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    Sep. 30, 2021
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Drones can be useful tools in construction. In this article, John Schulze outlines the laws that govern drone flying and offers advice for their use in construction.

    Jul. 27, 2021
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Recent surges in material prices have caused many construction industry participants to question their rights and remedies under their contracts as well as change their future contracts to address substantial price increases. Brian Zimmerman discusses the recent price increases and the contract clauses implicated thereby.

    Jul. 27, 2021
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Recent surges in material prices have caused many construction industry participants to question their rights and remedies under their contracts as well as change their future contracts to address substantial price increases. Brian Zimmerman discusses the recent price increases and the contract clauses implicated thereby.

    May 25, 2021
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    What’s the best method to calculate an equitable adjustment when a contractor encounters a differing site condition? Brian R. Smigelski outlines the hierarchy of methodologies utilized in Wisconsin.

    May 13, 2021
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    A recent ruling provides a hard lesson for contractors about partial lien waivers. James Thiel discusses the case and the ruling, and the lesson learned.

    May 03, 2021
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    The City of Madison’s bird-safe glass ordinance may fly in the face of the state of Wisconsin’s Uniform Commercial Building Code (Uniform Code). John Schulze discusses the ordinance and its challengers.

    Mar. 10, 2021
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Wisconsin’s energy market is shifting toward renewable energy – are renewable energy third-party financing arrangements the new third rail? Nathan Jurowski discusses the legislative and regulatory changes that could stimulate private investment in Wisconsin’s commercial and residential renewable energy and provide opportunities for local contractors.

    Feb. 26, 2021
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Residential construction contracts pose unique challenges for contract drafters in Wisconsin. Andrea Murdock offers advice on what to include in your residential construction contracts to avoid disputes and unnecessary costs.

    Feb. 10, 2021
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Construction attorneys need to be familiar with intellectual property principles and copyright matters associated with their clients’ businesses. In part 2 of this two-part series, Bryan Kroes discusses additional practical copyright considerations, including trademarks and patents.

    Feb. 09, 2021
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Construction attorneys should be familiar with intellectual property principles and copyright matters associated with their clients’ businesses. In part 1 of this two-part series, Bryan Kroes provides an introduction to copyright and how it intersects with construction projects.

    Jan. 22, 2021
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Most commercial contracts will contain an indemnity clause. But how are they being used? Turns out, you can use them not just for protection. Matthew McClean discusses the various uses of the clause – and case law surrounding its use.

    Dec. 22, 2020
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    A recent Court of Appeals decision confirms the high standard for reversing an arbitration decision. Kevin Long discusses the decision’s takeaway – it is important to provide an arbitrator the opportunity to cure.

    Dec. 01, 2020
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    The risks presented by unknown site conditions are difficult to identify and evaluate, and the costs to address them can be very substantial. Saul Glazer discusses the necessity of using DSC – differing site conditions – clauses in construction contracts.

    Nov. 10, 2020
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    A recent Wisconsin Court of Appeals decision reminds construction attorneys that clients working for municipal entities can have a layer of legal protection based on municipal immunity. Patrick Whiting discusses the details and implications of the decision.

    Aug. 03, 2020
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    A recent Wisconsin Supreme Court decision provides some clarity for Wis. Stat. section 895.447, but raises further questions on the enforceability of other common risk transfer and limitation clauses in construction contracts. Scott J. Thomsen talks aboutlessons to be learned from the decision and its impact on construction contracts.

    Jul. 08, 2020
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    With the ongoing economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, construction lien rights have become more vital than ever to businesses in the construction industry. Steven Slawinski provides a refresher course on the basics of construction liens on privately owned construction projects in Wisconsin.

    Jun. 10, 2020
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    What happens when a subcontractor suffers an economic loss due to another subcontractor? Roy E. Wagner and Lauren Triebenbach discuss a recent court of appeals decision that says the economic loss doctrine bars negligence claims for solely economic lossessustained by one subcontractor as a result of another.

    May 04, 2020
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Carefully crafted, an integration clause with non-reliance and tort disclaimer language may avoid common law and statutory misrepresentation claims. Scott J. Thomsen discusses a recent Wisconsin Supreme Court decision and highlights how current standard form construction contract language may not sufficiently protect the contracting parties.

    Apr. 06, 2020
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    To weather the indefinite storm of COVID-19, commercial construction contractors should consider internal and external preparedness best practices. Nathan Jurowski examines best practices for contractors to protect their employees, prepare for business interruption, and negotiate with clients in the face of supply chain disruption, suspension of work, and excusable delays.

    Mar. 20, 2020
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Now is the time to plan – and act – for what will come at the end of the coronavirus outbreak. With project delays inevitable in the era of COVID-19, James Dash offers advice on what you can do now to avoid future lawsuits and to advance your business interests.

    Mar. 03, 2020
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    With the recent move of 3D construction printing out of the research labs and onto construction jobsites, there is a disconnect between the available technology and construction law. Bryan Kroes discusses the future of 3D printing and construction law.

    Oct. 29, 2019
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Environmental issues that arise during construction projects can bring your clients projects to a halt. Sean Frye give tips on preparing and responding when the unexpected arises so your clients can keep their projects on track. “Knowing how to respond and being proactive saves the client time and money and keeps the project on track,” he writes.

    Aug. 27, 2019
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Gov. Tony Evers introduced a state budget that included significant public construction investment and the rollback of labor reforms. John Schulze discusses the proposed budget and its path through the Wisconsin Legislature.

    May 14, 2019
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Improperly classifying workers exposes an employer to significant fines and penalties. Andrea Murdock discusses various tests employers should use in determining whether to treat workers as independent contractors or employees.

    Apr. 03, 2019
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Most public construction contracts must be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder. However, the word “responsible” is often overlooked, and state agencies and local governments often feel compelled to award the work to the lowest bidder even if the contractor may be problematic. Cynthia Buchko discusses the “responsible bidder” legal standard in public contracting.

    Mar. 19, 2019
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    There is a common belief that subcontractors and material suppliers do not have any lien rights arising from a public improvement project. But this is not accurate, says Brian Smigelski.

    Feb. 14, 2019
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Assistive technology is becoming more prevalent and accepted in the workplace. Eric Meier discusses some of the latest technology and legal considerations surrounding the employee data that is captured by wearable technology.

    Feb. 06, 2019
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    While the personal property tax on machinery, tools, and patterns in Wisconsin was eliminated on Jan. 1, 2018, confusion still exists about what is or is not exempt. John Schulze discusses this new area of tax exemption and what it applies to, and gives tips on what to do if your client believes their property is taxed unfairly.

    Dec. 20, 2018
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    What should you say when your client asks, “Can I recover attorney fees?” While rare, there are several circumstances where clients can recover fees in construction disputes. Lauren Triebenbach and Mark Schmidt outline different grounds for attorney fee recovery.

    Nov. 12, 2018
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Tenant buildouts can place fee owners and contractors at risk during construction projects. Saul Glazer discusses options for both contractors and fee owners to protect their respective interests.

    Oct. 23, 2018
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    With the advent of new construction delivery methods, the limits of protections from the Spearin Doctrine have been tested. Patrick Whiting discusses the intersection of the Spearin Doctrine and these new delivery methods.

    Sep. 25, 2018
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    When drafting construction contracts, it's good to pay attention to how disputes may be resolved. But how can you possibly know at the time of contracting which dispute resolution method is best? James Dash discusses what to consider when writing binding dispute resolution clauses.

    Aug. 06, 2018
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    In American Family v. Cintas, the Wisconsin Supreme Court enforced an indemnification provision under Ohio law. Kevin Long and Lars Gulbrandsen discuss the decision and its impact.

    Jul. 09, 2018
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Wisconsin Act 235 made comprehensive changes to the Wisconsin Rules of Civil Procedure. Lauren Triebenbach discusses these changes, which apply to causes of action filed on or after July 1, 2018.

    May 17, 2018
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Private Public Partnerships (P3) involves alternative procurement methodologies, public/private financing mechanisms, enabling legislation, and contracts for the all of the above, as well as ongoing maintenance and operations of the facilities involved. Carrie Cox discusses the continuing emergence of P3 and the challenges inherent in P3 work.

    Mar. 23, 2018
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court seems to have settled for now the question of whether attorney fees are recoverable in a statutory theft by contractor case. Mark Schmidt discusses the court’s decision.

    Feb. 14, 2018
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    While a recent Wisconsin Court of Appeals decision may appear to weaken the statute of repose governing construction projects, attorneys should thoroughly analyze all the issues before deciding if a construction claim is timely. Brian Smigelski discusses the effect of the decision in Wosinski v. Advanced Cast Stone Co.

    Jan. 17, 2018
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    When must a dispute be arbitrated, and who decides? Matthew McClean discusses lessons learned from a recent Wisconsin Court of Appeals case that went to arbitration to determine whether the case was properly in arbitration.

    Jan. 12, 2018
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Employers with apprentices may receive as much as 2 percent credit – or up to $2,500 – on their Worker’s Compensation Premiums, effective Oct. 1, 2018.

    Dec. 13, 2017
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    The final price of a construction project is difficult to determine – and must be done before the contract is signed. Saul Glazer discusses the methods to determine that final price – and avoid serious issues that may arise when the price is incorrect.

    Dec. 07, 2017
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    The 2017-2019 Wisconsin budget eliminates the state’s prevailing wage and institutes tax relief measures that benefit the construction industry. John Schulze discusses these and other significant construction-related initiatives recently signed into Wisconsin law.

    Nov. 28, 2017
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ dismissal of a copyright claim against a homebuilder sends message of increased scrutiny to copyright “trolls.” Eric Meier discusses the decision and what it means for designers of single family home plans.

    Oct. 23, 2017
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Construction involves plenty of risk to all parties involved. While Wisconsin has barred “pay if paid” clauses in some circumstances, it is by no means an absolute bar. James Dash and Bryce Cox advise not to assume that all such clauses are unenforceable – and to negotiate accordingly.

    Oct. 04, 2017
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Wisconsin’s economic development future is forever changed as the WEDC embarks on its first “Megadeal,” says Cynthia Buchko. She outlines the details of legislation authorizing $3 billion in taxpayer-funded incentives for the development of an advanced manufacturing facility by FoxConn.

    Sep. 08, 2017
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Two proposed state Assembly bills would significantly impact how public works contracts are awarded. Patrick Whiting reviews how construction contracts are awarded in Wisconsin, and outlines the changes in the proposed bills.

    Aug. 07, 2017
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    In June 2010, a young man was killed when a 13-ton concrete panel fell onto him in Milwaukee. The case is the basis for a recent Court of Appeals decision regarding statute of repose’s concealment exception. Hugh Anderson discusses the case and the nature of the evidence presented to establish the exception.

    Jul. 13, 2017
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Steven Mroczkowski discusses a recent ruling in District II Court of Appeals that is a reminder for attorneys to emphasize to clients the importance of clear communication during projects, and that a review of title records prior to filing a lien may be prudent when ownership is not abundantly clear.

    Jun. 12, 2017
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Wisconsin appellate courts have remained silent on the Spearin Doctrine, leaving open the question: how will our courts respond to a claim for recovery under this theory? A little used 100-year old doctrine could be the key, says Lauren Triebenbach.

    Jun. 07, 2017
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    In a recent decision, Wisconsin’s Supreme Court reiterated that private contractors may be immune from damages caused by implementing the plans and specifications provided by a governmental entity. "The decision provides a useful reminder that a private contractor may be able to benefit from the governmental entity’s immunity,” writes Chase Horne.

    Apr. 28, 2017
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Mark Schmidt discusses the background and current status of a case now before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. “This case could have a big impact on claims for theft by contractor,” he writes.

    Apr. 25, 2017
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    With many collective bargaining agreements typically three years long, many employers and unions will head to the bargaining table this year for the first time under Right to Work. Krista Ebbens answers questions about the issues employers face under Right to Work.

    Mar. 07, 2017
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    A recent decision by a Milwaukee Circuit Court judge serves as guidance to plaintiffs in the future that defendant-specific expert testimony is crucial to establishing negligence on the part of design professionals for construction defects. Brian Smigelski discusses the decision and its impact.

    Feb. 15, 2017
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    To properly apply prevailing wage rates and hours, lawyers need to understand the nuances of mineral aggregates and material processing in state highway projects. Carrie Cox provides a starting point and guidance to ensure employers comply with the law.

    Feb. 14, 2017
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Companies working on public projects need to remain vigilant regarding changes to Wisconsin’s revised Prevailing Wage Law. Carrie Cox identifies the changes to the law now in effect.

    Jan. 10, 2017
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Cameron Smith talks about a recently argued Wisconsin Supreme Court case – Melchert v. Pro Electric Contractors. “The case gives the Court the opportunity to expound on two key aspects of immunity from liability for government contractors,” Smith writes.

    Dec. 08, 2016
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Projects involving Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) can be challenging for contractors and non-DBE subcontractors. The Seventh Court’s decision implies that, for the foreseeable future, the law is settled that DBEs are found constitutional when tied to federal funds.

    Nov. 11, 2016
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    You are a construction contractor who has been tendered the defense of an action pursuant to an indemnity clause in your contract. The recent pithy and instructive Aug. 9, 2016 Court of Appeals decision in Karen Colleran v. Erik C. Wildes is asharp warning; it illustrates the pitfalls if you and your insurer fail to respond correctly.

    Oct. 10, 2016
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Whether or not you like the economic loss doctrine, in construction circumstances it appears here to stay – after a recent and well-reasoned decision in Milwaukee County Circuit Court regarding Wis. Stat. section 895.447.

    Sep. 08, 2016
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    Can the statute of repose still be used to bar cases from moving forward to trial as the law intended, or has the law lost its force? Matthew McClean discusses recent appellate cases applying Wisconsin’s construction statute of repose.

    Aug. 09, 2016
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    In a recent decision, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals weighed in on the application of promissory estoppel in the context of construction bidding. At issue is the impact of bid negotiations upon the general contractor’s ability to assert promissory estoppel where a subcontractor later declines or refuses to honor its bid.

    Aug. 08, 2016
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    The Construction and Public Contract Law Section has established this blog to provide its members with valuable information concerning issues that are important to attorneys engaged in construction or public contracting law.

    Aug. 08, 2016
    Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

    In a recent decision, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals faced the issue of whether a lender’s title insurance policy covers construction liens that arise from the lender’s decision to cease funding its construction loan due to a loan imbalance.

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