Substantial Compliance – When the Contract Doesn’t Always Mean What it Says

As COVID-19 continues to result in government shutdown orders, labor shortages, and increased lead times to acquire materials, project owners, contractors, and subcontractors may begin to make claims of “force majeure,” or may otherwise suspend or even terminate work.  Often these notifications or ...

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Ready to Settle with the General Contractor or its Bankruptcy Trustee, Subcontractors Should Proceed with Caution

The subcontractor did everything right:  it did the work, but did not get paid, and thereafter properly perfected a lien.  Now, the subcontractor has an opportunity to settle with the general contractor or even its subsequent bankruptcy trustee.  The subcontractor needs to proceed with caution to avoid losing its ...

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Recent Victory for All Texas Landowners Facing Pipeline Condemnation

Porter Hedges recently scored a significant victory for landowners Terrance and Kenneth Hlavinka and their families (“the Hlavinkas”) against HSC Pipeline Partners, a subsidiary of Enterprise Products Partners.

On June 18, 2020, the First Court of Appeals in Houston, Texas rendered its opinion, reversing ...

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The Texas Supreme Court has issued a ruling that significantly impacts arbitrations involving governmental entities, which include cities, counties, school districts, conservation districts, hospital organizations, and other political subdivisions.  In San Antonio River Authority v. Austin Bridge & Road ...

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While this coronavirus event grips the nation, contractors and subcontractors are asking whether this qualifies as a force majeure or changed condition event.  We think it qualifies as both. 

When you bid and signed your contracts, if the force majeure clause was given any thought, it likely was about the impact of a ...

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Small Business Economic Injury Disaster Loans

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has designated COVID-19 as a qualifying event for the provision of Economic Injury Disaster Loans to small businesses and private non-profits. As a result, on March 17, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott requested an emergency designation from the SBA for the entire state of Texas ...

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COVID-19 Made Performance Impossible – Now What?

The spread of COVID-19 has severely impacted our nation and economy. We are facing lockdowns, travel bans, and massive disruptions to day-to-day activities as authorities work to stop the spread of COVID-19. As the virus-related impacts spread, parties are likely to find it increasingly difficult to meet their ...

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A Matter of Trust – Avoiding the Pitfalls of the Texas Construction Trust Fund Act

Subcontractors have long celebrated—and general contractors long feared—the Texas Construction Trust Fund Act, codified in Chapter 162 of the Texas Property Code.  The Act, which is (ideally) construed broadly to primarily protect subcontractors, provides that payments “made to a contractor or ...

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Different Types of Construction Work: Chapter 56 vs. Chapter 53 and Why It Matters

If you are involved in the construction industry, you have probably heard of or dealt with mechanic’s liens. The majority of work performed on private Texas construction projects will fall under Chapter 53 of the Texas Property Code, to which mechanic’s liens apply. However, certain projects involve work ...

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Perfecting Bond Claims on Public Projects in Texas

Unlike with private commercial projects, liens cannot be filed against public projects in Texas. This means that unpaid subcontractors and suppliers do not have the same protections on public projects as those on private projects. On a private project, a subcontractor or supplier would ordinarily file a lien ...

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