President Trump continues to push forward with his “Buy American, Hire American” initiative with the issuance of his third Executive Order No. 13881 (the “Order”) on July 15, 2019, entitled “Maximizing Use of American-Made Goods, Products, and Materials.” This Order attempts to strengthen the standards that federal agencies must follow under the Buy American Act (“BAA”) by raising the threshold for domestic purchasing requirements. Continue Reading President Trump Issues Third Installment of Buy American Initiative

Congress enacted the Buy American Act (“BAA”) during the Great Depression, in order to protect American industry from foreign competition on federal procurement contracts. While the BAA is simplistic in its policy goal of promoting domestic purchasing, government contractors and subcontractors are often faced with complex and confusing rules for compliance. Continue Reading The Two-Part Manufacturing Test Under the Buy American Act

Developments in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have undoubtedly streamlined traditional design and engineering methods.  With VR technology, users are able to fully imagine themselves in a realistic replication of a physical space (think head-mount displays). AR technology supplements what can be imagined in the actual world by adding computer generated images (think Pokémon Go).  By utilizing software and devices to map physical space in virtual environments, VR and AR technology allows parties to a construction contract to mitigate the risk of design defects and the inevitable claims and litigation that follow them.  VR and AR sectors are predicted to generate $150 billion by 2020.[1] Continue Reading Legal Issues to Consider for Projects that Utilize Virtual and Augmented Reality

Seyfarth Shaw partner Chuck Wall will moderate a panel entitled “(Don’t) Kill All the Lawyers…Untangling Risk Issues in P3 Projects” on Friday, July 19. The panel will be featured at the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Public-Private Partnerships in Transportation Conference.  The program is intended to explore legal perspectives on key contractual risk issues in the current P3 market. Topics will include a look at the current state of risk allocations and whether P3 risk profiles and tolerances may be shifting.

The ARTBA P3 Conference is at the Grand Hyatt Washington hotel in Washington, D.C., July 17-19.

For more information or to register, click here.

On June 17, 2019, from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Eastern, David Blake is co-presenting a Strafford webinar entitled: “Construction Management Agreements: Key Provisions Common Areas of Dispute, and Minimizing Performance Risks.” The panel, which includes construction practitioners experienced in negotiating construction management contracts, will focus on best practices for drafting and negotiating these agreements. They will also cover the critical clauses to include in the contracts and provide strategies for avoiding common drafting pitfalls and resolving contract disputes.

For more information or to register for the webinar, click here.

As a response to an increasingly demanding market place, project delivery methods have evolved from the more traditional methods of design-bid-build, design-build, and construction-manager-at-risk into what is known as Integrated Project Delivery (“IPD”). In the typical construction contract, each party seeks to avoid and transfer risk to other parties. The IPD approach employs a different philosophy—the project participants accept and manage design and construction risks as a team. The pure IPD method often does this with a single, multi-party contract that is executed by the owner, general contractor, and designer. The team members to a multi-party contract share financial risks and rewards using a profit/incentive pool that is based upon measurable project-outcomes. Team members collaborate on how the profit and incentive pool is structured to ensure that each member is accountable for its contribution to the project outcome. The goal is to motivate each member in a way that encourages candid communication and accountability for overall design and construction. Continue Reading The Integrated Project Delivery Model: Why, What, and How to Decide if it is Right for Your Project

On April 25 and 26, James Newland, partner in Seyfarth’s Construction Practice Group, will be presenting the “Changes and Claims in Government Construction Contracting” course at the Federal Publications Seminar at the Executive Conference and Training Center in Sterling, Virginia. His presentation will focus on owner changes and contractor claims in the federal government contracting arena. James regularly presents for the Federal Publications Seminars, which provide periodic training covering a variety of government contracting issues.

For more information, click here.

The typical government contract contains a laundry list of standard Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) or Defense Federal Regulation Acquisition Supplement (DFARS) clauses that outline the requirements for the construction or services to be provided. These clauses are either expressly stated, i.e. written out in full length in the contract, or incorporated by reference to a particular provision which the contractor must research for the specific language. But contractors beware: not all contracts are what they seem. Since 1963, courts have held that certain clauses are so integral to public procurements that they are deemed incorporated by operation of law, even if they are omitted from the contract. Continue Reading The Christian Doctrine: The Double-Secret Contract Clause

Potential Outcomes and Implications for the False Claims Act

On March 19, 2019, Seyfarth’s Anthony LaPlaca and Teddie Arnold witnessed oral argument at the U.S. Supreme Court in a government contracts case that has major implications for future enforcement of the federal False Claims Act (FCA).[1] In Cochise Consultancy, the Court is asked to interpret the FCA’s statutes of limitations, which govern the time frame in which the government may initiate a civil false claim suit against a contractor.[2] While the Court will likely consider the case for several months before it issues any decision, the questions posed at oral argument seem to hint at how it will ultimately decide the issue. Continue Reading The Supreme Court Holds Argument in Cochise Consultancy

Seyfarth Shaw partner Chuck Wall will serve on a panel entitled “The Contractor’s Role on the P3 Project Team” on Friday, March 22. The panel will be featured at a P3 Seminar sponsored by the Maryland Transportation Builders & Materials Association (MTBMA). Chuck will be joined by senior executives from the P3 development and contracting community, and the program will focus on informing contractors and other interested members about the basics of and potential opportunities involved with P3s.

The MTBMA P3 Seminar is at The Hotel at Arundel Preserve in Hanover, Maryland, from 7:30 a.m. Eastern to 12:30 p.m. Eastern.  The MTBMA serves as a voice of the transportation, construction, and materials industries in Maryland, and it works to advocate for funding to meet Maryland’s transportation needs, to foster partnerships between government agencies and industry groups, and more.

For more information about the MTBMA P3 Seminar, click here.