Searchable Construction Law Briefs®

In years past when a problem developed at the job site, someone suggested that the owner pay a third of the cost of correction, the contractor pay a third and the architect pay the other third. The three parties agreed, and shook hands and construction was continued.

Those were the "good old days." Only the legal system suffered: court and arbitration dockets were less congested and fewer attorneys and construction experts made their livings from construction disputes.

But a new era has emerged. It has brought with it an abundance of construction claims, construction lawyers, construction consultants and construction litigation. In the mid '60's the new wave was fueled by the advent of professional liability (malpractice) insurance for architects and engineers. Before that innovation people rarely attempted to blame or recover their losses from design professionals-simply because judgments against them were not always collectible-except perhaps by confiscation of their drafting tables, slide rules (remember?) and ever-necessary electric erasers.

The industry has now become so sophisticated that multi-million dollar construction contracts and architect/engineer agreements are entered into without any party consulting a lawyer. This does not necessarily adversely affect the economy of the legal profession. Instead, lawyers stand to gain when too-late their clients are confronted with no-damages-for-delay, pay-when-paid, lien waiver, indemnification, written notice and other clauses in their contracts that threaten serious economic and/or legal problems.

It was in this environment back in 1979 that I was prompted to initiate an almost-weekly column published in The Daily Journal, a Denver newspaper devoted chiefly to construction, real estate and law. This work is a collection of those columns, edited and sometimes revised and updated.

It is my hope that these Briefs will serve their intended purpose of alerting readers to nuances in the law, court decisions and statutes of concern to members of the construction industry and to other miscellany I happen to think of and dictate while driving erratically.

I welcome comments from readers and suggestions of subject matters for future Briefs.

It is recommended that readers not operate motor vehicles, farm equipment or construction machinery while or after reading large segments of these materials.

The Construction Law Brief titles include the following:

Disclaimer: These Construction Law Briefs® were written with the intent of providing general legal information intended to be accurate, although not comprehensive. These materials are published with the understanding that they do not provide legal advice or professional services. Accordingly, readers are urged to consult their attorneys for any specific legal advice that they may wish concerning the subject matter of these materials.