Under Construction - April 2019


Letter from the Editor

Welcome to the spring edition of our Under Construction newsletter.

In this issue, we start off with an article that discusses the significance and implications of a recent Utah Supreme Court decision affirming the lower court’s ruling that a voter referendum to block a developer’s efforts to build a mixed-use, part-residential and part-commercial development was valid.

Next, we have an article about the Arizona Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of a provision relating to statutory authority for constructing and operating sports and tourism complexes. The case examined the constitutionality of how the building and operations of sports and tourism-related projects, such as baseball spring training facilities and recreation centers, are funded through taxes, and decided they were constitutional.

With an increase in out-of-state companies working on construction projects in New Mexico, the next article provides a useful overview of New Mexico’s construction law.

Our next two articles focus on labor and employment law. One article discusses employment handbooks and confidentiality and the other article addresses picketing threats, which have affected many construction projects.

We then explore construction in American Indian country and address what you need to know regarding sovereign immunity. Since there are many legal issues to consider when bidding on and building projects on American Indian land, this article discusses if you can bring a lawsuit to enforce a construction contract and, if so, where you would file suit.

Lastly, we point out the danger of a public entity pursuing a claim pursuant to the California False Claims Act and its impact on the construction industry. As noted in the article, public entities are known to assert False Claims actions “to up the ante” to intimidate and aggressively address contractor construction claims. We examine a recent case in which this tactic backfired against the public entity.

We hope you find these articles informative and enlightening. Please let us know if you want us to address a specific construction issue in a future newsletter. Hope you can get outdoors and enjoy the nice springtime weather.

James J. Sienicki

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