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Construction Litigation Blog

The construction litigation blog focuses on legal issues affecting businesses in the construction industry.  Having worked in this industry for many years, the construction litigators represent general contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers.  The construction litigation blog is written to illustrate options and identify best legal practices for business owners in the construction field.  Our posts will be broad and varied, from labor and employment litigation to detailed documentation issues involved in collections cases.

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The information and materials on this blog are provided for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Being general in nature, the information and materials provided may not apply to any specific factual and/or legal set of circumstances.  No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. Nothing on this blog is intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. If you require legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.

Disadvantaged Business Enterprises: Is the Playing Field Level?

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August 9, 2016

In this second post about disadvantage business enterprises (DBEs), we discuss statues and regulations that attempt to level the playing field for socially and economically disadvantaged businesses. We also discuss ways in which some contractors try to avoid those statues and regulations. State & Local Policy The California Legislature declared that it is the state’s […]

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Disadvantaged Business Enterprises: Potential Opportunities or Potential Disasters?

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July 28, 2016

The certified “Disadvantaged Business Enterprise” (DBE) is an integral part of the construction industry in California and nationwide. Billions of dollars in construction funds are allocated solely to DBEs in California every year. The DBE program is a creation of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and other federal agencies. If DOT funds are used […]

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A Refresher on “Prelims” — Part 3 The Challenge of “Substantial Accuracy”

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July 18, 2016

In this final post about Preliminary Notices, we will address a question that often arises when completing the required information: What should a contractor or material supplier do if the price listed on its Preliminary Notice turns out to be much lower than the actual cost of the work? What is Substantial Accuracy? Prior to […]

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A Refresher on “Prelims” — Part 2 Where Does a Notice of Nonresponsibility Fit In?

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June 30, 2016

Yes, serving a valid and timely Preliminary Notice to the correct individuals is the single most important thing a competent materials supplier or subcontractor can do to protect its investment in labor and materials. But what if one of the correct individuals rejects your Preliminary Notice and denies responsibility for the project? Oftentimes tenants construct […]

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A Refresher on “Prelims” – Part 1

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June 22, 2016

We regularly say (preach, nag, etc.) that serving a valid and timely Preliminary Notice to the correct individuals is the single most important thing a competent materials supplier or subcontractor can do to protect its investment in labor and materials. Our best estimate is that 30 percent of the commercial construction disputes we handle have […]

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Corporations Really Do Need a License

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June 1, 2016

Often we write these blogs to inform readers about new statutes, regulations, or legal cases that might affect your company. But there are other times we see the need to remind construction industry professionals (or inform those new to the industry) about fundamental rules that many of us take for granted. License Rule Not Just […]

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Mechanic’s Liens: When Is Work Completed?

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April 28, 2016

Timing is everything when it comes to construction payment disputes. The California constitution and civil code provide significant remedies for contractors and suppliers who do not get paid what they are owed on a construction project. However, this is true only if the contractor or supplier carefully follows all of the rules that the legislature […]

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New Liquidated Damages Provision for Public Works Contracts

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April 19, 2016

On January 1, 2016, Section 7203 of the California Public Contract Code went into effect, impacting public works construction projects. Initially, the statute seems to provide protection for the unwary contractor doing business with a public entity in California. It prohibits the public entity from pursuing damages for delay from a contractor if the public […]

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CSLB to Scrutinize Workers’ Compensation Exemptions

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March 31, 2016

There is a very strong public policy in favor of employers maintaining workers’ compensation insurance. This has become even more prominent in the construction industry, where construction by its very nature is dangerous, no matter what the trade. Recognizing this, the legislature enacted Business & Professions Code Section 7125, which requires contractors to purchase workers’ […]

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The Consequences of a Dismissal with Prejudice

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March 21, 2016

A few years ago, our client was sued for allegedly supplying defective materials to a project. After some litigation, our client was dismissed, “with prejudice”— that means a dismissal of the lawsuit based on merits of the case. A new suit was recently filed against our client with regard to the same project by same […]

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Products Liability for Subcontractors? You Bet!

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March 17, 2016

By now, many of you may have heard about the “gift” the California Court of Appeals gave subcontractors a few days before Christmas. For those still in the dark, now besides all of the other things you have to be concerned about in trying to make a living, you get to worry about people suing […]

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In Construction ALL Communication Should be in Writing

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March 10, 2016

In Construction, the basic rule is that if communication was not in writing, it did not occur. At first blush the comment seems ridiculous. Everyone communicates in person and over the phone. Usually those communications are important. But most construction contracts require communications to be in writing in order to be enforceable. An example is […]

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Protect Yourself By Keeping Your State Contractor’s License Current

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February 22, 2016

Most contractors know that a state contractor license is required for any bid that is $500 or more for the total costs of labor and material. However, not everyone is aware that if a contractor’s license lapses for any reason during the course of a project, the contractor forfeits his or her right to prosecute […]

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Motion for Nonsuit – Granted!

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February 18, 2016

An Orange County Superior Court trial judge recently granted our nonsuit motions against a plaintiff who made numerous allegations it could not corroborate with actual evidence. Our motions were heard after the plaintiff rested its case—plaintiff presented all its witnesses and documents to the jury. The basis of our motions was Code of Civil Procedure […]

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Feeling the Cash Squeeze? Preliminary Notices Will Help You Get Paid Faster

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February 17, 2016

Lately we have noticed that many of our material supplier clients and smaller subcontractors are having problems with prompt payments of invoices. Material suppliers, who are lowest on the payment totem pole, seem to be getting hit the hardest, and can be viewed as the “canary in the coal mine.” If a contractor is having […]

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Mandatory Listing of Contractors License Numbers on Public Works

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March 23, 2015

I read an interesting article in the recent National Association of Women in Construction Newsletter, Orange County Chapter, pertaining to mandatory listing of Contractors’ License Numbers on Public Works projects. You can visit the newsletter link here, or read as follows: Mandatory Listing of Contractors License Numbers on Public Works To help ensure that only […]

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Don’t Let Your Emotions Overrule Good Judgment

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January 6, 2015

I believe that as I get older, I become wiser as far as not acting so impulsively when I get upset. Although I do my best to not act irresponsibly, sometimes I still do. Sad but true. I think we all do. I try, however, to digest what has upset me and then act on […]

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The Calamitous Decision in Golden State Boring v. Eastern Municipal Water District Has Disappeared!

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December 10, 2014

Many of you have heard about the crazy decision recently issued by the Fourth Appellate District. In that decision, the Court said that Golden State Boring’s bond claim was time barred because its stop payment notice was premature. The Court basically ignored the plain language of Civil Code 3249 (now Civil Code 9356) and concluded […]

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Collecting with a Sound Application

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June 12, 2014

Success in collecting what your customers owe you begins with a sound credit application. Sales personnel of many companies will tell you “don’t worry about this guy – he’s good for it” and attempt to convince you that a completed application is over rated. Don’t fall for that – if the customer is really good […]

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What Protects Contractors from Construction Lenders’ Self-Dealing?

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February 28, 2014

We often suggest that when a contractor is involved in a large private job that seems to be having problems, the contractor should always consider serving a Bonded Stop Payment Notice. Civil Code §8532 provides that a contractor may serve its Stop Payment Notice with a bond equal to 125% of its claim.  Section 8536 […]

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Contracts and Multiple Indemnity

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February 20, 2014

The simple definition of indemnity is when a person agrees to reimburse another person for any loss from a claim(s) brought by a third party.  An example would be as follows:  Tom is the owner, Dick is the general contractor and Harry is the third party.  Harry slips on tile flooring laid by Dick and […]

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Avoiding Pitfalls with Public Works Jobs and Apprentices

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February 6, 2014

Many non-union contractors bid on Public Works jobs.  Most know that they must pay prevailing wage for their trade in the geographic area of the job.  The State of California Department of Industrial Relations provides very useful information to help an employer determine the correct wage and benefits to pay for most all construction trades. […]

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Is it time to serve a Stop Payment Notice?

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February 4, 2014

You’re a subcontractor and you have completed your work on a public work of improvement.  The contractor is holding your retention and now the contractor’s project manager is giving you the run around on your change order requests.  He keeps demanding more information or simply refuses to communicate with you at all. Is it time […]

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The Painful Price of Not Being A Properly Licensed Contractor

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January 31, 2014

I recently litigated a dispute that serves as a cautionary tale for those contractors who are not properly licensed under the “Contractors State License Law.” The simple facts were as follows. Contractor contracted with subcontractor for a work of improvement. Contractor paid subcontractor for some work but they had a falling out. Subcontractor then filed […]

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Changes to California Construction Laws

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December 17, 2013

Another year has rapidly passed.  In California alone, over 800 bills were signed into law, many involving the construction industry.  Below is a summary of a few significant bills and the changes made to each: SB 7 Charter cities receiving state funding or financial assistance for a construction project require that contractors pay prevailing wages […]

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Beware of Projects with Multiple Work Specific Bonds

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November 25, 2013

Some construction projects in California may be secured by a number of separate labor and material bonds which cover only work performed within the purview of that bond. In such a scenario, is a contractor limited to recovery under the single bond covering the scope of his work, even if the bonding arrangement would prevent […]

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The CSLB Can Discipline Contractors Who Fail to Report New Employees

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November 1, 2013

This week, I thought it would be important to help contractors avoid potential trouble when hiring new employees. With the passing of Assembly Bill 1794 (AB 1794), employee reporting laws have been strengthened in California. In addition to the current 20-day reporting requirement, the Employment Development Department (EDD) is authorized to share new-hire employee information […]

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Roles and Rules of the Qualifier

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October 18, 2013

Business and Professions Code Section 7068.1 specifically states that the person qualifying on behalf of an individual or firm shall be responsible for exercising that direct supervision and control of his or her employer’s or principal’s construction operations.  If you are offered a monthly fee, asked to serve as the qualifier for someone else’s license […]

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The Subletting and Subcontracting Fair Practices Act Wants Your Number

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September 26, 2013

On September 9, 2013, Governor Jerry Brown signed California Assembly Bill 44 (“AB 44”), which amends Public Contract Code §4104 of the Subletting and Subcontracting Fair Practices Act.  According to AB 44, all bids on any public work or improvement project must include the name and location of the place of business and the contractor […]

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Here Come More Regs From the Labor Department!

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September 20, 2013

For more than 40 years, there have been federal statutes and regulations that require federal contractors and subcontractors to affirmatively recruit, hire, train and promote qualified veterans and people with disabilities.  The primary statutes are the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act in 1974 (VEVRAA).  The current Labor Department […]

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Understanding the “Pay-if-Paid” Clause

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September 6, 2013

Many contracts contain a “pay-if-paid” clause in a direct contractor’s agreement with its subs.  Typically, the clause provides that the direct contractor is required to pay its subcontractors “ONLY IF” the direct contractor has been paid by the owner for that particular subcontractor’s work.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this […]

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Insurance Premiums for Limited Liability Company (LLC) Contractors May Decrease

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August 23, 2013

In January 2011, contractors became eligible to operate under a Limited Liability Company (LLC).  Please see my previous blog on the benefits of operating under an LLC. Currently, the contractor must have insurance coverage at specified dollar levels issued by a California licensed insurer [1]. Governor Brown recently signed into law a bill [2] that […]

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Delivery Does Not Amount to Actual Use

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July 29, 2013

In order to enforce a stop notice or to foreclose on a mechanic’s lien, a material supplier must prove, among other things, that (1) its materials were furnished for use in the particular job; and (2) the materials were actually used in the job.  Unfortunately, proof of delivery of the materials to the project does […]

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California Labor Commisioner is Aggresively Targeting Prevailing Wage Violations

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July 19, 2013

Last month California Labor Commissioner, Julie Su, issued citations totaling $784,366 to contractors on four public works jobs—and then issued a press release to tout her actions!  She issued this quote: “Failure to pay the proper prevailing wage is a form of wage theft.” So in Ms. Su’s opinion if a contractor makes an honest […]

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As California Temperatures Skyrocket – Employer’s Should Provide Heat Precaution

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July 12, 2013

Triple-digit temperatures have hit California, and the excessive heat wave doesn’t seem to be letting up – Death Valley was reported to have recently peaked to 130 degrees, and rangers have been trying to persuade people not to hike.  Zookeepers are hosing down animals, even feeding tigers frozen fish snacks.  It also was reported that […]

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Filing a Mechanics Lien in Los Angeles County

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July 8, 2013

California has some common regulations about filing a mechanics lien. However, you will also need to grasp county specific requirements. I came across an article [1] that provided some simple, yet useful information. As it relates to the very litigious Los Angeles County, here is a summary of simple things to do: Do You Need […]

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Indemnity-Who is Responsible for What?

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June 27, 2013

Ah the good old days….if you were a general contractor.  The general contractors could and did include provisions in their subcontracts requiring the subcontractors to defend and indemnify them for any and all claims as long as the provision did not state that the subcontractor was required to indemnify the general contractor for losses arising […]

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Pitfalls of Accepting the Provisions of the Prime Contract

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June 21, 2013

Incorporating Terms of the Prime Contract into Sub Contracts Are Cause for Thorough Review A recent case we won demonstrated a potential pitfall for material suppliers or second or third tier subcontractors. Many material suppliers and sub-tier subcontractors are being asked to accept all the terms of a prime contract that they have never seen. […]

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Company Collections – Policy Required

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June 17, 2013

  Collection procedures entail critical steps that a company must follow to guarantee that payments are made on a timely basis.  These important procedures vary from business to business and are fundamental to ensuring profits for your company.  If you don’t have a credit and collections policy, you need one.  It is crucial that your […]

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The “Ifs” and “Whens” of Contractual Payment Provisions

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June 4, 2013

Construction subcontracts frequently contain a “pay if paid” or a “pay when paid” provision.  According to the terms of a “pay if paid” provision, the general contractor is not required to pay the subcontractor unless the project owner pays the general contractor.  Under a “pay when paid” clause, the general contractor is not required to […]

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Prevailing Wage Pitfalls & Defenses

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May 24, 2013

Most professionals in the construction industry know that prevailing wages must be paid when constructing a public works project.  The definition of a public works project is any project that is paid for “in whole or in part” with public funds.  The pitfall is that “paid for in whole or in part” is surprisingly broad.  […]

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Labor Commission Cracking Down on California Labor Violations

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May 17, 2013

The California Labor Commission is taking a hard stance on what it calls “wage theft” by general contractors working on public projects. In some of the cases noted by the Commission, the violations were egregious and intended; however, we know that many well-meaning employers often mis-classify employees by sheer misunderstanding of the law.  With this […]

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Design Professionals’ Duties To Third Party Purchasers and Homeowners Associations Expanded

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May 10, 2013

It used to be pretty simple. A design professional, such as an architect, had very limited duties to a third party purchaser of a home or a homeowners association (HOA).  However, following a recent California appellate decision, that may no longer be the case.  In its decision, the court recently expanded those duties.  In Beacon […]

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Making a List and Checking It Twice: The Subcontractor Listing Law

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May 6, 2013

The Subletting and Subcontracting Fair Practices Act (Public Contract Code (“PCC”) §§4100-4114), also known as the Subcontractor Listing Law (“Listing Law”), was enacted by the California Legislature to prevent the unconscionable business practices of bid shopping and bid peddling by contractors.  The Listing Law applies to all public works projects within the State of California. […]

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Subcontractor’s Default Insurance A Viable Option to Performance Bonds

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April 26, 2013

Most professionals in the construction industry are familiar with payment bonds and completion bonds.  Completion bonds are typically purchased by the contractor, and it guarantees to the owner that if the contractor defaults, the surety (insurance company) will pay to complete the construction project.  Sureties always require collateral.  In the cases of smaller contractors the […]

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The Gamble of Working with Indian Tribes

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April 16, 2013

The largest gaming club in the state of California is the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, with more than 3,000 slot machines and approximately 200,000 square feet of gaming space.  Other famous gaming operations in California include the Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa, and the Chumash Casino Resort.  These noted casinos are owned by […]

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Responsible Managing Officer (RMO) Abuse

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January 11, 2013

We have written in other blogs the perils of doing work as an unlicensed contractor.  There are obviously potential criminal penalties if a prosecutor determines that an unlicensed contractor intentionally misrepresented his licensure.   But the single biggest threat to an unlicensed contractor is not getting paid for the labor and materials he or she put […]

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When to Claim the Miller Act Bond

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December 4, 2012

Although there are remedies to collect what is owed on a private or public works project, when a party is not paid after providing work to a federal project, it only has the right to file a claim against the payment or construction bond.  This is known as the Miller Act Bond. When we think […]

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Disadvantaged Business Enterprises

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November 7, 2012

Potential Problems for the Unwary The United States, California, and many municipalities have published regulations that require general contractors to make good faith efforts to employ qualified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) in construction projects in certain situations.  A DBE is typically defined as a small for-profit business that is at least 51 percent owned by […]

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General Contractor Liability under the Privette Doctrine

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October 3, 2012

What happens if a general contractor hires an independent contractor to perform dangerous work and one of the contractor’s workers is injured on the job?  Is the general contractor liable for the worker’s injuries?  In accordance with the case of Privette v. Superior Court (1993) 5 Cal.4th 689 and its progeny, the answer is “no,” […]

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Mechanics Lien Extension

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September 13, 2012

If you’ve attended a Cummins & White’s construction seminar or listened to one of its webinars recently, you are well aware that after the recording of your mechanics lien, you have ninety (90) days in which to perfect that lien.  After that ninety-day period, by operation of law, your lien is null and void if […]

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Barking Up The Wrong Tree – Contractor Arrested For Invalid Contractor’s License

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September 5, 2012

A recent case in Sacramento highlights the necessity of being a licensed contractor when performing construction work that requires a license.  The Contractor’s State License Board (CSLB), after receiving a tip, joined with law enforcement investigators and arrested a tree trimmer “contractor” for being an unlicensed contractor.  Admittedly his story was quite egregious.  He held […]

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To Bond or Not to Bond

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August 22, 2012

It is no secret that in today’s economy, an increasing number of subcontractors and material suppliers are not being paid for work performed or materials supplied on construction projects.  If a preliminary notice was properly served, the unpaid subcontractor or material supplier may serve a Stop Payment Notice on the property owner or lender.  The […]

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How to Avoid Collection Issues When Dealing with Multi-Resident Projects

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August 8, 2012

Most people in the construction industry who furnish labor, service, equipment, or material to a private work of improvement know that service of a 20-day preliminary notice is a prerequisite to the enforcement of both mechanics lien and stop payment notice rights.  They know that typically they must record their mechanics lien if they are […]

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How Contractors Can Avoid Elder Abuse Accusations

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August 1, 2012

We have all heard or read about unlicensed contractors who scam the elderly.  I recently read an article from the Contractor’s State License Board’s (“CSLB”) website pertaining to this subject matter and quite frankly, it broke my heart.  As our beloved parents and other family members age, they unfortunately become easy targets for these shameful […]

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Understanding Important Changes to Construction Laws

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June 27, 2012

Part One: Preliminary Notices & Releases A major overhaul to mechanics lien laws will take effect July 1, 2012, and will greatly impact financial recovery efforts for construction trade professionals.  Being aware of changes in the Preliminary Notice and Mechanics Lien process, and understanding new responsibilities for contractors and material suppliers, will help you avoid […]

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Bankruptcy in Construction—Never Give Up, Never

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June 20, 2012

The owner/developer (owner) of the job that you provided $50,000 worth of materials and labor just filed for Bankruptcy.  You have not been paid and now there is no money to pay contractors or material suppliers.  You are out $50,000 right?  That is the conventional “wisdom.”  But it is not necessarily so. It is true […]

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Judgements

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June 11, 2012

SMALL CLAIMS COURTS AND YOUR MECHANICS LIENS We’ve all heard how expensive it is to file a lawsuit in the California superior courts.  On many occasions, a contractor may have a mechanics lien for less than $5,000 and think that he or she can save money by filing a lawsuit in the California small claims […]

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Lien Solutions for Tenant Improvements

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May 30, 2012

When improvements, alterations, or repairs are made to real property, the owner of the property is usually involved in the process.  But what happens when work is done on behalf of a lessee without the owner’s knowledge, approval, or participation, and the owner issues a valid notice of non-responsibility?  In this situation, does a contractor […]

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California Ruling on Employee Meal & Rest Breaks

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May 16, 2012

California Employers Must Provide Meal & Rest Periods, But Do Not Have to Ensure They Are Taken The California Supreme Court released its much anticipated decision regarding the requirements for meal and rest breaks for non-exempt employees.  The decision in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court, No. D049331 (April 12, 2012) provides employers some needed […]

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Homeowners Beware—Make Sure That All Contractors, Sub-Contractors, and Material Supply Companies Are Paid

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May 2, 2012

Homeowners who pay a contractor for construction work, including landscaping, may be held financially liable if the contractor fails to pay the subcontractors and material supply companies who also worked or provided product for your project.  According to California law, subcontractors and material suppliers who are not paid by the contractor are able to record […]

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Supervisors of Companies May Now be Held Personally Liable in Wage & Hour Cases

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April 11, 2012

The Importance of Complying with California Wage and Hour Laws The California Supreme Court  expanded the definition of “employer” to include supervisors who “exercise control over the wages, hours or working conditions” or “suffer or permit to work” their employees (Martinez v. Combs (2010) 49 Cal.4th 35). Yes, that means supervisors of companies may now […]

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Tips To Avoid LLC License Application Delays

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April 5, 2012

According to the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB), its Licensing division has processed about three dozen limited liability company (LLC) license applications; to date, five licenses have been issued. The LLC business classification became authorized to hold a California contractor license beginning January 1, 2012. The causes for the high rejection rate, include two […]

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Bonded Protection for Subcontractors and Material Suppliers

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March 28, 2012

In California, a general contractor must file a payment bond on all public works projects over $25,000.  Payment bonds are a form of guarantee ensuring that a subcontractor or supplier will be reimbursed for costs incurred on a public works project, including interest and attorney’s fees if a lawsuit becomes necessary.  In the event a […]

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When Does Insurance Cover Faulty Workmanship?

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March 21, 2012

Usually, commercial general liability (“CGL”) policies do not cover a contractor for property damage due to the contractor’s own faulty workmanship.  As one California court summarized:  “Generally liability policies … are not designed to provide contractors … with coverage against claims their work is inferior or defective…. Rather liability coverage comes into play when the […]

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Subcontractor Protection in Federal Projects—Miller Act

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March 7, 2012

The Miller Act protects persons who have furnished labor or materials to contractors engaged in the construction, alteration, or repair of any public building or public work of the United States. Prior to 1894, the agreements or contracts that the U.S. Government awarded to direct contractors rarely had clauses that required the direct contractor to […]

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Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) Can Now Be Licensed California Contractors!

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February 22, 2012

 Based on the passing of SB 392 in 2010, the Contractors State License Board can now process applications by LLCs for contractor’s licenses.  However, you should know that there are some additional requirements for an LLC to obtain a contractor’s license.  For example, the LLC application must include as Personnel of Record all directors, officers, […]

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Bankruptcy Can Take A Toll On A Mechanics Lien Claim

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February 8, 2012

Generally, once a mechanics lien is recorded, a lien claimant must file an action to foreclose on the lien within 90 days of the recording date.  If a claimant fails to file an action within that time period, his or her lien rights are automatically forfeited.  But what happens if a mechanics lien is recorded […]

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New Law Affecting California Employers (Effective January 2012)

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January 18, 2012

Labor Code Section 2810.5 (AB 469) requires employers to issue a notice to all new non-exempt employees effective January 1, 2012. The notice should contain all of the following information: “At the time of hiring, an employer shall provide each employee a written notice, in the language the employer normally uses to communicate employment-related information […]

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You Say Mechanic’s Lien, We Say Mechanics Lien

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January 11, 2012

The big buzz and concern in the construction industry are the new laws, some of which have already taken effect and the balance or bulk taking effect July 1, 2012.  The complete Mechanic’s Lien Law has been recodified under Senate Bill 189.  By the way, that apostrophe I used in the word Mechanic’s that we’ve […]

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The Participating Owner — Leased Responsibility

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December 29, 2011

Under California law, contractors and materialmen may record a mechanics’ lien against real property when improvements are made “at the instance” of the owner or his agent.  But what happens if the improvements are made “at the instance” of a landlord’s tenant and the tenant is later unable to pay? Generally, if the property is […]

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Preliminary Notices — The Devil is in the Details

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November 30, 2011

In order for a subcontractor or material supplier (who does not have a contractual relationship with a general contractor on a public works project) to collect unpaid invoices through a stop notice or payment bond, they must have served the general contractor and the owner (public agency) with a timely Preliminary 20-Day Notice (“Notice”) [1].  […]

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Like Many in California, Construction Laws Receive a Face-Lift

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As many of you construction fans know, Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law Senate Bill 189 (“SB 189”) in 2009.  Many may be wondering, “What in the world is this?” Well, the answer is simple:  SB 189 is a comprehensive face-lift regarding the filing and enforcement of mechanic’s liens and stop notices.  It presents noteworthy and […]

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“Stuff You Already Know”

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November 16, 2011

When my youngest daughter was about five years old, I recall one morning I gave her some parental “advice” about something.  While my “advice” has been long forgotten by all parties concerned, my wife and I will never forget her response.  She looked up with some frustration from her breakfast and asked me, “Are you […]

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Don’t Stamp Out Your Lien Rights!

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November 9, 2011

Over the past few months, proof of service affidavits have come across my desk bearing signatures that were obviously the product of a rubber stamp. In fact, one “signature” was stamped in block letters. Clearly, the purpose of the stamped signatures is to streamline the preparation and service of the preliminary notices and reduce writer’s cramp.

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