Butler Law Firm, PC

Butler Law Firm, PC Blogs

Blog Authors

Latest from Butler Law Firm, PC

Many agreements contain a long definitions section or numerous defined terms scattered throughout the agreement.  This is especially true of contracts in the construction industry.  Definitions are used to help make an agreement more readable.  Who wants to read, “all applicable federal, state, and local laws, statutes, regulations, and codes that govern the project, including, but not limited to blah, blah, blah……” over and over again when it can just be defined as “Applicable Laws.”…
Internet scams.  You’ve seen them in your inbox. The foreign citizen who has inherited several million dollars from a relative in the United States, and they want you to help them get the money. If you forward an email enough times you’ll get paid or get a free laptop.  No unknown person in a foreign country needs your help with an inheritance and no one is going to send you a free laptop because you…
I have been fascinated by robots ever since hearing “danger Will Robinson” over and over on Lost in Space.  What kid hasn’t at some point wished for a robot like Rosie on the Jetsons who would clean your room for you and produce food on demand?   Due to developments in robotics, robots are being used more frequently in our world, including the construction industry. Take “SAM” for example.  SAM is a Semi-Automated Mason being…
On a traditional design-bid-build project, the design professionals prepare the plans, the owner gives them to the contractor, and the contractor builds the project.  So what happens when the plans are wrong? [Disclaimer – this video contains profanity.  Just giving you a heads up.] The answer to that questions depends on where the project is located. If the project is almost anywhere but Texas, then when the owner gives the plans to the contractor, there…
I once had a teacher who called the word “please” a magic word.  For instance, if you asked to go to the restroom, the response was usually, “what’s the magic word?”   Then you said “please” and got to go the restroom. This exchange repeated itself numerous times a day as students made various requests.  The word “please” usually worked.  Of course, there were other times when even if you used the word “please,” your request…
Consider the following scenario.  In a dispute between an owner and contractor, neither party can locate a copy of the signed construction contract in their files. Without a signed contract, can the contractor still compel arbitration?  As it turns out, in certain circumstances, yes. In Ladymon v. Lewis, the court of appeals addressed this scenario.   Some homeowners sued their builder, but no one could locate a signed version of the construction contract. The builder…
Like most sports fans in the Dallas area, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks paying attention to the countdown for one our local sports heroes, Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers, to reach the magical baseball milestone of 3,000 hits.  Even at the age of 38, Beltre is still playing at a high level and all season long there was never any doubt about whether he would reach the 3,000 hit plateau, it was…
It is not uncommon for a construction contract to contain a dispute resolution section that typically requires the parties to mediate a dispute and, if mediation fails, they either arbitrate or litigate the dispute. Chapter 154 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code outlines various alternative dispute resolution procedures available to parties.  Of the dispute resolution methods in Chapter 154, mediation and arbitration are the most prevalent. Usually overlooked and seldom used are the…
When I was (much) younger, I recall hearing a preacher in church one Sunday say (multiple times), “The road to hell is paved with folks with good intentions.” I had no idea what he meant, but I was pretty sure it was bad.  I want to borrow his words to describe something I’ve noticed about construction projects:  The road to project hell is often paved with folks with good intentions. In other words, the seeds…
I recently wrote about the WannaCry ransomware attack that crippled companies around the globe and recommended that cyberattacks be addressed in the force majeure provision of a construction contract. Last week, there was another global cyberattack that was first believed to be another form of ransomware known as Petya, but it turned out that the attack was something more sinister. Instead of being ransomware, which (usually) results in the victim getting their files and information…