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    White Mountain, Alaska

    Alaska Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: HB151 limits the damages that can be awarded in a construction defect lawsuit to the actual cost of fixing the defect and other closely related costs such as reasonable temporary housing expenses during the repair of the defect, any reduction in market value cause by the defect, and reasonable and necessary attorney fees.

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    Commercial and Residential Contractors License Required

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    Interior Alaska Builders Association
    Local # 0235
    938 Aspen Street
    Fairbanks, AK 99709

    White Mountain Alaska Construction Expert Witness 10/ 10

    Mat-Su Home Builders Association
    Local # 0230
    Wasilla, AK 99654

    White Mountain Alaska Construction Expert Witness 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of Alaska
    Local # 0200
    8301 Schoon St Ste 200
    Anchorage, AK 99518

    White Mountain Alaska Construction Expert Witness 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of Anchorage
    Local # 0215
    8301 Schoon St Ste 200
    Anchorage, AK 99518

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    Kenai Peninsula Builders Association
    Local # 0233
    PO Box 1753
    Kenai, AK 99611

    White Mountain Alaska Construction Expert Witness 10/ 10

    Northern Southeast Alaska Building Industry Association
    Local # 0225
    9085 Glacier Highway Ste 202
    Juneau, AK 99801

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    Southern Southeast Alaska Building Industry Association
    Local # 0240
    PO Box 6291
    Ketchikan, AK 99901

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    Construction Expert Witness News and Information
    For White Mountain Alaska

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    The White Mountain, Alaska Construction Expert Witness Group at BHA, leverages from the experience gained through more than 7,000 construction related expert witness designations encompassing a wide spectrum of construction related disputes. Leveraging from this considerable body of experience, BHA provides construction related trial support and expert services to White Mountain's most recognized construction litigation practitioners, commercial general liability carriers, owners, construction practice groups, as well as a variety of state and local government agencies.

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    White Mountain, Alaska

    Texas Legislature Puts a Spear in Doctrine Making Contractor Warrantor of Owner Furnished Plans and Specifications

    May 31, 2021 —
    The Texas Legislature has just sent Senate Bill 219 (“S.B. 219”) to the Governor for signature; if this legislation is signed by the Governor, it will further erode the Texas legal doctrine that makes the contractor the warrantor of owner-furnished plans and specifications unless the prime contract specifically places this burden on the owner. Background 49 states follow what is known as the Spearin doctrine (named after the U.S. Supreme Court case of United States v. Spearin) in which owners warrant the accuracy and sufficiency of owner-furnished plans and specifications. Texas, on the other hand, follows the Texas Supreme Court created Lonergan doctrine, which has been an unfortunate presence in Texas construction law since 1907. In its “purest form,” as stated by the Texas Supreme Court, the Lonergan doctrine prevents a contractor from successfully asserting a claim for “breach of contract based on defective plans and specifications” unless the contract contains language that “shows an intent to shift the burden of risk to the owner.” Essentially, this then translates into the contractor warranting the sufficiency and accuracy of owner-furnished plans and specifications, unless the contract between them expressly places this burden on the owner. Over the years some Texas courts of appeal had ameliorated this harsh doctrine, but in 2012, the Texas Supreme Court indicated Lonergan was still the law in Texas, in the case of El Paso v. Mastec. In 2019, the Texas Legislature took the first step toward hopefully abrogating the Lonergan doctrine by implementing a new Chapter 473 to the Texas Transportation Code with respect to certain projects undertaken by the Texas Department of Transportation, and Texas political subdivisions acting under the authority of Chapters 284, 366, 370 or 431 of the Transportation Code, adopting, as it were, the Spearin Doctrine in these limited, transportation projects. Now, the legislature has further chipped away at the Lonergan doctrine with the passage of S.B. 219. Reprinted courtesy of Paulo Flores, Peckar & Abramson, P.C., Timothy D. Matheny, Peckar & Abramson, P.C. and Jackson Mabry, Peckar & Abramson, P.C. Mr. Flores may be contacted at Mr. Matheny may be contacted at Mr. Mabry may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Comply with your Insurance Policy's Conditions Precedent (Post-Loss Obligations)

    May 31, 2021 —
    I am of the opinion that if your property insurer requests a sworn proof of loss, furnish one with the assistance of counsel (preferably). Ignoring the insurer’s request or refusing to comply with insurer’s request is NOT value-added; it is simply placing you at a disadvantage based on the insurer’s argument that you, as the insured, materially breached the policy. I generally find no value having to confront this expected argument. Instead, I find value making an effort to comply with post-loss obligations including the insurer’s request to submit a sworn proof of loss. Working with counsel can help you comply with post-loss obligations (conditions precedent) while not weakening the value or merits of your claim. By way of example, in Edwards v. Safepoint Ins. Co., 46 Fla. L. Weekly D1086a (Fla. 4th DCA 2021), the insured did not provide its property insurer with the requested sworn proof of loss. The insurer moved for summary judgment that the insured’s failure to submit the sworn proof of loss was a material breach of the policy that rendered the policy ineffective. The trial court agreed and granted summary judgment. The Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed explaining “[a] total failure to comply with policy provisions made a prerequisite to suit under the policy may constitute a breach precluding recovery from the insurer as a matter of law. If, however, the insured cooperates to some degree or provides an explanation for its noncompliance, a fact question is presented for resolution by a jury.” Edwards, supra, quoting Haiman v. Federal Ins. Co., 798 So.2d 811, 812 (Fla. 4th DCA 2001). Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Kirwin Norris, P.A.
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at

    EPA Seeks Comment on Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Rule

    July 19, 2021 —
    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it will revise a 2020 final rule clarifying requirements for water quality certification under the Clean Water Act (CWA). 85 Fed. Reg. 42210 (June 2, 2021). CWA Section 401 requires states and tribes to certify that any discharges associated with a federal permit will comply with applicable state or tribal water quality requirements. In an effort to eliminate 401 certification being used as a tool for delaying or imposing conditions unrelated to protecting water quality on federal permits, the 2020 rule established limits on the scope and timeline for review and required any conditions on certification to be water-quality related. State and Tribal governments and environmental groups challenged the rule, arguing it constrained state and tribal decision-making authority by limiting the term “other appropriate requirements of State law” in CWA Section 401(d) to “water quality requirements” and “point source discharges.” With EPA’s decision to revise the rule, many believe these same scope and timing limitations will be targets for change. Clients with experience, positive or negative, under the 2020 rule should consider submitting comments by the August 2, 2021 deadline. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Karen Bennett, Lewis Brisbois
    Ms. Bennett may be contacted at

    Courts Will Not Rewrite Your Post-Loss Property Insurance Obligations

    June 14, 2021 —
    In the preceding posting, I wrote about making sure you comply with your property insurance policy’s post-loss policy obligations. By failing to comply, you can render your policy ineffective meaning you are forfeiting otherwise valid insurance coverage, which was the situation discussed in the preceding posting. As an insured, you should never want this to occur! In another case, discussed here, the property insurance policy had a preferred contractor endorsement. This means that instead of paying the insured insurance proceeds, the insurer could perform the repairs with its preferred contractor. Typically, the insured will pay a discount on their premium for this preferred contractor endorsement. The insurer elected to move forward with the repairs based on the preferred contractor endorsement but the insured performed the repairs on his own and then sold the house. By doing this, the appellate court held the insured rendered his policy ineffective by breaching his own policy (and failing to allow this post-loss obligation to take place). The explicit terms of the policy allowed the insurer to perform the repairs instead of paying the insured insurance proceeds. The court could NOT rewrite the post-loss obligations in the policy by requiring the insurer to pay insurance proceeds when the insurer, per the preferred contractor endorsement, elected to perform the repairs. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Kirwin Norris, P.A.
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at

    A Court-Side Seat: As SCOTUS Decides Another Regulatory “Takings” Case, a Flurry of Action at EPA

    July 19, 2021 —
    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 decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Anthony B. Cavender, Pillsbury
    Mr. Cavender may be contacted at

    Presidential Executive Order 14008: The Climate Crisis Order

    August 16, 2021 —
    Presidential Executive Order 14008, “Tackling the Climate Crisis,” a long and unusually detailed Executive Order published in the Federal Register on February 1, 2021 (see 86 FR 7619), has generated considerable discussion and commentary. Below, I briefly outline its provisions. This EO describes the “climate crisis” in existential terms:
    “There is little time left to avoid setting the world on a dangerous, potentially catastrophic climate trajectory.” Confronting and combating climate change will be an important component of American foreign policy and national security, and domestically, the federal government’s resources will be mobilized to deploy a “govern-wide approach to the climate crisis.”
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    Reprinted courtesy of Anthony B. Cavender, Pillsbury
    Mr. Cavender may be contacted at

    Lewis Brisbois Appellate Team Scores Major Victory in Bad Faith Insurance Action

    May 24, 2021 —
    Appellate Partner Raul L. Martinez and Los Angeles Partners Elise D. Klein and Celia Moutes-Lee recently secured a major win in an appeal of a bad faith insurance action. In Wexler v. California Fair Plan Association (Apr. 14, 2021, B303100) __Cal.App.5th__, Division Eight of the Second Appellate District (Los Angeles), the court held that the plaintiff, the daughter of insurance policy holders, had no standing to pursue bad faith allegations against her parents’ insurer for smoke damage to her personal possessions. The daughter’s parents owned a home in the mountains where there was a heightened risk of fires. The parents insured their home with a California FAIR Plan Association (FAIR Plan) owner-occupied dwelling policy (the FAIR Plan Policy). The FAIR Plan Policy only insured the dwelling and its contents against damage from fire, lightning, and internal explosion with limited coverage for smoke damage. The FAIR Plan Policy also expressly disclaimed coverage for individuals not specifically named in the policy. Furthermore, the plaintiff’s name did not appear in any of her parents’ insurance documents. Reprinted courtesy of Raul Martinez, Lewis Brisbois and Elise Klein, Lewis Brisbois Mr. Martinez may be contacted at Ms. Klein may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Why Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Is a Green Jobs Plan

    April 26, 2021 —
    “Once you put capital money to work, jobs are created.” These are not the words of President Joe Biden, announcing his administration’s infrastructure plan in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Nor were they the words of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, standing on a train platform to announce expanded service, or of any of the administration’s economists charged with touting the virtues of the $2.25 trillion spending plan. It was Michael Morris, then-CEO of Ohio utility American Electric Power, who uttered them on an investor call a decade ago. AEP was fighting an Environmental Protection Agency proposal to reduce mercury and other pollutants from power plants, citing the expense of creating jobs to install new scrubbers on smokestacks or build cleaner plants. Morris, taking his fiduciary responsibility to the utility’s investors seriously, argued these new roles would come at a cost to AEP and were, thus, bad. What he did not question, and correctly so, was whether more investments would indeed create more jobs. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Gernot Wagner, Bloomberg