Articles & Resources

  • Recent Changes to the AIA Form Contract Documents

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    Like the United States Census Bureau's counting of the American people once every decennial, so too does the American Institute of Architects introduce new versions of its form contract documents.  Earlier this year, the AIA introduced to the construction industry several new versions of its form construction documents.  The AIA has been issuing new and revised versions of its form ...

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  • Pennsylvania State Construction Notices Directory: A Call to Action

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    Over the past few months I have written several articles and presented several seminars about the changes to the Pennsylvania Mechanic’s Lien Law, specifically concerning the new requirements for construction owners, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers and the Pennsylvania State Construction Notices Directory. Under the amendment, the Pennsylvania legislature, among other things, directed the Pennsylvania Department of General Services to build ...

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  • Pennsylvania State Construction Notices Directory To Go Live

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    As a follow-up to previous articles, we are again reminding clients that the requirement for subcontractors and suppliers to file Notices of Furnishing in order to preserve their mechanic’s lien rights begins December 29, 2016 based on information provided by the Pennsylvania Department of General Services.  This new requirement established by an amendment to the Mechanic’s Lien Statute (Act 142 ...

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  • “Plumber’s Work,” Now Clear as Mud

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    One would think that experienced contractors, construction managers, and project engineers could easily explain what plumbing work is.  For sure, any first-year plumbing apprentice could precisely recite a definition of plumbing work, right?  For just as surely as water flows downhill, it is a plumber who installs sewer, water, and drain pipes.  Well, a recent Pennsylvania trial ...

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  • Overtime Changes Coming

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    President Obama this past week made final the Department of Labor's proposed rule making more than 4 million additional workers eligible for overtime pay.  The major change of the new rule requiring payment to employees at the rate of 1 1/2 times the employee's regular rate for hours worked over 40 in a work week is the change in ...

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  • Court Further Confines CASPA

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    After more than 20 years since its passage, the Pennsylvania courts are still being presented with novel case scenarios implicating the breadth of the applicability of the Pennsylvania Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act (73 P.S. §501, et seq.), commonly referred to as CASPA, and are still defining the borders and periphery of the coverage of the Act. 

    In the ...

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  • Adhesion: Don’t Get Stuck

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    “Adhesion” is defined as the act of sticking or attaching to something.  Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, 2015. Web. 13 March 2015.  Under Pennsylvania law, contracts of adhesion are standard form contracts prepared by one party, to be signed by the party in the weaker position, usually a consumer, who adheres to the contract with little choice about the terms.  Romero v. Allstate ...

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  • Public Officials Cannot “privatize” Their Communications

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    A Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania decision dated February 5, 2015 has provided citizens and public officials with further clarification as to what information constitutes a “public record” and, therefore, is accessible to citizens under the recently amended Pennsylvania Right to Know Law, and what remains private information and, therefore, inaccessible to citizens of the Commonwealth.  In the case of Paint ...

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  • Pennsylvania Supreme Court Reaffirms Statutory Employer Status for General Contractors

    The Pennsylvania legislature, in passing the Worker’s Compensation Act more than 100 years ago, sought to protect injured workers by ensuring that insurance would be available to workers who were injured during the course of their employment.  The General Assembly of Pennsylvania has amended the Act several times since its original passage in 1915, and courts have been reinterpreting ...

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  • Insurer's Duty to Defend Contractor Expanded

    In December, the Pennsylvania Superior Court decided a case that could have an impact on the coverage available to contractors under commercial general liability insurance policies.  Often, when an owner sues a contractor for faulty workmanship, a contractor’s ability to receive coverage and a defense from its insurance carrier is dependent upon whether the allegedly faulty workmanship is an “occurrence” as defined in the insurance ...

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Harrisburg Magazine Readers' Choice 2011