A Cautionary Tale for Contractors: Releases in Contract Modifications and Preservation of Claims

The Houston First Court of Appeals of Texas recently affirmed a trial court’s decision wiping out a whopping $17 million claim brought by a contractor against an owner for acceleration costs, holding that the claim was barred by release language contained in a signed contract modification of the type routinely ...

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The Impact of New Texas Discovery Rules in Delay and Disruption Claims

Any lawsuit filed in Texas state courts on or after January 1, 2021 are now subject to the newly-amended Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.  Our litigation team has a helpful review of several of the most significant changes available here.  This post focuses on how the new rules, particularly the new disclosure ...

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If You Seek to Limit the Authority of Your Arbitrators, Your Arbitration Clause Must Be Clear

In 2020, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision in Soaring Wind Energy LLC (SWE) v. CATIS USA Inc., et al.  In that case, the various members of a limited liability company (LLC) entered into an agreement to provide worldwide marketing of wind energy equipment and services.  The agreement contained an ...

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The Anatomy of a Change Order Clause in a Construction Contract

Change orders can quickly become a source of contention on construction projects and are often the subject of major disputes.  As a result, it is important for stakeholders to carefully draft and negotiate the change order and related provisions pre-contract. 

The key portions in a change order clause beyond the ...

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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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