Our construction attorneys are committed to the future of the built environment, working collaboratively with the people and businesses who create it. We represent general contractors, subcontractors, materials suppliers, owners, sureties, and design professionals in every stage of public and private construction projects across the Pacific Northwest.
We have extensive experience in reviewing, drafting, and negotiating construction contracts on private projects. Our attorneys are well-versed in the standard private construction contract forms, such as AIA and ConsensusDocs, as well as drafting contracts specific to the particular needs of a client or project. Our team works with clients to avoid inadvertently agreeing to unfavorable contract terms, including onerous notice, indemnity, or claim waiver provisions, and negotiate terms which best mitigate risk to your business. We know good contract negotiation is a key step in avoiding disputes down the road.
Jordan Ramis understands public procurement inside and out. With a team comprised of counsel for several Oregon municipalities, former Federal and State of Oregon agency employees, and other experienced attorneys, our government contracts team serves clients with an insider’s perspective. Government contracts is a highly rule-based field and it pays to have someone on your side who knows the rules. Guiding clients through the myriad of issues which can arise in the public contracting pre-bid and bidding process, our team also helps clients navigate through federal, state, and local bidder prequalification issues, business size determinations, small and disadvantaged business qualification issues, and subcontracting issues.
Our attorneys have extensive experience with federal, state, and local bid protests before contracting agencies, state courts, and federal forums, such as the Government Accountability Office and the Court of Federal Claims. In addition, our attorneys also have experience representing other government contractors, including health care providers, janitorial services providers, and environmental clean-up contractors.
Successful prosecution and defense of claims on construction projects requires knowledge of the relevant statutes, regulations, claim processes, and contract provisions. Our construction team has decades of experience prosecuting and defending claims on both private and public construction projects, such as differing site conditions, prompt payment act, delay, defective plans and specifications, cost overrun, quantum meruit, equitable adjustment, and retainage claims.
For private construction projects, contracts dictate how claims are to be presented, typically with strict requirements for written notice and tight deadlines for claim presentation. Further, contractors and subcontractors have the option of recording a lien on private projects to secure their claims. Knowing the claims presentation procedures and the lien statutes is essential in pursuing these claims and our attorneys have the requisite knowledge.
For public construction projects, a web of federal, state, and local statutes, regulations, and rules govern claim presentation. Our attorneys have extensive experience in prosecuting claims against public contracting bodies both before agencies, such as the Oregon and Washington Departments of Transportation and the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and in state and federal forums, such as the United States Civilian Board of Contract Appeals and United States Court of Federal Claims.
We have extensive experience representing subcontractors on the Federal Miller Act and Oregon and Washington Little Miller Act bond claims. Our team also guides clients through the claims process with the Oregon Construction Contractors Board and advises on issues that may arise with licensure with the CCB or Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. No matter how complex a construction claim, we take a wholistic approach, advising and navigating our clients through the claims process.
While our construction practice group strives to avoid disputes by addressing risk up front through good contract negotiating and smart claim presentation, disputes inevitably arise. As with construction claims, successfully navigating dispute resolution processes requires thorough knowledge of the controlling statutes, regulations, rules, and contract provisions. We have extensive experience with dispute resolution through contracting agency dispute resolution procedures, administrative hearings, mediation, arbitration, and litigation. Our attorneys have prosecuted contract, lien, and bond claims through to jury and bench trials in Oregon and Washington state and federal courts. We have prevailed in multiple arbitrations with the American Arbitration Association and other common construction-related arbitration forums. Finally, we have brought successful appeals before the Oregon and Washington Courts of Appeal and the United States Courts of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit and the Federal Circuit. Our team has the knowledge, skill, and experience to go the distance in any dispute resolution forum.
“OP-ED: A look at Oregon and Washington rules for heat illness prevention”, Daily Journal of Commerce
September 6, 2022
The June 2021 Pacific Northwest heat wave resulted in hundreds of deaths across Oregon and Washington, including several in workplaces. While Oregon OSHA had already begun rulemaking to address workplace heat illness, the extreme temperatures obviously gave those activities added urgency.
Constructive Change: Getting Compensated for Changed Work in the Absence of a Written Change Order
May 6, 2022
Most construction contracts contain a provision requiring a written change order as a condition precedent to payment for changed work. However, even in the absence of a written change order, a contractor may be entitled to payment, as an equitable adjustment to the contract price, for changed work under the legal theory of constructive change.
Variations in Estimated Quantities on Construction Projects
January 25, 2022
Owners typically provide an estimate of the necessary quantities in the bid package in order to guide the contractor in bid preparation. However, many contractors have experienced situations in which the actual quantities varied from the quantity estimate provided by the owner.
Material Cost Escalations: Who Pays for Them?
December 29, 2021
If the contract does not provide for, or prohibits, contractor claims for material cost escalations, the contractor may be liable for the escalation. Further, if material delivery delays in turn delay the project, a contractor could face the assessment of liquidated damages.
Oregon’s State and Local COVID–19 Vaccine Mandates and Their Impact on Contractors
November 23, 2021
In the event that a contractor employs unvaccinated individuals, it is important to know the parameters of the vaccine mandates.
Delay, disruption and acceleration: untangling the tangled web
September 28, 2021
Delay, disruption and acceleration of construction projects are nothing new and most seasoned contractors have experienced one or all of them. However, the pandemic and environmental events, such as last year’s historic wildfires and this summer’s record heat wave, might point to a future in which contractors may be affected more frequently.
Bid Protests on Oregon and Washington Public Works Projects: Key Differences
August 30, 2021
This article discusses the significant differences between the bid protest deadlines and procedures in Oregon and Washington, of which contractors should be aware.
Construction Liens in Oregon and Washington: What is Lienable, What is Not, and How to Protect Your Lien Rights
July 28, 2021
This article originally appeared in the July 23, 2021 edition of the Daily Journal of Commerce Oregon. As most construction contractors and subcontractors know, construction liens can provide important payment security and also the ability to recover attorney fees if…
No-Damages-For-Delay Provisions in Private Construction Contracts in Oregon and Washington
June 30, 2021
Many private construction contracts contain what are known as “no-damages-for-delay” provisions. These provisions typically provide that a contractor may not recover damages (i.e., money) from the owner for owner-caused delays, or in the case of a subcontract that the subcontractor…
When Does Your Construction Lien Deadline Start To Run?
May 25, 2021
By Brent Carpenter, Shareholder This article originally published in the May 25, 2021 edition of the Daily Journal of Commerce Oregon. Construction liens are a powerful tool to ensure payment from an owner or a general contractor on private construction…
Allocating Risk of COVID-related Delays in Construction Contracts
February 22, 2021
Instead of merely reacting to potential liability for COVID-related delays, parties can and should negotiate allocation of that risk up front, during contract negotiation.
Differing Site Conditions Claims on Construction Projects
December 23, 2020
Construction contractors frequently encounter site conditions which differ from those depicted in the plans. When this occurs, the contractor can incur unanticipated costs.
“Up-the-Chain” Claims by Lower-Tier Subcontractors and Suppliers
November 23, 2020
Preserving lien and bond rights is important as they provide security to subs and suppliers in the event of nonpayment by the general contractor.
Excusable Delay on Construction Projects in the Absence of a Force Majeure Provision
September 28, 2020
In the absence of a force majeure provision, a contractor would have to rely on the defenses of impossibility, frustration of purpose, and impracticality.
When is an Estimate Not Just an Estimate?
January 15, 2016
Estimates are clearly an essential part of the construction process. They provide a framework for time, scope and financing of the project, and provide guidance to the owner and developer regarding anticipated costs and scope of work necessary to bring the project to completion. They are, however, by their very nature, inexact.
January 15, 2015
Oregon law provides that a contractor or subcontractor who inadvertently contaminates the owner’s property may be liable for remediation costs.
CASES AND CLIENT STORIES
July 3, 2021
Because the Jordan Ramis attorneys already possess architecture and construction knowledge, they are able to quickly process and respond to our needs.