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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Thoughts from the Jury Room

Recently, I was selected to perform my civic duty by serving jury duty. It is a side of the judicial experience that involves all members of society. As lawyers, we are often aware of the jury – the wild and unpredictable nature of an assembly of lay people attempting to make sense of a complicated process. It’s not often that a lawyer can assure you the direction a jury will go. In our data driven society, it is a frontier not quite conquered.

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Record Retention and Destruction Policies Are Key Tools to Managing Risk in your Construction Business

Our discussion of how personal devices can become problematic during the discovery phase of litigation is a perfect example of the necessity of the development and implementation of a Record Retention and Destruction policy.  With today’s vast electronic capabilities, contractors have the ability to retain every document, every email, every drawing, every text message, etc. regarding their projects.  However, retaining all these records is not only expensive and arduous but could also open up your company to potential legal liability.

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The Importance of Client Education

As construction attorneys, we relish the opportunity to vigorously defend our clients in the courtroom.  As risk management lawyers, however, we work very hard to make sure clients can avoid litigation.  A key component of our risk management practice is to educate our clients about the intricacies of construction law in such a manner that the material is accessible and easily put into place on a variety of construction projects.  Most contractors know their area, but could be completely unfamiliar with the minutiae and complexity of contracts, zoning boards, risk management, OSHA regulations, and other potential construction risks. At Manion Stigger, we take the time to educate our clients on how best to navigate these matters so the client can be in control of their project while still getting expert guidance.

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OSHA Violations Attorney on the Importance of Workplace Safety

It is important for a job site to promote a culture of safety and put a premium on preventing injuries in the workplace. An unchallenged or upheld citation exposes a contractor to a future “repeat” violations and tougher penalties.  If a company is routinely cited for OSHA violations, it could lead to more substantial punitive fines. Ashley Furniture, for instance, faces a $1.4 million fine to settle various OSHA violations incurred over the past 36 months, including at least two workers who have suffered finger injuries (one worker lost three fingers while another lost part of one) while operating machinery. The company denies the violations. This hefty fine is a powerful reminder that companies need to promote safety in the workplace.

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How Can a Risk Management Assessment Improve my Projects’ Productivity?

Construction projects are extremely complicated endeavors. They often involve multiple contractors and suppliers, a variety of state and local building codes, as well as a rigorous schedule with which all parties must comply. With so much going into every project, it can be easy to overlook an important project component or have something fall through the cracks.  While some of these mistakes might be forgettable, others may create serious problems through the life of the project.  The experienced attorneys at Manion Stigger, LLP can help you organize your contract administration and prevent such slip-ups from occurring on your project.

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