Construction Law

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Our Construction Law attorneys represent and advise project owners, developers, general contractors, construction managers, subcontractors, specialty trade contractors, design professionals, engineers and other consultants, lenders, material suppliers, and manufacturers in all phases of construction, from initial planning to project completion.

We practice regularly in the areas of land use and real estate acquisition, contract preparation and review, environmental law, business law and finance, construction litigation and dispute resolution, and labor and employment law. The breadth and experience of our construction attorneys gives our clients a tremendous advantage as they navigate the complexities of the construction industry.

Our construction attorneys are active and hold leadership positons in several local, regional, and national construction trade and civic organizations. Many of our attorneys have technical and in-house backgrounds. We understand the challenges our clients face on a daily basis, and our goal is always to provide the best value by obtaining successful results at reasonable costs.

The services provided by Mirick O’Connell’s Construction Law Group include:

  • Administrative Hearings
  • American Institute of Architects (AIA) License User
  • Bid Protests
  • Change of Orders, Extra Work
  • Construction Claims
  • Construction Contracts Drafting, Review Negotiation
  • Construction & Design Defects
  • Construction Finance, Insurance & Bonding
  • Construction Litigation & Appeals
  • Default & Termination Proceedings
  • Delay, Impact & Acceleration Claims
  • Design Delegation, Design Assist
  • Designer Negligence Claims
  • Designer Selection Laws
  • Emergency & Crisis Response
  • Employee Handbooks
  • Employee Investigations & Workplace Audits
  • Environmental Claims, Hazardous Materials
  • False Claims Act
  • Government Contracts
  • Governmental Investigations & Assessments
  • Indemnification Claims
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Labor Disputes, Harmony
  • LEED Certified
  • Licensing
  • Liquidated Damages Claims
  • Lost Productivity Claims
  • Mechanic's Liens
  • Mediation, Arbitration
  • OSHA Investigations
  • Payment Claims
  • Payment & Performance Bonds
  • Prevailing Wages, Wage and Hour Claims
  • Private Wages, Wage and Hour Claims
  • Private Real Estate Development
  • Project Delivery Method Selection, Assessment
  • Project Support & Dispute Avoidance
  • Public Bidding & Procurement


Jonathan Sigel interviewed by NECN - How to Prepare for Mass Equity Pay Law

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Mirick O'Connell Ranked Largest Law Firm in Central MA

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Mirick O'Connell Voted Best Law Firm For Business

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David Fine co-authors "The 2017 A201 Deskbook," published by the American Bar Association

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Jessica Murphy Receives Extraordinary Leader Award

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Mirick O'Connell Voted Best Law Firm

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Mirick O'Connell Featured in Worcester Telegram

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Worcester Chamber Salutes Mirick O'Connell on 100 Years of Excellence

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Mirick O'Connell Celebrates 100th Anniversary!

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David Fine to Present Construction Contract Workshop

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David L. Fine Elevated to Partner

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14 Attorneys selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America

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Jessica Murphy Profiled by MetroWest Daily News

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David Fine Authors Chapter of ABA Book, "Construction Subcontracting, A Comprehensive, Practical and Legal Guide"

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David Fine to Moderate MBA CLE Panel of Experts: The Revitalization of Worcester

06/12/2019[ read full story ]

Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Seminar

04/04/2019[ read full story ]

David Fine to Moderate American Bar Association Webinar

10/25/17[ read full story ]

David Fine to Present at Northeast Security Systems Contractors Expo

05/22/2015[ read full story ]

Mirick O'Connell Sponsors Habitat for Humanity-MetroWest/Greater Worcester 'Women Build 2018'"

05/05/2018[ read full story ]

Mirick O'Connell Sponsors NAWIC Golf Tournament

06/14/2016[ read full story ]

Mirick O'Connell Sponsors Boroughs+ Economic Development Summit

01/26/2016[ read full story ]

Representative Matters

  • Successfully represented a college through all phases of financing and construction of a new Center for Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship, including grant requirements, bonding, compliance, contracts and project management.
  • Negotiated a favorable resolution for a general contractor in a multi-million dollar delay claim stemming from defective design documents and extended conditions in a multi-phased renovation and new construction of a hospital.
  • Successfully represented a municipality in complying with the Massachusetts Designer Selection Law in connection with the construction of a new public safety complex, including selecting an architect, negotiating and drafting AIA architect and general contractor agreements, and favorably resolving multiple disputes that arose during construction and after project completion.
  • Won summary judgment on behalf of a landowner against a developer who claimed that the parties had reached an agreement concerning the sale of land valued in excess of $5 million.
  • Successfully defended claims in excess of $2 million brought by a design-builder against an owner of a senior living facility, in connection with a $14 million construction project. The arbitration was a multi-party, complex case that spanned over 40 days of hearings.
  • Managed and coordinated efforts of multi-disciplinary team of architects and engineers to permit and develop a 104-bed assisted living facility, including obtaining zoning amendments and purchasing municipal property.
  • Managed and coordinated efforts of an institutional medical group’s real estate and facility phasing and re-organization, including leasing and regulatory requirements, design and construction contracts, and business advice.
  • Successfully represented a regional sewage treatment plant in review and approval of construction contract documents for a major renovation and expansion project.
  • Represented a private owner and a developer of residential and assisted-living facilities in negotiating and preparing a contract with a design-builder for construction of a new residential development.
  • Successfully represented a general contractor and its surety in defending claims on a payment bond brought by a specialty concrete subcontractor on a public works project involving renovation and build-out of a college dormitory.
  • Regularly prosecute and defend mechanics’ lien claims and surety bond claims.
  • Serve as general counsel to several leading general contractors, construction managers, subcontractors and specialty trade contractors.
  • Successfully prosecuted multi-million dollar claims for breach of contract and unfair business practices on behalf of a designer and builder of pollution control systems for power generation facilities.
  • Represented an institutional client in connection with its campus expansion plans, which involved working with MEPA, DCR and DEP to obtain the required approvals.
  • Regularly assist merit shop clients with union avoidance, organizing drives and elections.
  • Regularly represent unionized clients in labor grievances, arbitrations, unfair labor charges and contract negotiations.
  • Regularly assist clients with OSHA audits, jobsite inspections and citations.
  • Successfully tried a case before the Housing Appeals Committee for a developer client against a municipality for an affordable housing project under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 40B.

BREAKING: MassDEP Announces Proposed Revisions to the Massachusetts Contingency Plan, Including a Reportable Concentration for PFAS at 20 ppt

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced proposed revisions to the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (310 CMR 40.0000).  This begins a 3-month public comment period that will end July 19, 2019, and will include four public hearings. According to MassDEP, …

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EPA Issues Interpretive Statement: Groundwater Discharges are Not Subject to the Clean Water Act

In a not-so-stunning development, the EPA on Monday issued an Interpretive Statement putting to rest speculation on EPA’s position as to whether groundwater discharges are subject to federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act (CWA).  The answer:  “No.”  EPA’s 57-page …

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Third Party Beneficiary Rights in Construction Contracts

Last week the United States District Court in Massachusetts issued an important decision concerning third party beneficiary rights in construction contracts.  In Arco Ingenieros, S.A. de C.V. v. CDM International Inc., Civil Action No. 18-12348-PBS, a design-builder incurred damages due …

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Title Defect? Here’s How to Keep Your Deal on Track

You are under contract to sell a commercial or residential property and your attorney tells you two weeks prior to closing that the buyer’s title search has revealed a title defect. While there is a large array of issues that …

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Short-Term Rental Law Takes Effect July 1st

Governor Baker recently signed “An Act Regulating and Insuring Short-Term Rentals”, imposing new taxes, registration and inspection requirements, and other rules governing the short-term rental of homes and residential units through Airbnb, VRBO, and similar platforms. Overview: The new law …

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Recovery of Attorney’s Fees and Costs in Construction Disputes

When construction projects become construction disputes, contractors and suppliers start thinking about how to recover their attorney’s fees and other legal costs.  Massachusetts follows the “American Rule” for recovery of legal expenses that states each party must pay their own …

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Construction Insurance: Game of Risk

Construction work is risky by nature.  Common risks include natural disasters, inclement weather, flood or fire, accidents t hat cause property damage or bodily injury, and the failure of one or more parties to perform their designated responsibilities, resulting in …

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A Landfill Is Not a “Point Source” Under the Clean Water Act, So Says the 4th Circuit and D.Mass.

Two recent rulings address the issue of whether a landfill is a “point source” under the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq. (CWA), Sierra Club v. Virginia Electric et al and Toxics Action Center et al v. …

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The New Massachusetts Clean Energy Bill: Solar Advocates Left Waiting for the Next Installment

On July 31, 2018, the final day of its formal session, the Massachusetts legislature passed H. 4857, An Act to Advance Clean Energy, which Governor Baker signed into law on August 9. The bill represents several important steps forward in …

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Zoning Appeal Plaintiff Must Prove Standing, Even if Defendant Town Does Not Contest Issue at Trial

On Tuesday, the Appeals Court issued its opinion in Talmo v. Zoning Board of Appeals of Framingham.  Massachusetts suffers no shortage of case law on standing (the right to file suit) in zoning appeals.  In this case, the issue was …

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(Reluctantly) Open for Business: Momentum Gathering for Expanded Use of Continuous Operations Clauses

Two recent court decisions may embolden commercial landlords to use a familiar lease provision in an unusual way when responding to tenants seeking to close their business operations before the end of the lease term. Continuous operations clauses are common …

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Construction Defect Claims and the Often Misunderstood Application of Express and Implied Warranties

A claim for breach of construction warranty must be filed within the time allowed by the applicable statutes of limitation or repose.  Most jurisdictions, including Massachusetts, allow parties to modify that period by agreement.  The agreement must be particular and …

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