You’ve seen it in many contracts, it is a contract clause that states something like:
This Contract is governed by South Carolina law.
You might have even debated with your client which state should be inserted into the clause. Many architect, engineers, contractors – and even some attorneys – do not understand the implication and importance of a choice of law clause.
On large construction projects, it is common for significant labor or materials to be supplied by lower-tier subcontractors and material suppliers – that is, entities who do not contract with the general or prime contractor, but instead contract directly with a subcontractor. Without a direct contractual relationship, the prime contractor may not know the identity of all lower-tier subcontractors or suppliers. As a result, the prime contractor may lack sufficient information to ensure that lower-tier subcontractors or suppliers have been paid before releasing payment to its subcontractor. The prime contractor may first learn the identity of lower-tier subcontractors or suppliers when they contact the prime contractor claiming that they have not been paid for their labor or materials or when they file a mechanic’s lien or payment bond claim.
However, remote subcontractors and suppliers may avoid this situation by sending a Notice of Furnishing Labor or Materials to the general contractor before supplying labor or materials. This provides notice to the prime contractor of the identity of lower-tier subcontractors and may help subcontractors get paid.
Wearable technology was once limited to athletes and medical practices, but in recent years, it has become almost ubiquitous for both personal and professional use. Sales of wearable devices generated $3.5 billion in 2014, and that amount is expected to quadruple by 2019. Wearable technology has massive potential for the construction industry, but before you implement it, carefully consider the potential risks.
Architects, engineers and other construction professionals, like all business owners, create business entities, like corporations and limited liability companies, to operate their businesses and to shield themselves from personal liability. The liability shield is a primary benefit of establishing a business entity, because it protects the business owner and the officers and directors of a corporation from personal liability for acts of the company. However, merely forming a corporation is not necessarily sufficient to avoid personal liability, since it is possible to “pierce the corporate veil” if a business does not maintain a separate identity from its owners or related entities.
To be successful and remain competitive, architects, engineers, and other construction professionals must be aware of with rapidly-changing trends in technology. Some businesses have shifted from company-provided laptops, smart phones, and tablets in favor of employee-provided devices, known as bring-your-own-device, or BYOD. While there are many benefits, there are some legal risks that you should consider.
Bring-your-own-device is embraced by younger workers, and is gaining favor among more experienced professionals. The Society for Human Resource Management recently reported that nearly 86% percent of employees own the smart phone they use for work. Allowing employees to use their preferred devices can aid in recruiting and boost productivity and job satisfaction. It can reduce a company’s equipment and technology costs. In addition, because workers are able or even expected to troubleshoot problems on their personal devices, BYOD can reduce the workload and budget of an IT department.