New AIA Documents released on April 28, 2017

On Friday, April 28, 2017, the AIA will release new editions of its Owner-Architect Agreements as well as the General Conditions of the Contract for Construction (A201).  This revision follows the AIA’s practice of updating documents on 10 year cycles thus this is the first such update since 2007.  With an enthusiasm typically reserved for…

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Express Indemnity and the Anti-Indemnity Statutes

Construction projects are full of risk, involving numerous individuals, large machinery, hazardous chemicals, and, frequently, are relatively open to affect the public at-large.  Damages and liability can be more complicated than simply the one bad actor or actors being held responsible for their own bad acts.  Project participants who were not directly responsible may nonetheless be held liable. However, project participants can attempt to manage and transfer these risks through express indemnity provisions in their construction contracts.

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What Constitutes a Material Breach of Contract?

When contracts are breached, it is important for clients to understand whether the breach was a material breach or a minor breach, and the remedies available to them. A material breach occurs when an agreement is irreparably broken and defeats the purpose of an entire contract.  A minor breach is any other breach of the contract.  The distinction is important as the non-breaching party can suspend performance and terminate the contract for a material breach, but not for a minor breach.

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The Importance of Notice: Don’t Forfeit Your Claim!

One of the hallmarks of the construction industry is the “spirit of cooperation.”  Generally speaking, all participants in the construction process take pride in the finished product and recognize that a project will be successful only through cooperation and coordination.  Contractors, therefore, will go to great lengths to avoid confrontation and potentially soured relationships.  We all know there will be future projects and what goes around will come around.  Unfortunately, the laws and contracts that govern construction relationships may work against this time-honored tradition.  This article deals with breaking old habits without ruining old (and new) relationships.  More specifically, we will discuss the requirement to provide notice, why notice is so important and how to provide that notice while still honoring that “spirit of cooperation” in Contract Dispute & Claims in a construction project.

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