Philadelphia Construction Law Blog

On January 4, 2017, the Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated General Contractors of America, National Association of Home Builders,

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Construction Projects on Jan 16, 2017.

On January 4, 2017, the Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated General Contractors of America, National Association of Home Builders, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and eight other construction industry groups sent a letter to president-elect Donald Trump asking that he rescind President Barack Obama’s Executive Order 13502, which encourages federal agencies to require project labor agreements (PLAs) on large-scale projects. In the letter, the coalition of construction industry groups advocate that PLAs raise the cost of public projects by 12%-18% resulting in “fewer infrastructure improvements and reduced construction industry job creation.” The coalition further state that a PLA “stifles competition and prevents taxpayers from receiving the best possible construction product at the best possible price.” In the letter, the coalition insinuate that rescinding the mandate will increase infrastructure improvements and job creation. The building trades union have advocated the use of PLAs on public projects, so it remains to be seen whether they would reach out to president-elect Donald Trump prior to his inauguration asking that he save Executive Order 13502.

RINGING IN THE NEW YEAR WITH CHANGES TO THE LIEN LAW AND THE NEW PENNSYLVANIA MECHANIC’S LIEN DIRECTORY

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Mechanic's Liens on Jan 3, 2017.

The Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law (“Lien Law”) was amended to establish a searchable construction project and mechanic’s lien directory which can affect the mechanic’s lien rights of Owners, Contractors, and Subcontractors.  The amendments apply to projects having a cost estimate of $1.5 million or more, and they become operable on December 31, 2016. Finding and Using the Directory Under the Lien Law amendments, the Commonwealth Department of General Services (“DGS”) is required to set up and operate the searchable directory. This directory (the “State Construction Notices Directory”) is to be a standalone internet website that will likely be linked through the DGS webpage (https://www.dgs.pa.gov). The link to the directory can be found at www.scnd.pa.gov/.  This link provides an instructional video explaining how the directory functions and allows a user to create an account to file notices.  DGS is required to inform the public about the directory and instructions on its use within 120 days of operation by publishing information about it in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The Function of the Notices So, what are the notice requirements under the amended Lien Law? There are four types of notices referenced in the amendments, two of which can be filed by or on behalf of a searchable project Owner, and two by a Subcontractor (as defined in the Lien Law, a subcontractor has a contract to supply labor or material to a prime contractor, or to another subcontractor).  The Owner notices are: (1) Notice of Commencement and (2) Notice of Completion. They are […]

Construction Backlog Indicator Shows Overall Dip

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Construction Industry News on Sep 24, 2016.

The Construction Backlog Indicator, or CBI, is a tool that measures backlog as an indicator of the health of the construction industry. The CBI is presently offering mixed signals to the market. While multi-national and large construction firms are showing the largest backlogs in history, this seems to correspond with a decrease in backlog for medium sized and small contractors.

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Bucks County Contractor Sentenced to Jail for Fraud

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Construction Industry News on Sep 20, 2016.

A plethora of laws have been passed in recent years attempting to put more strict regulation on the construction industry – particularly residential construction – as it relates to payment and fraud. While there are voices on both sides of the debate as it relates to whether the laws are necessary and reasonable, there should be little doubt that the repercussions for failing to heed the recent trend are potentially serious.

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WE HAVE A GREAT CONTRACT, SO WHY ARE WE STILL DEALING WITH CLAIMS IN COURT (Part 3 of 3)

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Contract Clauses on Sep 14, 2016.

In the first 2 posts of this series, we talked about why even the best of contracts don’t prevent all litigation and provided some tips on how to manage risk in a way that minimizes the chances of seeing the inside of a courtroom. In reality, the best approach is an integrated one that includes preparing the most appropriate contract possible (understanding there is no such thing as a perfect one), providing good leadership, and managing the risk in the field. It is this last component that is the subject of this final post.

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Football Season Is Upon Us: Will Temple Have Its Own Stadium?

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Construction Industry News on Sep 8, 2016.

One of the surest signs that fall has arrived is the start of the college football season. In a town that adores its pro team, the Philadelphia Eagles, college football is gaining a little more attention these days. One of the primary reasons for this is the return of Temple football, which was literally on the school’s chopping blocks a short time ago, beginning to make noise at the top level on a somewhat consistent basis. The next step for the program seems to be moving into its own stadium.

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Explicitly Declares Attorneys’ Fees and Penalty Provision of the Pennsylvania Prompt Pay Act Discretionary

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Public Construction Projects on Sep 6, 2016.

n an opinion issued in July, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court categorically declared the award of attorneys’ fees and penalties under the Pennsylvania Prompt Pay Act to be discretionary. While the statute itself contains language which suggests such an outcome, the Court’s decision in Scott Enterprises, Inc. v. City of Allentown formally settles an issue which many construction practitioners understood differently and argued differently in litigation.

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Celebrating Labor Day

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in General on Sep 5, 2016.

Wishing all those who work so hard to help build this country and make her great a wonderful Labor Day. Thanks for all you do and for letting Kaplin Stewart be part of your great industry.

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