supreme Court Sheds Light on Liability for Latent Construction Defects

    A few weeks ago, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued a decision that could have a profound effect on members of New Jersey’s construction community.  In Town of Kearny v. Louis F. Brandt, the Court issued two major holdings: (i) under New ...

    Bonds
    Is My Surety the Same As My Insurance Carrier? Not So Much Says a Federal Court in Pennsylvania

    As members of the construction industry know, to describe the relationship between a surety and the party to whom it issues a surety bond (the principal) as confusing would be an understatement.  In fact, many believe that the surety-principal ...

    New York
    New Legislation to Take Effect That Aims to Bolster NYC’s Small Business Community

    In just a few days, a new law (Local Law No. 1 of the City of New York for the Year 2013) will take effect in New York City aimed towards increasing participation of Minority-Owned Business Enterprises (MBEs), Women-Owned Business Enterprises (WBEs) ...

    LIENS
    Proposed Changes To PA Mechanics’ Lien Law Will Require Advance Notice To Preserve Lien Claim Rights
    BY Jason A. Copley

    As most contractors recall, the Pennsylvania Lien Law was modified in 2007 to reinstate lien rights.  We have previously reported on proposed changes to the lien law and lien rights preservation.  Additional proposed changes to the lien law, if ...

    Pennsylvania
    City of Philadelphia Creates Its Own Adaptation of False Claims Act

    Employers doing business in the City of Philadelphia must pay taxes on wages (including salaries, commissions, and other forms of compensation) and net profits. A new ordinance shores up current enforcement mechanisms, arming the City with ...

    Insurance
    Recent Philadelphia Building Collapse – Legal Ramifications

    As most people have heard, a vacant building being demolished on the corner of 22nd and Market, in Center City Philadelphia, collapsed into a thrift store this past Wednesday morning.  The collapse resulted in 6 deaths and injuries to numerous ...

    LIENS
    Can I File a Mechanics’ Lien on a Building that was Never Built? Maybe…
    BY Daniel E. Fierstein

    The Backdrop Since the Recession of 2008, the story of the construction project that fell through shortly after breaking ground has repeated itself far too frequently.  In too many of these situations, financing dries up, leaving owners without ...

    Cohen Seglias News & Events
    Managing the Liability and Risk of BIM
    BY Daniel E. Fierstein

    Jennifer M. Horn will be participating in a panel discussion focused on how you can manage the financial, legal, and technical liabilities and risks when using Building Information Modeling (BIM). Reserve your seat today! Event Details: Wednesday, ...

    New Jersey
    SBA Resource Partners Receive $19 Million to Support Hurricane Sandy Small Business Recovery Efforts
    BY Shawn R. Farrell

    On April 11, 2013, the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that $19 million in grants will be made to SBA resource partners to support small business recovery in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The funding is part of a package ...

    Contract
    Will Pennsylvania Get It’s Own Version of the False Claims Act?

    Law360, an on-line publication, has reported that two Pennsylvania  Democrats, Rep. Brendon Newman (D – Washington) and  Rep. Anthony DeLuca (D – Allegheny), are preparing to introduce legislation that may bring the False Claims Act ...

    Insurance
    What Do You Call a Contractor Who Provides an Owner with an OCP Policy, Additional Insured Status, and Indemnification? Confused

    For most people, there is only one thing more excruciating than a discussion about insurance coverage: a blog post about it.  So brace yourselves dear readers. With all kidding aside, the importance for contractors and owners to understand the ins ...

    Pennsylvania
    It’s Good to Be the King: New Pennsylvania Supreme Court Case Reminds Contractors How Difficult It Can Be to Take Legal Action against the Commonwealth
    BY Daniel E. Fierstein

    Public construction work can be attractive to contractors, especially in a down economy, because the payments are considered more certain and secure than with private work.  One major pitfall of public work, however, is that legal recourse against ...

    MaryLand
    Maryland Passes Legislation Aimed at Facilitating Maryland P3 Projects

    By: Jason Tomasulo The Maryland Legislature recently passed House Bill 560, which makes significant revisions to Maryland’s Public-Private Partnership law, effective July 1, 2013. The genesis for the revisions was the combination of Maryland’s ...

    Cohen Seglias News & Events
    Managing the Liability and Risk of BIM
    BY Daniel E. Fierstein

    Please join us for a professional panel covering the technological, financial, and legal aspects of: History of BIM Future of BIM Benefits and Risks of BIM BIM Documentation and the Effects Case Studies Top 5 Takeaways by Industry ...

    Compliance
    Get The Lead Out – Philadelphia’s New Lead Paint Disclosure And Certification Requirements For Residential Properties

    December 21, 2012 was the effective date of the Philadelphia Lead Paint Bill 100011-A (the “Ordinance”), which amended Chapter 6-800 of the Philadelphia Code and established new lead paint disclosure and certification requirements for ...

    Contract
    Contractual Notice Provisions: Read Them, Understand Them, and Follow Them
    BY Daniel E. Fierstein

    One of the most commonly overlooked yet critically impactful provisions of a construction contract is a notice provision.  In their most typical form, a contractual notice provision will require contractors to provide written notice to their ...

    New Construction
    Rebuilding in New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy? Make Sure you Comply with the New Rules Regarding Construction in a Flood Zone
    BY Jennifer R. Budd, Jonathan A. Cass

    In January, Governor Chris Christie signed an Executive Order and proposed emergency regulations to guide the rebuilding process after Superstorm Sandy in flood prone areas of New Jersey.   Before the storm, the building code and flood-proofing ...

    Cohen Seglias News & Events
    5th Annual Labor & Employment Seminar
    BY Jonathan Landesman

    Join our Labor & Employment Group and the Firm’s newest partner, Honorable Gene D. Cohen (Ret.), for a fast-paced seminar on cutting edge labor and employment law issues impacting your business. Far from an academic discussion, attendees ...

    Economy
    Architectural Billings Index Continues To Indicate Increased Construction Activity

    By: Jennifer M. Horn The Architectural Billings Index (ABI), an important construction indicator, continues to show increased construction activity and economic momentum in a recent 2012 report.  For the fifth straight month, architectural billings ...

    MaryLand
    Maryland Governor’s Proposed Budget Allocates $373 Million for School Construction Work

    By: Jason C. Tomasulo In January, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley introduced his $37.7 billion budget for fiscal year 2014, which begins in July 2013, and which includes a plan to spend $373 million for school construction and renovation.   ...

    Green Building
    Clean Construction Pilot Credit Added to LEED Certification Rating System
    BY Lori Wisniewski Azzara

    By: Lane Kelman and Lori Wisniewski Azzara In an effort to reduce exposure to diesel exhaust in and around construction areas, on January 18, 2013, the US Green Building Counsel announced a Clean Construction Pilot Credit that can count toward ...

    LIENS
    New Pennsylvania Case: When Does a Contractor’s Mechanics’ Lien Rights Begin to Expire?
    BY Kathleen M. Morley, Anthony L. Byler

    By: Tony Byler and Kathleen Morley Mechanics’ lien claims are powerful tools for contractors and suppliers who are owed payment for work or materials. To be enforceable, the contractor or supplier (“Contractor”) must file a lien claim within ...

    Pennsylvania
    Attention Pennsylvania Home Builders: The Warranty of Habitability May Extend to Subsequent Purchasers
    BY John A. Greenhall, Jennifer R. Budd

    By John A. Greenhall and Jennifer R. Budd For decades, Pennsylvania Courts have limited the scope of the implied warranty of habitability to the first user of the home. For the first time, in Conway v. Cutler Group, Inc., the Pennsylvania Superior ...

    LIENS
    Protecting Supplier Lien Rights in New Jersey – Follow the Money
    BY Anthony L. Byler

    By: Tony Byler and Daniella Gordon Suppliers frequently provide supplies on lines of credit to contractor customers who are involved in multiple construction projects.  In an ideal world, both the customer and the supplier would maintain accounting ...

    Insurance
    Hurricane Sandy, Issues Relevant to Commercial Landlords and Tenants
    BY Jonathan A. Cass, Marian A. Kornilowicz

    As commercial property owners and their tenants assess the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, they need to understand their rights and obligations under leases, mortgage loan documents, and insurance policies. LEASE PROVISIONS As a result of storm ...

    Green Building
    Call For Artists/Sustainability Champions/Green Creators of All Shapes and Sizes
    BY Lane F. Kelman

    Greenbuild International Conference and Expo is coming to Philly November 20-22, 2013 and we are actively seeking proposals for the annual Legacy Project. The Legacy project could be anything from a straw bale playhouse or school gardening ...

    Cohen Seglias News & Events
    Precasters’ Opportunities & Liability in Green Projects
    BY Daniel E. Fierstein

    Cohen Seglias Partner Lane Kelman and Associate Lori Wisniewski Azzara recently authored an article, “Precasters’ Opportunities & Liability in Green Projects” which appeared in the November/December issue of Precast, Inc. ...

    Construction Fraud
    New York U.S. Attorney’s Office Expands Inquiry into Fraudulent Billing Practices

    By: Daniella Gordon and Jennifer M. Horn Several top New York construction companies have been served with federal subpoenas seeking information regarding their billing practices in connection with New York public works projects.  Skansa USA ...

    Contract
    Potential for Design-Build Bidding At the New Jersey Turnpike Authority – What You Need to Know
    BY Jennifer R. Budd, George E. Pallas

    By: Jennifer R. Budd and George E. Pallas A bill allowing the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (“NJTA”) to enter into design-build contracts has been introduced in the New Jersey Assembly (A1561) and the Senate (S1211). The NJTA is the entity ...

    New Jersey
    Measures to Prevent Damages in the Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy
    BY Lane F. Kelman, Jennifer R. Budd

    By: Lane F. Kelman and Jennifer R. Budd Cohen Seglias hopes that you, your friends and family made it through Hurricane Sandy unharmed and without great loss. This storm caused billions of dollars of damage up and down the Northeast Corridor and ...

    Pennsylvania
    Philadelphia’s Actual Value Initiative and Homestead Exemption – How to Soften The Blow of Property Tax Increases

    By: Marian Kornilowicz and Mark Leavy If you are a resident of Philadelphia, then you likely know about the ongoing turmoil surrounding Mayor Nutter’s pursuit of real estate tax reform. His plan is known as the Actual Value Initiative, or AVI, and ...

    Labor & Employment
    New Gender Equity Notice Requirement for New Jersey Employers

    By: Melissa C. Angeline The New Jersey legislature recently enacted a law requiring employers to post and distribute written notices informing employees of their “right to be free from gender inequity or bias in pay, compensation, benefits or ...

    Cohen Seglias News & Events
    Presentation & Networking Cocktail Reception – Avoiding the Pitfalls in Federal Construction Contracting

    Please join our Federal Contracting Practice Group for a Networking Cocktail Reception preceded by a precise presentation on Avoiding the Pitfalls in Federal Construction Contracting. This networking event will facilitate interaction between large ...

    Construction Fraud
    The Check’s In the Mail? In New Jersey, You’d Better Mean It
    BY Robert G. Ruggieri

    Separate but commonly owned or related companies are common place in the construction industry. It is also common for contractors to get squeezed by late or nonpaying owners and/or subcontractors demanding payment for work performed. A recent case ...

    Design and Technology
    Electronic Document Retention: How You Are Handling E-Documents Can Be Critical to Your Company’s Survival
    BY Lane F. Kelman

    Construction today is not your father’s industry. With the growing use of electronic forms of communication and document creation, the rules have changed. Businesses continue to strive for a paperless office. Now, rather than drowning in ...

    Bidding
    New Jersey Legislature Considers Permanent Debarment for Contractors Convicted of Fraud in Connection with the Execution of Public Contracts

    By: Daniella Gordon and Jennifer M. Horn The New Jersey legislature is considering a bill which would permanently bar contractors who are convicted of fraud in connection with work on government contracts from bidding on future public contracts in ...

    Delaware
    Update Regarding House Bill 109 – For Delaware Construction Projects, Legislature Overrides Choice of Law and Venue Provisions In Some Construction Contracts

    By: Scott T. Earle and Jennifer M. Horn The recently passed and amended Delaware House Bill 109 (“HB 109”) has important implications for anyone concerned with construction law in Delaware. According to amended HB 109, any provision in a ...

    Pennsylvania
    Gist of the Action Doctrine Gains Traction in Pennsylvania

    By: Jennifer M. Horn The “Gist of the Action” Doctrine may bar plaintiffs from asserting tort-based claims, such as fraud, where the “gist” of the lawsuit is the breach of a contract. Although the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has not yet ...

    LIENS
    Getting One’s Priorities Straight: Bank vs. Contractor – PA Case Could Have A Significant Impact
    BY Daniel E. Fierstein

    By: Daniel E. Fierstein and Jennifer M. Horn Banks do not typically loan money if they can not be assured “priority” status over any other encumbrances that may arise. “Priority” in this context refers to the order in which various ...

    Energy
    Philadelphia Now Requires Commercial Energy and Water Use Reporting
    BY Lori Wisniewski Azzara

    By: Lori Wisniewski Azzara and Robert G. Ruggieri Philadelphia City Counsel recently passed Bill No. 120428-A, which amends Chapter 9-3400 of The Philadelphia Code, to establish a system of benchmarking and reporting energy and water usage data for ...

    Labor & Employment
    Pennsylvania Now Requires E-Verify on Public Work

    By Mark J. Leavy and Marc Furman On July 5, 2012, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed into law the Public Works Employment Verification Act. The law will take effect January 1, 2013. The law requires contractors and subcontractors on “public ...

    Pennsylvania
    Pennsylvania Law Amends the Landlord and Tenant Act
    BY Steven M. Williams

    By: Steve Williams Pennsylvania now has a law that prescribes how landlords must handle a tenant’s abandoned property in certain circumstances. Senate Bill 887 was signed into law by Governor Corbett on July 5, 2012 (as Act 129-2012), becomes ...

    Infrastructure
    Pennsylvania Passes Public-Private Partnership (P3) Law

    By: Jason C. Tomasulo Governor Corbett recently signed legislation to encourage the financing and investment by private industry aimed at addressing Pennsylvania’s aging infrastructure needs, lack of adequate funding, and anticipated growing ...

    Consumer Protection
    On a Construction Site: Think Before You Speak
    BY Kathleen M. Morley

    By: Kathleen M. Morley and Jennifer M. Horn The Superior Court of Pennsylvania recently issued a decision in the case of Bennett v. Masterpiece Homes et al. in which the Court found that an owner of a construction company personally assumed ...

    Contract
    Pennsylvania Court Finds That Use of a Subcontractor’s Bid Does Not Create a Contract
    BY Robert G. Ruggieri

    By: Robert J. O’Brien and Robert G. Ruggieri In a matter of first impression in Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth Court in Ribarchak v. Municipal Authority of the City of Monongahela recently addressed the issue of whether the use of a ...

    Green Building
    2012 International Green Construction Code Released
    BY Lori Wisniewski Azzara

    By: Lane Kelman and Lori Wisniewski Azzara After three years of public hearings and input from industry specialists, the International Code Counsel (ICC) recently released the 2012 International Green Construction Code (IgCC), which is the first ...

    Jobs
    Green Jobs Account For 2.4% Of Employment In 2010
    BY Lori Wisniewski Azzara

    By: Lane Kelman and Lori Wisniewski Azzara In its first-ever survey of green goods and service jobs, the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently reported that “green” jobs accounted for 2.4% of the nation’s total ...

    Cohen Seglias News & Events
    Building a Sustainable Business: Managing Risks and Reaping Rewards in Green Building – Upcoming Event
    BY Jonathan A. Cass, Lane F. Kelman

    Green building is more popular than ever, and achieving LEED certification for projects is a mark of distinction. Construction companies and developers need to understand how they can effectively manage the risks and reap the rewards of these ...

    Bonds
    Virginia Shortens Sub-subcontractors’ Time to Provide Notice on Public Payment Bond Claims

    By: Jason C. Tomasulo An amendment to the Virginia Public Procurement Act (VPPA) has cut in half the amount of time a sub-subcontractor or supplier has to make a payment bond claim on public construction and transportation projects in Virginia. ...

    Cohen Seglias News & Events
    Q&A with Evan A. Blaker
    BY Robert G. Ruggieri

    By: Jennifer M. Horn and Robert Ruggieri Partner Evan A. Blaker recently joined Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman PC. We sat down with him to discuss his background and his thoughts on the state of the construction industry. Keep reading ...

    Labor & Employment
    Supreme Court Limits Prevailing Wage Obligations In Mixed-Funding, Multi-Phase Construction Projects

    By: Melissa Angeline The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania recently limited application of the prevailing wage law to multi-phase construction projects involving a mix of private and public funding. In 500 James Hance Ct. v. Pa. Prevailing Wage Appeals ...

    Contract
    Primer Piece – “No Damage for Delay” Clauses

    By: Jennifer M. Horn As part of an ongoing series, Construction Law Signal will examine basic construction contract clauses and offer tips for navigating the nuanced arena that is the negotiated construction contract. “No Damage for Delay” ...

    Contract
    Breaking Bad: Top Signs That The Subcontractor Is In Trouble

    It goes without saying that subcontractor management is a tricky business for those who select and contract with subcontractors in these interesting economic times. The earlier a general contractor can recognize the warning signs of a ...

    Green Building
    LEED-Certified Existing Buildings Surpass New Construction
    BY Lori Wisniewski Azzara

    By: Lori Wisniewski Azzara and Jennifer M. Horn According to a recent report from the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED-certified existing buildings are outpacing their newly built counterparts for the first time. As of December 2011, the square ...

    MaryLand
    Montgomery County, Maryland Changes Aimed at Facilitating Construction

    By: Jason C. Tomasulo Montgomery County, Maryland, recently simplified its construction permitting and inspection processes to better accommodate businesses and developers. Montgomery County consolidated the inspection of fire protection systems ...

    MaryLand
    Q&A with Maryland Construction Network’s Founder, Rob Bertazon

    I recently had the pleasure to chat with Robert W. Bertazon, founder of Maryland Construction Network, an innovative forum for the Maryland construction industry. I asked Mr. Bertazon to comment on the genesis of the Maryland Construction Network ...

    LIENS
    Definition of “subcontractor” in Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law Given Liberal Interpretation by Pennsylvania Superior Court

    By: Jason A. Copley and Lori Wisniewski Azzara  On January 6, 2012, the Pennsylvania Superior Court, in a 7-2 decision, significantly expanded the Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law’s definition of a “subcontractor” in Bricklayers of ...

    Green Building
    Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Among the Top Cities to Employ Green Infrastructure to Address Stormwater Challenges
    BY Lori Wisniewski Azzara

    By: Lori Wisniewski Azzara and Jennifer M. Horn As a follow up to its 2006 report, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has issued a new report – Rooftops to Rivers II – that provides case studies for 14 geographically diverse cities ...

    Labor & Employment
    Mayor Nutter Signs a Pro-Project Labor Agreement Executive Order for Philadelphia Public Building Projects
    BY Robert G. Ruggieri, Marc Furman

    By: Mark Leavy and Marc Furman On November 29, 2011, Mayor Michael A. Nutter signed Executive Order No. 15-11: “Public Works Project Labor Agreements”. The Order strongly recommends – but does not strictly require – the use of ...

    Pennsylvania
    What’s in a Name? Pennsylvania Decennial Filing Deadline -December 31, 2011
    BY Marian A. Kornilowicz

    By: Marian A. Kornilowicz The Pennsylvania Department of State Corporation Bureau (Corporate Bureau) identifies entities that may no longer be in existence in order to make their names available for use by new active entities. To make sure your ...

    Labor & Employment
    New Jersey Employer Alert: New Posting Requirement Effective November 7, 2011

    By: Melissa C. Angeline On November 7, 2011, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOL) released a new 6-page workplace notice for all New Jersey employers. The Employer Obligation to Maintain and Report Records Regarding ...

    Contract
    Unlicensed Subcontractor’s Claim Against General Contractor Valid

    By: Jennifer M. Horn For over ninety years, Maryland’s Court of Appeals has refused to honor the claims of unlicensed entities, including those of subcontractors and contractors who failed to adhere to the applicable regulatory licensing ...

    Pennsylvania
    Construction Trust Funds Act Introduced to Pennsylvania Senate
    BY Lori Wisniewski Azzara

    By: Lori Wisniewski Azzara and Robert G. Ruggieri On October 20, 2011, Senate Bill No. 1227 was introduced to the Pennsylvania Senate. The bill requires that funds paid by an owner to a contractor for work performed and/or materials furnished by a ...

    Pennsylvania
    PA Court Deems PennDot’s Design-Build Best-Value Bid Procurement Illegal

    By: Jennifer Horn In a decision this month PennDot’s Design-Build Best-Value Bid (DBBV) procurement method has been deemed illegal by Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court. Strengthening earlier rulings, the Court noted that the illegality of the ...

    Infrastructure
    President Obama Selects 14 Infrastructure Projects for Fast-Track

    By: Jason Tomasulo A number of outlets including Infrastructure Investor and the Washington Post are reporting the announcement by the Obama Administration of 14 projects that will be expedited through the permitting and environmental review ...

    Labor & Employment
    NEW UPDATE: Employers Catch A Break With Postponement of Employee Rights Notice Requirement

    By: Melissa C. Angeline In its October 5, 2011 press release, the National Labor Relations Board states that it has postponed the November 2011 deadline for employers to post the “Employee Rights Under the National Labor Relations Act” notice. ...

    Labor & Employment
    Update: National Labor Relations Board Releases Employee Rights Poster

    The National Labor Relations Board has published its new poster, titled “Employee Rights Under the National Labor Relations Act.” As previously reported on our blog, the Board recently adopted a new rule requiring private employers to post a ...

    Design and Technology
    Are Tablet Computers Taking Over the Construction Site?

    By: Jennifer M. Horn Construction owners and managers are utilizing computer tablets such as the iPad more and more on the job site to help streamline business. Engineering News Record posted a video clip and article about a few construction ...

    Contract
    The Perils of Contracting with Public Entities in Maryland
    BY Robert G. Ruggieri

    By: Jennifer M. Horn and Robert Ruggieri A September 1, 2011 decision by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals reminds us of the critical importance of strictly following contractual and procurement procedures before performing change order work for ...

    Jobs
    New $44M Cancer Center to Break Ground in Lancaster, PA

    By: Jennifer M. Horn On September 14th, Lancaster General Health (LGH) is set to break ground on the new Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Center. According to the press release from the LGH, the 70,000 square foot, $44 million center will, “bring ...

    Energy
    Proposed Legislation to Address Decreased Value of Solar Renewable Energy Credits In New Jersey

    By: Christopher Soper and Lane Kelman Recently New Jersey State Senator, Bob Smith (D., Middlesex), chairman of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee, explained that New Jersey has “done such a good job at stimulating solar that the market ...

    Labor & Employment
    National Labor Relations Board to Require Employers to Post Employee Rights Notice

    By: Melissa C. Angeline On August 25, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board announced a new rule that requires private employers to post a notice of employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). By November 14, ...

    Pennsylvania
    What if the Earthquake had Struck in Philadelphia?

    By: Jennifer M. Horn The Philadelphia Inquirer posted an interesting article about what would have happened if the 5.8 earthquake that struck the east cost on August 24, 2011 had been closer to the city. According to the article, Philadelphia would ...

    Design and Technology
    New Technology Launched to Monitor Heat Risks

    By: Jennifer M. Horn The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched a new smart phone application that will “enable workers and supervisors to monitor the heat index at their work sites in order to prevent heat-related ...

    LIENS
    Questions about the Impact of Sloan v. Liberty Mutual
    BY Robert G. Ruggieri

    By: Robert Ruggieri Last week we blogged about an important decision recently handed down by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals on the enforceability of pay-if-paid provisions in Pennsylvania. In Sloan & Company v. Liberty Mutual Insurance ...

    Labor & Employment
    What Employers Can Ask About Criminal Backgrounds during the Hiring Process

    By: Melissa C. Angeline Philadelphia has become the first major city to bar private employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal background. The “Ban the Box” law, otherwise known as the Fair Criminal Record Screening ...

    LIENS
    For Subcontractors Filing Mechanics’ Liens in Maryland: Clarification of “Owner”

    By: Jennifer M. Horn As all subcontractors are aware, mechanics’ lien rights are precious tools to recover payment on a project for work performed. Often with the aid of a title search, subcontractors and their counsel strive to ascertain the ...

    Contract
    The Third Circuit Weighs In On Pay-If-Paid/Pay-When-Paid Clauses

    By: Jennifer M. Horn In a precedential opinion that overturned a Pennsylvania District Court ruling, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (the Third Circuit) interpreted several important provisions of a construction contract. ...

    Compliance
    Delaware Construction Legislation Stalls in the Senate

    By: Scott T. Earle House Bill 109 (HB 109), which was passed by the House of Representatives, has stalled out in the Senate. This Bill was a proposed amendment to Title 6, Chapter 35 of the Delaware Code Building and Construction Payments section ...

    Cohen Seglias News & Events
    We Need Technology to Boost Our Traffic Management
    BY Robert G. Ruggieri

    “Technology has transformed dozens of ways we interact with the world. How we communicate, learn, work, entertain, and provide for ourselves have all been radically altered by computers, sensors, and software. One area where technology is ...

    Pennsylvania
    Pennsylvania Adopts New Fair Share Act that Limits Joint Liability in Negligence Actions

    By: Jason A. Copley and Kathleen M. Morely Contractors and subcontractors, and really any business associated with construction, should be pleased with a new law that just took effect in Pennsylvania. In cases where there is more than one defendant, ...

    Energy
    Too Much of a Good Thing Damages the Value of Solar Certificates in Pennsylvania and New Jersey

    Over the past couple of years, the solar industry has thrived in Pennsylvania and New Jersey due to federal and state programs that have provided hundreds of millions of dollars in incentives. These programs are necessary for solar energy to compete ...

    Home Improvement
    For Contractors Performing Home Improvements In New Jersey: The Consumer Fraud Act Applies

    If you are a Contractor performing residential home improvement work in New Jersey, a recent case clarifies that you may be subject to Consumer Fraud Act claims even when your contract is with a homeowner who serves as a “general ...

    Bidding
    PA High Court Restricts PennDot’s Design-Build Best Value Bid Procurement
    BY Robert G. Ruggieri

    As many contractors know, Pennsylvania’s attempt to formulate and use innovative procurement methods has incurred a series of setbacks from the Commonwealth’s appellate courts. The latest setback came when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court found ...

    Green Building
    Maryland’s Adoption of the International Green Construction Code Raises More Questions Than Answers

    As many in the industry are aware, Maryland became the first state to fully adopt the International Green Construction Code (IGCC) when Governor Martin O’Malley signed HB 972, effective March 1, 2012. In response to our IGCC blog post on this ...

    Bidding
    For Contractors Bidding on Public Jobs in NJ: Court Clarifies “Aggregate Rating”

    If you are a contractor bidding on public projects in New Jersey, a recent NJ case sheds light on an aggregate rating requirement which, if violated, could cause your bid to be disqualified. What Are Aggregate Rating Requirements Under NJ Law? Most ...

    Labor & Employment
    Use of Inflatable Rats by Unions Found Acceptable by NLRB

    Look familiar? If you have not already seen the infamous “inflatable rat” in a neighborhood near you, it is likely that you are going to see one soon. This comes as a result of a recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board ...

    Energy
    New Jersey Considering Leasing Portions of the Continental Shelf to Wind Power Developers

    The State of New Jersey, in conjunction with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE), is exploring the possibility of leasing portions of the continental shelf to wind power developers and studying the feasibility ...

    Green Building
    Philadelphia Zoo Breaks Ground on First LEED Rated Building
    BY Robert G. Ruggieri

    The Philadelphia Zoo recently broke ground on the brand new Hamilton Family Children’s Zoo and Education Center. The Zoo website describes the center as a “joyful, engaging experience for children and families while promoting a lifetime ...

    LIENS
    Update on PA House Bill 1602: Proposed Legislative Changes to Pennsylvania’s Mechanic’s Lien Law

    Last week, Pennsylvania’s House Labor and Industry Committee considered PA House Bill 1602  (HB 1602). Construction industry experts, including Cohen Seglias’ own Jason A. Copley, critiqued the bill in testimony presented at a televised public ...

    Design and Technology
    World’s First BIM Claim
    BY Daniel E. Fierstein

    Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a technological process that allows building and construction data to be modeled and managed three dimensionally. The technology can be used to represent a building in ways that the more traditional drawings ...

    LIENS
    Pennsylvania Superior Court Permits Mechanic’s Lien Claim For Excavation Work Despite Cancellation of Project
    BY Robert G. Ruggieri

    On June 7, 2011, the Pennsylvania Superior Court, in what appears to be a departure from past rulings and conventional interpretations of Pennsylvania’s Mechanic’s Lien Law (Lien Law), issued a ruling that permits an excavating contractor to ...

    Pennsylvania
    Philadelphia Water Department Storm Water Management Rate Changes: How the New Structure Could Impact your Business
    BY Lonny S. Cades

    The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) has enacted a new method for charging customers for Storm Water Management Services (Services). It is important to understand the new rating system, as it could significantly impact all property owners in ...

    Pennsylvania
    Update on House Bill 377 – Residential Sprinkler Law Repealed
    BY Steven M. Williams

    Pennsylvania Governor Corbett has signed, House Bill 377 (HB 377) into law. The new law repeals the sprinkler mandate that became effective on January 1, 2011 that required builders to install sprinkler systems in all new single- and two-family ...

    Jobs
    Mid-Atlantic Construction Update

    Pennsylvania: PNC Financial Services Group (PNC) is moving its headquarters to Pittsburgh. PNC, which is the largest bank in Pennsylvania, plans to build a $400 million “green” office structure in downtown Pittsburgh, which will create ...

    MaryLand
    Maryland Becomes the First State to Fully Adopt the International Green Construction Code
    BY Lane F. Kelman

    Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley recently signed bill MD HB 972 into law, effective March 1, 2012. The law “authorizes the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development to adopt the IGCC, while allowing local jurisdictions to ...

    Labor & Employment
    Maryland’s Job Applicant Fairness Act

    The “Job Applicant Fairness Act,” (the Act) signed into law on April 12, 2011, prohibits most Maryland employers from using credit reports and credit histories as a means of determining hiring and retention. Generally, employers are ...

    Pennsylvania
    Philadelphia’s Historic Preservation Alliance Honors Local Preservation Heroes

    Earlier this week, Philadelphia’s Historic Preservation Alliance hosted its Eighteenth Annual Achievement Awards, where individuals and organizations were honored for significant contributions to historic preservation. Congratulations to the ...

    Energy
    Pittsburgh’s David L. Lawrence Convention Center Highlights Need for Evaluation of LEED Buildings After Construction

    A recent study of Pittsburgh’s David L. Lawrence Convention Center (DLCC) showed that the building has been “wasting energy” for years. The finding has brought much criticism from taxpayers. The study performed by the Green ...

    Delaware
    Mid-Atlantic Construction Update: Looking Up?

    Is construction picking up throughout the Mid-Atlantic region? Here are just a few summaries of headlines for Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania Maryland: As of March 2011, construction projects in several Maryland counties continue to increase, ...

    New Construction
    West Virginia Construction Industry Update

    It is hard to dispute that the past three years have been difficult for West Virginia’s construction industry, and so far 2011 hasn’t seen much improvement. Employment in the construction industry is down approximately 10% this year over ...

    Energy
    Recent Advances in Green Building
    BY Lori Wisniewski Azzara

    International Energy Conservation Code Upgrades The 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) has been upgraded to require that newly constructed and renovated residential and commercial buildings achieve energy savings 30% higher than the ...

    Delaware
    These (Construction) Boots Were Made for Walkin’ (Across State Borders)

    For an increasing number of contractors, survival in the current economy has resulted in the need to find and secure work in other states. The migration of contractors to neighboring states is apparent throughout the country. Besides the work ...

    Cohen Seglias News & Events
    Upcoming Event: How Does the Law Change When Contractors Cross State Borders?
    BY Edward Seglias

    Cohen Seglias is hosting a series of seminars, throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, for regional contractors and trade subcontractors whose work areas span multiple states. The “Crossing Borders” program highlights distinctions in the laws of ...

    MaryLand
    Maryland Court of Appeals Issues BEKA Decision – County Boards of Education Can be Sued for Contract Disputes

    On April 26, 2011, the Maryland Court of Appeals (Court of Appeals) issued a decision in BEKA Industries, Inc. v. Worcester County Bd. of Education. This case involves a number of issues, the most significant of which is the application, extent and ...

    New Construction
    New Jersey to Spend $800M on Turnpike Upgrades

    New Jersey Turnpike officials recently announced that they expect to advertise approximately $800 million in Turnpike related construction projects to be completed by February 2012. The projects will include road widening, bridge deck, resurfacing, ...

    Infrastructure
    Pennsylvania Rail System Receives $6.8M Grant
    BY Robert G. Ruggieri

    With Marcellus Shale natural gas continuing to grow in demand, it has become increasingly important to update the rail systems used to transport the product. With this in mind, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on April 18, 2011, announced a ...

    Energy
    New Energy Grants Help to Expand Alternative Fuel, Clean Energy and Efficiency Sectors in Pennsylvania
    BY Lisa M. Wampler

    On April 8, 2011, the Commonwealth Financing Authority announced its approval of $6.5 million in new alternative and clean energy grants. According to C. Alan Walker, acting Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development, these ...

    Energy
    Cohen Seglias Co-Hosts Solar Networking Event
    BY Lane F. Kelman

    Two weeks ago, April 3-5, the 2011 PV America conference was held in Philadelphia. More than 3,000 attendees, including PV manufacturers, distributors and installers, industry financiers and project developers, converged upon the Pennsylvania ...

    New Construction
    Residential Sprinklers – Update on HB 377
    BY Steven M. Williams

    On April 12, 2011, the Pennsylvania Senate voted to pass House Bill 377 (HB 377). The Senate’s version of the bill contained some changes, and HB 377 was sent back to the House for a concurrence vote. A day later, the House voted to approve ...

    MaryLand
    Subcontractors Wanted for Construction of Maryland Live! Casino

    Maryland Live! Casino, which broke ground in January of this year, is hosting an event on Monday, April 18, 2011, “for subcontractors, vendors and suppliers to participate in the construction of the $200 million project.” Casino management is ...

    MaryLand
    New Baltimore Task Force Plans to Reduce Building Vacancies

    According to the Baltimore Business Journal, downtown Baltimore’s office vacancy rate is, amazingly, about 19%. A new task force, co-chaired by  J. Kirby Fowler, President of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore Inc. and Colin Tarbert, Deputy ...

    Bidding
    Graterford Prison Contract to Be Rebid

    The on-again-off-again Graterford Prison project has just met another hurdle. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s administration just announced that the Department of General Services will re-bid the project to include a new death row wing, and a ...

    Labor & Employment
    3rd Annual Labor & Employment Law Seminar Recap
    BY Jonathan Landesman

    On March 24, 2011, Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman’s Labor & Employment Group hosted the 3rd Annual Labor & Employment Law Seminar, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia. About 70 people attended the half-day seminar to ...

    Economy
    Targeting Growth Markets in the Mid-Atlantic Region: Three Economists Opine

    What do leading economists have to say about an economic recovery for the construction industry? The reviews are mixed, but hopeful. The following three economists recently spoke at an American Institute of Architects (AIA) sponsored webinar in ...

    Small Business
    New Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program
    BY Lori Wisniewski Azzara

    On Tuesday, March 22, 2011, the Pittsburgh chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) held an event during which Karen Waigand, the Women’s Business Coordinator for the Small Business Administration (SBA), spoke about the ...

    Cohen Seglias News & Events
    Upcoming Event: Unraveling the Mysteries of Federal Construction Contracting

    In order to succeed in today’s world of federal construction contracting, with emphasis on “best value,” indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contracting, and teaming arrangements, a contractor must have a thorough understanding of ...

    MaryLand
    Maryland-Based Minority Owned Business Needed for $115M Broadband Project

    The Baltimore Business Journal reported on March 14, 2011, that, “Howard County (Maryland) is recruiting small and minority-owned businesses to help build the state’s $115 million “One Maryland Broadband network.” The proposed One Maryland ...

    Architecture
    U.S. Nuclear Power Plants to be Re-Evaluated in Light of Japan’s Earthquake
    BY Robert G. Ruggieri

    With reports still coming in about the devastation in Japan, one thing is clear: had the 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck a populated coastal region of the United States, even greater destruction would have occurred. In terms of earthquake and ...

    Economy
    Real Estate Q&A with Grubb & Ellis’ Anne Klein, Senior Vice President of the Southern New Jersey Office

    I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Ms. Anne Klein, Senior Vice President of the Office Services Group of Grubb & Ellis’ Southern New Jersey Office, where she serves as a senior broker. With 26 years of experience in the ...

    MaryLand
    Baltimore Construction: Things Are Looking Up

    According to a recent study released by McGraw Hill Construction, “Contracts for future commercial construction in the Baltimore-Towson Metropolitan statistical area for January 2011 were up 72 percent when compared to the same month in ...

    Project Management
    Indiana Power Plant Demonstrates the Consequences of a Poorly Managed Project

    In 2006, Duke Energy Corp. (Duke) estimated that it would cost $1.6 billion to build a massive 630-megawatt power plant in Edwardsport, Indiana (the Project). From 2006 to the present, the price for constructing the Project has grown to $2.9 ...

    Architecture
    New Zealand’s Quake Topples Contemporary Buildings – Even Those with Seismic Retrofitting

    The powerful 6.3 magnitude shallow earthquake that hit New Zealand last week struck less than 6 miles from Christchurch’s historic downtown district, and only about 3 miles below the surface. Engineers were not surprised by the damage and ...

    Jobs
    New Jersey Announces $584M Plan to Renovate and Rebuild 10 Schools
    BY Robert G. Ruggieri

    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced that 10 schools in the state will receive a total of $584 million through the Schools Development Authority (SDA) to rebuild and renovate existing space. In addition to the allocated money, $100 million ...

    Green Building
    Maryland Awards $11.1 Million for Sustainable Building Projects

    Governor Martin O’Malley recently announced that through the Sustainable Communities Tax Credit Program, ten different projects throughout Maryland received grants totaling $11.1 million towards sustainable construction. O’Malley said ...

    Cohen Seglias News & Events
    Upcoming Event: Are You Prepared to Face a Construction Claim?

    Join Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman, PC and Karden Construction Services, Inc. for an informative seminar that will be invaluable to contractors conducting business in the current economic climate. In today’s competitive ...

    LIENS
    New Jersey Construction Lien Law Changes: Protect Your Right to Get Paid

    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently enacted legislation revising the New Jersey Construction Lien Law, which was last amended in 1994. The amendments are effective immediately and include changes to critical timing, definitional, and ...

    Bidding
    New Jersey Establishes Process for Bid Withdrawal

    Since public bidding began in the State of New Jersey, contractors have had to be especially diligent in the computation and review of their bid packages. This is because New Jersey has remained one of the few states that does not have an ...

    Bidding
    Lancaster, PA, Bans Project Labor Agreements on County-Funded Projects

    The Lancaster County Board of Commissioners announced on January 26, 2011, that they passed an ordinance banning the use of project labor agreements (PLAs) “on all county-funded construction projects.” With the passage of Ordinance 99, all ...

    Small Business
    SBA Offers Federal Contract Program for Women-Owned Small Businesses

    Cohen Seglias partner Edward T. DeLisle recently wrote the following post for our sister blog, Federal Construction Contracting Blog, which we thought would be of interest to Construction Law Signal readers as well. As of Friday, February 4, 2011, ...

    Energy
    New Jersey Governor Signs Power Plant Bill and Tax Reimbursement for Revel Casino
    BY Robert G. Ruggieri

    Update: Christie Signs NJ Power Plant Bill New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law last Friday the controversial power plant bill (S-2381) that, among other things, is aimed to lower energy rates by increasing the energy generated ...

    Delaware
    Delaware Department of Transportation Files Lawsuit Over Indian River Bridge

    The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDot) recently filed a lawsuit for $19.6 million in damages against Florida based engineering contractor Figg Bridge Engineers (Figg) and its engineering subcontractor MACTEC Engineering (MACTEC). The ...

    Green Building
    IGCC Public Version 2.0 Released
    BY Lori Wisniewski Azzara

    Christopher P. Soper, LEED® AP contributed to this post. To further the efforts to reduce the negative impact that buildings can have on the environment the International Code Counsel (ICC) created the International Green Construction Code (IGCC) ...

    Economy
    Q&A with Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.’s Chief Economist, Anirban Basu

    Economic Forecast for the 2011 Construction Industry: Outlook Good? I recently had the pleasure to chat with Mr. Anirban Basu, Chief Economist for the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC) and Chairman & CEO of the economic and policy ...

    Business
    Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Fraud: New Trends

    Lane F. Kelman contributed to this post. A recent increase in fraud investigations relating to disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs) has caused companies to revisit the qualifications of the DBEs they work with. Two recent investigations in New ...

    Jobs
    Heated Debate over NJ Power-Plant Bill
    BY Robert G. Ruggieri

    A controversial bill, know as “LS Power Bill” has recently put New Jersey Governor Chris Christie under some pressure. The bill, A. 3442, is a reaction to regional power-grid operator PJM Interconnection’s (PJM) reliability pricing ...

    Cohen Seglias News & Events
    Protecting Against Faulty Workmanship Claims

    Recent Pennsylvania court decisions have virtually eliminated any insurance coverage under commercial general liability policies for claims brought against general contractors arising from the faulty workmanship of their subcontractors. Jonathan A. ...

    Pennsylvania
    Allentown Enacts Project Labor Agreement

    On December 15, 2010, Allentown’s City Council passed a bill that requires contractors to sign project labor agreements (PLAs), as a condition to receiving contracts for work on construction projects sponsored by the City of Allentown. This ...

    Bankruptcy
    Luxury Philadelphia High-Rise 10 Rittenhouse in Bankruptcy

    The developer of 10 Rittenhouse, the luxury Philadelphia condominium building with 33 floors and units priced from $600,000 to $15 million, recently filed for bankruptcy protection under the court’s Chapter 11 procedures. In doing so, the ...

    Cohen Seglias News & Events
    Presentation: The Green Building Trend: Environmental Issues that Impact the Developer

    On February 16, 2010, Cohen Seglias partner Lane F. Kelman will present a program to The Environmental Information Association’s Mid-Atlantic Chapter on the interrelationship between the current trends in Green Building, the environmental ...

    Infrastructure
    Transportation Becoming a Priority in PA and NJ

    On September 6, 2010, President Barack Obama proposed a six-year, $50 billion plan to rebuild the nation’s highways, railways and airport runways. Obama’s plan includes rebuilding 150,000 miles of roads, construction and maintenance of ...

    LIENS
    Subcontractors in Pennsylvania Must Be Careful When Filing a Lien for Work Performed On Multiple Plots of Land

    Smart contractors now more than ever must be vigilant about preserving their rights to mechanics’ liens. Lien rights provide another avenue of protection if and when payment is not made for work performed. Contractors should beware however, ...

    Jobs
    Four Seasons to Finish New $197M Hotel in Maryland

    The luxury hotel chain, the Four Seasons, has been building an 18-story, 256-room hotel in Harbor East, Baltimore for over a year now. Until now, they have not been able to fully finance the $197 million project. On Thursday, January 6, 2011, ...

    Compliance
    What’s on the Outside DOES Count in Philadelphia
    BY Robert G. Ruggieri

    Building owners in the City of Philadelphia had better start paying closer attention to what’s on the outside. Earlier this year, Mayor Michael Nutter signed an ordinance — Periodic Inspection of Exterior Walls and Appurtenances of ...

    Green Building
    New Jersey at the Forefront of Solar Power

    In terms of solar power, New Jersey is very progressive. New Jersey is a frontrunner in renewable energy production, and currently has the second highest capacity of solar power in the country – California is first. The Garden State’s ...

    Experts
    Pennsylvania Superior Court to Hear Re-Argument on Important Case Regarding Attorney-Expert Communications
    BY Robert G. Ruggieri

    The Pennsylvania Superior Court has decided to reconsider its own recent ruling that made information considered by an expert fair ground for full discovery by other parties in the lawsuit. Barrick v. Holy Spirit Hospital On September 16, 2010, in ...

    Compliance
    Pennsylvania Update: The HICPA Crackdown Continues
    BY Robert G. Ruggieri

    The Pennsylvania Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act, HICPA, went into effect on July 1, 2009. HICPA was designed to protect purchasers of home improvement services from contractors engaging in deceitful business practices or doing shoddy ...

    Jobs
    Pennsylvania Governor Announces New State Investments – 400 Construction Jobs to be Created

    Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell announced Monday that new state investments for Warren and Erie counties have been approved. The new projects will receive $45 million in state funding and $68 million in private funding and will create more than 400 ...

    LIENS
    Perfecting Mechanics’ Liens in Pennsylvania
    BY Robert G. Ruggieri

    Contractors and subcontractors must be particularly vigilant in protecting their lien rights in these uncertain economic times. Despite an investment of time and labor into a project, contractors and subcontractors may be faced with a defaulting ...

    Green Building
    The Philadelphia Eagles to Build First Ever Renewable Energy Sports Stadium

    A new trend in sports stadiums becoming environmentally friendly has begun to take off. The new Meadowlands Stadium, home to the New York Jets and New York Giants, was built “green” using 40,000 tons of recycled steel and features solar ...

    Jobs
    Philadelphia Airport Plans Multi-Billion Dollar Expansion

    The Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is proposing a $5.3 billion expansion, which would create 45,000 construction jobs over 12 years and 2,880 permanent jobs. PHL is said to be the 6th most delayed U.S. airport. The expansion plan includes ...

    Insurance
    Pennsylvania Supreme Court Declares Insurance Defense Costs May Not Be Reimbursable

    Jonathan A. Cass, senior counsel with Cohen Seglias contributed to this post. Your company is sued as a result of an alleged constructive defect. You tender the claim to your insurance company and they hire and pay for a lawyer to defend your ...

    Compliance
    Recent Developments in the Comprehensive Health Care Reform Law

    On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the comprehensive health care reform law (Reform) to expand health care coverage in the United States. Impact of Comprehensive Health Care Reform Law on Employers It is an understatement to say that ...

    Delaware
    Delaware Wind Farm Assembly Suffers Setback but Long Term Confidence in the Project Remains High

    The federal government recently denied the state of Delaware’s application for a $22 million grant for a wind turbine manufacturing facility in the Port of Wilmington (The Port). The Port, along with NRG Bluewater Wind (NRG), sought the grant ...

    Contract
    Pennsylvania Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act: Contractor Awarded Attorneys’ Fees Incurred During Collection Proceeding

    Owners and contractors should be aware of a significant October 2009 Pennsylvania Superior Court decision, Zimmerman v. Harrisburg Fudd I, L.P., which clarifies the standard for the award of post-judgment interest and attorneys’ fees under the ...

    Energy
    Safety Standards for Natural Gas Wells Approved

    On November 18, 2010, Pennsylvania’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) unanimously approved new standards that will make natural gas wells safer. The new standards were approved just days before a 13,000 gallon fracking fluid spill ...

    Energy
    Pittsburgh is the First City in Pennsylvania to Ban Gas Drilling

    Recently, Pittsburgh city council members voted unanimously to pass an ordinance banning natural gas drilling in order to avoid the “significant threat to the health, safety and welfare of residents and neighborhoods within the city.” The ...

    Energy
    New Jersey Legislature Approves Solar Power Mandate for All New Public Schools

    The New Jersey state legislature recently approved A1084, a bill that would require solar panels to be included in the design and construction of all new public schools across the state. The Assembly Appropriations Committee is awaiting assurance ...

    Pennsylvania
    What’s the Difference Between a “Pay if Paid” Clause and a “Pay When Paid” Clause in Pennsylvania?
    BY Robert G. Ruggieri

    Getting paid on time for work performed on a construction project is a natural concern for subcontractors. Generally speaking, your subcontract with the general contractor contains a payment clause that sets forth when and how you are entitled to ...

    Pennsylvania
    Residential Sprinklers Are on the Way – Update on House Bill 1196

    Recently we reported on the Pennsylvania Senate’s amendment to House Bill 1196 (HB 1196). This amendment would have delayed the implementation of the residential sprinkler mandate until January 2012. As promised, the Pennsylvania House of ...

    Energy
    Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell Awards $8 Million in Alternative Energy Grants

    Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell recently announced that the state is awarding close to $8 million in state alternative energy grants. The grants will be used to fund 21 projects that will encourage the use of biofuels and technological developments ...

    Jobs
    $32.5 Million Rail Freight Investment to Create Jobs in 28 Counties

    Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell announced yesterday that a $32.5 million state investment will be made for 38 rail projects in 28 counties. At a press conference held in York, Pennsylvania, Rendell explained that the freight investment would ...

    LIENS
    Perfection of a Mechanics’ Lien on New Jersey Residential Projects

    Although nobody is immune from the effects of the downturn in the economy, contractors and subcontractors are especially vulnerable in these uncertain times. Even after investing time and labor, contractors and subcontractors face the possibility of ...

    Green Building
    A Balancing Act: New York City’s Commitment to Sustainability and The Brooklyn Bridge Forest

    Lane F. Kelman contributed to this post. The Brooklyn Bridge is made up of approximately 11,000 tropical wood planks that are exposed to heavy foot and bicycle traffic. Due to the heavy use, the planks require routine replacement. The New York City ...

    Jobs
    Graterford State Prison Project Moving Forward

    The project to expand Graterford Prison (Project) which was previously canceled by the Pennsylvania Department of General Services (DGS) is now expected to move forward. According to an 10-8-10 Notice to Proposers, the proposal submission deadline ...

    New Construction
    Residential Sprinkler Mandate: It’s in the House’s Hands

    Steven M. Williams contributed this post. In December 2009, Pennsylvania became the first state in the country to require that fire sprinklers be installed in all new residential construction. The law took effect on January 1, 2010 for townhouses ...

    Bonds
    Delaware Supreme Court Confirms That Sureties May Limit Bond Claimants
    BY Robert G. Ruggieri

    Scott T. Earle and Daniella Gordon contributed to this post. A recent Delaware Supreme Court decision limited the field of bond claimants on a private project. In the case, Berlin Steel proper claimants under bond.pdf the Supreme Court overruled ...

    New Construction
    Duck Boat Tour Proposes New Route in Philadelphia

    After a tragic Ride the Ducks accident in July on the Delaware River, Ride the Ducks Philadelphia is proposing to construct a new route through the city. The company is looking to build a $1 million trench leading into the Schuylkill River near ...

    Cohen Seglias News & Events
    Q&A with Robert E. Little, Jr.

    Bob Little has more than 30 years of experience in all facets of federal contracting and recently joined Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman as a partner in the Federal Contracting Group, a move that strengthens the firm’s practice. ...

    Bidding
    Crossing State Lines: New York Public Bidding Law Allows for Withdrawal of Bids

    Although entering the public bidding arena presents contractors with a plethora of opportunities, these opportunities do not come without risk. As many contractors can attest, oftentimes public bidding can seem more like gambling than bidding. This ...

    Jobs
    Governor Christie Stands Firm in Decision to Cancel ARC Tunnel Project

    Earlier today, Governor Chris Christie announced his intention to remain steadfast in his earlier decision to cancel the ARC Tunnel project, citing New Jersey’s lack of funding. Two weeks ago, Christie chose to pull the plug on the ARC Tunnel ...

    Jobs
    Will Philadelphia Developer Receive $100 Million from State Capital Budget?

    Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell is currently reviewing a new state capital budget that is calling for numerous new development projects across the state. Within this budget, through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) Philadelphia ...

    Business
    Last Call for PA Amnesty: The Pennsylvania Treasury Department’s Unclaimed Property Compliance Amnesty Program Ends October 31, 2010

    Pennsylvania is making a last call for companies that are out of compliance with the Commonwealth’s Unclaimed Property Law (Law). Sunday, October 31, 2010, is the last day to enroll in the Unclaimed Property Amnesty Program. After this date, ...

    Labor & Employment
    Family and Medical Leave Act: Frequently Asked Questions

    In a recent survey of 441 human resource professionals, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA)  was overwhelmingly identified as the single most problematic federal employment law. The FMLA, which covers employers with at least 50 ...

    Jobs
    Upgrades to Pennsylvania and Philadelphia’s Infrastructure Discussed with President Obama

    On Monday October 11, 2010, President Barack Obama, cabinet secretaries and a handful of the nation’s mayors and governors met at the White House to discuss the President’s Infrastructure Plan (Plan). Both Pennsylvania Governor Ed ...

    Jobs
    Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010 Signed into Law

    On September 27, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010 (Act). The Act was designed to provide immediate relief and is expected to provide critical resources to help small businesses continue to drive ...

    Labor & Employment
    Construction Workplace Misclassification Act: Pennsylvania Cracks Down on Independent Contractor Misclassification in the Construction Industry

    On October 13, 2010, Governor Ed Rendell signed into law House Bill 400, establishing the Construction Workplace Misclassification Act (CWMA). This new law goes into effect on February 10, 2011, and will have a dramatic impact on all construction ...

    Contract
    Pennsylvania Court Decision Limits Unjust Enrichment Claims for Subcontractors
    BY Robert G. Ruggieri

    It is not uncommon, especially in today’s economy, for a subcontractor to perform work on a project but not get paid. Under Pennsylvania law, there are several courses of action a subcontractor can take to recover payment. One option is for a ...

    Delaware
    Delaware Department of Transportation Unveils Five Year Plan

    The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) recently unveiled its plans to update the Cape Region over the next five years. Funded Projects On the agenda of funded projects are intersection and sidewalk improvements, such as realignment of ...

    Design and Technology
    The Legal Risks of Building Information Modeling (BIM)

    Building information modeling, commonly referred to as BIM, is a technology that has the potential to revolutionize the process of project design and construction. According to the president of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America, BIM ...

    Home Improvement
    Maryland Case Clarifies Subcontractor Home Improvement Licensing Law

    In Maryland, contractors who perform home improvements are required to be licensed with the Maryland Home Improvement Commission. In addition to facing civil and criminal fines and penalties, unlicensed contractors risk losing the ability to enforce ...

    Jobs
    Update: Governor Christie Cancels ARC Tunnel Project

    After weeks of speculation, Governor Chris Christie announced his decision yesterday to cancel the $8.7 billion ARC Tunnel Project. This move came after the ARC Executive Steering Committee informed him that the project could cost New Jersey ...

    Energy
    Marcellus Shale Landowners Must Plan for Their Future Now

    It is becoming increasingly important for owners of land with Marcellus Shale gas wells currently in use, or that may be in use in the future, to make sure that they have a plan in place to ensure financial stability for themselves and their ...

    Jobs
    Update: New Jersey Once Again Halts Department of Transportation Projects

    Just one day after lifting a suspension for all New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) construction and design projects, the hold is back on for about 100 design and planning projects. Late Tuesday, NJDOT Commissioner James Simpson put a ...

    Contract
    Governor Christie and New Jersey Legislature Resolve New Jersey Department of Transportation Stop Work Order

    Governor Chris Christie’s decision to halt work on all projects funded by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) led to a total cessation of work on nearly 100 construction and 200 design projects today. Governor Christie stopped the ...

    New Construction
    City Hall Restoration Project Begins in West Virginia

    Renovations are underway to restore the historic Wheeling, West Virginia Independence Hall. The Independence Hall building was constructed in the 1800’s and served as the capital building even before West Virginia was formally recognized as a ...

    Contract
    The Danger of Performing Work Without A Complete, Signed Copy of Your Contract

    The New Jersey Superior Court recently issued an opinion that serves as a cautionary tale for all parties in a construction project who perform work without complete, signed copies of their contracts on hand. In the case of City of Union City v. AC ...

    Bidding
    Graterford Prison Project Cancelled

    The project to expand the State Correctional Institute at Graterford due to overcrowding has been canceled. Currently, the prison houses 2,100 inmates, but it is so crowded that prisoners are being shipped to Michigan and Virginia. The project was ...

    Jobs
    Tragic BP Spill Could Lead to Unexpected Benefits for Pennsylvania and West Virginia

    The April 20, 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been called the worst environmental disaster in American history. Although the well was recently capped, the spill has resulted in tightened regulations on oil drilling which may unexpectedly ...

    Green Building
    What you Need to Know About Building Green

    This week is World Green Building Week, and today – September 23, 2010 – happens to be the Green Building Day. In honor of the increased international and national focus on green building initiatives, we wanted to provide a brief ...

    Labor & Employment
    September 30, 2010 Deadline to File EE0-1 Rapidly Approaching

    September 30, 2010 is the deadline to file the Employer Information Report, otherwise known as an EEO-1, with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC). Do you know if you are required to file? If so, have you gathered all the information ...

    Bidding
    Recent Changes to Delaware Port Authority Bidding Rules

    Prompted by criticism relating to inappropriate perks, nepotism, and corruption, the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) has recently enacted reforms that will affect DRPA’s construction projects. The DRPA is responsible for operating 4 toll ...

    Home Improvement
    Pennsylvania Courts Rule No More Coverage for Property Damage in Faulty Workmanship Claims: How Contractors Should Protect Themselves
    BY Jonathan A. Cass

    As a result of two recent Pennsylvania decisions, insurance carriers are now aggressively taking the position that there is no insurance coverage under commercial general liability policies (“CGL)” for property damage claims caused by ...

    Jobs
    President Obama Presents Plan To Upgrade America’s Infrastructure

    During Laborfest, a union-sponsored Labor Day rally held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, President Obama announced a plan to spur the American Economy by investing in the country’s crumbling infrastructure. President Obama called for Congress to ...

    Jobs
    Rails-to-Trails: A Growing Area of Mid-Atlantic Development

    Mid-Atlantic contractors can expect to see more “rails-to-trails” work opportunities in the near future. In 1916, at the height of railroad expansion in the United States, there were more than 275,000 miles of railroad track across the ...

    Energy
    New Jersey Renewable Energy Update: Governor Christie Signs The Offshore Wind Economic Development Act
    BY Lane F. Kelman

    Lane F. Kelman, partner with Cohen Seglias, contributed to this post. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently signed The Offshore Wind Economic Development Act (Act). The purpose of the Act is to make New Jersey a leader in offshore wind power. ...

    Delaware
    Delaware: Renewable Energy Bills Update

    Christopher P. Soper, LEED AP, associate with Cohen Seglias, contributed to this post. This summer, Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed into law four renewable energy bills designed to expand Delaware’s wind and solar power industries. The ...

    New Jersey
    New Jersey Supreme Court Issues Severe Sanctions for Spoliation

    Anthony M. Bottenfield, associate at Cohen Seglias contributed to this post. The New Jersey Supreme Court recently issued a unanimous opinion that will impact anyone who eliminates evidence of alleged construction defects before providing an ...

    New Construction
    Hurdles Facing Construction of NYC Mosque

    There has been much public discussion centered on the appropriateness of building a mosque in close proximity to Ground Zero. The controversial project to develop an Islamic cultural center in New York City is known as Park51. The political aspects ...

    Energy
    Marcellus Shale Drilling Projects Increase Following Pennsylvania Supreme Court Decision

    The land under parts of central Pennsylvania contains rock known as “Marcellus Shale.” Trapped within the shale are pockets of natural gas. Gas companies have long been aware of the shale, but until recently, the trapped gas was ...

    Contract
    Construction Contracts: The Basics
    BY Rene David Quinlan

    In the world of construction litigation, everything begins and ends with your contract. Although contract drafting and negotiation may feel like a burdensome process that stands in the way of commencing work and earning profits, it is probably one ...

    LIENS
    Establishment of a Mechanics’ Lien in Maryland

    When payment for good work performed on a construction project is delayed, contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers alike must act quickly to preserve their mechanics’ lien rights in Maryland.  A mechanics’ lien is a way for contractors, ...

    Green Building
    The Pittsburgh Penguins Go Green With the Construction of the New Consol Energy Center

    Savvy contractors looking to enter the green building market should keep their eye out for new areas of green building. One new area is likely to be sports complex construction. The first LEED certified sports complex was the Portland Trail ...

    Green Building
    Construction Opportunities in Philadelphia

    Mayor Michael Nutter recently announced that construction will move forward on the proposed $70 million Mormon Temple. The temple is expected to open in 2013 and the proposed location is 18th and Vine Streets.   While the temple’s ...

    Bidding
    Failure to List Equipment Could Be a Problem for Your Bid

    Contractors and subcontractors who engage in public work must be mindful of the language contained in bid solicitations.  While it is easy to presume that the solicitations or advertisements for certain types of contracts are consistent within the ...