Friday, January 7, 2011

Top 10 New Year’s Legal Resolutions for Everyone in Construction

Once again, I present my Top 10 New Year's Resolutions for everyone in the construction industry.

10. Take time to laugh a little.

9. Be consistent in your contract drafting to avoid fighting the same battles in litigation AND in arbitration.

8. Promptly report all potential losses and claims to your insurance company and specifically request defense and indemnity for you and any employee named in the claim or lawsuit. And document your reporting!

7. Beware of lien waivers!

6. Safety first on the job site. It avoids litigation, keeps OSHA away, maintains employee morale, and most importantly–it’s the right thing to do.

5. Know who you’re contracting with and make sure they are financially viable (or have a bonding or insurance company that is). This is so important I repeated it from last year’s list and moved it up.

4. Sometimes, the best decisions you make are the decisions to turn down business. A marginal, slow, or non-paying customer that brings headaches is sometimes worse than no customer at all.

3. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. In other words, don’t rely solely on one large project, as problems with that project (including nonpayments) will put you at the upstream party’s mercy and drastically hurt your business.

2. Properly document your change orders and don’t just rely on unsigned letters or emails.

And once again, the #1 New Year’s legal resolution for 2011 for everyone in construction:

1. Read your contracts! Understand your contracts! Enforce your contracts!!!

9 comments:

Vincent T. Pallaci, Esq. said...

Excellent tips Walker. Keep up the good work.

hiringhelper said...

Excellent Information.Thanks

steve said...

Really nice post Walker. I love it..

Howard said...

Great post. I especially like #1- Read the contract. So many times I've seen subs sign contracts that they didn't read,- or, possibly read but didn't understand. If you don't understand the contract its well worth the money to have your attorney go over it with you.
Also, #6- Safety, is so important.
Injuries and especially deaths are usually preventable.

0s0-Pa said...

Amen to this list of resolutions! I like how you squeezed in #10 :)
-Jackie @ Inlet filters

Ronnel Sahagun said...

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Tony De Azevedo said...

I really like these tips a lot, especially the one about taking time to laugh a little. So many people are really uptight, and they don't take time to realize how great their life and their job is. Working in construction law can be difficult, but it can really pay off if you enjoy it. http://www.souderslaw.com/constructionlaw.html

Jennifer Davies said...

I think the documenting changes should be closer to the top! It seems crazy to me that some contractors rely on open emails or conversations when it comes to changing plans. That should always be documented officially and kept with other records.

Jenn | http://www.lakeviewconstructionny.com

Zach Thalman said...

I never knew that there were so many laws that constructions workers had to follow. I think it is good because they are working in very dangerous conditions. It is really interesting that there are specific laws for different categories of jobs and careers.

Zach | http://www.souderslaw.com/constructionlaw.html