AVOIDING PITFALLS 01Here are some strategies to avoid employee lawsuits.   

By Todd Wulffson and David Szwarcsztejn

Let’s face it – if it were not for the weather, most employers would not set up shop in California.  This is particularly true in the construction industry, where employers face a myriad of regulatory and other legal challenges, in a highly competitive market.  It can be extremely difficult to manage the legal risk exposure and still maintain a profitable business.  The following are 10 very common legal pitfalls for employers in the construction industry in California, and suggestions for how to minimize legal exposure:

By Lori Greene

With most building codes, fire codes, and referenced standards changing every three years and state adoptions and modifications occurring at any time, it can be difficult to keep up with code changes. It is often costly and time-consuming to address new code requirements after installation, so it’s important to be aware of current codes and to address changes during the design phase. Here are some of the door-related changes made in recent editions of the model codes and referenced standards:

 OP INSTITUTIONAL 01By Jeffrey Wertman

Serious financial and legal consequences can result after a notice of default is issued on a construction project. A notice of default, frequently accompanied by a short time to cure, significantly increases the likelihood of a termination for default and costly litigation or arbitration. 

Responding to a notice of default requires great care and attention to detail. Here are five essential steps to take if you receive a notice of default.

Take a construction default notice seriously. If you receive such a notice, seek immediate legal advice. Typically, default notices require a response in a short period of time. The quality of your response may be the difference between a default which leads to termination and the green light to continue to perform the contract.

 OP COMMERCIAL 01By Marion McKnight

Green roofs are all the rage with new commercial buildings, but the new “hot” – make that “cool” – color in roofing is blue. And it’s not just about keeping things cool, although that’s a big part of it; it’s also about storm water management.

 If you know what a green roof is, you can probably guess what a blue roof is: instead of being planted with vegetation, a blue roof captures rainwater and either releases it slowly or retains it for other uses. It’s essentially the engineered cousin of setting a bunch of pots in your backyard to catch rainwater.



By Mike Winn

The construction industry is poised to be the largest market for commercial drones. That’s according to a recent report by Goldman Sachs, which estimates drone spending by construction companies to reach $11.1 billion in the next five years. This estimate is based off the already strong demand for drone technology by the construction industry. According to IHS Global Insight, construction productivity in many areas has worsened over the past decade, and the IHS Herold Global Projects Database estimates that large infrastructure, mining, oil and gas projects on average cost 80 percent more than budgeted and run 20 months behind schedule. Drones are a tool to turn that tide, and are already proving a scalable return on investment.

 OP NY NJ FOCUS 01By Jonathan Leavens and Anthony Lehnen

U.S. companies have been concerned about their environmental liability exposures for more than 30 years.

Since the passage of the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act/Superfund 1980 (CERCLA), companies that purchase or lease property can be exposed to liabilities for contamination that they did not cause. They can also face other liabilities, such as third-party claims from nearby property owners for property damage or cleanup or third-party bodily injury claims from residents.

Because of these exposures, companies should always perform environmental due diligence during property transactions.

 INDUSTRIAL 1By Eric Miller

Judging by the number of lenders looking to extend credit to construction companies in the current market, you might think the industry is at or near the top of a cyclical peak. Of course, those in the trade know that is not necessarily the case. Last year’s bottom-barrel oil prices brought the energy industry lower and took related sectors along with it. In addition, some say China pushed steel prices lower to sell its excess supply to global markets, hurting domestic producers. And sluggish growth in overseas economies contributed to cool demand for construction equipment. 

 COMMERCIAL 1By Rebecca Stone

Increasingly, today’s resort visitors are arriving in multi-generational groups. This is a trend that’s affecting how resorts are being planned, constructed and retrofitted. As families more frequently travel with grandparents, parents and children in tow, designers and developers are inspired to consider each generation’s interests and make a point of developing resorts with spaces that target different age groups while still allowing families to spend their vacation time together. Appealing to these diverse groups is a critical part of capturing the biggest return on investment in the current resort construction market. Currently, this trend is creating demand for larger “legacy properties” – a vacation home that serves everyone and will remain in the family for multiple generations.

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