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    Fairfield, Connecticut

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    License required for electrical and plumbing trades. No state license for general contracting, however, must register with the State.


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    Home Builders & Remo Assn of Fairfield Co
    Local # 0780
    433 Meadow St
    Fairfield, CT 06824

    Fairfield Connecticut Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Builders Association of Eastern Connecticut
    Local # 0740
    20 Hartford Rd Suite 18
    Salem, CT 06420

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    Home Builders Association of New Haven Co
    Local # 0720
    2189 Silas Deane Highway
    Rocky Hill, CT 06067

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    Home Builders Association of Hartford Cty Inc
    Local # 0755
    2189 Silas Deane Hwy
    Rocky Hill, CT 06067

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    Home Builders Association of NW Connecticut
    Local # 0710
    110 Brook St
    Torrington, CT 06790

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    Local # 0700
    3 Regency Dr Ste 204
    Bloomfield, CT 06002

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    Expert Witness Engineer News and Information
    For Fairfield Connecticut


    Construction Defect Bill Removed from Committee Calendar

    Denial of Coverage For Bodily Injury After Policy Period Does Not Violate Public Policy

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    FAIRFIELD CONNECTICUT EXPERT WITNESS ENGINEER
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    Leveraging from more than 7,000 construction defect and claims related expert witness designations, the Fairfield, Connecticut Expert Witness Engineer Group provides a wide range of trial support and consulting services to Fairfield's most acknowledged construction practice groups, CGL carriers, builders, owners, and public agencies. Drawing from a diverse pool of construction and design professionals, BHA is able to simultaneously analyze complex claims from the perspective of design, engineering, cost, or standard of care.

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    Not so Fast – Florida’s Legislature Overrules Gindel’s Pre-Suit Notice/Tolling Decision Related to the Construction Defect Statute of Repose

    May 11, 2020 —
    As discussed in a prior blog post, in Gindel v. Centex Homes, 2018 Fla.App. LEXIS 13019, Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal held that when the plaintiffs provided a pre-suit notice in compliance with §558.004 of Florida’s construction defect Right-to-Cure statute, Fla. Stat. §§ 558.001 to 558.005, et. seq., they commenced a “civil action or proceeding,” i.e. an “action,” within the meaning of Florida’s construction defect Statute of Repose, Florida Statue § 95.11(3)(c). Thus, the court held that the plaintiffs commenced their action prior to the time Florida’s 10-year statute of repose period ended. In overturning the lower court’s dismissal of the action, the court found that because the Right-to-Cure statute, §558 of the Florida Statutes, sets out a series of mandatory steps that must be taken prior to bringing a judicial action, filing pre-suit notice of claim sufficiently constituted an “action” for purposes of Florida’s Statute of Repose. For various reasons, the parties appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of Florida. In July of 2019, before the Florida Supreme Court could decide whether to hear the case, the Florida legislature passed legislation that effectively overruled the decision. To overrule the decision, the Florida Legislature modified § 558.004 of Florida’s Right-to-Cure statute to expressly state that a notice of claim served pursuant to the Right-to-Cure statute does not toll the 10-year statute of repose period for construction claims. See Fla. Stat. § 558.004(d). Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Rahul Gogineni, White and Williams LLP
    Mr. Gogineni may be contacted at goginenir@whiteandwilliams.com

    Solutions To 4 Common Law Firm Diversity Challenges

    April 27, 2020 —
    Minority attorneys continue to depart law firms at a higher rate than those in the majority and continue to be substantially underrepresented at the partner level. With the continued demands of clients and other organizations to improve diversity, law firms need to embrace new and creative solutions. To address the concern, the California Minority Counsel Program, or CMCP, held an interactive workshop in February for members to brainstorm and develop solutions to specific diversity challenges and share them with their peers. This was a rare occasion for attorneys to be able to discuss real issues they are facing in their firms and to develop a potential road map to success as opposed to listening to a panel discussion followed by the usual Q&A session. Payne & Fears LLP is a member of CMCP, so our firm had the opportunity to participate in this workshop. Law firm leaders and HR professionals may want to pay particular attention to the suggestions outlined in this article as their firms strive to diversify. The topics can be uncomfortable, but if not addressed, the problem of underrepresentation will continue to spread. Many of these ideas do not cost much in the way of money, but they do require time and commitment to change. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Alexandra DeFelice, Payne & Fears
    Ms. DeFelice may be contacted at adefelice@paynefears.com

    New California Construction Laws for 2020

    March 09, 2020 —
    The California Legislature introduced more than 3,033 bills in the first half of the 2019-2020 session. This article summarizes some of the more important bills affecting contractors in their roles as contractors, effective January 1, 2020, unless otherwise noted. Not addressed here are many other bills that will affect contractors in their roles as businesses, taxpayers, and employers. Each of the summaries is brief, focusing on what is most important to contractors. Because not all aspects of these bills are discussed, each summary’s title is a live link to the full text of the referenced bills for those wanting to explore the details of the new laws. BIDDING & PREQUALIFICATIONS Disabled Veteran Preferences Strengthened (AB 230, Brough) The California Legislature intends that every state procurement authority meet or exceed a DVBE participation goal of a minimum of 3% of total contract value. State departments must require prime contractors to certify at the completion of each contract the amount each DVBE received from the prime contractor, among other information. This new law requires the prime contractor to provide upon request proof of the amount and percentage of work the prime contractor committed to provide to one or more DVBEs under the contract in addition to proof of payment for work done by the DVBE. Additionally, prime contractors must now obtain permission before they may replace a listed DVBE. County of San Joaquin Now Authorized to Establish Bid Preferences (AB 1533, Eggman) This new law extends to the County of San Joaquin existing law that authorizes local agencies to establish preferences for small businesses, disabled veteran businesses, and social enterprises in facilitating contract awards. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Smith Currie

    Corporate Formalities: A Necessary Part of Business

    February 18, 2020 —
    Many benefits exist in choosing to create a corporation or limited liability company (“LLC”) as your business entity. However, what attracts most people to these entities is the protection they afford the business owner(s) against personal liability for the business’ obligations, debts, and other liabilities. Whatever reason prompts your decision to form a corporation or LLC, if you are like many smaller businesses, once the formation process is over its back to business as usual. However, in order to keep the protection against personal liability associated with a corporation or LLC, the business must engage in, what are known as corporate formalities. Corporate formalities are formal actions that must be taken by a corporation or LLC in order to maintain the benefits associated with that business entity. These corporate formalities may be required under California law, by the bylaws, and/or by the operating agreement of your business. When your business is formed as a corporation, many of the corporate formalities exist as part of California’s Corporations Code (“CCC”). These formalities include: (1) holding annual meetings (CCC § 600); (2) regularly electing directors (CCC § 301); (3) keeping meeting minutes (CCC § 1500); and (4) maintaining accurate corporate records (CCC § 1500). While these are only a few of the corporate formalities existing for corporations in the State of California, these formalities are often overlooked or put off by smaller businesses because they are either unknown to the business or are intended to be complied with later, as the actual running of the business takes priority. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Hannah Kreuser, Porter Law Group
    Ms. Kreuser may be contacted at hkreuser@porterlaw.com

    Newmeyer Dillion Announces New Partners

    January 06, 2020 —
    Prominent business and real estate law firm Newmeyer Dillion is pleased to announce that Walnut Creek attorney, Michael Krueger, and Newport Beach attorney, Jason Morris, have been elected to partnership. Their promotion is effective immediately. "We are proud to have Jason and Mike join the firm's partnership," said Managing Partner Paul Tetzloff. "They both embody the firm's core cultural pillars – like, trust, respect and loyalty – and they've both demonstrated a commitment to outstanding client service and excellent legal work. They will continue to propel the firm's success for decades to come." Michael Krueger is based in the firm's Walnut Creek office, representing companies at every stage of the business life cycle to create business solutions that minimize risk and accomplish strategic objectives. Recognized as a 2019 California Trailblazer by The Recorder, Krueger is a trusted advisor for complex business negotiations, real estate ventures including Opportunity Zone projects, mergers and acquisitions, bank finance and private equity transactions. A former in-house counsel and business owner, he serves as general counsel for clients focused on expanding their operations, products, and services. Krueger earned his B.A from Marian University and his J.D. from Valparaiso School of Law. Jason Morris is based in the firm's Newport Beach office, representing companies in all aspects of labor & employment law and business litigation. Whether offering practical advice on a wide range of day-to-day employment law issues, or navigating the complexity of all aspects of civil litigation defense, his focus is helping clients avoid potential legal landmines and keep their business assets protected. Morris brings significant leadership and trial experience to his practice, serving for nearly eight years on active duty in the United States Marine Corps as a Judge Advocate both in the Pentagon advising senior military and civilian leaders, and as a trial attorney successfully representing more than 300 cases, including over 10 trials to verdict. Morris earned his B.A. from Marian University, cum laude, and his J.D. from Indiana University Maurer School of Law. About Newmeyer Dillion For 35 years, Newmeyer Dillion has delivered creative and outstanding legal solutions and trial results that achieve client objectives in diverse industries. With over 70 attorneys working as a cohesive team to represent clients in all aspects of business, employment, real estate, privacy & data security and insurance law, Newmeyer Dillion delivers holistic and integrated legal services tailored to propel each client's success and bottom line. Headquartered in Newport Beach, California, with offices in Walnut Creek, California and Las Vegas, Nevada, Newmeyer Dillion attorneys are recognized by The Best Lawyers in America©, and Super Lawyers as top tier and some of the best lawyers in California and Nevada, and have been given Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review's AV Preeminent® highest rating. For additional information, call 949.854.7000 or visit www.newmeyerdillion.com. Read the court decision
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    Are COVID-19 Claims Covered by Builders Risk Insurance Policies?

    May 04, 2020 —
    If you are an attorney, insurance broker, or other professional representing developers and contractors, then your clients have likely reached out with concerns about losses related to COVID-19. One common question is whether there is potential coverage under builders risk insurance policies. The short answer is: It depends. As with most questions pertaining to insurance coverage, the answers depend on the specific policy language and underlying facts required to trigger coverage. Builders risk policies are even more fact specific due to the lack of uniformity of base policy forms and endorsements between insurance carriers. The first step in any analysis is to gather facts and carefully document any impending and potential damages or delays. The facts are crucial because the coverage analysis may vary depending on the specific reason the project was shut down. For example, the analysis would be different if the project was shut down as a result of an express government order, such as those in Northern California and Washington, versus the project shutting down as a result of workers testing positive for COVID-19. Properly analyzing builders risk coverage involves a granular account of the facts and damages, and can require a great deal of hair splitting with respect to specific policy language. Regardless of the strength of the insured’s facts and damages, or the breadth of its policy language, the policyholder still likely faces an uphill battle in finding coverage for COVID-19 related claims. The unfortunate reality of most builders risk policies is that they are property policies that require some evidence of physical loss or damage to trigger coverage. Whether or not COVID-19 claims constitute property damage will be the subject of great debate and litigation over the coming months and years. The outcome will likely depend on how the insured’s jurisdiction ultimately rules on the litany of COVID-19 cases that have already been filed – specifically, how broadly each court interprets the meaning of “physical loss or damage.” Although these key issues have yet to be clearly defined by the courts, some policies are better than others and there are specific variables that could affect the likelihood of coverage. For example, some of the more policyholder-friendly insurance programs may contain coverage extensions for delay in completion, business interruption, loss of rental income, or civil authority that may not be tied to the property damage requirement, and which would tend to support coverage for COVID-19 claims. Even if the insured crosses the initial threshold and can demonstrate a covered claim, the following common endorsements and exclusions may require additional analysis depending on the facts.
    • Virus or Pandemic Exclusions: Virus or pandemic exclusions are not as common on builders risk policies as they may be on other forms of coverage. However, they do exist and, if present, result in a significant barrier to coverage. As with the policy itself, every endorsement is different and should be analyzed in terms of the express language contained in the endorsement and the facts.
    • Abandonment or Cessation of Work: Most builders risk policies include provisions that preclude coverage in the event of the abandonment of the project or a lengthy cessation of work. As a result, the insured should take steps to articulate to the carrier that the project has not been abandoned, and that there exists an intent to return as soon as possible. The insured should also maintain a record of ongoing project oversight and protection efforts taken during the period when construction operations are suspended.
    • Security and Safety Requirements: Many builders risk policies contain provisions requiring the insured to maintain protective safeguards and security protocols throughout the pendency of the project. Safety fencing, lighting and security guards are common examples. The policy should be analyzed to ensure that the policyholder can meet any such requirements during a COVID-19 related shutdown. For example, can the insured continue to staff a security guard? If not, arrangements will likely need to be made with the carrier depending on the language of the policy.
    • Insurable Limits: Builders risk policies are typically underwritten based upon the total completed value of the structure, including materials and labor. The insured will need to analyze the policy to consider whether increased material or labor costs as a result of COVID-19 will alter the terms of coverage, trigger any escalation clauses, or result in an increase in premium due. If increased cost projections become apparent, the insured should report these changes to the carrier immediately.
    • Extensions of Coverage: The insurance industry was facing a hard market even before the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in higher premiums and limited coverage options. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these issues and it may be difficult to obtain coverage extensions on projects that have been shut down. The insured should work with its risk management team (risk manager, insurance broker and lawyer) to engage the carriers to negotiate any necessary coverage extensions resulting from COVID-19 related project delays.
    To summarize, builders risk coverage for COVID-19 claims is far from certain, but not impossible. Insureds should provide notice of a claim to all potentially applicable carriers in order to preserve their rights. The insured should also report increased construction cost and articulate its intent to return to the project to preserve their escalation clause and avoid arguments that they have abandoned the project. The insured should continue to document its claims and damages, and be ready to substantiate its claims and push back on any coverage denial. Throughout the entirety of this process, the insured should work with its risk management team to get out in front of any extensions it may need to complete the project. In a climate where insurance carriers are receiving an insurmountable number of claims, the insured should be prepared to fight for coverage and not simply throw up its hands in the face of a denial. Given the intense social, legislative and executive pressure to cover COVID-19 claims, there may be a tendency for the courts to find coverage in gray areas, particularly if the insured was fortunate enough to have purchased one of the broader coverage forms referenced above. About the Authors Jason M. Adams, Esq. (jadams@gibbsgiden.com) is a partner at Gibbs Giden representing construction professionals in the areas of Construction Law, Insurance Law and Risk Management and Business/Civil Litigation. Adams is also a licensed property and casualty insurance broker and certified Construction Risk & Insurance Specialist (CRIS). Jason represents developers, contractors, public entities, investors, lenders, REITs, design professionals, and other construction professionals at all stages of the construction process. Jason is a published author and sought-after speaker at seminars across the country regarding high level construction risk management and insurance topics. Gibbs Giden is nationally and locally recognized by U. S. News and Best Lawyers as among the “Best Law Firms” in both Construction Law and Construction Litigation. Chambers USA Directory of Leading Lawyers has consistently recognized Gibbs Giden as among California’s elite construction law firms. Cheryl L. Kozdrey, Esq. (clk@sdvlaw.com) is an associate at Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C., a national insurance coverage law firm dedicated exclusively to policyholder representation and advocacy. Cheryl advises insurance brokers, risk managers, and construction industry professionals regarding optimal risk transfer strategies and insurance solutions, including key considerations for Builder’s Risk, Commercial General Liability, D&O, and Commercial Property policies. She assists clients with initial policy reviews, as well as renewals and modification(s) of existing policies to ensure coverage needs are satisfied. Cheryl also represents policyholders throughout the claims process, and in coverage dispute litigation against insurance carriers. She is currently working on some of the largest construction defect cases in the country. Cheryl is a published author and is admitted to practice in the State of California and all federal district courts within the State. Read the court decision
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    Enforcement Of Contractual Terms (E.G., Flow-Down, Field Verification, Shop Drawing Approval, And No-Damage-For-Delay Provisions)

    May 04, 2020 —
    What you contractually agree to matters, particularly when you are deemed a sophisticated entity. This means you can figuratively live or die by the terms and conditions agreed to. Don’t take it from me, but it take it from the Fourth Circuit’s decision in U.S. f/u/b/o Modern Mosaic, Ltd. v. Turner Construction Co., 2019 WL 7174550 (4th Cir. 2019), where the Court started off by stressing, “One of our country’s bedrock principles is the freedom of individuals and entities to enter into contracts and rely that their terms will be enforced.” Id. at *1. This case involved a dispute between a prime contractor and its precast concrete subcontractor on a federal project. The subcontractor filed a Miller Act payment bond lawsuit. The trial court ruled against the subcontractor based on…the subcontract’s terms! So, yes, what you contractually agree to matters. Example #1 – The subcontractor fabricated and installed precast concrete panels per engineering drawings. However, the parking garage was not built per dimensions meaning the panels it fabricated would not fit. The subcontractor had to perform remedial work on the panels to get them to fit. The subcontractor pursued the prime contractor for these costs arguing the prime contractor should have field verified the dimensions. The problem for the subcontractor, however, was that the subcontract required the subcontractor, not the prime contractor, to field verify the dimensions. Based on this language that required the subcontractor to field verify existing conditions and take field measurements, the subcontractor was not entitled to its remedial costs (and they were close to $1 Million). Furthermore, and of importance, the Court noted that the subcontract contained a flow down provision requiring the subcontractor to be bound by all of the terms and conditions of the prime contract and assume those duties and obligations that the prime contractor was to assume towards the owner. While this flow-down provision may often be overlooked, here it was not, as it meant the subcontractor was assuming the field verification duties that the prime contractor was responsible to perform for the owner. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Kirwin Norris, P.A.
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at dma@kirwinnorris.com

    Trump Administration Waives Border Wall Procurement Rules

    March 23, 2020 —
    Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf on Feb. 20 waived federal contracting rules to expedite construction of the U.S-Mexico border wall in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, citing legal authority under several U.S. laws, some dating back to the 1990s, to deal with what he claimed is "an acute and immediate need to construct physical barriers and roads ... to prevent unlawful entries." Reprinted courtesy of Mary B. Powers, Engineering News-Record and Debra K. Rubin, Engineering News-Record Ms. Rubin may be contacted at rubind@enr.com Read the full story... Read the court decision
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