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Construction and Design Law

FMG's Construction & Design Law Section attorneys combine their technical knowledge with legal excellence to resolve the full gamut of construction industry issues, including defective construction and design claims, contract preparation, negligence claims, securing payment, general advice and counsel.

We have extensive experience serving the needs of public and private owners, contractors, subcontractors, design professionals and sureties.

Construction and Design Law Professionals

Architects & Engineers Design Liability

FMG's A&E practice team has decades of experience in representing design and construction professionals in the unique exposures they face. Our lawyers are deeply rooted in the construction industry and have handled numerous multi-million dollar professional liability/Errors & Omissions claims. We are approved counsel for many of the nation's largest providers of insurance coverage.

Our experience includes a wide variety of A&E professionals including:

Architects
Building Inspectors
Civil Engineers
Project Managers
Control System Integrators
Draftsmen
Electrical Engineers
Environmental Engineers
Industrial Engineers
Interior Designers
Landscape Architects

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Construction Defect Claims

FMG attorneys draw on their years of construction industry experience to help clients defend claims for defective construction - especially those that result in injury to persons or property. Our CD group includes attorneys from all of our offices. They bring their years of trial experience and unique industry knowledge to ensure the best outcome for your claim.

We also regularly assist clients in preparing and arguing construction claims and Requests for Equitable Adjustments. Through carefully planned document retention procedures and by working directly with field personnel, we can efficiently assist our clients with the claim while work continues with minimal interruption.

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Contract Drafting and Negotiation

FMG attorneys advise clients on all aspects of developing clear contractual documents that establish the agreement between the parties. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to assist our clients in formulating and working with contractual issues and understanding the pitfalls associated with contract terms and provisions.

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Dispute Resolution

When parties disagree over a situation and it is necessary for a third party to determine rights and obligations of parties, FMG attorneys bring their wealth of experience to dispute resolution, mediation, Dispute Resolution Board, arbitration, and state and federal litigation. While litigation is common-place, the construction industry has historically chosen other forums to resolve its disputes. Our lawyers have significant experience with mediations and arbitrations throughout the country.

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Environmental

The FMG environmental team is recognized for their success in handling the most complicated matters arising under environmental and natural resources laws. Our deep environmental litigation experience includes CERCLA and environmental indemnity cases. Our environmental counsel appear before the United States Environmental Protection Agency, both headquarters and at the regional level and before state environmental agencies.

We have been involved in high-profile novel Superfund private party contribution/cost recovery litigation and complex remediation cases. Our lawyers experience also includes regulatory compliance, Brownfield contaminated property redevelopment and climate change issues.

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Government Contracts & Wage Payment

FMG represents government contractors on a wide range of issues ranging from Service Contract Act, and Davis-Bacon Act cases to disadvantaged businesses and Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) matters.

Our experience includes contract formation, administration, and compliance, procurement, creating work statements and pricing, establishing teaming and joint ventures, negotiating contracts, bid protest and awards, fraud claim investigations, responding to potential suspensions, debarment issues and all aspects of related litigation.

Our government contract team also works closely with FMG's Employment Law to defend contractors who are subject to labor and employment requirements. We represent clients regarding the Department of Labor's equal opportunity and affirmative action requirements under Executive Order 11246, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. We also prepare written affirmative action plans required by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), and defend contractors in related audits or investigations. In addition, we counsel clients regarding the U.S. Department of Labor's workplace and labor standards under the Walsh-Healey Act, the Davis-Bacon Act, the Service Contract Act and the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act.

Fidelity and Surety

Our group’s lawyers have a substantial amount of experience representing clients in bid, performance, and payment bond disputes, including bad-faith claims, along with other types of fidelity bonds. For instance, we have served as counsel for public and private owners, general contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers in all aspects of the construction process and in mechanic’s lien litigation. As a part of our practice in this area, we also routinely draft, review, and assist in construction and indemnity contracts and insurance policy forms for the construction and design professional industry.

FMG’s fidelity and surety lawyers provide experienced representation in all facets of this unique and complicated industry.  Our lawyers, for instance, have significant experience representing sureties in connection with all types of bonds, including performance, payment, probate, public officials, subdivision, and various other miscellaneous commercial surety bonds.  We have successfully navigated complex contract surety claims, assisting sureties through pre-default investigations and negotiations and completion of construction projects after default, including drafting and negotiating completion contracts, takeover agreements, ratification agreements, financing agreements, and other pertinent surety agreements.

Our lawyers also have represented clients in difficult commercial surety bond claims, starting with guidance in the initial investigation and working closely with them all the way to the resolution of a dispute. Our representation in this area extends to protecting the surety’s interests in bankruptcy proceedings, including pre-bankruptcy and post-filing negotiations of reorganization plans, conflicts regarding unpaid proceeds of bonded contracts, negotiations regarding assumption of bonded obligations, and other issues affecting the surety in bankruptcy.

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OFCCP

We represent employers in all phases of affirmative action programs, including development of legally enforceable affirmative action plans. As a part of this representation, we guide our clients through the requirements of applicable federal and state affirmative action mandates, including Executive Order 11246, and the interplay with federal civil rights statutes and the United States Constitution. Our lawyers also work with our clients in preparation for an investigation by compliance officers with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). We also defend our clients against administrative or legal actions brought by the OFCCP for alleged violations of Executive Order 11246. Our group further guides employers through preparation of EEO-1 and VETS-100 Reports.

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Project Administration

Just as important as having clear documents, the various provisions of contractual documents must be implemented. FMG lawyers bring a practical knowledge to the important task of advising clients on proper documentation of events and circumstances so that issues can be resolved before they become problems. Our lawyers assist field personnel in day-to-day administration of the contract work to avoid problems that arise on construction projects. Our attorneys work to resolve disputes early so our clients can focus on their business, rather than litigation.

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Workplace Safety

Our firm's lawyers assist clients in navigating through the maze of regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We also represent clients in preparing for on-site investigations by OSHA and work with OSHA's investigators to try and minimize the scope and duration of the investigation and any proposed fines assessed by OSHA. In cases of injury or fatality at a work site of our client, we work closely with our clients from the initial occurrence in handling investigations, work site security, and witness interviews.

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