Virginia Construction Lawyer

Be Careful with Venue in Contracts

Originally posted 2010-03-05 09:00:56. Republished by Blog Post Promoter If Musings has one overarching theme it is be careful with your construction contracts. The Courts remind us of that on a regular, if not daily, basis. One such case, in May of this year and out of the Eastern District of Virginia is Hall & Wilson Construction, Inc. v. Sockwell. Sockwell is a good reminder that contractors should make sure to both include a written change order provision in their contracts and (importantly) follow that provision. In Sockwell, Hall & Wilson filed a breach of contract action in the Eastern District of Virginia. The initial written contract was for an addition to the Sockwells’ office building. After completion of some fire repairs and the addition, Hall & Wilson sued for non-payment under the Contract and an invoice for “Homeowner Extras.” The last invoice for the extras was an add on to the initial contract for work that was performed without a written change order. In response,..

Addressing Safety on the Construction Site

Originally posted 2013-11-01 09:00:19. Republished by Blog Post Promoter For this week’s Construction Law Musings Guest Post, we welcome a new face, Patrick Rafferty. Patrick (@ThePraff) is a consultant for Brahman Systems and has an interest in construction safety. First of all, I’d like to say that I am not an attorney. Anything I say in this article should be taken with a grain of salt. All of the information that I have written in this article comes from personal work experience on the worksite. Each year, construction sites around the nation see hundreds of thousands of injuries related to equipment operation and situations that could be avoidable with the right precautions in place. In 2011 alone, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, there were 4,069 workers killed on a construction site, most of which were avoidable. Though some sort of on-site problems are unavoidable, they can be minimized with simple practices that every construction site should h..

2 Great Ways to Use Technology with Clients

Originally posted 2013-09-13 09:00:31. Republished by Blog Post Promoter For this week’s Guest Post Friday here at Musings, we welcome Sam Glover. Sam writes for Lawyerist, moderates the LAB, and handles motions and appeals in Minnesota. He also drinks a lot of espresso. The practice of law boils down to carefully-chosen words — writing them, speaking them, and knowing what they mean. As a result, it doesn’t actually take much technology to practice law. You can get by with a phone, computer, and printer, strictly speaking. That said, technology sure can make the practice of law a lot easier. It can also enhance the attorney-client relationship. Here are three ways lawyers ought to be using technology to do a better job serving clients. 1. Secure communications An email is more like a postcard than a sealed envelope. It is relatively easy for someone to read the contents of an email in transit, in other words. (And don’t kid yourself, people are.) Many people also use email address..

Reminder: In Court (as in life) the Worst Thing You Can Do Is Not Show Up

(Photo credit: Wikipedia) As long time (and possibly recent) readers of Construction Law Musings know, I am a Virginia Supreme Court Certified Mediator. In that capacity, I spend quite a bit of time sitting in general district court courtrooms in places like Goochland and Caroline Counties “court sitting” awaiting a referral from the judge of a case with parties ready and willing to take advantage of the mediation process. As I sit there wearing my mediator “hat,” I see case after case be called for the first return date. Without fail, several cases are called where the defendant fails to appear after being served with process. There are even a case or two where the plaintiff (the party that picked the return date in the first place) fails to appear. In the first instance, where the defendant doesn’t appear, the judge almost inevitably enters a judgment for the amount sued for by the plaintiff. In the latter instance, the case is dismissed without prejudice to the plaintiff with a sha..

Is it time for a summer tune-up?

Originally posted 2010-11-08 11:28:53. Republished by Blog Post Promoter For this week’s Guest Post Friday readers are in for a treat. Lance Godard, founder of The Godard Group, has provided marketing and business development solutions to global law firms for nearly 20 years. He has particular expertise developing strategies that allow lawyers to identify client opportunities, communicate their messages, and grow their practices. Lance has been called a “provocative and engaging leader in the legal profession and social media” and was named one of the “20 Twitterers Lawyers should follow on Twitter.” He is the founder of 22 Tweets, live Twitter interviews with practicing lawyers, which provides a forum for lawyers to tell their story using social media. The market appears to be picking up. Clients are getting back to work. New opportunities can’t be far behind. What are you doing to find them? To make sure they show up on your radar? To put yourself in a position to see those opportun..

Preventing Acts of God: Construction Accidents Caused by Outside Factors

For this week’s Guest Post Friday here at Musings, we welcome back Seth Smiley. Seth, a native of Baton Rouge, is the owner of Smiley Law Firm. He is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in Louisiana and California. Seth Smiley is the son of a general contractor, and acquired valuable work experience in the construction industry prior to entering law school. He earned his J.D. from Loyola, New Orleans in 2009. In his practice, Seth handles all aspects of construction cases, from initial contracting all the way to final payment once work is complete. Other areas of focus include commercial lease disputes, personal injury, business formation, and insurance property damage claims. Seth loves to fight insurance companies. Seth is currently the primary author of the Smiley Law Blog. The blogs primary focus is to provide value for current and prospective clients regarding trending legal issues in which the attorneys at Smiley Law Firm cover. There are several factors a const..

When Should You Call Your Lawyer? Not Too Late!

Originally posted 2010-08-27 09:00:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter For this week’s Guest Post Friday, Musings welcomes back Timothy R. Hughes, Esq., LEED AP. Tim (@timrhughes on Twitter) is Of Counsel to the Arlington, Virginia firm of Bean, Kinney & Korman, P.C. In his practice as a business, corporate, and construction law attorney, Tim has served as the Chair of the Construction Law and Public Contracts Section of the Virginia State Bar. He has served in numerous volunteer, board and leadership roles with many organizations and has been recognized by Virginia Lawyer’s Weekly as a 2010 “Leader in the Law”. A regular speaker and writer, Tim is the lead editor of his firm blog, Virginia Real Estate, Land Use and Construction Law. The last Musings post resonated with me on a very important point: you do not want to contact your lawyer too late in the game. Many people do not like talking to lawyers … we have a reputation (well earned by some) of being difficult, confrontational, ..

Happy Labor Day from Construction Law Musings

English: family vacation summer 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) As summer ends and the start of school begins in many places, it is a good time to reflect on the family time that summer vacation allows. For me it is hard to believe that starting tomorrow, my youngest of 3 is headed to high school and my older two are both now in college. I hope that those of you with another “first day of school” get a chance to rest a bit and enjoy this final day before the hectic school days are upon you. Here’s wishing you all a wonderful, relaxing, and fun filled Labor Day (unlike whoever needed the sign to the left!) from Construction Law Musings. If you find this Musing to be interesting and have a comment, please join the conversation below and subscribe to keep up with the latest information. © Construction Law Musings- Richmond, VA is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Send to KindleRelated Musings:Have a Great Labor DayWishing You a Rest..

Be Careful When Walking Off of a Construction Project

Originally posted 2014-02-19 10:58:49. Republished by Blog Post Promoter Contracts (Photo credit: NobMouse) I am truly grateful that my buddy Craig Martin (@craigmartin_jd) continues his great posts over at The Construction Contractor Advisor blog. He is always a good cure for writer’s block and once again this week he gave me some inspiration. In his most recent post, Craig discusses a recent Indiana case relating to the ever present issue of termination by a subcontractor for non-payment. In the Indiana case, the court looked at the payment terms and determined that the subcontractor was justified in walking from the project when it was not paid after 60 days per the contract. This result was the correct, if surprising. Why do I say surprising? Because I am always reluctant to recommend that a subcontractor walk from a job for non payment if it is possible to continue. This is not so much for legal reasons (not paying a sub is a clear breach of contract by a general contractor) but ..

A Few Green Building Notes

Originally posted 2012-10-08 15:22:06. Republished by Blog Post Promoter This past week, the blogosphere (if that’s even the word these days) has been abuzz about green building and the value that green can add to a project. Three items in particular (among many) got my attention. The first of these was the fact that a new private sustainability rating system is ready for launch. The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (or ISI) is seeking public comment on its proposed envISIon. This new system (aptly dubbed Version 1.0) will go “live” in July for comment. Why mention this new system? First of all, ISI’s founding members are the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Public Works Association (APWA) and the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). This trio gives the new program some fairly heavy weight backing. Second, while there are rating systems aside from the ever present LEED, none have taken hold in any real way to compete with LEED. I am curious..

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