Services | Construction Law
Legal hazards in the construction industry
Building Construction is an intricate, technologically sophisticated process. Codes governing construction touch virtually every trade, and have become quite strict and demanding. Innumerable variables affect the progress and final product of a construction project. Communications, coordination, scheduling, site conditions, availability of quality materials and labor, unexpected conditions, design issues, government inspections, accidents, occupational safety, licensure issues, quality of materials and workmanship, adequate supervision, personality conflicts, payment or financing issues, back-charges, delay, contractual issues - any of these matters can submarine the success of a construction project.
Because so many variables and complexities play into the construction process, problems frequently arise between the owner, design professionals, general contractor and/or subs and suppliers. Sometimes these problems are serious enough that they cannot be worked out by project participants.
How a lawyer can help navigate around the rocks
When problems do arise in the construction process, or are discovered after the process is over, the participants usually question what their legal rights are.Often fingers are pointed, blame is assigned, sometimes with justification, sometimes without. They wonder about how they can achieve the quickest and most expedient solution that is fair to all concerned. They may pull their contracts out (assuming they have them) and, for the first time, actually read them carefully to see what they contain that could affect their legal positions.
In such situations, it is important to have a lawyer available that understands building construction; one that is experienced in handling construction cases. Developing the important facts in a construction case requires specialized knowledge, insight, access to knowledgeable experts who can aid and support the process, and patient persistence.
Experienced with building construction matters
Our firm has over 30 years of experience handling cases involving construction. The types of cases in which we have had experience are varied and diverse: disputes about payment, change orders, mechanics liens, bond claims, design issues, defective construction, workmanship or quality of material issues, warranty issues, contractual disputes, delay claims, extras, back-charges, damage by other trades, wind and water damage, mold contamination, casualty insurance claims, defects in materials, improper supervision or staffing of the job-to name just a few. We are familiar with the procedures governing claims before the Maryland Home Improvement Commission and Maryland Home Builders Guaranty Fund. Building construction cases, whether involving new construction, renovation or remodeling of existing residential, commercial or institutional projects, tend to be technical, complex and highly fact-specific. It can take some doing to get to the truth of what really happened and who is legally responsible. Services we often provide to property owners, contractors and design professionals include:
- Site acquisition
- Assistance with the development/ construction process
- Preparation and review of contracts
- Proactive solutions to avoid disputes and legal exposure
- Resolution of disputes during construction
- Obtaining and coordination with appropriate consultants and experts
- Pursue claims for non-payment
- Recover damages for defective construction or materials
- Obtain or defend against mechanics liens, bond claims
Proactive approach is best
Of course, the best approach is proactive - to head off legal problems before they develop into something serious. We help owners, design professionals, contractors and subcontractors develop contracts, systems and procedures to protect their legal business interests while at the same time delivering or obtaining a quality service or project. Experience teaches that early involvement of experienced legal counsel can help a client avoid a legal quagmire down the line. Our experience with handling the issues and problems unique to the building construction industry helps our clients gain the edge in this very competitive field.