Our initial goal is conflict avoidance. When conflicts arise we are adept and skillful at negotiation, mediation, arbitration, litigation and appeals.
We actively participate in the construction industry throughout the country. We have presented countless seminars in more than a dozen states and provinces throughout the United States and Canada. In addition, we have prolifically and timely published articles on matters of interest to the construction industry.
Contracts are instruments used to allocate risk. While we generally believe conflicts are more likely to be avoided if risks are allocated to the party who can best control a particular risk, we strive to learn each client’s particular contract philosophy and negotiate and draft contracts to conform to the client’s goal. We have experience drafting specialized proprietary contracts, revising industry standardized forms and drafting addenda as effective tools to amend contract language. We know that claims can be won or lost by the language used in ancillary contract documents, not just the base contract or subcontract. This is why we carefully examine language in specifications, change orders, lien waivers, insurance certificates and policies, warranties, indemnities, bonds and releases.
A mechanic’s lien or a payment bond is a contractor’s best collection tool. Virtually every state in the country has some form of lien laws. We have mastered the art of perfecting these claims. Without a doubt, as a general rule, when contractual debts are secured with either a lien or bond, they will get resolved faster and more successfully so long as the strict time limits and procedural requirements are followed.
We have extensive experience in resolving disputes at all stages. We firmly believe in early resolution. With good reason, mediation is an effective and efficient dispute resolution procedure. While arbitration may be faster than litigation it is not necessarily cheaper. The decision whether to arbitrate or litigate is best made after you know the nature of the dispute, the amount involved, and the number of parties involved. We believe in maintaining, when possible, flexibility until the nature of the dispute is known. There are a time and a place for each. We will counsel you on the respective pros and cons of each situation.
We work with trade associations to draft and push for passage of legislation impacting the construction industry. We have drafted and helped secure passage of laws on retainage, mechanic’s liens and indemnification.
While construction law has topics largely unique to the industry there are areas where construction issues intersect with other areas of the law. Our firm has a deep bench with seasoned attorneys in relevant areas such as labor and employment, bankruptcy, real estate, creditor’s rights, business formation and transactions. We believe in and use the team approach whenever multiple disciplines come into play.
We are members of:
- American Bar Association’s Forum on the Construction Industry
- American Subcontractors Association – Midwest Council
- Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.
- Bi-State Fabricators Association, Inc.
- Construction Law Committee of the Missouri Bar
- SITE Improvement Association
- Home Builders and Remodelers Metro-East Association
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