Forum Selection Clauses – Mandatory v. Permissive

With forum selection clauses, “shall” doesn’t always mean “shall.” If a forum-selection clause containing the word “shall” lacks additional exclusive language like “exclusive,” “sole,” or “only,” a court may find that clause to be permissive. CONTINUE READING...

Who’s Bound by a Forum Selection Clause? Contractors, Subcontractors, and Sureties?

Could a party end up litigating related claims in two separate forums if not all parties are bound by a forum-selection clause? To ensure efficiency and avoid inconsistent verdicts, all intertwined claims should be litigated together in the same forum, writes Sarah D. Rodriguez. CONTINUE READING...

Contractors: “Did I Just file a Fraudulent Claim…What’s My Exposure?

Mechanics’ liens are a great tool available to contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and laborers to ensure payment for work, materials and/or services provided. However, filing a fraudulent lien has costly consequences, including jail time. CONTINUE READING...

First Cost and Betterment – Two Types of Defenses against Claims for Construction Damages

If you are a designer or contractor who’s been accused of negligent design or construction, you will want to analyze the owner’s claimed damages to see if they might be reduced by the amount of the first costs or betterment. CONTINUE READING...

When a Local Ordinance Doesn’t Govern Your Business

If your business has been accused of violating a local law, check with your attorney as to whether you actually face liability, particularly if you established your business practices in accordance with a state law. CONTINUE READING...