Hunton Andrews Kurth’s Insurance Recovery Practice, Andrea DeField and Cary D. Steklof, Recognized as Legal Elite
August 16, 2021 — Casey L. Coffey - Hunton Andrews Kurth
We are proud to share that Hunton Andrews Kurth insurance coverage Partner Andrea (Andi) DeField
and Counsel Cary D. Steklof
were recently recognized as 2021 Legal Elite Up & Comers in Florida Trend magazine. Florida Trend invited all in-state members of the Florida Bar to name attorneys whom they highly regard or would recommend to others. Only the top 111 attorneys were recognized for their leadership in the legal field and in the community. Andi and Cary are both well deserving of this honor and the award reflects their dedication to providing excellent legal services.Andi finds risk management, risk transfer, and insurance recovery solutions for public and private companies. She represents policyholders in a variety of insurance coverage disputes including those arising out of data breaches, ransomware attacks, construction defect and wrongful death suits, hurricanes, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory investigations, class actions, shareholder derivative suits, and COVID-19.
Cary represents individual, corporate and municipal policyholders in all types of first- and third-party insurance coverage and bad faith disputes. With experience in the areas of insurance litigation, insurer bad faith and unfair insurance practices, he concentrates his practice on advising policyholders in connection with director and officer, error and omission, cyber, commercial general liability, and commercial property insurance policies. Read the court decisionRead the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of Casey L. Coffey, Hunton Andrews Kurth
Ms. Coffey may be contacted at ccoffey@HuntonAK.com
Supreme Court of Washington State Upholds SFAA Position on Spearin Doctrine
September 13, 2021 — Peter Roth – The Surety & Fidelity Association of America
September 9, 2021 (WASHINGTON, DC) – The Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA)
commends the decision of The Supreme Court of The State of Washington to reverse the lower court ruling in the case of Lake Hills Investments, LLC vs. Rushforth Construction Co. As argued by SFAA, the Supreme Court found the contractor should not be responsible for damage caused by the defective design provided by the owner even where the contractor was responsible for certain defective work. In addition, the contractor is not completely barred from asserting this defense if the defects were caused by a combination of deficient performance by the contractor and deficient design, and proportional liability should be determined.
The SFAA, along with the National Electrical Contractors Association Puget Sound Chapter (NECA), Mechanical Contractors Association of Western Washington (MCAWW) and SMACNA-Western Washington (SMACNA), issued an Amici Curiae in support of Petitioner AP Rushforth Construction Co., Inc. d/b/a AP Rushforth, and Adolfson & Peterson, Inc.’s (collectively “AP”) Petition for Discretionary Review. In the brief they argued the Court should grant the Petition because the decision by the lower court is contrary to precedent of limiting a contractor’s liability when the owner’s defective plans and specifications caused the defective work, and upsets settled expectations of allocation of risk and liability between contractors, owners and architects (among others) on construction projects. This allocation of risk and the principle of limiting the contractor’s liability for defective work based on defective plans and specifications is long settled doctrine in Washington State and throughout the country, a doctrine based on the US Supreme Court’s landmark decision in U.S. vs. Spearin more than 100 years ago.
The Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA) is a trade association of more than 425 insurance companies that write 98 percent of surety and fidelity bonds in the U.S. SFAA is licensed as a rating or advisory organization in all states and it has been designated by state insurance departments as a statistical agent for the reporting of fidelity and surety experience. www.surety.org
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Reprinted courtesy of Peter Roth, SFAA
Mr. Roth may be contacted at email@example.com
Implied Warranty Claims–Not Just a Seller’s Risk: Builders Beware!
May 10, 2021 — Carin Ramirez - Colorado Construction Litigation
One of the thorns in the side of every construction defect defense litigator is the implied warranty claim. The “implied warranty” is a promise that Colorado law is “implied” into every contract for a sale of a new home that the home was built in a workmanlike manner and is suitable for habitation. Defense attorneys dislike the implied warranty claim because it is akin to a strict liability standard. All that is required to provide the claim is that an aspect of construction is found to be defective — i.e., inconsistent with the building code or manufacturer’s installation instructions — regardless of whether the work was performed to the standard of care. The implied warranty claim is therefore easier to prove than a negligence claim, where a claimant must prove that a construction professional’s work fell below a standard of reasonable care. Additionally, it is not a defense to an implied warranty claim that the homeowners or the HOA are, themselves, partially liable for the defects where damage is due in part to insufficient or deferred maintenance, as it is for negligence claims. The only redeeming aspect to the implied warranty claim was that, until recently, it was believed that it could only be asserted by a first purchaser against the seller of an improvement, because the implied warranty arises out of the sale contract.
Recently, the Colorado Court of Appeals opinion in Brooktree Village Homeowners Association v. Brooktree Village, LLC, 19CA1635, decided on November 19, 2020, extended the reach of the implied warranty — though just how far remains to be seen. Specifically, a division of the Court of Appeals held that an HOA can assert implied warranty claims on behalf of its members for defects in common areas, even where there is no direct contractual relationship between the parties to base the warranty upon. Read the court decisionRead the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of Carin Ramirez, Higgins, Hopkins, McLain & Roswell, LLC
Ms. Ramirez may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
16 Wilke Fleury Attorneys Featured in Sacramento Magazine 2021 Top Lawyers!
September 20, 2021 — Wilke Fleury LLP
Congratulations to Wilke Fleury’s featured attorneys who made the Sacramento Magazine’s Top Lawyer List for 2021!
The voting for Professional Research Services’ survey to determine the top attorneys in 2021 for Sacramento Magazine was open to all licensed attorneys in Sacramento, Calif. Attorneys were asked whom they would recommend among 56 legal specialties, other than themselves, in the Sacramento area. Each attorney was allowed to recommend up to three colleagues in each given legal specialty. Once the online nominations were complete, each nominee was carefully evaluated on the basis of the survey results, the legitimacy of their license, and their current standing with the State Bar of California. Attorneys who received the highest number of votes in each specialty are reflected in the following list. – Sacramento Magazine
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Reprinted courtesy of Wilke Fleury LLP
Virtual Jury Trials of Construction Disputes: The Necessary Union of Both Sides of the Brain
May 17, 2021 — John Dannecker - Construction Executive
Bart Smith is the Senior Project Manager for Simply Best, a general contracting firm. He has been assigned to serve as the liaison with outside counsel in a lawsuit against Holly’s Harleys, a project owner who contracted with Best for the construction of a motorcycle showroom. Best filed suit in federal court for additional project costs it incurred, which it contends were caused by the specification of incompatible materials by Holly’s design firm.
The coronavirus pandemic is still raging as the trial date approaches. Courthouse facilities are closed so civil trials are conducted using remote technology, if they occur at all. Bart negotiated the prime contract with Holly’s, and he regrettably allowed Best’s binding arbitration and jury trial waiver clauses in the prime contract to be deleted. Bart worries about how the intricacies of Best’s case can be adequately explained to a jury in a remote trial. His concern approaches panic when Best’s trial counsel explains how the trial will be conducted with none of the parties—their attorneys, the judge, the witnesses or the jury—present in the same location.
Reprinted courtesy of John Dannecker, Construction Executive
, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved. Read the court decisionRead the full story...
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Fourth Circuit Questions EPA 2020 Clean Water Act 401 Certification Rule Tolling Prohibition
August 10, 2021 — Karen C. Bennett - Lewis Brisbois
Last week, in North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals suggested that Congress did not intend for the states, or tribes, to take final action on Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 401 applications within a year of filing. The opinion conflicts with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 2020 final rule that sought to limit state and tribal certifying authorities’ ability to delay federal projects through various tolling schemes. 85 Fed. Reg. 42210 (Jul. 13, 2020).
EPA’s rule, codified in existing regulations, states that the CWA imposes a strict one-year deadline for certification decisions, otherwise certification is waived. However, the Fourth Circuit’s view suggests that this waiver is not triggered in cases where the certifying authority has acted on the application, even if it takes longer than a year to make a final certification decision. The court ultimately decided the case on other grounds, leaving a resolution on the statutory interpretation question for another day. Read the court decisionRead the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of Karen C. Bennett, Lewis Brisbois
Ms. Bennett may be contacted at Karen.Bennett@lewisbrisbois.com
Progress, Property, and Privacy: Discussing Human-Led Infrastructure with Jeff Schumacher
August 30, 2021 — Aarni Heiskanen - AEC BusinessWe sat down with Jeff Schumacher, Microsoft’s Global Workplace Services Regional Lead Ireland, UK, and MEA, in the run-up to his keynote speech at WDBE 2021. Our conversation covered how technical innovation has changed the sector, the dangers of assumption, and why retaining a human-centred perspective is vital in a data-driven business.
As we leave lockdown, the conversation shifts from measuring the impact on society to the positive change that our urban spaces and built environment can provide. But when it comes to contemporary professional working spaces and the habits of the people working within them, it can be difficult to find a solution that works. Read the court decisionRead the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of Aarni Heiskanen, AEC Business
Mr. Heiskanen may be contacted at email@example.com
A Court-Side Seat: As SCOTUS Decides Another Regulatory “Takings” Case, a Flurry of Action at EPA
July 19, 2021 — Anthony B. Cavender - Gravel2Gavel
This is a brief account of some of the important environmental and administrative law cases recently decided.
THE U.S. SUPREME COURT
Pakdel v. City and County of San Francisco
On June 28, 2021, the Supreme Court decided this regulatory “takings” case, and, in a Per Curium opinion, reversed the Ninth Circuit’s ruling that that petitioners had to exhaust their state administrative remedies before they could file this lawsuit under 42 USC Section 1983. The City government had already come to a sufficient regulatory conclusion, and the Constitution does not require additional processing. In so ruling, the Ninth Circuit ignored last term’s decision in Knick v. Township of Scott. Read the court decisionRead the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of Anthony B. Cavender, Pillsbury
Mr. Cavender may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org