By Bruce Jervis
Sometimes final written contract documents are not consistent with prior negotiations or solicitations. A private project owner may alter equipment specifications without calling the change to the attention of the contractor. A prime contractor may expand a subcontractor’s scope of work without mentioning the extra work to the sub. If a party signs a contract unaware of altered provisions, there is a problem.
The “parol evidence” rule mandates that an unambiguous written agreement must speak for itself. Extrinsic evidence, such as testimony regarding contract negotiations, cannot be used to alter the meaning. Buttressing this rule is standard boilerplate language stating that the written contract is the sole agreement between the parties, superseding all prior agreements, negotiations, representations, etc. ... Read more.
Featured in this Week’s Construction Claims Advisor:
- Contractor Slipped Additional Work into Scope of Subcontract
- Eichleay Recovery Requires Proof of No Other Available Work
- Value of Proposal’s Technical Advantages Need Not Be Quantified
By Steve Rizer
One of the steps that can be taken to minimize claims and disputes in construction projects is to determine early on what the markup will be on all change orders, Bryan Jackson, a partner in the Los Angeles office of Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLC, told professionals attending a webinar that WPL Publishing held late last month. During the event, entitled “Change Orders: The Bane of All Construction Projects,” he addressed a target audience of public and private owners, construction managers, contractors, subcontractors, consultants, construction law attorneys, architects, and engineers.
“I think it’s really helpful to both parties during the honeymoon process of contract negotiations to decide what the markup will be on all change orders,” Jackson said. “If you’re doing an additive change order, it might be one percentage amount, and then a markup on a deductive change order, where you’re actually taking scope away from the project, may be a different amount. ... Read more.
By Steve Rizer
A growing percentage of construction professionals responding to ConstructionPro Week’s (CPW) questions about their experiences with green buildings are reporting they have worked on a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) project that ultimately was not certified.
More than one-quarter (25.9 percent) of all architects, engineers, owners, contractors, and others responding to the Green Building Survey that CPW recently conducted indicated that at some point in their careers they had participated in a LEED project that did not garner certification. In CPW’s first Green Building Survey in late 2011, only 15.3 percent of respondents reported having worked on such a project. ... Read more.