Contractors bidding on public contracts know that failing to strictly following all of the technical aspects contained in the instructions to bidders can mean the difference between a winning and losing bid. In the span of two weeks, I was involved with two cases that underscored the importance of this axiom. Both cases involved New… Continue Reading
The lack of insurance coverage for a contractor’s faulty workmanship is the bane of both homeowners looking to recover damage for defective work and contractors seeking to defend against such claims. In many states, like Pennsylvania, courts hold that faulty workmanship is not an “occurrence” that is covered by a standard commercial general liability insurance… Continue Reading
Today, in a precedential opinion, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, affirmed the District Court’s dismissal of a complaint against my client that alleged that a multi-family building was constructed in violation of the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) design and accessibility requirements for disabled persons. A copy of the Opinion can be found here ( Opinion… Continue Reading
Sadly, the City that gave birth to the Constitution repeatedly runs rough shot over the liberties it affords individuals and businesses. In the latest rebuke to the City of Philadelphia’s malfeasance towards the Constitution, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, has ruled that the City’s publicly owned gas utility, Philadelphia Gas Works,… Continue Reading
WHYY is reporting that affordable housing advocated in the City of Philadelphia are demanding that City Council impose an impact fee of $4.80 a square foot on all new market rate developments and rentals that would go towards funding the City’s Housing Trust Fund. The story reports that City Council members and Mayor Kenney have… Continue Reading
In the Terminator movie franchise, the government develops a software system called Skynet. The purpose of Skynet is to prevent human error in starting a nuclear holocaust. Instead, Skynet becomes self-aware and when programmers try to shut it down it perceives the human race a threat and tries to exterminate us and then it creates a bad-ass… Continue Reading
The saga involving Toll Brothers’ Society Hill Playhouse project shows that something is rotten in the state of Philadelphia’s development process. This rottenness has resulted in a project that is ultimately worse practically and aesthetically for the neighborhood. Even worse, apparently the neighborhood is fine with this. This story begins with Toll Brothers’ plans to… Continue Reading
A twitter follower recently posted an interesting question “How is Philadelphia’s new ‘ban the box’ law constitutional?” So called “ban the box” laws, prohibit employers from asking job applicants about criminal convictions during the job interview process. In 2011, Philadelphia passed a “ban the box” law that prohibited private employers from asking applicants about or… Continue Reading
In my previous post, I discussed proposed legislation that would require notification and meetings with RCO’s even when a “by-right” permit is issued. I understand that the Bill has been amended. (A copy of the revised bill is available here: Bill No. 15064301, As Amended (1).) Under the amended Bill, developers will NOT be required to… Continue Reading
Any developer unlucky enough to need a zoning variance in the City of Philadelphia knows it is an arduous process. Needing a zoning variance means your project is not in compliance with the zoning code and you essentially need an exemption. One of the first steps in the process is presenting your project to the… Continue Reading
The Philadelphia Business Journal reports, that Pennsylvania State Senate approved a measure that eliminates a loophole in Pennsylvania’s Crimes Code which prevents law enforcement from intervening in situations involving stalking, harassment and threatening someone with weapons of mass destruction if the perpetrator is a party to a labor dispute.
On July 28, 2015, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to consider an appeal from a Superior Court opinion involving the Pennsylvania Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act. To call the case significant is an understatement because if the Supreme Court overturns the Superior Court, agents and principals of real estate development entities will become personally liable… Continue Reading
Labor law in the building and construction industry is unique, both practically and legally. Understanding the nuances will not only assure you are complying with the law, but will help your projects come in on time and on budget. Attorney Wally Zimolong will cover industry topics and trends including the pitfalls of misclassifying workers as… Continue Reading
In recent years, government regulators has stepped up enforcement actions against companies that wrongfully classify workers as independent contractors rather than employees. According to the Wall Street Journal, those actions could sharply increase. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that: Last year, the Labor Department started awarding $10 million in annual grants to state labor… Continue Reading
In a recent NLRB Advice Memorandum, the Board’s Division of Advice dismissed an unfair labor practice complaint and held that before a union can request information from a non-union affiliated entity it must “present objective facts that support their belief that a [union and non-union entity] constitute a single employer.” Importantly, the Board held that… Continue Reading
Over two years ago, the Department of Transportation published notice that it intended to make changes to the federal regulations governing the DOT’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program. After an extended comment period, today, October 2, 2014, the DOT issued the final DBE rule changes. These changes become effective November 3, 2014. The changes impact five… Continue Reading
As readers of this blog know, fraud involving the Department of Transportation’s disadvantage business enterprise regulations is a hot topic in the construction industry. One form of DBE fraud involves a front scheme, whereby a certified DBE is not actually owned, operated, and controlled by an disadvantaged individual. Unfortunately, this type of scheme is not limited… Continue Reading
Litigating a case against the government is an intimidating task. The government has virtually unlimited resources at its disposal to wage its case. Each side must bear it’s on costs of litigation, which means you must pay your attorney while the government attorneys are already paid by the taxpayers. However, in certain cases involving the… Continue Reading
On January 1, 2014, a series of changes to the City of Philadelphia’s licensing laws for construction contractors went into effect. Moreover, on February 6, 2014 and May 14, 2014, Mayor Nutter signed additional changes into law, which will become effective in 2015. Your immediate attention to these new rules is required because the penalties… Continue Reading
From last weekend’s edition of the WSJ: Tons of steel used in the new World Trade Center: 48,000. Tons of steel used in the Empire State Building: 60,000. Really underscores how building techniques have changed.
Yesterday, NBC10.com, posted a list of questions that journalists, readers, and viewers want answered in the wake of the Market Street building collapse. Among the question listed was one we partially addressed on this blog: Q: What are the qualifications of L&I employees? Is the man that runs L&I an engineer? If not, are people… Continue Reading
Jeff Blumenthal of the Philadelphia Business Journal featured my comments on the collapse of 2136 Market Street in a story today for the PBJ.
Prescription drugs are an interesting paradox. When taken in the right dosage, prescription medicine can save your life. However, if you take too large of a dosage you risk killing yourself. Civic Associations that posit an similar paradox. On one hand, these associations give a voice to citizens who are rightfully concerned with the type and location… Continue Reading