What Does a Construction Lawyer Do?

What Does a Construction Lawyer Do?

A construction lawyer can help with a wide range of services relevant to the construction process from planning to completion of a construction project. An experienced construction lawyer must have comprehensive knowledge of the construction process, including scheduling, budgeting, fulfilling regulatory guidelines, contracting, submitting claims, and contract terminations. In order to prevent litigation and other legal conflicts, a construction attorney works proactively throughout the process.

The Importance of a Construction Lawyer

A construction lawyer knows both construction and construction law. Construction lawyers are experts at understanding and interpreting construction contracts. They help construction businesses identify and avoid potential pitfalls that could be detrimental to the construction process. Each construction contract is analyzed by a construction lawyer, who is well-versed in all stages, tasks, machinery, and other fine details that make up a construction site.

Who Does a Construction Lawyer Work For?

A construction law firm assists a wide variety of clients from large companies to individuals. A construction lawyer works on behalf of the owner and contractors of construction projects, such as subcontractors, general contractors, property owners, and developers.

How Can a Construction Attorney Help Me?

With knowledge of construction contracts, a construction attorney is ready to review and assess any construction claim to advise you of your rights. Each contract assessment can determine whether to help enforce or discharge a construction lien or pursue a payment claim.

  • Statutory requirements and deadlines are reviewed with respect to remedies against the decision of a contracting authority.
  • Clients are advised of their rights and available remedies when a construction lien is filed.
  • Prepare and file a mechanic’s lien or bond claim with the court or agency.
  • Prepare and file satisfaction notices to remove mechanic’s liens.
  • Assist contractors and owners in removing liens from properties.
  • Assist in obtaining lien bonds to guarantee payment of a mechanic’s lien and secure its discharge.
  • Engage in foreclosure proceedings on construction liens.

What Does a Construction Lawyer Cover?

A construction lawyer covers all aspects of construction law such as:

  • Alternative dispute resolutions
  • Arbitration
  • Bankruptcy
  • Building permits
  • Case-law summaries
  • Construction claims
  • Construction liens
  • Wage requirements in accordance with the Davis-Bacon Act
  • Delays
  • Drafting construction contracts
  • Employment-based immigration
  • Environmental matters in construction law
  • The False Claims Act
  • Federal construction
  • Fire regulations
  • Fulfilling non-discrimination regulations
  • Industry-standard construction contracts
  • Insurance issues
  • Labor issues
  • Licensing construction professionals
  • Mediation
  • Negotiating construction contracts
  • Negotiating litigation of a termination claim
  • The OSHA, and other federal agencies
  • Project delivery systems
  • Prompt payments
  • Provide defense to businesses facing administrative actions
  • Provide legal counsel
  • Public construction
  • State building codes
  • State contracting procedures
  • Surety law
  • Sustainable construction
  • Trials, including complex, multiparty construction cases in court
  • Unresolved damage claims
  • Violations

Alternative Dispute Resolutions

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a form of conflict resolution that focuses on resolving the conflict by talking to the other parties. They can be used in various contexts, such as contract and employment disputes.

The main goal of ADR is to produce an outcome that meets the needs of both parties. Some examples include mediation, arbitration, and collaborative law. Three most common types are mediation, arbitration, and litigation. Mediation is when one or more impartial third-parties help to settle disputes. Arbitration is when one or more impartial third-parties make a binding decision about the dispute, which must be obeyed by both sides. Litigation is when disputes are handled in court, and instead of an arbiter or mediator, a judge or jury decides the outcome.

Alternative dispute resolutions are not always an option because it requires a mutual agreement between both parties to enter into this process.

Arbitration

Construction arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution. This method of settlement is not a litigation or a negotiation. It can be used as an initial step to avoid the potential for litigation, or as a follow-up to the unsuccessful negotiation process.

Construction contracts are generally governed by the Construction Contract Act (CCA). The CCA provides for a mechanism for resolving disputes between a project owner and contractor in the form of arbitration.

A construction lawyer will negotiate to have arbitration clauses put into the construction contract to solve any disputes that may arise during the construction process.

A construction arbitration takes place in an impartial forum, which may be chosen by the parties before or during the contractual negotiations. Parties are encouraged to choose this forum because it removes any chance that they may feel their rights are being infringed upon if they have no say in the decision-making process.

Oftentimes, arbitration clauses will say that if there is a disagreement on how much money should be paid for a certain project, the arbitrator will base it on “a fair-market price.” This can cause disagreements because the arbitrator gets to decide what “fair” is.

Drafting & Negotiating Construction Contracts

Construction contracts are written documents that bind the contractor and the owner/lessee of a property to a legal agreement.

Contracts are generally drafted by attorneys with experience in construction law and real-estate development. The most important components are:

  • General conditions: They deal with the “terms of the whole” or what is included in the contract.
  • Special conditions: They address specific subjects, which may be related to, but outside of, general conditions, such as financial obligations or responsibilities for maintaining property.
  • Warranties: They describe actions that one party agrees to do for another, either upon completion or during construction (e.g., insurance coverage).
  • Disclosures: They list all liabilities and risks related to the project.

To successfully draft and negotiate construction contracts, a construction lawyer must know industry standards, best practices, and code requirements – how they are put together, how they should be interpreted, and what clauses can be included.

A construction lawyer can assist in drafting an agreement, reviewing and negotiating the contract, and dealing with any disputes that may arise.

Protecting Payments to Contractors and Owners

A construction attorney will ensure that a contractor receives the full payment for the work they do on a project. Construction lawyers have to be retained if a contractor is having trouble getting paid for costs, such as labor, equipment, and materials. Construction lawyers will work on getting the money owed to the contractor under the contract’s terms. They will also work with attorneys in other fields like real-estate law or bankruptcy law, and take civil action if necessary to recover the money that was not paid. A construction lawyer can also defend a contractor or owner who has a claim for payment made against them.

Assisting with Construction Proposals

Construction lawyers offer assistance to contractors, developers, and other parties in the construction process who are looking to submit proposals. They not only provide legal representation, but they can also help with the drafting process. Construction lawyers specialize in all aspects of construction law and provide guidance on how best to draft contracts, enforce them, and deal with reimbursement issues, as well as disputes in state or federal court. They will help make sure that any contracts or agreements that are signed are valid. With a wealth of experience and knowledge, they know what needs to be done to create an agreement that is going to hold up in court.

A construction lawyer can assist with construction proposals and contract interpretation, including protesting or challenging unrewarded proposals.

Submitting Construction Claims

A construction lawyer can submit a claim for added compensation and time, and represent the claimant in any dispute-resolution procedures. A construction claim for unforeseen circumstances can also be submitted, such as unanticipated job-site conditions, defects in design, construction delays, unpredictable disruptions, or unexpected interferences at the construction site. Any contractual obligations or legal requirements will be ensured by a construction lawyer.

How Does a Construction Lawyer Help with Contract Terminations?

A construction lawyer assists contractors and subcontractors by resolving disputes to ensure that they receive payment for work done and avoid unnecessary lawsuits in case of a contract termination.

Construction lawyers deal with the laws, regulations, and policies that govern contracts in the industry. Contract terminations are a part of these laws, and some of the most common reasons for contract termination are non-payment, disputes on quality of work, or delay in completing the project.

Can an Unlicensed Contractor File a Mechanic’s Lien?

The short answer is no. A contractor cannot file a mechanic’s lien without having a license. A contractor is required to have a license to perform on a construction project, and if they are not licensed, they cannot succeed in fighting a mechanic’s lien action.

Will a Construction Lawyer Represent Me In Court?

Yes. In most cases, a construction lawyer will represent you in court.

Construction law is a broad and complicated field where it is often difficult to know what you need to know. That is why it is crucial that all contractors, subcontractors, or property owners get the help of a competent attorney before starting any project. A construction lawyer will be an invaluable resource who can help you figure out what your responsibilities are under the law and how best to avoid getting into costly disputes with others in the industry.

What To Do Before Hiring a Lawyer

Before hiring a lawyer, make sure you have all your needs clearly defined, so you can find the right construction lawyer to help you.

When hiring a construction lawyer, it is important to ensure that they have the right credentials. They should have experience in commercial and residential construction law. It is also crucial that they are well-versed in contracts, project management, and other aspects of the industry.

You need to be aware of the fee structure before hiring the construction lawyer, because they may vary from hourly rates to project rates. Make sure that you understand what kind of services or advice you are going to get for the fee.

When starting a construction project, it is always good to consult with a construction lawyer. They can help you with contracts, especially if your project is international. You should consult with them before the contract is signed in order to ensure that you are getting what you need and want out of the contract.

Construction law is an expansive field, and your construction lawyer should be a member of a law association like the American Bar Association (ABA). They can provide valuable information on various topics which will help your construction attorney better serve you and your company.

Where To Find the Right Lawyer

Salvado Law is a construction law firm in Rockville, Maryland, with skilled and seasoned construction attorneys ready to help.

If you feel the need to hire a construction attorney, please contact us with any questions you would need answered to choose us as your construction attorneys. We serve the Rockville, Maryland, area and surrounding communities:

North Bethesda, MD

Redland, MD

Aspen Hill, MD

Gaithersburg, MD

Potomac, MD

North Potomac, MD

Olney, MD

Montgomery Village, MD

Bethesda, MD

Colesville, MD

Germantown, MD

Friendship Village, MD

White Oak, MD

Silver Spring, MD

Hillandale, MD

Disclaimer:

Articles published by Salvado Law are purely for educational purposes. Articles provide generalized information of the topic(s) covered and should not be considered as legal advice.

Please contact the attorneys at Salvado Law for more information regarding your case.