Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Illinois Public-Construction Bonds Are “Deemed” to Include Both a Performance and Payment Guarantee

The following post is courtesy of Daniel Dorfman at Harris Winick Harris, LLP.

Last month, in Lake County Grading Company, LLC v. Village of Antioch, the Illinois Supreme Court handed down a ruling concerning bonds procured under the Illinois Public Construction Bond Act. The Court held that performance bonds procured under the Act are deemed to include payment obligations, regardless of whether the bonds expressly include payment guarantees.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Take Full Advantage of the Opportunity to Mediate

Suzanne McSorley recently posted an interesting article in Under Construction concerning strategies for success at mediation.

Take Full Advantage of the Opportunity to Mediate: Prepare; Don’t Just Show Up!

We all know the Scout motto: Be prepared. Life is not merely showing up. It’s being ready when you do show up.  So, prepare for your mediation; don’t just show up!

In nearly 20 years of serving as mediation neutral, I have observed too many litigants who have intentionally or inadvertently adopted this attitude toward mediation:  they know that the mediation session will provide an opportunity to settle their case, and they show up, full of hope tempered with a little pessimism.  But they just show up! While I doubt any readers of Under Construction are guilty of this offense, I continue to be amazed at how infrequently parties – even parties with substantial claims – really prepare for mediation.  At best, lack of preparation prolongs the mediation process and increases its cost.  At worst, failure to prepare wastes a great opportunity to bring a dispute to an earlier and less expensive resolution. 

Preparation is as critical to success in mediation as it is to success at trial or in arbitration.  But, to a great extent, the kind of preparation needed for mediation is quite different from the kind of preparation needed for trial.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

On The Dispute Resolver: A Contractual-Liability Exclusion to Insurance Coverage Might Not Apply to Defective-Work Claims Against a Contractor.

The Dispute Resolver has a recent post of interest to owners:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently held that, under Texas law, an insurer could not exclude coverage for property damage claims against a general contractor that were based on violations of express warranties of good workmanship and repair. Such claims did not fall within the typical contractual-liability exclusion used in the general contractor’s commercial general liability policy (“CGL policy”). The Fifth Circuit reversed the district court and rendered summary judgment in favor of the homeowners asserting the insured’s rights, remanding for a determination of attorneys’ fees.