Owners often contract with geotechnical engineers, surveyors, and other specialty consultants to perform services early in the design and construction of a project. The American Institute of Architects recently launched three new owner-consultant agreements for owners to procure these services.
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Effective July 1, 2015, the American Arbitration Association released an updated version of its Construction Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures. The changes are intended to further streamline the arbitration process and reduce costs. Highlights include:
- automatic referral to mediation for all cases with claims exceeding $100,000—any party may opt out of mediation
- time limits and additional filing requirements for consolidation and joinder
- a greater degree of arbitrator control over the exchange of information, including expensive electronic documents
- new preliminary hearing rules providing detailed guidance to parties and arbitrators
- emergency relief rules for contracts entered on or after July 1, 2015, to appoint an emergency arbitrator within one day of filing the request for emergency relief
- authority for arbitrators to sanction parties that refuse to comply with the rules or the arbitrator’s orders
To learn more about the AAA’s revised Construction Rules, please visit http://info.adr.org/constructionrules/.
Attorneys defending design professionals and contractors have long argued that Utah Code section 78B-2-225 is a statute of repose rather than a statute of limitations. A statute of limitations defines the timeframe in which a lawsuit must be filed from the date of the injury or damage. It may be equitably tolled in some circumstances if the plaintiff does not know it has been injured or damaged. In contrast, a statute of repose defines the maximum timeframe for bringing suit, regardless of when the injury or damage occurs or is known.
The American Institute of Architects recently released four new contract documents: a residential design-build agreement, a teaming agreement, and two commercial design-build payment forms.
The American Institute of Architects has released new contract documents, including Master Agreements, Service Orders, and Work Orders, to avoid renegotiation for new tasks or new projects during a defined period.
The American Arbitration Association just released the Supplementary Rules for Fixed Time and Cost Construction Arbitration. Parties involved in construction disputes now have the option of selecting supplementary rules that will limit the cost and duration of their construction arbitration proceedings. These Supplementary Rules allow parties to calculate the maximum time to complete the arbitration, the maximum number of hearing days, and the arbitrator costs.
Anyone involved in construction knows that projects generate massive volumes of records. From change orders to RFIs, meeting minutes to payment applications, virtually every aspect of a construction project may be documented in some way. Much of this documentation may be generated or stored electronically, through emails and FTP sites. The convenience of electronic communication also means that project participants typically create extensive electronic documentation about their various activities on the project.
The Utah Legislature almost annually modifies the preconstruction and construction lien laws (aka “mechanics’ liens”) in some fashion. 2014 was no exception, but there are few substantive changes.
Limitations of liability clauses in contracts continue to be one of the best defenses against professional liability claims. These clauses establish a contractual limit on the amount of damages that can be awarded if a client prevails in litigation against its design professional.
New for 2013, the American Institute of Architects recently released a family of contract documents for Program Management. These contract documents may be used when the Owner involves a Program Manager and Design Manager to assist with program-wide design. The Program Management family of contract documents includes AIA Documents B171-2013 Owner/Design Manager Agreement and C171-2013 Owner/Program Manager Agreement, for use in a Multiple Project Program and B172-2013 Owner/Architect Agreement, for Architect of Record Services.
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