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Construction and Public Contracts


  •   California local public agencies and their contractors should take note of a recent appellate decision pertaining to late progress payments on public works projects. In Clark Bros., Inc. v. North Edwards Water Dist., 2022 Cal. App. LEXIS 331, filed on April 22, 2022, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District held that a local agency’s late progress payments to a general contractor did not constitute breach of contract under the prompt payment penalty statute, Public Contract Code § 20104.50. Notwithstanding this holding, the contractor recovered damages, interest, fees, and costs in excess of its contract amount. In […]

  • March 2022 The pandemic certainly did not slow down California’s Legislature and appellate courts. The following five appellate decisions significantly impact businesses that use standard form agreements, employ mechanics lien and related remedies to ensure payment for labor or materials on construction projects, rely on website/online terms and conditions, and agree to resolve debts with written agreements. INCONSPICUOUS ARBITRATION (AND POSSIBLY OTHER CONTRACT) CLAUSES WILL NOT BE ENFORCED The Domestic Linen Supply Co., Inc. v. L J T Flowers, Inc., 58 Cal. App. 5th 180 (2020) case should encourage all distributors and manufacturers that utilize standard form credit, sales, or rental agreements […]

  • January 2022 Aas v. Superior Court (2000) 24 Cal. 4th 627 – economic loss rule Amelco Electric v. City of Thousand Oaks ( (2002) 27 Cal. 4th 228 – abandonment does not apply to public works – total cost theory is allowed Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (2014) 59 Cal. 4th 568 – architect liable in absence of privity Cates Const., Inc. v. Talbot Partners (1999) 21 Cal.4th 28 – no tort recovery on bonds – performance bonds can cover contract warranties Condon-Johnson & Associates, Inc. v. Sacramento Municipal Utility Dist., 149 Cal. App. 4th 1384 […]

  • September 2021      Mechanics Liens are a mainstay of California construction industry and law. These liens may seem commonplace, but they should not be taken for granted as they are an essential sword and shield for contractors of every level to use to make sure they get paid their due on a project. What Is A Mechanics Lien?      A mechanics lien is a lien on a piece of real property held by a mechanic, material supplier, artisan, and/or laborer of every class who has bestowed labor and/or materials to improve the property. See 1 Ca Mechanics’ Lien […]

  • Construction employers with worksites in the Central Valley should be aware of new Valley Fever training requirements for their employees. Under Labor Code section 6709, construction employers with worksites in specific counties must provide employees with yearly Valley Fever awareness training on or before May 1 of each year. Training must be provided if the “work activities disturb the soil, including, but not limited to, digging, grading, or other earth moving operations, or vehicle operation on dirt roads, or high winds.” The provision applies to construction sites in the following counties: • Fresno • Kern • Kings • Madera • […]

  • January 2021 Since March 4, 2020, when Governor Newsom issued a Proclamation of a State of Emergency, the State has been in a constant pattern of slow down, shutdown, ramp up, repeat. In addition to Governor Newsom’s emergency orders, most counties are establishing (or already have established) emergency procedures as well. This makes it particularly difficult for construction companies with projects in multiple counties to track emergency procedures such as training and reporting. The following provides a quick guide to construction site compliance based on California’s Assembly Bill 685 (“AB 685”) and how to prepare for potential shutdowns related to […]

  • For folks in the construction industry, a mechanics lien is one of the most valuable tools for getting paid. Every state has mechanics lien laws that protect construction professionals facing nonpayment by granting them the right to file a lien.   A construction business’s lien rights depend on their ability to follow their state’s mechanics lien requirements. These include deadlines and important steps like sending preliminary notices and notices of intent. Though this process can look different depending on what state you’re in, the importance of lien rights in securing your business is universal.  Webinar: Construction lawyer explains how to resolve payment disputes With this in […]

  • December 2020 Changes to Home Improvement Contract Requirements in Effect January 1, 2021: New “5-Day Right to Cancel” Requirement for Contracts with Senior Citizens, New Construction Categories Added to “Home Improvement” Type Work and New License Classification for Residential Remodeling Contractors. As most contractors are aware, contracts for home improvement work must comply with unique requirements set forth in the Business and Professions Code (“BPC”).[1] BPC section 7159 identifies the requirements for home improvement contracts exceeding $500. Right to Cancel Home Improvement Contracts Extended for Individuals 65 Years of Age or Older from Three to Five Business Days. The changes […]

  • December 2020 LICENSED TO CONTRACT: A Reminder About Licensing Pitfalls for Contractors and How to Avoid Them James Bond, a.k.a. 007, was famously licensed to kill.  Without this license, Mr. Bond would have been in serious trouble with the authorities.  The same is true for a contractor. By performing construction work without a valid contractor’s license, a contractor is playing a very dangerous game and could lose it all.   It is well known that all contractors in California must be licensed by the Contractors’ State License Board (CSLB).  If a contractor is unlicensed at any point while performing construction […]