VOLUME 2   ISSUE 2   JANUARY 11, 2013


By Bruce Jervis

In an industry which makes such extensive use of contractual documentation, some complain of obtuse or arcane legal terminology. A recent court decision in Ohio suggests that the use of plain language is more than just considerate. It may affect the enforceability of the contract clause itself.


A payment clause in a subcontract stated that payment by the project owner to the prime contractor was a “condition precedent” to the contractor’s obligation to pay the subcontractor. This is clear, longstanding legal terminology. It means an event which must occur before a legal obligation arises. Subcontract payment clauses containing this term have generally been enforced against subcontractors. ... Read more.


 Featured in this Week’s Construction Claims Advisor:

  • Subcontract Clause Did Not Clearly Shift Risk of Owner Nonpayment
  • Slow Inspection of Site Condition Did Not Delay Contractor’s Completion
  • Bond’s Reference to Different Procurement Ruins Low Bid


By Steve Rizer


When striving to identify an appropriate delivery system for a construction project, it is important to take into account certain key circumstances involving the owner, Scott Pence, an attorney in the Tampa, Fla., office of Carlton Fields, P.A., told a group of professionals attending a webinar that WPL Publishing held last month.


The owner’s staff and experience level represent one such consideration, Pence said. He pointed out that some delivery systems require less owner involvement while others necessitate “a lot more involvement on the part of the owner. And so, depending on the owner’s structure, if [the owner is] very small and [does not] have a lot of personnel involved, [it] probably [is] not going to be very well equipped to handle one of those delivery systems that requires a lot of detail review and involvement.” Conversely, a much larger owner perhaps will have “all of those people on staff who are very well educated and experienced and deal with those issues day in and day out and [be] very well equipped to … handle any kind of delivery system that you deem as appropriate.” Click here to see some of the other advice that he gave for identifying a suitable delivery system.


By Steve Rizer


Key tax breaks for energy efficiency have garnered at least a temporary stay of execution, but what are their chances of being extended once they come up for renewal again in the not-too-distant future?


At issue are the following credits: the Section 45L new energy-efficient home tax credit, which President Obama (D) last week extended through the end of this year, allowing $2,000 in relief for the construction of for-sale and for-lease energy-efficient homes in buildings of less than three floors above grade; the Section 25C energy-efficient tax credit for existing homes, which also was extended through year’s end and has a lifetime cap of $500; and tax incentives for American manufacturers of highly efficient refrigerators, clothes washers, and dishwashers. Will these breaks endure for the long term? Click here to see what a pair of experts on the subject predicted during separate interviews with ConstructionPro Week.





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