Construction Litigation

While our goal is always to minimize risk and achieve smooth and timely project delivery, there are times when risk turns into dispute. When that occurs, our team of construction litigators is adept at advising our clients through all phases of dispute resolution. We regularly appear in state and federal courts, in all forums of alternative dispute resolution, including mediation and arbitration, as well as before various regulatory and administrative hearing boards. We represent clients in a broad range of contract and extra-contractual claims. Our group has extensive experience in resolving disputes over construction terms addressing payment methods and procedures, scope of work, deadline and delay, termination and suspension, as well as insurance and warranty requirements. We regularly prosecute and defend mechanics lien claims, surety bond claims, delay claims, extended conditions claims, defective design or specification claims, wage and employment matters, and bid protests, among others.

Practice Chair

David L. Fine

David L. Fine
Partner

PODCAST: Jessica Murphy discusses Women in Construction Week March 7-14, 2021

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Jessica Murphy to speak at NAWIC Webinar "A Blueprint for Construction Disputes"

2/18/2021[ read full story ]

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

9/29/17[ read full story ]

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

04/02/2014[ read full story ]

Representative Matters

  • 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. The general contractor’s claim included a substantial pass-through claim by the mechanical subcontractor. The hospital brought a counterclaim alleging defective installation of concrete subflooring. The litigation involved claims, counterclaims and cross-claims by and between the owner hospital, its architect, the general contractor, and multiple subcontractors and suppliers.
  • 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.
  • Obtained a mechanics lien and successfully negotiated a settlement on behalf of a site subcontractor who was owed a substantial contract balance and change order amounts on a private project in which the general contractor had filed for bankruptcy protection.
  • 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. The general contractor had a number of defenses, including defective installation of underlayment and flooring surface and delay caused by the subcontractor’s lack of manpower.

A Classic Distinction Between Legal Remedies and Equitable Remedies:  1st Circuit Overturns Decades-Old Precedent On Citizen Enforcement of Clean Water Act

The First Circuit recently overturned a thirty-one year old decision on citizen enforcement of the Clean Water Act (CWA).  The now-overruled decision is North and South Rivers Watershed Ass’n v. Town of Scituate, 949 F.2d 552 (1st Cir. 1991), in …

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Municipal Law:  Supreme Court Lightens Up On Standard of Review for Certain Sign Bylaws

Recently, the Supreme Court addressed a challenge from two private entities related to the constitutionality of a sign bylaw (“Bylaw”) instituted by the City of Austin (“City”).  In City of Austin v. Reagan National Advertising of Austin, LLC, et. al., …

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“A Trap for the Unwary:”  Bankruptcy Court Declares Debtor’s Homestead Deficient

In In re Luu, Danny Luu (the “Debtor”) argued that he had a homestead exemption in the amount of $324,960.00.  He argued that because he filed a homestead declaration on March 18, 2021—just two days prior to filing his Chapter …

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State’s Highest Court to Determine Scope of Dover Amendment Solar Protection in M.G.L. c. 40A

Last week, the SJC heard oral arguments for a case that is anticipated to potentially impact municipal zoning, specifically in the realm of solar energy projects.  The outcome of this case will either aid or inhibit a municipality’s ability to …

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Remote Public Meetings Authorized Through April of 2022; New Law Extends Additional COVID-19 Emergency Rules

Public bodies may continue to hold remote meetings through April of 2022 under new legislation enacted this week. The statute, Chapter 20 of the Acts of 2021, authorizes a quorum of a board or committee to meet remotely and require remote …

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Municipal Permitting Timelines Resume on December 1

Effective December 1, municipal boards must follow the usual permitting deadlines following a COVID-19 statute enacted last week. Towns and cities had been operating under Section 17 of Chapter 53 of the Acts of 2020, which tolled the deadlines for commencing …

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Important Update – The Impact of Coronavirus on the Construction Industry

Since our post on March 18, a lot has happened from both a health and regulatory standpoint as far as the impact from the outbreak of COVID-19 (“coronavirus”) on local and state construction practice.  Here is an update, as of …

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The Impact of Coronavirus on the Construction Industry

The outbreak of COVID-19 (“coronavirus”) has impacted all industries, including construction.  First and foremost, we are in the midst of a public health crisis, and the safety and well-being of all project participants should be top of mind.  We are …

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Executive Order Loosens Open Meeting Law Requirements During Coronavirus Emergency

Governor Baker signed an Executive Order relieving government boards and committees from compliance with certain Open Meeting Law requirements during the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. The Order gives public bodies greater leeway to hold closed-door and remote meetings, so that government agencies …

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SJC Reverses Appeals Court on Standing Requirements Under the Zoning Act – With Record Speed

All zoning conformities are alike, to rephrase Tolstoy’s famous opening line, but each zoning-related injury is injurious in its own way. Such has been the time-honored tenant of Massachusetts law for abutter standing under the Zoning Act.  To successfully challenge …

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PFAS Concerns Mounting for Cities and Towns as MassDEP Proposes Maximum Contaminant Level in Drinking Water

Many of our readers will be aware that on December 27, 2019, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) proposed a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for PFAS in drinking water of 20 parts per trillion (0.02 ug/L or ppt) for six PFAS …

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Building the Boroughs: A Year in Review

In 2019, Mirick O’Connell’s permitting attorneys were proud to help our clients, large and small, with local approvals in Marlborough for 6 great projects. Thank you to our clients and the City of Marlborough for a wonderful year! Click here …

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