Q:What steps can I take to minimize risk and uncertainty if I end up in a construction dispute?
A: Attention to certain basic aspects of a construction project can save you time, money, and frustration in the long run. For example:
1. Document everything as it happens, including negotiations, meetings, daily work progress, and costs. Take frequent pictures of the work. Documentation can be time-consuming and is often neglected, but is very important if a dispute occurs.
2. Know the project and your role in it. While projects are often given labels like "design-bid-build" or "design-build", these are terms of convenience. Be comfortable and familiar with the specific details of your responsibilities.
3. Negotiate the contract carefully. Avoid unclear terms. Pay close attention to provisions concerning: the scope of your responsibilities; change orders; notice and claims procedure; dispute resolution; and prevailing party attorneys' fees.
34. Once you have agreed to a contract, consult it and abide by its terms. This list of basic tips is certainly not exhaustive. The attorneys at Lukins & Annis are able to assist with legal matters concerning construction projects, from contract negotiation to dispute resolution.
Charles Hausberg an attorney at the law firm of Lukins & Annis, where his practice includes Commercial and Business Litigation, Labor and Employment Advice and Litigation, and General Litigation.
Published in the July 20, 2017 issue of the Spokane Journal of Business.