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Under Construction - March 2013

03/15/2013

Letter from the Editor
by James J. Sienicki

Spring is always associated with new beginnings. Likewise, we are always looking for fresh new tips that offer insights on building better business practices. What better time to consider that than during the spring? Our spring 2013 issue of Under Construction provides four informative articles that offer insights into recent events that have sprouted in the industry.

• In our first article, Jason Ebe and I co-authored Tips for Presenting, Analyzing and Resolving Delay and Impact Claims. This article provides tips to contractors and subcontractors, as well as to owners and their consultants. The article addresses how to review the prime contract and subcontract, and how to properly plan and execute performance in order to prepare, analyze, defend, present and resolve claims for construction delays and impacts arising out of construction projects.

• In The Ever-Shrinking Federal Budget: Preparing for Contract Cut-Backs, attorney Brett Johnson writes about the new “sequestration” order and provides timely advice for contractors and subcontractors on what to do if they receive a “stop work” order or termination for convenience notice from a governmental agency or prime contractor. This article further addresses other options that a government contractor may want to consider in these unsettled times.

• In the third article, Colorado Court of Appeals Rules that Contractors May Be Liable for Dangerous Site Conditions Before and After Work is Complete, attorney Scott Sandberg cites a recent Colorado Court of Appeals case that held that contractors on Colorado projects may have an ongoing duty to maintain construction site conditions even after the project is completed and accepted by the government owner.

• The fourth article addresses expert testimony. In construction, architecture and engineering cases, testimony by experts is often the crucial factor in success or failure. In her article, California Supreme Court Case Sets New Standards for Expert Testimony, attorney M.C. Sungaila shares the details of a recent California Supreme Court case that provided long-awaited guidance in this area. The decision requires trial courts to determine whether the matters relied on by the expert provide a reasonable basis for the opinion and then to conduct an inquiry to determine whether the information cited by the expert adequately supports the conclusion that the expert’s theory is valid. Now, everyone should know the standard for California cases.

Finally, we hope your year is off to a good start and will only get better!

Jim Sienicki, Editor

 

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