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A 2018 federal case shows just how costly a flow-down indemnification provision can be, and highlights just how carefully contracts should be read before signing.

Local government bodies in Virginia only have limited authority granted by the General Assembly. If a local government body enters into a contract that exceeds its authority, the entire contract is void and unenforceable. A recent case illustrates how this can lead to very harsh results against contractors that rely in good faith on these contracts that are later deemed void.

We have seen an uptick in mechanic’s lien filings in 2018. Thankfully, the increase in lien filings likely arises from an increase in construction projects not instability in the market. In our latest post we revisit the general process for filing mechanic’s liens and insight on the option for replacing these liens with a surety bond.

This year’s Virginia General Assembly Session is for the most part complete and, as usual, Virginia lawmakers addressed (in some cases unsuccessfully) multiple construction industry issues. Here is a rundown of the House and Senate bills that passed and will become new law as of July 1. A few bills that did not pass and some that might live to be the subject of debate later this year or in next year’s Session are also included.

Parties to a construction contract should pay particular attention to the contract’s terms concerning claims. Statutory limitations periods may be shortened or extended.

Posted in Contracts

Most contractors would assume that Virginia courts will decide disputes over construction projects taking place in the Commonwealth. In fact, a Virginia statute requires it. In late 2017, however, a Virginia federal court transferred a Virginia construction dispute to another state that had no relation to the dispute except for the contract’s venue provision.

Recent Virginia cases underscore the importance of including a prevailing party attorneys’ fees provision in any construction contract and make clear that a court cannot simply calculate a prevailing party’s attorney fee award based upon the amount of damages sought.

A recent New Hampshire case shows that all indemnification provisions are not equal. Without careful drafting, a party may be required to indemnify another party even before any allegations of negligence are proven in court.

Posted in Contracts, Insurance

Your company has been named an additional insured on a certificate of insurance. Is that enough? Possibly not. This blog shares how a New York court recently declared that a construction manager was not an additional insured despite being named on a certificate of insurance.

Posted in Contracts

As foundational as contracts are to the construction industry, many fail to recognize when they have entered into a contract. Misunderstandings about when a contract is legally formed and how it will be enforced can lead to significant obstacles in the event of a dispute. In the following brief Q&A, we examine some common misconceptions and discuss the principles that courts would apply when ruling on contract formation.

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