Introducing Pierce Atwood’s Solid Foundation Construction Law Blog

Practice area:

Welcome to the Solid Foundation Construction Law Blog!   I serve as the team leader of Pierce Atwood’s construction law team and will work with my colleagues to deliver interesting content to you.

With this blog, we want to share our experience, suggestions, and reliable construction industry and construction dispute resolution resources with you.   Our blog contributors are members of Pierce Atwood’s Construction Group and related practices including as environmental, real estate, energy, compliance & governmental regulations, and labor/employment law. Construction is a diverse industry and we want to share tips and trends we observe as the industry evolves.

We plan to approach our posts with a more informal approach and tone.  As editor of this blog, I am going to encourage my colleagues to write posts on a wide range of topics – even if it is a paragraph or two.  I see us covering the following subjects:

  • Getting Contractors Paid. We will write on strategies construction companies, their risk managers and/or in-house counsel, can and should implement to increase the likelihood of prompt payment.  For example, summaries and focused articles on various aspects of mechanic’s lien statutes, Miller Act / Little Miller Act statutes, prompt payment statutes, retainage limitation statutes, rights to direct payment, and other similar topics.
  • Getting Your Project Built. For our public and private owners, we know your primary objective is to see that your project is built on-time and on-budget, or as close to it as reasonably possible.   We will provide guidance on formal and informal alternative dispute resolution and other project management techniques that will help improve the timely communication of the budget and schedule issues on your construction project.
  • Contract Documents. Contracts, and the relationships between the contracting parties, are the backbone of any construction project.  Over the past several decades, the standard construction documents have become so lengthy and voluminous it is challenging for owners, contractors, and design professionals to keep up with the developments and changes.  With this blog, we will provide summaries of the changes to the standard form documents including the AIA Contract Documents and the ConsensusDocs.  We will also provide commentary on manuscript contract documents whether an owner’s standard form of construction contract, a general contractor’s standard subcontract, or contracts designed for turnkey / collaborative construction delivery systems like integrated project delivery (IPD), design build, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), and teaming agreements. We will provide negotiating and drafting tips for various participants in the construction industry.
  • Insurance and Risk Management. We stay current with developments in the insurance industry as relevant to the construction and energy industry.  We will post article on those developments as well as other tips on mitigating the substantial risks present on construction projects.
  • Construction Litigation. Construction disputes are complex lawsuits.  My colleagues and I have decades of experience litigating construction disputes.  We will share developments with civil litigation applicable to construction disputes such as amendments to the rules, trends in electronically stored information (ESI) discovery, the use of technology assisted review, and pre-trial and trial strategies.
  • We are lucky to have numerous attorneys in our practice group that are experienced construction mediators including John Bulman, Chris Little and Chris Whitney.  In addition to our neutrals, we have all extensive experiences with mediations as advocates.  Each mediation is as unique as the parties involved, but we hope to share techniques that, in our experience, have worked well and approaches that should be avoided.
  • Arbitration and Other Forms of ADR. Arbitration is a fascinating subject matter with a variety complex, unresolved issues that we hope to regularly write about.  We will cover issues from the drafting of an arbitration agreement to the enforcement/appeal of arbitration awards.  We will also provide suggestions on how to approach arbitration that will aid in achieving a just, speedy, and efficient dispute resolution proceeding.
  • Industry News and Events. Contributors to this blog are active members to numerous construction industry groups and bar associations including the ABA Forum on Construction Law (the “Forum”), Associated General Contractors of Rhode Island (“AGC RI”), Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts (“AGC MA”), Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. of Rhode Island (“ABC RI”), Construction Industries of Massachusetts (“CIM”), and other industry groups.  We plan to share the events our lawyers are speaking at or attending.  We will also share helpful articles and publications that we come across through our interactions with those industry groups.  For example, I plan to share summaries of many of the articles I help publish as the Editor of Under Construction, a newsletter published by the ABA Forum on Construction Law.  Beyond those articles, we regularly attend Forum meetings we plan to share key takeaways we get from those programs with the readers of the Solid Foundation
  • Our Thoughts and Opinions. We want to share stories with you about our experiences representing clients in the construction industry.  Some of our posts may be “lessons learned” and other articles will be opinion pieces on where our industry stands now and where we see it going.  By sharing these experiences with you, we hope to hear back from you on your thoughts and impressions so that we can collectively work to improve and strengthen the growth and success of the construction industry.

We plan to cover these topics from various angles.  Some will have national application such as articles on updates to the AIA Contract Documents.  Other posts will be jurisdiction specific in the states in which we regularly practice: Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.

Thank you again for visiting the Solid Foundation Construction Law Blog.  If there is a topic that you would like us to cover or to learn more about our practice group, please contact me at rtdunn@PierceAtwood.com or @rtomdunn.