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Admission to the Society of Illinois Construction Attorneys (SOICA) is by invitation only. Its ranks include distinguished former judges, highly regarded mediators and arbitrators, and attorneys who are widely considered to be at the top of the Illinois construction law bar.  “Joining SOICA has been an important goal of mine for 15 years,” says Jeremy. He is “excited to continue to work with the SOICA members – the highest caliber construction attorneys in Illinois –…
Design professionals must comply with a variety of federal, state, and local statutes, rules, and codes that require certain public and commercial buildings to be designed in a manner so they are readily accessible to, and usable by, persons with certain kinds of disabilities. Accessibility Requirements Such “accessibility requirements” address things like ensuring persons in wheelchairs have accessible routes into buildings; that doors are designed wide enough to allow their passage; that light switches, thermostats,…
The very act of two project participants coming together to thoughtfully negotiate a design and construction contract has a benefit unto itself – one that is separate from the piece of paper produced at the end of the contract negotiation. Speed and Efficiency When I negotiate contracts, my goal is to complete the negotiation quickly and efficiently.  My clients want to design and construct new buildings, not get bogged down in contract negotiations.  I love…
Mechanics liens are a powerful tool to help secure payment on Illinois projects. In turbulent economic times, liens can be particularly useful to architects, engineers, and contractors concerned about their clients’ willingness – or ability – to pay for design and construction services. Liens can sometimes motivate project owners and lenders to pay for design and construction services. Claimants who meet certain short deadlines, and make technical filings with correct content, can often receive favorable…
For years, lawyers and insurance brokers have provided limiting advice to architects and engineers. The Limiting Advice Together, we have put architects and engineers in a tiny little box. We advise architects and engineers to stay far away from the means and methods of construction. To not make promises about the outcome of the project. To give no warranties. No assurances about schedule. And to not guarantee construction costs. These are just a few examples.…
There is no virtue in overly and unnecessarily long design and construction contracts. But unduly short construction contracts have no virtue either. Contracts with “gray” areas leave too much open for debate, and this can lead to unnecessary wasteful litigation. No one specific length is best for design and construction contracts. Project participants do, however, want to avoid overly short contracts with “gray” areas. The ones which do not address the major issues which may…
Real estate developers and property owners sometimes make a mistake by entirely outsourcing supervision of the monthly draw process to the title insurer hired by their lenders. But I counsel people against the over-rely on title insurer strategy. One of the big risks for Illinois project owners and developers is having to pay for the same work twice. I will not dwell on this point now because it is addressed in videos on my website
Contractor “callback periods” and “warranties of quality” are different concepts. The distinction between them is a little understood – yet very important – nuance in construction contracts.  Callback periods frequently do have a contractual expiration date, often one year after completion of work. This limits the time when contractors must voluntarily come back to the site to fix defects. Warranties of quality should not expire on any given date. The obligation to “build in a…
Construction Management (CM) is not a single approach to project delivery. Rather, it is a sliding scale with endless possible permutations depending on the project and its participants.  The ends of the spectrum are Construction Manager as Constructor (CMc), which is also sometimes known as “Construction Manager at Risk,” and the Construction Manager as Adviser (CMa) delivery method.  This post discusses the CM project delivery method, both in general terms and as framed by…
Compared to its widely-used B152-2007 predecessor, the new B152-2019 Interior Design Agreement contains many changes. The new B152 differs more, textually, from its predecessor than most updated AIA Contract Documents I have seen recently. Take Furniture, Furnishings, and Equipment, for example. The phrase and its “FF&E” abbreviation appeared just 21 times in the B152-2007. By contrast, the B152-2019 contains 93 references to FF&E. The titles of the old and new B152 foreshadow the new FF&E…