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Event Recap: October Construction Breakfast Roundtable on Delegated Design

The Construction Team hosted back-to-back Breakfast Roundtables in Portland and Seattle earlier this month. Attendees included contractors, suppliers, design professionals, in-house counsel, and others from across the construction industry. The topic: delegated design. We kicked off the discussion by defining the topic as delegating to the contractor a portion of the design of the work. For example, a … Continue Reading

Breakfast Roundtable: A 360° Discussion on Delegated Design

Please join us for a roundtable discussion on the risks and benefits of delegated design. Delegating design has been the industry standard for fire-suppression and elevator trades and is common for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing work. Delegated design is extending beyond its traditional place to encompass more building elements and trades, including entire envelope systems. … Continue Reading

2020 Brings Change to Oregon’s Public Contracting Code

Changes are coming to Oregon’s public contracting code in the form of HB 2769, passed during the Oregon Legislature’s 2019 session. As those familiar with Oregon’s public contacting rules know, under ORS 279C.110, contracting agencies are required to use a qualification-based selection process when choosing consultants to provide architectural, engineering, photogrammetric mapping, transportation planning, or … Continue Reading

Understanding Insurance Terms in Construction Contracts

Miller Nash attorneys Seth Row and Shanelle Honda were published in the Fall 2019 issue of the NAMC-OR Newsletter. The link to the full story is available below. Construction contracts at all tiers usually include terms requiring certain types of insurance, and often contain related provisions about indemnity. This “boilerplate” can be important if a job goes south, … Continue Reading

Bid Protest Time Extension

Washington contractors now have more time to file a bid protest on a public works project. Under prior law, an aggrieved contractor had to submit their bid protest within two days after the bid opening. RCW 39.04.105. For many contractors, they often did not know the basis to protest an award without receiving access to … Continue Reading

Responding to a Crisis: How Human Resources Can Make Things Better, Not Worse

Cody Elliott and Mike Porter, two Miller Nash partners, were published in Constructor Magazine, a publication of Associated General Contractors. The link to the full story is available below. Just as unforeseen site conditions can test a contractor’s problem-solving skills, unexpected events can test a construction employer’s crisis-management readiness. Crises can hit at any time, and … Continue Reading

Dealing With the Ups & Downs: The Importance of Price Escalation Clauses in Construction Contracts

Vanessa Triplett, a Miller Nash construction law attorney, was published in the Summer 2019 issue of the NAMC-OR Newsletter. The newsletter is published by the National Association of Minority Contractors—Oregon and the Daily Journal of Commerce. The link to the full story is available below. In this era of trade wars and tariffs, the likelihood … Continue Reading

Bill Gives Design Build Boost in Public Contracting

Design-build is increasingly showing up in public works projects in the Washington State. This method allows the price to be established based on a conceptual design rather than through the competitive bid process. Offsetting the lack of competitive bid, the price can be set after construction documents are completed and all the subcontracts work can … Continue Reading

James Walker Recognized on the Daily Journal of Commerce Oregon “Phenoms and Icons” 2018

Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP construction attorney James Walker was recognized as a 2018 Phenom by the Daily Journal of Commerce Oregon (DJC Oregon) on December 13 in Portland, Oregon. DJC Oregon’s newest award program honors local building industry’s longtime leaders while recognizing the up-and-coming professionals expected to share the future of architecture, engineering, … Continue Reading

Washington Supreme Court Upholds Strict Interpretation of Contractual Notice Provisions: Failure to Immediately Give Notice of Claim a Complete Bar to Recovery

Nova, a public works contractor, filed a claim for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, based entirely on the City’s untimely and repeated rejection of submittals to perform culvert work in Olympia. The Supreme Court held that the contractor was barred from seeking damages because it failed to give written notice … Continue Reading

Department of Labor to Hold Listening Session on Overtime Regulation in Seattle on September 11

As contractors well know, most construction workers are entitled to overtime pay when they have to work more than 40 hours a week. However, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, there is a “white collar” exception for certain employees who earn no less than a standard salary threshold and meet other conditions. In May of … Continue Reading

Recap: Construction Breakfast Roundtable & Seven Habits of Highly Effective Contractors/Owners

We had a great turnout at our Seattle Breakfast Roundtable earlier this week, which was attended by in-house counsel, representatives from a diverse group of companies across the industry, and attorneys in our Construction team. Our conversation covered a range of topics, including contract terms and requirements, project communications, and documentation. In particular, we discussed … Continue Reading

Tara O’Hanlon Published in The Contractor’s Compass: How to Minimize Risks for Successful BIM-Powered Projects

Tara O’Hanlon, Miller Nash Graham & Dunn construction attorney, was recently published in The Contractor’s Compass, the official educational journal of the American Subcontractors Association. In her article, “How to Minimize Risks for Successful BIM-Powered Projects,” Tara explores contract terms that will help to ensure that all parties adequately understand and allocate associated risks and responsibilities, … Continue Reading

Oregon Construction Contractors Board Newsletter

The Oregon Construction Contractors Board’s February 2018 newsletter offers information on upcoming education opportunities for licensed contractors. Topics include getting certified to win government contracts, Spanish fall hazard awareness, and OSHA safety consultations. Also included is the 2018 schedule for in-person CCB law, regulations, and business practices courses, and Association Conferences for March and April … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Clarifies Requirements for Lawsuit on a Lien Release Bond

Bonding around mechanics liens can be an efficient way to close out a project when disputes arise, but case law and statutes created some ticklish questions about who needed to be included in any subsequent lawsuit. Now, the Washington Supreme Court has given us some clarity. In Inland Empire Dry Wall Supply Co. v. Western … Continue Reading

Oregon Construction Contractors Board Residential Contractor Updates

Our team felt that this information would be useful to those in the construction industry. The Construction Contractors Board recently sent out a newsletter containing recent changes which affect residential contractors. Some areas of interest include continuing education updates, calendar of live CCB courses, how to appoint a temporary RMI, and residential building code updates. … Continue Reading

“Contractors Special Conditions” Exclusion Sets Traps for Policyholders and Defense Counsel

This post originally appeared on The Northwest Policyholder, Miller Nash Graham & Dunn’s insurance recovery blog. From The Ground Up editor George Kaai felt that this information would be useful to those in the construction industry. An endorsement that has become common in general contractors’ insurance policies can function as a trap for both the … Continue Reading

Court of Appeals Holds That “Call Before You Dig” Creates Strict Liability

As we’ve reported before, Washington strengthened its “Call Before You Dig” laws about five years ago to create a much stricter regime, with significant penalties for property owners, utility providers, and contractors that fail to comply with its requirements. And now we’ve got one of the first published decisions under the new regime, which holds that … Continue Reading

Guest Feature: Portland Seeks Public Comment on Affordable Housing Bond Framework

Thanks to our friends at HFO Investment Real Estate for this important notice regarding new developments from the Portland Housing Bureau regarding the Affordable Housing Bond. The Portland Housing Bureau released a report written by the Affordable Housing Bond Stakeholder Advisory Group, which lays out a plan for how the money should be spent. The affordable housing … Continue Reading

Panel Discussion: The Opioid Epidemic & The Building Industry

We would like to inform those of you in the Oregon/SWWA building industry about a special panel discussion being hosted by the Daily Journal of Commerce on Thursday, August 24, 2017. The presentation is titled “The Opioid Epidemic & The Building Industry,” and the panel will include Miller Nash Graham & Dunn partner P.K. Runkles-Pearson, Cal Beyer of Lakeside … Continue Reading

Washington Subcontractors Can Seek Bond for Early Release of Retainage

Governor Jay Inslee recently signed into law Washington House Bill 1538 which authorizes subcontractors on public projects to request the prime contractor submit to the public owner a bond to release its portion of the retainage before the public project is complete. The bond needs to be in a form acceptable to the public body and … Continue Reading

Important Policyholder Win in the Oregon Court of Appeals: Contractors—This Is Good News

On May 10, 2017, the Oregon Court of Appeals made several significant holdings in the appeal of an insurance policy garnishment proceeding. The court of appeals held that a liability insurer’s exclusion for multi-unit new residential construction was ambiguous and, when construed against the insurer, did not apply to defeat coverage for construction-defect claims in … Continue Reading

A Light in the Darkness: The “Small Business Know-Before-You-Bid Construction Transparency Act of 2017”

Federal government contracting comes with a myriad of challenges, not the least of which are sometimes opaque procedures for getting paid (or taking action if you’re not getting paid). A bill has just been introduced in the House of Representatives that would help simplify that process, especially for smaller contractors. The legislation, H.R. 2350, the … Continue Reading
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