Our attorneys have direct experience with construction and development projects. Our knowledge of the industry will save you the time and money needed to get a less-experienced attorney “up to speed.” We can advise and represent you through all aspects of a new construction project, including financing and entitlement concerns, compliance with laws and regulations, and remedies for potential disputes.
Business and Project Risk Management
Development and construction projects involve varied groups of people and business entities – many of whom have never worked together – in the development and manufacture of unique building projects. This environment creates many and varied risks to owners, developers, lending institutions, contractors and others involved in the process. That risk is the subject of vigorous negotiation by those who can identify and appreciate it. Effectively shifting risk away from a client while minimizing the attendant costs of doing so is one of the most valuable services an attorney can perform for its development and contractor clients. This firm provides a comprehensive, integrated approach to business strategies, project documentation and operational protocols that maximize protection against business hazards beginning with the acquisition of land through certification of occupancy and beyond.
The firm helps its clients manage risk by analyzing their needs, recommending appropriate strategies, negotiating and drafting legal instruments for the following:
- Selection and formation of the appropriate business entities and the provision of effective management strategies.
- Land acquisition due diligence for entitlement and environmental issues
- The financing and purchase of real estate
- Effective utilization and management of design and entitlement consultants
- Obtaining available indemnification for its clients from other actors within the projects
- Obtaining all available insurance coverage from various sources within the project by analyzing exclusions in existing and proposed insurance policies, negotiating changes thereto or providing strategies for obtaining appropriate coverage by negotiating appropriate self insured retention limits, deductible limits, sublimits, aggregate limits and additional insured endorsements from other actors within the project
- Providing appropriate remedies for perceived risks should a dispute arise
- Providing appropriate contractual representations and warranties
- Ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations including public contracting laws and prevailing wage requirements on public construction projects
- Making recommendations during the construction process and intervening when necessary to prevent project issues or miscommunication from developing into costly disputes
Construction Contracting MattersAttorney Wade Johnson has been active in construction and construction related matters since 1978. He has been involved in a broad range of projects including housing, commercial and industrial construction and general engineering projects in both the public and private sectors. Prior to practicing law he worked as a tradesman, superintendent, estimator and project manager for general engineering, general building and specialty contractors. During this time he was responsible for scheduling and supervising construction activities of the company’s project workforce and subcontractors, tracking project costs, cost estimating and procurement of materials and services for mass grading, pipeline, storm drain, sewerage and street construction as well as the construction of Type I and Type II commercial and industrial buildings. Those projects included the Los Angeles Times printing and distribution facilities in Costa Mesa and Los Angeles, California and the Peninsula Hotel, Beverly Hills, California and scores of general engineering projects for city and state governments.
When the recession of the early 1990’s hit, Mr. Johnson worked his way through law school by investigating construction claims and providing expert testimony for other lawyers and their clients. During that time he was making of field and document investigations of construction projects and properties to analyze claims, mobilizing and managing the investigations of engineers, architects and other construction professionals, investigating delay and breach of contract claims, making recommendations for repairs, investigating the scope of work required for repairs and preparing cost estimates for repairs and alterations. An attorney since 1995, he has consulted contractors, property owners, attorneys and their clients in the evaluation of construction claims for delay, breach of contract, defective construction, contractor licensing matters and the method and cost of repair of construction work and property. Mr. Johnson is a licensed general engineering and general building contractor.
Combining that experience and knowledge with 15 years of hard litigation experience provides a distinct advantage when analyzing our client’s cases or potential disputes. It is our business and passion to stay abreast of the latest legislation, regulatory rulings and legal opinions that actually or potentially affect our clients’ business affairs. We are committed to providing owners, developers, contractors, architects, engineers, construction managers and others the business advice to create advantageous economic opportunities and the legal representation to solve problems when they occur.
And when you can’t walk away from a fight, you’ll want to know that your attorney speaks your language and the language of the law, can quickly analyze and contract documents and the law related to construction contracts, understands the plans and specifications and the nuances of insurance coverage and has command of the law relevant to your case. Mr. Johnson has been involved in hundreds of claims resulting in litigation or arbitration of matters involving construction projects and real estate development. Those matters involved breach of contract claims by owners, general contractors and subcontractors, construction defect claims, soil subsidence, design professional malpractice, contractor-subcontractor disputes, mechanics’ lien, stop notice and other actions involving construction related issues. Our many years of experience in the industry allow us to quickly analyze the facts of a dispute and bring the issues of the case into sharp focus. This skill saves our clients the substantial time and money usually expended having their staff – taken off of profit making activities – tied up educating an attorney regarding the significance of the many facts that come into play in such cases, hiring expensive consultants to educate the attorney, or both. We have experience representing contractors, architects, engineers, design professionals, developers and owners in connection with construction claims, including:
- Non performance and Non Payment
- Bidding Disputes
- Performance Bond Claims
- Payment Bond Claims
- Delay and Disruption Claims
- Extra Work and Change Order Disputes
- Defective or Nonconforming Work
- Contract Interpretation Disputes
- Performance of Design Professionals and Engineers
- Changing and Unforeseen Site Conditions
- Prosecuting and defending against mechanic’s lien and stop notice claims
- Evaluation of insurance coverage available for defense and indemnification and pursuit of insurance coverage for the client and others involved in the litigation
We view all potential and actual litigation from a business perspective and recommend the most cost effective method of resolving the dispute and achieving our clients’ goals. This often means utilizing one of many alternative forms of resolving disputes such as mediation, arbitration, combinations of the two or, where appropriate, judicial reference. These procedures often provide the privacy and expediency desired along with greater predictability than the traditional jury trial. When desired or required, traditional court litigation is pursued with competence and vigor. It is our business and passion to stay abreast of the latest legislation, regulatory rulings and legal opinions that actually or potentially affect our clients’ business affairs. We are committed to providing owners, developers, contractors, architects, engineers, construction managers and others the business advice to create advantageous economic opportunities and the legal representation to solve problems when they occur.