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  • Posts by Elizabeth C. Burneson
    Posts by Elizabeth C. Burneson

    Liz combines enthusiasm and diligence to help her clients resolve complex disputes. Whether the dispute is a construction claim, a breach of contract, or a business tort, Liz brings focus and determination to every case. Liz has ...

As Democrats have now taken control of Virginia’s legislature, legislators and pundits have begun to debate repealing Virginia’s Right to Work law.  Delegate Lee Carter of Manassas has filed a bill that would repeal Right to Work, House Bill 153. What is Right to Work and what could a repeal of the law mean for you?

Construction industry professionals faced a number of challenges in 2019—chief among them a persistent labor shortage. 2020 promises to bring similar challenges to the construction industry. Below we identify six trends we expect to carry forward into the new year.

The 2019 General Assembly bill, supported by the Hirschler Construction Law Team, that would have created a five-year statute of limitations on public projects, hit a roadblock during the 2019 Session when the House Appropriations Committee requested that the Department of General Services (DGS) conduct a study of the bill over the summer and fall of this year. After considering the findings of a recent survey and series of town hall meetings, the DGS is expected to issue a report by December 31, 2019.  In our latest post we discuss the survey findings and our own town hall participation which will impact the DGS’s report.

We have previously written about the Hensel Phelps case here and here and the result in that case arising from the Commonwealth’s complete immunity on state jobs from the normal five-year contract statute of limitations (in Hensel Phelps, a state agency was allowed to bring suit against a general contractor fourteen years after substantial completion). A recent Supreme Court of Virginia case arising in a different context highlights the need for either: (1) the General Assembly to change this law allowing the Commonwealth to bring stale lawsuits; or (2) general contractors to ...

Posted in Legislation

Share your thoughts on a current law that exempts the Commonwealth from the statute of limitations available to written contracts by completing the Virginia Department of General Services's survey by September 6, 2019. 

Posted in Contracts

Pay-if-paid provisions are prevalent now in subcontracts.  Many contractors have a “take it or leave it” approach to these contracts.  However, there are several middle-ground positions that can more effectively address the parties’ risks. This post discusses these alternatives.

The 2019 General Assembly adjourned on February 24, 2019, and the reconvened veto session adjourned on April 3, 2019.

All three of the bills discussed in our previous post – HB1667, SB1028, and SB272 – failed to pass this year. Although it ultimately failed to pass, House Bill 1667, which would have created a statute of limitations on public construction projects, made substantial progress in the General Assembly this year. The bill was voted out of its subcommittee, and Hirschler's own Webb Moore testified before the House Courts of Justice Committee, explaining to committee ...

In an article published on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 for Construction Executive, Courtney Paulk and Kelly Bundy discuss how employers can establish an “unpreventable employee misconduct” defense amid alleged Occupational Safety and Health Administration violations.

According to Courtney and Kelly, just because an employee broke the rules and did not follow safety procedure, it does not mean the employer is off the hook for liability. Click to learn their six tips for employers to establish and succeed in unpreventable employee misconduct defense.

Virginia contractors are aware that licensure is required for any construction work. In this post we identify five nuances of licensure that contractors should consider.

President Donald Trump recently signed Executive Order No. 13858, entitled Strengthening Buy-American Preferences for Infrastructure Projects. It is intended to encourage companies that receive federal financial assistance for infrastructure projects to use certain products manufactured in the United States. This Order expands the types of projects previously covered to now include many energy projects, and greatly increases the types of American products that contractors are encouraged to incorporate.

The Order, signed on January 31, 2019, directs the heads of ...

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