Construction Law Newsletters

Case Management Order in Construction Defect Actions

Given the complexity and size of most construction defect actions, the Case Management Order (CMO) is crucial to the orderly, cost-effective, and efficient adjudication of all the parties' claims. Generally, the CMO is drafted and agreed to by the parties and then signed as an order from the court. In construction defect cases, the homeowners and developer are usually the parties who initiate the CMO. Later parties, such as subcontractors, are automatically subject to the CMO provisions upon their entrance into the litigation.

Choice of Materials and Materials Substitutions

The materials used in a construction project can either be dictated by the owner, left to the contractor's judgment, or a combination of the two. An owner who is critically concerned with the quality of the materials used may identify, with the help of the architect or other design professional, specific materials and products that are to be used in the construction.

Designation of Property as “Historical”

In order for a property to be officially recognized as "historical" by the federal government, with all the attendant benefits and responsibilities that come with such a designation, the property must be listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Owner’s Selection of Architect and Contractor

Among the owner's chief concerns to ensure the successful completion of a construction project is the selection of the project's architect and general contractor. Without such key personnel in place the project would never get off the ground. Further, ensuring the quality of workmanship on the project starts with the architect's design of the plans and specifications and carries forward through the actual construction process under the auspices of the contractor.

Underpayment by the Owner

An owner "underpays" his contractor when he submits a progress payment for less than the full amount to which the contractor is entitled. Not only does an underpayment affect the contractor, but it also has very real consequences for the surety. If the contractor defaults, which may be likely if he does not receive his full payment, the surety is then obligated to step in.