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Category Archives: Construction Law

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U.S. v. Davis Casts Doubt on the Future of (Some) DBE Fraud Cases

Posted in Construction Law

Disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) fraud in the construction industry is a topic frequently covered on this blog.  My posts on DBE fraud are some of my most read posts and the ones that generate the most questions from readers and inquiries.  Many of the posts cover the increased pace of criminal prosecutions involving DBE fraud…. Continue Reading

Is the City of Philadelphia’s DBE Program Unconstitional?

Posted in Construction Law

Probably.  Based on the City’s 2016 Disparity Study the City DBE program is no longer being used to remedy past discrimination but to further a political agenda designed to direct maximum public funds to female and minority owned businesses.  In doing so, the City’s current program runs afoul of the Supreme Court’s seminal decision in City of… Continue Reading

Huge Win for Economic Liberty

Posted in Construction Law

Sadly, in Philadelphia, the City that gave birth to the United States Constitution, respect for the Constitution by government officials is woefully lacking.  Luckily, the United States Federal Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, which sits in Philadelphia, has served as a bulwark to Philadelphia bureaucrats who ignore the individual freedoms the Constitution guarantees…. Continue Reading

The Death of Retail and Legal Issues

Posted in Construction Law

The National Review recently published an article about the wide ranging economic and social impacts of the death of traditional mid-market shopping malls.  The article is not overtly political and at time waxes nostalgic about the prototypical 1980’s shopping mall.  However, the article highlights real problems facing the owners of these malls and other traditional… Continue Reading

How to Fund Your Lawsuit to Get the Justice You Deserve

Posted in Construction Law

This is a guest blog post from LexShares, a leading funder of commercial litigation. They can be reached by emailing or calling 877-290-4443.  As many daily headlines in the business sections of newspapers across the country will attest, business is not for the faint of heart.  Meticulously planned deals can fall through at the eleventh… Continue Reading

District Court Allows DBE False Claims Act Case to Proceed

Posted in Construction Law, Disadvantage Business Enterprises (DBE), False Claims Act

Last week, I posted about how whistleblowers continue to receive large settlements related to DBE fraud. A somewhat recent case from the federal court in Maryland shows how whistleblowers are ferreting out DBE fraud on construction projects receiving any form of federal funding. The Case The case involves a bridge painting project in Maryland that… Continue Reading

Commonwealth Court Strikes Blow to Philly Window and Door Ordinance

Posted in Construction Law

On December 22, 2016, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court issued an important opinion that has flown under the radar somewhat.  The case Rufo v. Board of Licenses and Inspection Review, invalidates a major portion of Philadelphia’s so called windows and doors ordinance, which requires owners of vacant properties to install glass windows and doors with frames… Continue Reading

Philadelphia Proposed Best Value Procurement Bill

Posted in Construction Law

An opinion piece in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer concerning proposed legislation that would change the way the City of Philadelphia awards public construction projects is causing quite a stir. The article concerns legislation that would allow the City to award public construction contracts based on a “best value” approach rather than the current requirement that the… Continue Reading

Details Matter: The Importance of Strictly Following Public Bid Statutes

Posted in Construction Law

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

New Jersey Supreme Court Issue Important Decision for Homeowners and Contractors

Posted in Construction Law

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


Posted in Construction Law

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

City of Philadelphia Slapped for Unconstitutional Behavior

Posted in Construction Law

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

Is the Philadelphia Proposed Affordable Housing Impact Fee Constitional

Posted in Construction Law

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

Councilman Johnson Tries to Shut Down Skynet

Posted in Construction Law

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


Posted in Construction Law

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

Is Philadelphia’s New (and Old) Ban the Box Ordinance Constitutional?

Posted in Construction Law

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

UPDATE – City Council Revises Bill Requiring Notification to RCO’s

Posted in Construction Law

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

Philadelphia City Council Moves to Scrap Zoning Code and Private Property Rights

Posted in Construction Law

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

Pa. Senate votes to close loophole on union intimidation

Posted in Construction Law

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.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court to Consider Significant Payment Act Case

Posted in Construction Law, Contracts

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

Lunch & Learn September 10 Labor Law in the Building Industry: What You Need to Know

Posted in Construction Law

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

Department of Labor To Ramp Up Worker Classification Audits

Posted in Construction Law

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