Author Archives: Admin

Client Alert – California Law on Type I Indemnity Provisions in Construction Contracts Changes January 1, 2013

Since the Mayan Apocalypse didn’t occur on December 21, 2012 – though perhaps like construction projects the apocalypse is merely delayed – we need to be concerned about changes in California law that become effective on January 1, 2013.   One important change for construction industry professionals is Senate Bill 474. SB 474 substantially changes […]

Client Alert – Mechanic’s Liens – You need new forms

Effective January 1, 2011 (yes, about 40 days ago), the requirements for a mechanic’s lien changed. One practical consequence of these recent changes is that use of prior forms may result in an unenforceable mechanic’s lien. Of course, we’ve implemented these changes in the mechanic’s liens we’ve prepared or reviewed this year for our clients. […]

To the victor go the … attorney’s fees? Part 1 – Stacking the Deck

Some of my optimistic clients ask me from time to time: “When I win, does the other side have to pay my attorney’s fees?” Some of my pessimistic (or realistic) clients ask the converse: “If I lose, do I also have to pay the other side’s attorney’s fees in addition to my own?” Given the substantial expense […]

I’m from the government and I promise you …

Owners often give contractors oral directives in the field to proceed with work that may go beyond existing scope and justify an increase in contract price. Equally often, the contract requires that all change orders must be in writing and signed. However, preparation of formal change orders may take weeks to wend through the owner’s […]

New case alert – Employee’s lack of right of privacy in personal email sent from the workplace

2011 started off with an appellate opinion on a hot legal issue: Whether an employee, in subsequent litigation with their employer, has a right of privacy in personal emails the employee sends (or receives) using their employer’s computer and network. The answer is no – the employee has no right of privacy – if the employer provides […]

California Supreme Court speaks on Unanticipated Conditions: Owner’s Problem or Contractor’s Risk?

Contractors bidding a fixed price or guaranteed maximum price contract necessarily must make assumptions about job conditions that will affect their bid price. Usually the contractor can obtain information from the owner (plans and specs) or on its own (job walk).  However, some conditions cannot easily be observed before actual construction starts. These conditions literally […]