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    Virginia Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: (HB558; H 150; §55-70.1) Warranty extension applicable to single-family but not HOAs: in addition to any other express or implied warranties; It requires registered or certified mail notice to "vendor" stating nature of claim; reasonable time not to exceed six months to "cure the defect".

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    A contractor's license is required for all trades. Separate boards license plumbing, electrical, HVAC, gas fitting, and asbestos trades.

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    Local # 4840
    3901 Centerview Dr Suite E
    Chantilly, VA 20151

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    Local # 4883
    1182 Martinsburg Pike
    Winchester, VA 22603

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    Local # 4848
    PO Box 1286
    Harrisonburg, VA 22803

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    Local # 4890
    PO Box 897
    Culpeper, VA 22701

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    3006 Lafayette Blvd
    Fredericksburg, VA 22408

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    PO Box 36
    Waynesboro, VA 22980

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    Local # 4809
    PO Box 7743
    Charlottesville, VA 22906

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    Building Consultant News and Information
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    The Ashburn, Virginia 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. Leveraging from this considerable body of experience, BHA provides construction related trial support and expert services to Ashburn'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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    A Classic Blunder: Practical Advice for Avoiding Two-Front Wars

    August 23, 2021 —
    “Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders – the most famous of which is ‘never get involved in a land war in Asia’ – but only slightly less well-known is this: ‘Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.’”[1] Vizzini forgot to include “never fight a two-front war with your owner and a subcontractor” on his list of classic blunders, but it certainly belongs there. This article examines practical tips and tricks for general contractors to avoid the classic blunder of a two-front war, including recommended contract provisions and sound project documentation practices. Admittedly, general contractors face a wide array of obligations on a project. And perhaps one of the most delicate balancing acts is managing relationships with the owner and your subcontractors. But far too often general contractors find themselves in the difficult position of fighting a two-front war against one (or more) of their subcontractors and the project owner. But this does not always have to be the case—there are ways for general contractors to reduce the risk of finding themselves in a two-front war. And every project does not have to devolve in a circular firing squad with you in the middle. That said, this article comes with the caveat that a general contractor cannot avoid a two-front war in every instance, nor does this article examine every imaginable way to reduce the risk of a two-front war (see e.g. But this article will provide an overview of several key tools that can be used to minimize the risk of falling into a classic blunder. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of William Underwood, Jones Walker LLP
    Mr. Underwood may be contacted at

    So You Want to Arbitrate? Better Make Sure Your Contract Covers All Bases

    August 16, 2021 —
    As a General Contractor, you may prefer to arbitrate any contractual disputes rather than engage in protracted litigation. Many Courts favor arbitration clauses and will enforce them if there is a sufficient reason to do so. However, there are several issues that a General Contractor should consider when including an arbitration clause in its construction agreement with its client. When an arbitration clause is not properly crafted, questions can arise as to who must arbitrate? Who decides whether to arbitrate? Who selects the arbitrator? What will the subject matter of the arbitration be? A look at a recent case in Pennsylvania highlights the need for properly crafted arbitration clauses. A Recent Case Highlights The Importance Of Arbitration Clauses In TEC Construction, LLC v. Greg Rich and Lora Rich filed in the Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, TEC Construction, LLC (“TEC”) and Greg and Lora Rich (the “Riches”), entered into a Construction Agreement with an arbitration clause. Specifically, the parties to the Construction Agreement, TEC and the Riches, agreed to arbitrate any disputes with the American Arbitration Association. Five subcontractors completed the work under the Construction Agreement but none of the subcontractors agreed to arbitrate. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Stephanie Nolan Deviney, Fox Rothschild LLP (ConsensusDocs)
    Ms. Deviney may be contacted at

    Is Privity of Contract with the Owner a Requirement of a Valid Mechanic’s Lien? Not for GC’s

    July 05, 2021 —
    As any reader of this construction law blog knows, mechanic’s liens make up much of the discussion here at Construction Law Musings. A recent case out of Fairfax County, Virginia examined the question of whether contractual privity between the general contractor and owner of the property at issue is necessary. As a reminder, in most situations, for a contract claim to be made, the claimant has to have a direct contract (privity) with the entity it sues. Further, for a subcontractor to have a valid mechanic’s lien it would have to have privity with the general contractor or with the Owner. The Fairfax case, The Barber of Seville, Inc. v. Bironco, Inc., examined the question of whether contractual privity is necessary between the general contractor and the Owner. In Bironco, the claimant, Bironco, performed certain improvements for a barbershop pursuant to a contract executed by the two owners of the Plaintiff. We wouldn’t have the case here at Musings if Bironco had been paid in full. Bironco then recorded a lien against the leasehold interest of The Barber of Seville, Inc., the entity holding the lease. The Plaintiff filed an action seeking to have the lien declared invalid because Brionco had privity of contract with the individuals that executed the contract, but not directly with the corporate entity. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at

    Eighth Circuit Affirms Finding of Bad Faith, Award of Costs and Prejudgment Interest

    October 25, 2021 —
    The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's finding of bad faith and award to the insured of taxable costs and prejudgment interest. Selective Ins. Co. v. Sela, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 26062 (8th Cir. Aug. 30, 2021). The insured suffered two hail storms that damaged his home. In 2010, the first storm caused over half a million dollars in loss. Before submitting a claim to his original insurer or beginning any repairs, the insured secured a new policy with Selective. The policy did not exclude pre-existing damage, it did preclude coverage if the insured "willfully and with intent to defraud, concealed or misrepresented any material fact or circumstance relating to the insurance." Before issuing the policy, Selective appraised the property and assigned a $1.6 million value to the home. The insured then filed a claim with his original insurer and received $510,787.23 for actual cash value of his loss. Neither the terms of this settlement nor this new policy with Selective required the insured to repair all of the 2010 damage. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Tred R. Eyerly, Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert
    Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at

    Asserting Non-Disclosure Claim Involving Residential Real Property and Whether Facts Are “Readily Observable”

    September 29, 2021 —
    Under Florida law, there is a claim dealing with the purchase and sale of residential real property known as a Johnson v. Davis or a non-disclosure claim: “[W]here the seller of a home knows of facts materially affecting the value of the property which are not readily observable and are not known to the buyer, the seller is under a duty to disclose them to the buyer.” Lorber v. Passick, 46 Fla.L.Weekly D1952a (Fla. 4th DCA 2021). A seller’s duty to disclose extends to a seller’s real estate agent/broker. Id. A non-disclosure claim is asserted by the buyer of residential real property when the buyer discovers defects or damages with the real property that he believes materially affects the value of the property. While there may be the sentiment these are easy claims to prove, they are not. Remember, a non-disclosure claim deals with facts that materially affect the value of residential real property and are NOT readily observable. The use of the language “readily observable” has been found to mean:
    “[I]nformation [that] is within the diligent attention of any buyer. To exercise diligent attention…a buyer would be required to investigate any information furnished by the seller that a reasonable person in the buyer’s position would investigate and take reasonable steps to ascertain the material facts relating to the property and to discovery them—if, of course, they are reasonably ascertainable.”
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Kirwin Norris, P.A.
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at

    California Contractors: Amended Section 7141.5 Provides Important License Renewal Safety Net

    July 25, 2021 —
    Under California’s Contractors State License Law, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 7000 et seq., contractors’ licenses expire two years from the last day of the month in which the license was issued or two years from the date on which the renewed license last expired. The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) sends licensees a renewal application 60 to 90 days in advance of the date the license is set to expire. Even with various controls in place, mistakes happen and a renewal application filing deadline can be missed. During the August 5-6, 2019 Executive, Licensing, and Legislative Committee Meetings, the CSLB discussed proposed amendments to Section 7141.5 to reduce both the burden on it to review applications for retroactive renewal of a license that had not been timely submitted and to provide contractors with some relief from the high burden to establish “the failure to renew was due to circumstances beyond the control of the licensee.” Not long after, the CSLB’s Board of Directors gave staff approval to seek an author for the bill and, on September 29, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 1474 into law, which includes the CSLB’s proposed amendments to Section 7141.5, effective January 1, 2021. Reprinted courtesy of Amy L. Pierce, Lewis Brisbois, Mark A. Oertel, Lewis Brisbois, John Lubitz, Lewis Brisbois and Adam B. Wiens, Lewis Brisbois Ms. Pierce may be contacted at Mr. Oertel may be contacted at Mr. Lubitz may be contacted at Mr. Wiens may be contacted at Read the full story...

    How You Plead Allegations to Trigger Liability Insurer’s Duties Is Critical

    November 01, 2021 —
    How you plead allegations in your lawsuit to trigger duties of a liability insurance carrier is a critical consideration. If the complaint is not pled appropriately, it can result in the carrier NOT owing a duty to defend its insured, which is the party(ies) you are suing. If there is no duty to defend, there will be no duty to indemnify the insured to cover your damages. For this reason, in a number of circumstances, this is NOT what you want because you want to trigger insurance coverage and potential proceeds to be paid by a carrier to cover your damages. There are times when you are confronted with a case that just is not a good insurance coverage case. This may result in you coming up with creative arguments to maximize insurance coverage. Even in these times, you want to plead the complaint to best maximize coverage under the creative arguments you have developed. An example of not pleading allegations in a complaint to trigger an insurer’s duties can be found in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision in Tricon Development of Brevard, Inc. v. Nautilus Insurance Co., 2021 WL 4129373 (11th Cir. 2021). This case involved a general contractor constructing condominiums. The general contractor hired a subcontractor to fabricate and install metal railings. The subcontractor had a commercial general liability (CGL) policy that named the general contractor as an additional insured with respect to liability for property damage “caused in whole or in part” by the subcontractor’s direct or vicarious acts or omissions. (This is a good additional insured endorsement.) Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Kirwin Norris, P.A.
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at

    Construction Delays: Which Method Should Be Used to Calculate Delay?

    July 25, 2021 —
    If you need to prove and allocate construction project delays, you should engage a scheduling consultant qualified with CPM (critical path method) analysis. You should also engage counsel to assist in preserving your rights, as well as presenting and maximing your arguments for delay. There are numerous methodologies used to quantify and allocate delay. You want to discuss the most effective analysis for your case and facts including whether you want/should use a forward-looking prospective analysis or a backward-looking retrospective analysis that factors in as-built data. In doing so, you want to make sure you understand the pros and cons of each methodology including the bases to attack the methodology that will be subject to cross-examination. The five primary CPM methodologies are as follows:
    1. As-Planned Versus As-Built. This methodology compares the as-planned baseline schedule to an as-built schedule reflecting progress to assign delay. An as-built schedule that reflects progress includes actual start dates, finish dates, and durations. The actual dates and durations are compared with the as-planned dates and durations on the baseline schedule to determine delay. Under this methodology, the delay impact is determined retrospectively.
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Kirwin Norris, P.A.
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at