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Sacramento Construction Law Blog

3 Ways to Cap Your Liability

Contractors, subcontractors and property owners should all take active steps to limit their liability during construction projects. As we discussed in a previous post there are many ways to reduce your financial risk, including insurance and indemnity provisions. However, for a contractor, subcontractor or supplier, the following three key clauses add additional safeguards.

Construction Risks and How to Manage Them


Join Trainor Fairbrook construction attorneys Dan Steinberg and Mike Middleton on November 15th for an informative presentation on the recent changes in the law and how those changes can be applied to limit liabilities in Construction Contracts, Mechanics Liens, Notices of Non-Responsibility, Bonds and Insurance Issues.

Mechanic's Liens: A Timeline

You held up your end of the bargain - the work has been done and done right. So why are you having trouble collecting payment? Unfortunately, collecting payment during a construction project can be challenging. Oftentimes, the only path to payment is through a mechanic's lien.

However, filing a lien is not always straightforward. There are many steps you must take to ensure the proper notices have been made and legal requirements have been met.

Construction of a Construction Contract

Every building meant to last for years must have at its base a solid foundation. Solid foundations are also a crucial part of business relationships in the construction industry.

When you and your business are contemplating consummation of a new business arrangement, there are several things to consider before putting your name on a construction contract.

Preliminary Notices -- Do They Matter?

The work is done, the project is complete, and all that remains is to collect payment. Unfortunately, collecting payment for work done, especially the final payments, can be one of the most challenging parts of a construction project. And for some, the only way to get paid is by filing a mechanic's lien.

Many contractors are familiar with mechanic's liens, payment bonds and stop notices as a path to payment. The problem? Often they haven't taken the proper steps to ensure a valid mechanic's lien against the project.

Resolving construction law disputes

Would our world be better or worse if we had no disputes, disagreements or differences? Most people think a conflict-free life would at the very least make for a much duller world.

Of course, some disputes make life much more than interesting. They can make it expensive and complicated. We are thinking here of often complex disputes over California construction law.

What Contractors Need to Know About Mechanics' Liens

If you provide contracting, subcontracting or other construction-related services in the Sacramento area, one of your biggest concerns is probably getting paid for the work that you do or materials that you supply. At Trainor Fairbrook, we know how important receiving payment for the labor, services and materials you provide to a project. Payment for these services is the lifeblood to any business, allowing you to take care of your employees and to maintain the profitability of your business.

Accepting a private works job as a subcontractor or supplier can be especially risky if the owner makes payments directly to the general contractor. In that circumatsance, a subcontractor or supplier needs to ensure that it has the ability to protect themselves through the recording of a mechanic's lien. Assuming the service of a proper preliminary notice, a mechanic's lien allows you to record a claim against an owner's property in the amount reasonably owed. Should the owner try to sell their property, the lien allows the debt owed to your company to be paid from the proceeds.

How to Manage Risk During a Construction Project

As the age old saying goes: "a strong offense is your best defense." This is especially true during construction projects.

Large commercial construction projects involve multiple parties, tight timelines and millions of dollars. With this many moving parts it is imperative that contractors, subcontractors and commercial property owners take proactive steps to mitigate risk and reduce liability.

Understanding change orders

Like many of the commercial contractors in Sacramento, you know full well that the circumstances surrounding a job can change at any moment. Many in your position come to us here at Trainor Fairbrook soliciting advice on how to handle requesting a change order or asking how such proposals may affect them. If you or a contracted client are considering a change order, it is important to first understand all of the elements of such a modification before agreeing to it. A lack of such knowledge could place you and your company in an unfavorable position.

The most important thing to understand about change orders is that they must represent a mutual consensus between parties. That means that a client cannot force you into contractual amendments that you do not agree with. To enact such an order, it must be presented in much the same way that initial contract negotiations are carried out, namely with the presentation an offer, a mutual acceptance and an exchange of consideration. When defining consideration for a change order, both you or your client must either agree to do something not currently required under the existing contractual parameters, or to omit that are otherwise permitted. If only you are being asked to offer consideration, then such aa change order may not be legally enforceable.

California changes indemnity law for design professionals

A heads up to professional designers, contractors and property owners in California: You may want to review the language in your contracts. The California legislature recently passed Senate Bill 496, extending indemnity protections for design professionals to private jobs, as well as the protections they have always enjoyed on public contracts.

Who does the law cover?

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