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    Cambridge, Massachusetts

    Massachusetts Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: Case law precedent


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    No state license required for general contracting. Licensure required for plumbing and electrical trades. Companies selling home repair services must be registered with the state.


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    Builders Association of Central Massachusetts Inc
    Local # 2280
    51 Pullman Street
    Worcester, MA 01606

    Cambridge Massachusetts Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Massachusetts Home Builders Association
    Local # 2200
    700 Congress St Suite 200
    Quincy, MA 02169

    Cambridge Massachusetts Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Builders Association of Greater Boston
    Local # 2220
    700 Congress St. Suite 202
    Quincy, MA 02169

    Cambridge Massachusetts Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    North East Builders Assn of MA
    Local # 2255
    170 Main St Suite 205
    Tewksbury, MA 01876

    Cambridge Massachusetts Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Western Mass
    Local # 2270
    240 Cadwell Dr
    Springfield, MA 01104

    Cambridge Massachusetts Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Bristol-Norfolk Home Builders Association
    Local # 2211
    65 Neponset Ave Ste 3
    Foxboro, MA 02035

    Cambridge Massachusetts Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Cape Cod
    Local # 2230
    9 New Venture Dr #7
    South Dennis, MA 02660

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    Expert Witness Engineer News and Information
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    Open & Known Hazards Under the Kinsman Exception to Privette

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    CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS EXPERT WITNESS ENGINEER
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    The Cambridge, Massachusetts Expert Witness Engineer Group at BHA, leverages from the experience gained through more than 7,000 construction related expert witness designations encompassing a wide spectrum of construction related disputes. Leveraging from this considerable body of experience, BHA provides construction related trial support and expert services to Cambridge's most recognized construction litigation practitioners, commercial general liability carriers, owners, construction practice groups, as well as a variety of state and local government agencies.

    Expert Witness Engineer News & Info
    Cambridge, Massachusetts

    A Primer on Suspension and Debarment for Federal Construction Projects

    August 10, 2020 —
    We’ve all heard the expression that those who deal with the government must turn square corners. This is because the government has a broad array of tools at its disposal to motivate, coax and cajole contractors and federal grant recipients to play by the rules. Those tools include harsh measures such as criminal prosecution and civil false claims act enforcement on the one hand and poor CPARS ratings on the other. A seemingly less severe administrative option available to the government is suspension and debarment. However, any entity that has been suspended or debarred knows that these measures can prove harsh and disruptive. While the numbers of suspensions and debarments have declined from the all-time high in 2011, there is still significant activity. In its FY 2018 report, the Interagency Suspension and Debarment Committee reported 2444 referrals, 480 suspensions, 1542 proposed debarments and 1334 debarments. The number of referrals for suspension and debarment in FY 2018 is almost exactly the same as the number of GAO bid protests filed that year. WHAT IS SUSPENSION AND DEBARMENT? Suspension and debarment are the government’s tools to avoid entities it views as a high risk for poor performance, fraud, waste and abuse. Suspension and debarment preclude a business entity or individual from contracting with the government or from receiving grants, loans, loan guarantees or other forms of assistance from the government. A suspension is a temporary exclusion when the government determines immediate action is necessary pending the completion of an investigation or legal proceeding. A debarment is an exclusion for a defined, reasonable period of time—often three years. Reprinted courtesy of Hal J. Perloff, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved. Read the court decision
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    Mr. Perloff may be contacted at hal.perloff@huschblackwell.com

    Certifying Claim Under Contract Disputes Act

    June 08, 2020 —
    Under the Contract Disputes Act (41 USC 7101 en seq.), when a contractor submits a claim to the government in excess of $100,000, the claim MUST contain a certification of good faith, as follows: For claims of more than $100,000 made by a contractor, the contractor shall certify that– (A) the claim is made in good faith; (B) the supporting data are accurate and complete to the best of the contractor’s knowledge and belief; (C) the amount requested accurately reflects the contract adjustment for which the contractor believes the Federal Government is liable; and (D) the certifier is authorized to certify the claim on behalf of the contractor. 41 U.S.C. 7103(b)(1). See also 48 C.F.R. s. 33.207(c) as to the wording of the certification. The contracting officer is not required to render a final decision on the claim within 60 days if, during this time period, he/she notifies the contractor of the reasons why the certification is defective. 41 U.S.C. 7103(b)(3). Importantly, the contracting officer’s failure to render a decision within 60 days is deemed an appealable denial. 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

    Interpreting Insurance Coverage and Exclusions: When Sudden means Sudden and EIFS means Faulty

    June 15, 2020 —
    EIFS, or Exterior Insulation and Finish System, is an integrated exterior insulation and synthetic stucco system, praised for its energy efficiency.[1] However, EIFS has come to be well known in the construction defect world as placing homes at risk due to a lack of a built-in moisture management system. Before long, insurance companies recognized the risk and began explicitly excluding coverage for EIFS-related damage. However, EIFS exclusions have not always been so clearly set forth in some policies, causing insurance coverage litigation. Recently, a Greenwood Village couple, Mark and Susan Mock, lost this fight. Built in 1994, the Mocks’ home was constructed with an EIFS system. The Mocks carried a homeowner’s insurance policy through Allstate, which covered “sudden and accidental loss” to property, but excluded coverage for “planning, construction or maintenance” issues. Such “planning, construction or maintenance” exclusions included “faulty, inadequate or defective designs.” A few months after a hailstorm, the Mocks discovered moisture-related damage to their home’s EIFS system. They reported the damage to Allstate, but Allstate would not cover it, reasoning that the damage to the EIFS system was excluded as a design and/or construction failure, and thus not covered as a “sudden and accidental” loss. The experts who evaluated the damage concluded it was the result of inherent flaws in the EIFS systems common in the 1994 timeframe, which involved long term moisture intrusion behind the cladding and no means for the water to escape. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Benjamin Volpe, Higgins, Hopkins, McLain & Roswell, LLC
    Mr. Volpe may be contacted at volpe@hhmrlaw.com

    Why Construction Firms Should Think Differently on the Issue of Sustainability

    May 25, 2020 —
    How does a construction company differentiate itself from the competition? If the company owner don’t know the answer to this question, or if the first thought that popped into his or her mind was a generic answer along the lines of customer service, keep reading. While all businesses should strive to deliver better results for their customers, if a construction firm is looking to stand out from the crowd, putting sustainability at the very center of everything it does will be a clear difference maker. Finding ways to divert construction and demolition (C&D) waste materials away from landfills and into recycling streams is a must. Keeping track of and measuring your C&D recycling rates on a per-project basis, and also company-wide, can be the difference between winning and losing a contract. Reprinted courtesy of Chris Batterson, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved. Read the court decision
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    Mr. Batterson may be contacted at chris.batterson@rubiconglobal.com

    COVID-19 Information and Resources

    May 04, 2020 —
    INTRODUCTION The current COVID-19 health crisis has greatly impacted nearly every aspect of our business and personal lives. The constant flow of rapidly evolving, and often contradictory information creates its own challenges for those who are responsible for ensuring compliance with relevant regulations and best practices while still moving forward with their business and family activities. This bulletin differs from most Chapman, Glucksman, Dean & Roeb bulletins in that it does not highlight a recent case, statute or a single development, but rather acts as a resource and “links” to provide you with needed information and to simplify your search for critical information during this unusual and challenging time. CIVIL LITIGATION: CLOSURES AND RESTRICTIONS The State and Federal Court systems in California have drastically reduced their operations. The Governor issued Executive Order N-38-20, this suspends certain limitations on the Chief Justice’s authority, making it possible for orders to be issued adapting the Court’s operations to address the COVID-19 health crisis. As of this time, the most recent statewide order from the Chief Justice is the March 30, 2020 Order which allows Courts to utilize remote technology when possible. The March 30, 2020 Order also clarifies a prior Order suspending all trials for 60 days. As many of you are aware, civil trials in California must commence within five years of the initiation of the action, this is commonly referred to as the “five year rule”. While the five year time period was initially extended by the Chief Justice for 60 days, the Judicial Council subsequently adopted a series of Emergency Rules, including one which extends this to six months for all civil actions filed on or before April 6, 2020. The Judicial Council also adopted rules tolling the statutes of limitation for civil causes of action are tolled from April 6, 2020 to 90 days after the state of emergency has ended. In addition to the statewide orders and rules, counties have enacted their own rules. Los Angeles Superior Court, for instance, has closed some locations while others remain open on a limited basis. On March 17, 2020 an Order was issued limiting the Court to “essential functions” through April 16, 2020. However, on April 15, 2020, a further Order extended the closure through May 12, 2020. While truly urgent Ex Partes may go forward, all regularly set hearings will be continued until after June 22, 2020. Trials will begin after June 22, 2020 with non-priority trials anticipated to start in later August or September. Notably, any deadlines imposed by current trial or hearing dates still stand until the specific dates are continued. As with other aspects of the COVID-19 health crisis, the impact upon Civil Litigation continues to evolve, for the most up to date information we include the following links to the California Courts. The first page includes links to all the State and County Orders, the second page is for the Judicial Council Rules. Links: https://newsroom.courts.ca.gov/news/court-emergency-orders-6794321 https://newsroom.courts.ca.gov/news/judicial-branch-emergency-actions-criminal-civil-and-juvenile-justice STATE AND LOCAL STAY AT HOME ORDERS The State of California declared a state of emergency on March 4, 2020. On March 13, 2020 the President declared a national state of emergency. On March 19, 2020 Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20, also known as the “Stay at Home” order. This orders all Californian’s to stay at home, unless they are part of an essential businesses are exempt which generally includes construction and insurance. Generally, Californians are allowed to run essential errands, but they are not to congregate with those outside of their household. In addition to the State, many cities and counties have enacted additional orders regarding whether certain types of businesses can remain open, use of parks, trails and other public amenities as well as what type of protective measures must be adhered to such as covering your face in public. As with Civil Litigation, the State and Local Government regulations continue to evolve. A link to the State’s COVID-19 page is below and we also encourage you to check your local City and County sites for additional information. https://covid19.ca.gov/ BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL GUIDELINES The impact of COVID-19 is unprecedented. While “essential businesses” may remain open for customers, steps must be taken to protect the health of both employees and customers. There are both State and, in many instances, Local Government regulations addressing these precautions. In addition to taking safety measures to protect the health of all involved, there are a multitude of financial concerns to be addressed. While most people have already heard about the moratorium on residential and commercial evictions, this does little to address how property owners will receive funds to pay their financial obligations, how tenants can pay their other obligations, how either can make payroll and most importantly, how employees who can no longer work due to their “non-essential” business being closed can put food on their tables. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES” act) may provide financial relief for many business by means of loans, some of which may be forgivable, and tax credits. The CARES act also modifies the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) to provide paid leave for those who cannot work due to COVID-19 as well as other benefits. The IRS has extended the deadline to file and pay taxes to July 15, 2020. Additionally, there are other Federal and State benefits which may be available for those whose jobs are impacted. The financial impacts of COVID-19 are far reaching and continue to evolve. The Department of Insurance ordered insurance companies to return premiums for at least the months of March and April. This applies to certain lines of insurance where the risk of loss has fallen substantially. However, business interruption, environmental and pollution claims have increased exponentially. While most such policies require some physical damage in order to trigger an occurrence, there has been some discussion of legislation deeming the COVID-19 pandemic to fulfill the physical damage requirement. If your business has been closed or impacted by COVID-19 we encourage you to review your insurance policies and key contracts to ascertain what your rights and obligations are as well as whether you may have any coverage for your losses. Just as importantly, speak with your business partners including vendors, customers and employees to ascertain their capabilities and willingness to work through this crisis. US Department of Labor OSHA Guidelines: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/ California Labor & Workforce Development Agency Resource Page: https://www.labor.ca.gov/coronavirus2019/ California Employment Development Department: https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019.htm CONSTRUCTION GUIDELINES Many of our clients are involved in the construction industry. Construction has been deemed an essential activity and is exempt from many of the “stay at home” orders but certain protections and regulations still apply. In addition to the general workplace guidelines discussed above certain jurisdictions are providing guidance as to how to provide a safe construction site workplace. We have included a link the Los Angeles Department Building and Safety guidelines below. However, in some instances work on a project may be delayed or may not be able to progress due to the project owner stopping work or the inability of subcontractors or suppliers to continue as originally intended. In this case one should review their contracts to see what justifies delay and inability to perform by either party and the impact thereof. Contracts should also be evaluated to ascertain whether the costs associated with compliance with the new COVID-19 regulations are a recoverable cost under the contract. As with the general business discussion above, contractors should review all available insurance, including builder’s risk to ascertain the existence of possible coverage. LA DBS guidelines: https://ladbs.org/docs/default-source/publications/misc-publications/construction-site-guidance.pdf SUMMARY The COVID-19 health crisis has had and, for the foreseeable future, will have a broad and severe impact on our society. The variety of evolving regulations on the Federal, State and Local Government levels make it challenging to comply, especially for businesses in operation. There are also a variety of resources available to help ensure compliance with these regulations as well as the financial and physical viability of our communities’ companies and employees. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any assistance in navigating these rules and resources. Reprinted courtesy of Richard H. Glucksman, Chapman Glucksman Dean & Roeb and Brian D. Kahn, Chapman Glucksman Dean & Roeb Mr. Glucksman may be contacted at rglucksman@cgdrlaw.com Mr. Kahn may be contacted at bkahn@cgdrlaw.com Read the court decision
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    Construction Trust Fund Statutes: Know What’s Required in the State Where Your Project Is Underway

    June 22, 2020 —
    Construction trust fund statutes have been around for decades. At least 15 states have passed similar statutes. Other states, but not all, do not have an express statute but have interpreted state law to hold that payments received by a general contractor and deposited in a business account establishes a “trust fund.” See e.g., Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 7108. The purpose of these laws is straightforward—protect contractors and suppliers against nonpayment for the labor and materials provided for the construction or repair of property. But while the purpose is straightforward, each state’s law differs by imposing different requirements, different privileges, and different remedies. This article provides an overview of how these statutes work as well as a sampling of important requirements and potential pitfalls that you should look out for when a construction trust fund statute applies to your project. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Christopher D. Cazenave, Jones Walker LLP
    Mr. Cazenave may be contacted at ccazenave@joneswalker.com

    MTA Implements Revised Contractors Debarment Regulations

    July 06, 2020 —
    On June 3, 2020, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (“MTA”) published and implemented revised regulations pertaining to the debarment of contractors. The revised regulations address many of the deep concerns raised by the contracting community. Under relevant administrative procedure, the MTA publication of the revised regulations starts a 45 day notice period before the regulations can be adopted as final. The prior regulations essentially required that debarment occur upon a purely formulaic calculation establishing that a contractor: 1) was more than 10% late, or 2) had submitted invalid claims that exceeded the adjusted contract price by a measure of 10%. The revised regulations represent improvements over the prior regulations. Critically, the revised regulations address the primary concern raised by the contracting community, that being the mandate of purely formulaic debarment. Instead, the revised regulations establish a process that includes greater flexibility and discretion before debarment may ensue. Reprinted courtesy of Peckar & Abramson, P.C. attorneys Steven M. Charney, Gregory H. Chertoff and Paul Monte Mr. Charney may be contacted at scharney@pecklaw.com Mr. Chertoff may be contacted at gchertoff@pecklaw.com Mr. Monte may be contacted at pmonte@pecklaw.com Read the court decision
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    If Passed, New Bill AB 2320 Will Mandate Cyber Insurance For State Government Contractors

    September 07, 2020 —
    Earlier this year, Assemblyman Edwin Chau (D-Monterey Park) introduced Assembly Bill 2320. AB 2320, if passed, would require any business that contracts with the state and has access to records containing personal information protected under the state’s Information Practices Act (IPA) to maintain cyber insurance coverage. Information covered under the IPA includes names, social security numbers, physical descriptions, home addresses, home telephone numbers, education, financial matters, and medical or employment history. Requiring contractors to maintain cyber insurance will likely both shift the costs of cyberattacks from taxpayers to the private sector, while also encouraging robust cyber security practices among businesses of all sizes. While the bill has not yet passed, businesses will be best served by implementing and improving cybersecurity practices now in order to attain lowest premium rates in the future. Incentivizing Best Practices With the adoption of AB 2320, businesses will be incentivized to increase their security posture in order to receive lower premiums from insurers. Simultaneously, insurers will be incentivized to mandate best practices from their insureds in order to mitigate their risk of having to pay out on cyber insurance policies. Thus, cyber insurance will work as a vehicle to increase best practices in businesses and subsequently decrease vulnerabilities to cyberattacks. Reprinted courtesy of Makenna Miller, Newmeyer Dillion and Jeffrey Dennis, Newmeyer Dillion Ms. Miller may be contacted at makenna.miller@ndlf.com Mr. Dennis may be contacted at jeff.dennis@ndlf.com Read the court decision
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