Posts Tagged ‘Best Practices Construction Law Blog’

Changes To ConsensusDocs Come 2 Years Early

Engineering News Record (ENR) (among other publications, including my good friend Chris Hill’s Construction Law Musings Blog) recently reported that the construction contract documents published by ConsensusDOCS were substantially updated.

The update comes just a little over three years since the launch of the ConsensusDOCS program, which is a collaboration of organizations who publish a set of construction documents to rival the industry-leading AIA forms. These updates are actually two years early. They weren’t due until 2013, but were updated early according to the group because “the economics of the construction industry today looks nothing like it did [in 2007]”

So, what’s new?

According to an analysis by ENR.com, here are some of the changes:

  • A change in terminology. “Constructor” replaces “contractor” and “design professional” replaces “architect.”
  • An objective “standard of care” is added to the documents.
  • Greater flexibility to provide documents in electronic format. For a great discussion about going paperless on a construction project, take a look at this article by Matthew DeVries on his Best Practices Construction Law Blog: Paper to Paperless on the Modern Construction Project.
  • Contract documents are better defined.
  • Property owner can audit construction books, and subcontractor can get finanical information from the owner.
  • Erroneous constructor termination for cause changes to a “termination for convenience.”
Posted in:     Construction Contracts  /  Tags: , , , , ,   /   Leave a comment

What’s New in Louisiana Construction Law?

Each year, the American Bar Association’s Forum on the Construction Industry conducts an annual meeting, and the Construction Law Update is distributed to its members.   The document is a compilation of cases and legislation from the past year affecting the construction industry, broken down state-by-state.

Matt DeVries of the Best Practices Construction Law Blog is one of the editors for the document, and he posted about the release of the 2009 Construction Law Update on his blog here. If you’d like to get your paws on a copy of the publication, you can email him.

A big thanks to Matt for contacting me to contribute the Louisiana update for the publication.

What’s new in Louisiana?    Check out the PDF of the Louisiana portion of the Construction Law Update here.

Posted in:     Louisiana  /  Tags: , , ,   /   Leave a comment

Around the Web in Construction Law – April 9, 2010

For some time in 2009, the Construction Law Monitor published an “Around The Web” post each Friday, highlighting some of the top construction law updates around the web that week.   We fell off the wagon a bit as 2009 came to a close, but starting this week we’re bringing the feature back.

A lot of the Around The Web material will come from my personal Google Reader Shared Items Feed.   You can subscribe to its RSS directly.

This week, there was a great deal of Chinese Drywall issues in the news.   And with the launch of the iPad, a lot of buzz about construction and construction law apps for it and the iPhone.

Posted in:     Around The Web  /  Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,   /   Leave a comment

Green Building Law? Is It Different Than Ordinary "Law?"

There are a growing number of construction attorneys getting certified in green building professional courses and touting themselves as “green litigation attorneys.”  Our friends over at the Best Practices Construction Law blog just posted an interesting blog article about whether there is a difference between “green building law” and ordinary run-of-the-mill “law.”

The article is titled:  Green Building for Attorneys:  Is It Merely Hoopla? (spoiler: author concludes that it is not merely hoopla).  The article discusses another blog post on the subject from LAW/ARK:  The Real Green Goblin – Emerging Legal Liability for Green Design Professionals and Contractors (Part 1).

Since we’re writing this article on the “Louisiana Green Building Law Blog,” you likely know where we come down on this issue.  And we clearly have a dog in the fight.  But our reasons might surprise you.

Here is the argument

Here is a quote from the LAW/ARK post, in support of the position that “green building law is just law:”

The bad news is that attorneys, especially those already practicing in construction law, will soon realize that aside from green design and construction’s sometimes specialized and occasionally ill-defined vernacular, there’s no real novelty in the types of claims that might arise. No new frontiers of jurisprudence need be explored – a leaky green roof is still a leaky roof – whether it also requires regular mowing and landscape maintenance changes little from a legal perspective.

In response, Matt DeVries at the Best Practices Construction Law blog says that while it may be correct that there is no novelty to the types of claims that may arise in green construction disputes:

The novelty in the green building industry is the new set of standards that will inevitably become part of the legal dispute.   In other words, while ‘a leaky green roof is still a leaky roof’…there will be new risk to be allocated, different types of damages lost, additional players involved, varied proof required, and yes, perhaps a novel cause of action alleged because that leaky green roof system failed.

Here is our voice

There is something important that is not discussed in LAW/ARK’s post about green building law:  the underlying claims themselves.

The leaky roof analogy is actually not spot-on, because if the roof was leaking, the claim wouldn’t necessarily be a “green building claim.”   It would be an ordinary claim.  A green building claim would occur when the green roof didn’t perform as it was anticipated from an energy savings or environmental perspective.   Or, if the green roof didn’t meet the standards of the Green Building Council or other accreditation organization, and the property lost a valuable certification.

Of course it all boils down to unfulfilled expectations, but what separates a green building attorney from an ordinary construction attorney is that they have a true understanding of the expectations.   It’s what Matt DeVries points out:  understanding the “new risk,” “different types of damages lost, additional players invovled, varied proof required,” and more.

After all, what really separates a construction attorney from an ordinary business attorney?   Breach of an ordinary contract and breach of a construction contract involve the same claims…but what separates the construction attorney is her familiarity with the construction industry, and the types of damages, players, risks and claims that frequently arise.

The same must be said for Green Building counselors.  It’s not a new body of law, it’s just a new set of situations.

Posted in:     Green Building  /  Tags: , , , ,   /   1 Comment