As the Forum pursues its mission of “Building the Best Construction Lawyers,” it continues to be apparent to me how much Forum members learn from each other by actively participating in the Forum. For example, my privilege of editing Under Construction together with Ridgely affords me constant opportunities to learn new things and stay current on legal issues impacting the construction community. Although my focus has been construction law for over 25 years, I realized when writing this message that I learned something new and/or had an important principle reinforced from every one of the articles published in this issue.
Regardless of the focus of your practice, read this issue and you’re bound to learn things known by the best construction lawyers. Starting with the article “Investigate Options for Processing Claims and Resolving Disputes,” the authors provide steps to consider before rushing off to litigation. Then, in “Drafting Lawsuits to Trigger Insurance Coverage,” the authors share practical advice on drafting complaints to trigger insurance coverage – an issue easy to forget, but one that often makes the difference when recovering damages. If your practice involves projects funded by the Federal Transit Authority, you must read “Navigating the Buy America Act in Federal Transit Authority Funded Contracts” to become aware of pitfalls your clients should avoid with respect to the Buy America Act. Similarly, if your clients are involved in any type of government construction, you need to read “Davis-Bacon Act Compliance and Construction Contractors: Caught in DOL’s Cross Hairs” to ensure familiarity with how to comply with the Davis Bacon Act. If you represent subcontractors who may encounter the challenge of not getting paid for their work, the Auburn Door case discussed in “Update from the Courts: Summary Judgment on Direct Claims by Sub-subcontractor Against General Contractor” walks readers through the best way to help subcontractor clients collect the money they have earned. We’ve also included two articles addressing different issues that arise with mechanics lien cases. Do you know that many states don’t permit liens for work performed on condominium common areas? To learn more, read “Beware – Some States Prohibit Mechanic’s Liens for Improvements to Condominium Common Areas.” Or, do you know how to stay a lien foreclosure action pending arbitration? Read “Stays Pending Arbitration of Claims Made Either By or Against Non-Parties to Arbitration Agreement.”
Besides reading an article, what better way to learn than by writing an article? Under Construction encourages Forum members to use the newsletter as an outlet for publishing articles on practical and newsworthy construction law topics. Think about it: when you write an article, you typically research and then master that issue or topic. Writing an article for Under Construction will provide you with a great opportunity to learn and share knowledge with your peers. Authoring an article is just another way the Forum can help you achieve the goal of being counted among the best construction lawyers.
I’d also like to use this Message from the Editor as an opportunity to urge you to let Ridgely and me know how Under Construction can be more useful to you and help you become a better construction lawyer.