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    For Fairfield Connecticut

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    The Fairfield, Connecticut Building Consultant 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. Drawing from this considerable body of experience, BHA provides construction related trial support and expert services to Fairfield'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.

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    Chinese Telecommunications Ban to Expand to Federally Funded Contracts Effective November 12, 2020

    September 21, 2020 —
    In our previous alert, we discussed the Federal Government’s Ban (the “Ban”) on certain Chinese covered telecommunications and video surveillance equipment and services in federal government contracts. The ban prohibits government contractors and subcontractors from supplying to the Federal Government or using in their own internal operations certain telecommunications or video surveillance equipment or services produced by Huawei Technologies Company, ZTE Corporation, Hytera Communications Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company, and Dahua Technology Company, as well as their subsidiaries and affiliates. The Ban currently applies to companies contracting directly with the Federal Government. Soon, however, the Ban – at least in part – will expand to contractors and subcontractors who are awarded certain federally assisted contracts and subcontracts. On August 13, 2020, the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) published Final Guidance revising its grants and agreements regulations (2 CFR Part 200) to prohibit recipients and subrecipients from using loan or grant funds to purchase or obtain covered telecommunications and video surveillance equipment or services. Effective November 12, 2020, recipients and subrecipients are prohibited from obligating or expending loan or grant funds to:
    1. Procure or obtain;
    2. Extend or renew a contract to procure or obtain; or
    3. Enter into a contract (or extend or renew a contract) to procure or obtain equipment, services, or systems that use covered telecommunications equipment or services as a substantial or essential component of any system, or as critical technology as part of any system.
    Reprinted courtesy of Lori Ann Lange, Peckar & Abramson and Sabah Petrov, Peckar & Abramson Ms. Lange may be contacted at Ms. Petrov may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Pensacola Bridge Repair Plan Grows as Inspectors Uncover More Damage

    September 28, 2020 —
    With a still-growing list of repairs needed to restore the barge-damaged Pensacola Bay Bridge, the Florida Dept. of Transportation has yet to determine a timeline for completing repairs. But assessments by the agency’s inspectors indicate that impacts from several Skanska-owned construction barges that unmoored during Hurricane Sally not only resulted in five irreparable spans, as previously reported, but at least two more that will require partial replacement. Jim Parsons, Engineering News-Record ENR may be contacted at Read the full story... Read the court decision
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    Eastern District of Pennsylvania Clarifies Standard for Imposing Spoliation Sanctions

    October 19, 2020 —
    Courts are faced with the difficult task of drawing a line to determine when the failure to preserve evidence becomes culpable enough to permit a judicial remedy. In State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. Cohen, No. 19-1947, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163681, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (District Court) made clear that a party is not entitled to a spoliation sanction without proof that the alleged spoliation was beyond accident or mere negligence. The District Court emphasized that when evidence goes missing or is destroyed, the party seeking a spoliation sanction must show that the alleged spoliation was intentional and that the alleged spoliator acted in “bad faith” before adverse inferences will be provided. In Cohen, Joshua Cohen (Cohen) rented a residential property to Lugretta Bryant (Bryant). Bryant’s property suffered damages as a result of a kitchen fire. Bryant’s insurer, proceeding as subrogee, hired a fire investigator to determine the cause and origin of the fire. Based on eyewitness testimony and examination of the burn patterns, the fire investigator concluded that the fire started at the General Electric (GE) microwave located in the kitchen. The investigator advised all parties to preserve the microwave so that a joint examination could take place with the property owner and GE present. In the following weeks, the tenant returned to the property to collect belongings and perform some cleaning in anticipation of repairs beginning. Importantly, the tenant claimed the microwave was preserved during these cleaning efforts and remained at the site as instructed. However, in the fall of 2017, one of Cohen’s workers discovered that the microwave was missing and its whereabouts remain unknown. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Kean Maynard, White and Williams
    Mr. Maynard may be contacted at

    Does a Landlord’s Violation of the Arizona Residential Landlord-Tenant Act Constitute Negligence Per Se?

    September 21, 2020 —
    In a recent Arizona Court of Appeals case, Ibarra v. Gastelum, 2020 WL 4218020 (7/23/20), the Court of Appeals addressed the question whether – in a tenant’s personal injury claim against the landlord – a landlord’s violation of the Arizona Landlord-Tenant Act constituted negligence per se. The tenant alleged he was injured by stubbing his toe on a crack in the floor. The tenant alleged that he had made repeated demands that the landlord repair the crack. The statute required the landlord to make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition. The tenant argued that a violation of the statute constituted negligence per se, meaning that the violation of the statute satisfied (as a matter of law) the first two elements of a negligence claim – duty and breach of duty. The tenant requested a negligence per se jury instruction. The trial court declined that request and refused to give the requested instruction. The tenant lost the jury trial and appealed. Reprinted courtesy of Kevin J. Parker, Snell & Wilmer Mr. Parker may be contacted at Read the full story... Read the court decision
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    Another Way a Mechanic’s Lien Protects You

    September 14, 2020 —
    Here at Construction Law Musings, we have discussed mechanic’s lien law in Virginia on multiple occasions. We have discussed everything from the very picky nature of the perfection and enforcement of these liens to the changes that the Virginia General Assembly periodically makes to these requirements and how to defend against such liens. While the steps taken and content of a Virginia mechanic’s lien will be strictly construed by the Virginia courts, when perfected properly, a mechanic’s lien can and will put you as a construction company seeking payment in a better position than if no lien were recorded. The direct benefit is that you now hold a lien on the property on which you performed work that takes a priority (read will be paid before) any mortgage or other lien on that structure. In other words, if you, the bank, or the owner seeks to sell the property through foreclosure or otherwise, mechanic’s lien holders generally get paid first. While there are exceptions to be explored with an experienced Virginia construction attorney, this is the general rule and the power of a mechanic’s lien. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at

    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 Mr. Dennis may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Not Remotely Law as Usual: Don’t Settle for Delays – Settle at Remote Mediation

    May 25, 2020 —
    The emergence and rapid spread of COVID-19 has created extraordinary circumstances that have significantly impacted how we go about living, working and interacting with one another. The practice of law is no exception. While most cases have been postponed and some extended indefinitely, the issues and disputes that first triggered the litigation remain. In fact, the burdens created by social distancing and other responses to the COVID-19 outbreak have served to only increase these disputes and create an urgent need in some for quick resolution. In our previous article, we summarized some of the best practices that should be applied when taking and defending depositions in a remote, virtual setting. That technology can also offer the same benefits for alternative dispute resolutions. If planned properly, the use of technology allows remote mediations to be conducted as seamlessly as in-person mediations and, in some circumstances, affords additional benefits that can achieve the best possible resolution for all sides. This article summarizes the opportunities technology has created by which parties can attempt to resolve their disputes through alternative dispute resolution methods, even in a time of social distancing. Reprinted courtesy of White and Williams LLP attorneys Victor J. Zarrilli, Robert G. Devine and Michael W. Horner Mr. Zarrilli may be contacted at Mr. Devine may be contacted at Mr. Horner may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Gordon & Rees Ranks #5 in Top 50 Construction Law Firms in the Nation

    June 29, 2020 —
    Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani has been ranked the #5 construction law firm in the nation by Construction Executive in the magazine’s 2020 ranking of The Top 50 Construction Law Firms. Gordon & Rees is the only California-based law firm to rank in the Top 25. The firm was ranked in the Top 10 in more specific areas as well.
    • #1 in the Top 10 Law Firms Ranked by Most Locations
    • #2 in the Top 10 Law Firms Ranked by Number of Construction Attorneys
    • #6 in the Top 10 Law Firms Ranked by Number of States Admitted to Practice
    “With offices throughout the nation and outstanding construction attorneys in many of those offices, we are able to offer our construction clients a diverse range of legal services wherever they do business,” said Ernie Isola partner and co-chair of the firm’s construction practice group. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani