Beware the “One Year” Warranty: Contractor Callback Periods v. Warranties of Quality Work

The difference between contractors’ “callback periods” and “warranties of quality” work is among the least understood – yet most important – nuances in construction contracts.  One should have a contractual expiration date, often 1 year after completion of work. The other should not expire on any given date.  From the perspective of the project owner, at least.  Oh yeah…contractors, please stop reading this post. It Read More

AIA’s New 2019 CMc and CMa Contract Documents

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 Read More

The B152-2019 Interior Design Agreement: Important FF&E Changes

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 Read More

Is It Worth Pursuing Your Construction Claim?

This article first appeared in Thompson Reuters Construction Accounting & Taxation, July/August 2009 - Vol.19, No. 4, and is reprinted with permission. Is it worth pursuing your construction claim? The decision to proceed may not be clear-cut. This post analyzes some factors potential claimants should consider when determining whether to file a lawsuit or demand for arbitration.  I wrote the Read More

Arbitrator-Directed Arbitration: A Proposal To Improve Construction Arbitration

This article first appeared in the Construction Law Newsletter, Volume 35, Number 5 (May 2019), co-authors Mark C. Friedlander and Jeremy S. Baker Arbitrator-Directed Arbitration: A Proposal to Improve Arbitration Arbitration was once the darling of the construction industry, with parties intentionally sacrificing the safeguards of litigation, and its expensive and inefficient procedures, in favor of fair, Read More

This Is a Great Time for Design and Construction!

Written by Jeremy S. Baker - Chicago River facing West I was floored by Steve Burrows’ absolutely brilliant keynote at Digital Build Week 2019. I first heard it as a podcast, at the gym. I stopped my workout and furiously scrambled to take notes. Steve Burrows is a visionary engineer with a long career. He is someone you should know. His speech “This is the Greatest Time in History to be in Construction” Read More

Why Diligent Project Owners Should Never Lose Mechanics Lien Claims

Written by Jeremy S. Baker - You are a project owner or real estate developer. You want to avoid lien claims. But how? Yes, the Illinois Lien Act – first passed in 1825 – contains arcane and confounding rules. But here is the truth: real estate developers and project owners should never lose lien claims … IF they follow the Lien Act, as they make periodic payments on their design and construction Read More

Jeremy Baker to Present at AIA Chicago Zoom Webinar April 7th 12pm CST

Mechanics liens are a powerful tool to help architects secure payment on Illinois projects. In turbulent economic times, liens can be particularly useful to architects concerned about their clients’ willingness – or ability – to pay for design services. Liens can sometimes motivate project owners and lenders to pay architects and their subconsultants. Architects who meet certain short deadlines, and make technical Read More

Negotiating Dispute Resolution Clauses in Contracts

Written by Jeremy S. Baker - Dispute resolution clauses in contracts should be drafted to promote the negotiated resolution of disputes in a fair, timely, and cost-effective manner before the parties must resort to binding dispute resolution methods, such as arbitration or litigation, which are expensive and hurt business relationships. This article summarizes considerations for drafting contractual Read More

FCPA Primer for International Design Firms

Written by Jeremy Baker in May 2015. Originally posted on - Introduction to FCPA Design professionals tempted by the lure of overseas work need to understand the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). FCPA compliance is an important loss prevention issue. While exchanging gifts and things of value is a way of life in many countries, U.S. anti-bribery laws apply to the overseas Read More