Evaluating Smart Home Technology: It’s About More Than the Bottom Line
May 03, 2021 — James W. McPhillips & Rachel Newell - Gravel2Gavel Construction & Real Estate Law Blog
Outfitting a commercial real estate space with smart technology can be a significant cost. While the long-term benefits and strategic improvements we’ve discussed previously can make that investment worthwhile, the evaluation period is critical to ensure an impactful ROI. Property developers, owners, and managers should undertake a rigorous evaluation process to ensure the technology procurement aligns with the project’s overall financial plan. And this is not just about getting the cost right. If the technology does not meet the needs of the space, then all the smart technology in the world will not prevent the project from being a sunk cost.
Do the Research so You Know …
While the RFP is a key step of the procurement process, a more informal research phase should be undertaken first. Smart technology is a rapidly evolving field, and before reaching out to vendors, the business should ensure that it understands what is available—both in terms of the kinds of technology that can be implemented, and the various companies that offer solutions. Gathering this information early will yield results that align more closely with a particular building’s needs.
Reprinted courtesy of James W. McPhillips, Pillsbury
and Rachel Newell, Pillsbury
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Congratulations to BWB&O’s 2021 Super Lawyers Rising Stars!
July 05, 2021 — Dolores Montoya - Bremer Whyte Brown & O'Meara LLP
Bremer Whyte Brown & O’Meara, LLP is excited to announce Partners Kyle Carroll, Nicole Nuzzo, and Michael D’Andrea, as well as Associates Andy Arakelian and Andrew Steinberg, have been selected to the 2021 Super Lawyers Southern California Rising Stars for their work in Civil and Family litigation!
Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The patented selection process includes independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations. Read the court decisionRead the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of Dolores Montoya, Bremer Whyte Brown & O'Meara LLP
As Fracture Questions Remain, Team Raced to Save Mississippi River Bridge
September 06, 2021 — Jim Parsons - Engineering News-Record
"How is this bridge still standing?”
That was the initial reaction of Aaron Stover, Michael Baker International’s vice president and regional bridge practice lead, as he first studied images of a fractured tie beam that forced the May 11 emergency shutdown of the I-40/Hernando de Soto Bridge between Tennessee and Arkansas. Discovered by chance earlier in the day during MBI’s routine above-deck inspection, the fracture on the bridge’s eastbound span affected nearly half the cross-section of a 26-in. by 33-in. welded girder supporting one of the 50-year-old structure’s 900-ft-long, 100-ft-high arched navigation spans across the Mississippi River.
Reprinted courtesy of Jim Parsons, Engineering News-Record
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The Almost-Collapse of a Sarasota, Florida Condo Building
July 11, 2021 — Beverley BevenFlorez – CDJ Staff
Five years ago, residents of the Dolphin Tower in Sarasota, Florida were forced to evacuate after cracks appeared in their fourth-floor condominium units.
“My assistant calls me and says, ‘[Kris] thinks the building is falling down,’” David Karins of Karins Engineering told Sarasota Magazine. “I said, ‘I doubt that.’ Then I got there and saw what was going on and I said, ‘You know, the building may be falling down.’”
In July of 2010, city officials ordered all residents to evacuate. Five years and $11 million dollars in rehabilitation and residents were finally able to move back in last month.
The Herald-Tribune had previously interviewed John Bonacci, an engineer at Sarasota’s Karins Engineering: “I’d say yes, there was grave danger. It was luck that it didn’t come all the way down. Getting shoring in there quickly was instrumental in preventing it from collapsing.”
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Insurer Motion to Intervene in Underlying Case Denied
August 10, 2021 — Tred R. Eyerly - Insurance Law Hawaii
The Colorado Supreme Court determined that the insurer defending under a reservation of rights could not intervene in the underlying case after the insured assigned its rights to any bad faith claim against the insurer. Auto-Owners Ins. Co. v. Bolt Factory Lofts Owners Ass'n, Inc., 2021 Colo. LEXIS 365 (Colo. May 24, 2021).
Bolt Factory initiated a construction defects lawsuit against various contractors. Several defendants filed third-party complaints against subcontractors, including Sierra Glass Company. Auto-Owners agreed to defend its insured, Sierra Glass, under a reservation of rights. Auto-Owners declined to settle with Bolt Factory for $1.9 million, within policy limits. Sierra Glass then retains independent counsel and entered into a settlement with Bolt Factory. The settlement allowed Sierra Glass to assign its bad faith claims to Bolt Factory in exchange for the right to pursue the insurer for payment of the excess judgment rather than Sierra Glass. Instead of entering into a stipulated judgment, Bolt Factory and Sierra Glass proceeded to an abbreviated trial. Read the court decisionRead the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of Tred R. Eyerly, Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert
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The American Rescue Plan Act: What Restaurants Need to Act on NOW
March 22, 2021 — Michael Krueger - Newmeyer Dillion
The American Rescue Plan Act (“Act”) was passed by the Senate over the weekend and passed by the House today. President Biden is set to sign the Act into law on Friday, March 12th. The Act has $1.9 Trillion in relief funds with $28.6 Billion set aside for the restaurant industry in the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (“Fund”). The Fund has apportioned funds into two funding groups; $5 Billion for restaurants with annual gross revenue under $500,000 and $23.6 Billion for restaurants over $500,000 in annual gross revenue.
Differences from the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”)
This is a grant program with no loan documents or forgiveness applications. Instead, each restaurant entity can apply for and receive up to $10M in grant funds through the Act. The amount a restaurant receives is based on the sum of the restaurant’s gross revenue in 2019 minus the gross revenue in 2020 minus PPP and EIDL money received. For example, Restaurant A made $7M gross revenue in 2019, made $3M gross revenue in 2020 and received $1M in PPP and EIDL combined. ($7M - $3M -$1M =$3M) The restaurant will receive $3M in grant funds directly from the SBA (as long as funds are available). Read the court decisionRead the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of Michael Krueger, Newmeyer Dillion
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Chambers USA 2021 Ranks White and Williams as a Leading Law Firm
June 07, 2021 — White and Williams LLP
White and Williams is once again recognized by Chambers USA as a leading law firm in Pennsylvania for achievements and client service in the areas of insurance law, real estate finance and banking and finance law. The firm has also been recognized for achievements and client service in banking and finance law in Philadelphia and the surrounding area. In addition, five lawyers received individual honors – two for their work in insurance, one for his work in real estate finance, another for her work in bankruptcy and restructuring and one for his work in commercial litigation.
White and Williams is acknowledged for our renowned practice offering exceptional representation to insurers and reinsurers across an impressive range of areas including coverage, bad faith litigation and excess liability. The firm is recognized for notable strength in transactional and regulatory matters, complemented by the team's adroit handling of complex alternative dispute resolution proceedings. Chambers USA also acknowledged the firm's broad trial capabilities, including handling data privacy, professional liability, toxic tort coverage claims, and experience in substantial claims arising from bodily injury and wrongful death suits. White and Williams' cross-disciplinary team is also highlighted, as one source commented that "all advice was reasoned and respectful. They worked well together and provided exceptional representation." Read the court decisionRead the full story...
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Industry Standard and Sole Negligence Defenses Can’t Fix a Defect
June 14, 2021 — Lian Skaf - The Subrogation Strategist
Strict products liability cases have been the subject of much fluctuation in the Pennsylvania courts over the last few years. Utilizing hope created by the courts in recent strict liability cases, defendants have tried to revive defenses based on meeting industry standards and the plaintiff’s contributory negligence. Recently, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania tempered that hope with limitations of how far strict liability defenses can extend.
In Sullivan v. Werner Co., No. 3086 EDA 2019, 2021 Pa. Super. LEXIS 210, an appellate panel of the Superior Court reviewed the lower court’s decision to exclude evidence of industry standards and of the plaintiff’s negligence in a trial that resulted in a $2.5 million verdict for the plaintiff. Upholding the decision of the lower court, the court found that the proffered evidence was within the discretion of the court to exclude.
In Sullivan, Michael Sullivan (Sullivan) was working as a union carpenter at a renovation project for a local school. He and his apprentice were installing exterior sheathing to the outdoor walls. In order to install the sheathing, Sullivan had to use a scaffold. He put together a new SRS-72 scaffold manufactured by Werner Company (Werner) that his foreman bought at Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (Lowe’s) and used the scaffold during the course of his work. While on the scaffold, Sullivan fell through and crashed to the ground. He suffered permanent injuries as a result of the incident. Read the court decisionRead the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of Lian Skaf, White and Williams LLP
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