Most are familiar with California’s harsh penalty for unlicensed contractor work. California Business and Professions Code Section 7031 (Section 7031) bars any recovery for compensation for work performed by an unlicensed contractor under any theory of recovery “regardless of the merits of the cause of action.” Cal. Bus. and Prof. Code § 7031(a). It is well-established that subcontractors are covered by Section 7031 from recovering from owners and general contractors if not properly licensed. See Cal. Bus. and Prof. Code § 7026. However, in Kim v. TWA Construction, Inc., 78 Cal.App.5th 808 (2022), the California Court of Appeal, in a matter of first impression, expanded the effect of Section 7031(a) to bar a licensed general contractor recovering from an owner for work completed by an unlicensed subcontractor.

Continue Reading CA Court of Appeal Affirms Bar on Recovery of Licensed General Contractor for Work Performed by Its Unlicensed Subcontractor

Taylor Morrison of Tex. Inc. v. Caballero, No. 01-20-00800-CV, 2022 Tex. App. LEXIS 1870, 2022 WL 839429 (Mar. 22, 2022)

Gary and Kelley Caballero contracted to purchase a new home to be constructed by Taylor Woodrow and Taylor Morrison of Texas, Inc. (Taylor). The contract contained an agreement to arbitrate any disputes with the American Arbitration Association (AAA) under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA).

Continue Reading Texas Court of Appeals Enforces Arbitration Agreement Provision Delegating Issues of Arbitrability to Arbitrator

The Economic Loss Doctrine and its various analogues (e.g., the Independent Duty Rule and the Gist of the Action Doctrine) vary in form and application, but each is a judge-made rule serving one principle: If a party seeks the same economic losses for breach of contract and breach of a common law tort duty, courts must bar the tort claim to prevent a duplicative, windfall recovery. Most frequently, the Economic Loss Doctrine bars negligence claims. Its outer bounds begin with intentional torts, and most jurisdictions do not apply the Economic Loss Doctrine to fraud claims.

Continue Reading Fraud as an Exception to the Economic Loss Doctrine: Changing Trends in Colorado and Tennessee

Bean Sprouts LLC v. LifeCycle Construction Servs. LLC, No. 001268-CV-2021 (Pa. Super. Feb. 17, 2022)

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania recently raised the bar for state courts to assert jurisdiction over out-of-state defendants in actions brought by residents arising from out-of-state projects.

Continue Reading Pennsylvania Appellate Court Affirms Dismissal of In-State Subcontractor’s Suit Against Out-of-State General Contractor for Lack of Jurisdiction, Despite “Long-Term and Ongoing Contractual Relationships”

Construction and Energy Practices Honored With National Awards

Law360 has named two Troutman Pepper practices among its Practice Groups of the Year for 2021. The firm achieved the national recognition for both its Construction and Energy practices. According to Law360, 91 firms submitted nearly 900 nominations for the awards, which “honor the law firms behind the litigation wins and major deals that resonated throughout the legal industry in the past year.”

Construction Group of the Year

“We are excited to be recognized nationally for our work in the construction space,” said Mike Subak, who leads the firm’s Construction Practice Group. “Our team advises industry leaders on both their largest projects as well as their day-to-day details, and the work is incredibly rewarding.” Continue Reading Law360 Recognizes Troutman Pepper Practices as 2021 Practice Groups of the Year

Originally published on International Bar Association. Republished here with permission.

On 1 March 2021, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), the international division of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and a leading provider of dispute resolution services to businesses in matters involving cross-border transactions released the 2021 update to its international arbitration and mediation rules (the ‘2021 ICDR Rules’).1 The 2021 update marks the first time the ICDR’s arbitration rules and mediation rules have been revised since 2014 and 2008, respectively, and is of particular note to the construction industry both in the United States and elsewhere.​​​​​​​ Continue Reading Arbitration Update – The 2021 ICDR Arbitration Rules: A Welcome Update for International Construction Arbitration

This article summarizes the current landscape in Pennsylvania and California as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, and highlights important considerations for employers in the construction industry in relation to vaccines and navigating a post-mask mandate world.

Continue Reading COVID-19 and Remobilization: Returning to the Construction Site Without Mandated COVID-19 Restrictions

This article was originally published in The Dispute Resolver. It is republished here with permission.

On March 22, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would consider the hotly contested issue of whether 28 U.S.C. § 1782 (“Section 1782“) grants parties to international commercial arbitrations seated outside the United States the right to seek U.S.-style discovery from the federal courts. The Supreme Court’s decision in Servotronics, Inc. v. Rolls-Royce PLC will ostensibly put to rest a matter that has roiled the international arbitration community for the last several years and may have profound implications for modern international arbitration practice.

Given the role international arbitration serves in connection with international construction projects, construction practitioners and industry representatives should pay close attention to the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision. The following article seeks to introduce the current debate to construction practitioners and offer some insight into what the Supreme Court’s decision may mean for the field of international construction arbitration.

Continue Reading Servotronics, Inc. v. Rolls-Royce PLC: What the U.S. Supreme Court’s Upcoming Decision on 28 U.S.C § 1782 Means for International Construction Arbitration

This article was published in Mealey’s International Arbitration Report – March 2021. Copyright 2021, LexisNexis. All rights reserved. It is reprinted here with permission.

On February 15, 2021, the International Bar Association (IBA) released the long-awaited 2020 update to its highly influential Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration (“IBA Rules”). Known for their flexibility and practical blend of common law and civil law traditions, the IBA Rules have come to reflect the most common practices in international arbitration proceedings over the past two decades. The 2020 update is important because, prior to the 2020 update, the IBA Rules had only been revised once, in 2010, after first being formalized in 1999. As a result, given the prevalence of the IBA Rules, the 2020 update is likely to remain the benchmark standard for international arbitration practice for the next decade.

Continue Reading 2020 Updated to the IBA Rules: Modest Changes for Challenges New and Old

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the construction industry, and many countries continue to implement new or more stringent restrictions on entry into their borders. Those travel restrictions can impact any company with cross-border supply chains or employee travel. This article addresses some of the travel restrictions in place in the United States, Canada, and members of the European Union (EU); exceptions to those requirements; and some best practices when navigating across borders. Continue Reading COVID-19 and Border Crossings: Considerations and Best Practices for Global Constructors and Suppliers Crossing US, Canadian, and European Borders