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Construction Law

Understanding Construction Law

Over time, Construction Law has evolved into its own specialized area of practice. Statutes, regulations, and extensive case law must be considered in almost every construction-related dispute. Examples of applicable statutes include the Nebraska Political Subdivision Construction Alternatives Act, the Nebraska Construction Prompt Payment Act, and the Nebraska Construction Lien Act. Given the complexity of these statutes, along with existing and developing case law, having an experienced construction lawyer handling your case is a must. Construction contracts, too, have become more complex.  For example, owner-prime contractor agreements now vary between design-build, construction management at risk, multi-prime, or the more traditional cost-plus or stipulated sum.

Construction Law at Peetz Koerwitz & Lafleur

We represent general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, sureties, and project owners. We understand form contracts such as AIA and ConsensusDocs but routinely draft custom agreements to help further minimize your financial risk and exposure. We will also help you negotiate contracts to return the most benefit to your company, protect your profits, and reduce your risk.

Our firm has substantial experience with construction litigation. Our attorneys have foreclosed on construction liens, litigated bond claims, defended and prosecuted defect claims, and litigated delay claims and change order disputes. Among other things, we have also represented sureties on indemnity claims and have helped clients with workers compensation insurance audits.

An important part of our construction law practice is keeping our clients informed. We are always willing to help with your in-house training and will come to your office to give seminars on such topics as construction management, protecting your right to payment, and contract terms and conditions.


Why do I need a Construction Attorney?
If you are a contractor or subcontractor, the nature of the construction business is such that eventually, you will need legal counsel. Disputes are inevitable, whether with a project owner or between a general contractor and subcontractor. If you are a project owner, you should have counsel as well, but, before the project ever starts. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and then some, when it comes to well-written construction documents.
Should I agree to a liquidated damages provision in my contract?
Many contractors and subcontractors loathe liquidated damages provisions. However, under certain circumstances, liquidated damages may be a much better alternative to actual damages. So, before you negotiate away the liquidated damages provision, think about whether your company might actually be better off with known damages versus unknown.
If I haven’t been paid for my work, how do I protect my right to payment?
The answer to this question depends on whether you are a general contractor or subcontractor. General contractors should file a construction lien if the claim is on a private project. If the work was on a public project, a general contractor will need to perfect a claim against the public entity. This is typically done by filing a claim pursuant to a contract claims statute. If you are a subcontractor and have not received payment when due, you can protect your interest by filing a lien on a private project or by bringing a claim against the general contractor’s payment bond. The timing and processes for filing liens or asserting a bond claim vary greatly state by state. If you have a dispute over payment, you should contact counsel immediately to investigate the best way to protect your interest.