Our Construction Practice Group advises owners and developers, design professionals, general contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers with respect to all aspects of construction law, including contract review, negotiation, mediation, arbitration and trial. Our practice covers private and public works, commercial, industrial and residential projects. All of our attorneys are skilled and experienced, and comfortable in the job trailer, the board room, or before a judge and jury.
Here is what you can expect when you work with us: experience, focus, dedication, integrity and honesty. These are the core philosophies of our firm. We pursue our clients’ objectives with the highest level of responsiveness and efficiency. Our clients expect and appreciate top quality representation by professionals whose priority is client satisfaction—and that is exactly what we provide.
Our construction team performs services in a variety of areas including:
Contract Review, Negotiation, and Litigation Avoidance
We counsel local, national and international owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, operators, tenants, financing entities, and construction professionals in connection with generating and reviewing all manner and type of construction contract documents. Hopkins & Carley’s construction group has gained a reputation for successfully negotiating and drafting construction contract documents for any application and project delivery system.
We prepare and support complex construction project documents, as well as more typical construction agreements, with the same view and objective: To provide a legal framework upon which the parties can complete the project on time and on budget. We can and do frequently offer clarifying revisions to proposed language during negotiations and, if needed, participate in the actual negotiations between the parties to finalize the contract documents. Our experience and responsiveness also allow us to step in to help solve mid-project change order disputes and other claims that arise during the course of the project, with minimal disruption to the schedule and budget.
Construction Litigation/Contract Enforcement
If a favorable pre-litigation outcome is not available, our construction professionals draw upon years of litigation and arbitration experience to take on any legal battle with but one objective: Win. Successful litigation strategies and outcomes depend upon a combination of knowledge, insight, experience, skill, risk assessment, and the nerve to take on an adversary through trial to win the litigation “battle.” Our construction litigators possess all the necessary characteristics to develop, implement, and achieve success in court and arbitration.
Enforcement of Statutory Remedies
The enforcement of statutory remedies as they apply to either public or private works, including mechanic’s liens, stop notices, and surety relations, including payment and performance bonds, is a critical part of protecting our clients’ legal rights. Technical non-compliance with the statutes can be fatal to a client’s claim. We are highly experienced in enforcing and/or defending public and private works claims. We prepare and record claim documents, advise clients on all aspects of statutory claims, and litigate our clients’ claims to successful conclusions.
Dealing with Experts
It is often most cost-effective to engage consultants and experts on technical issues early on once a dispute arises. We have used a variety of experts on all manner of issues, from analyzing blueprints to running sophisticated computer models for delay and/or acceleration claims. We have access to the best consultants in the business to address even the most highly specialized and complex issues.
- Represented the owner of a retail shopping center whose anchor tenant complained of construction defects and withheld nearly a full year’s worth of rent in order to fix the defects. Hopkins & Carley aggressively litigated against the original developer and contractor to recover the rent that was withheld due to the defects, and later brought in the tenant for breach of lease for withholding excess rent. We settled the case at the Mandatory Settlement Conference for an amount that paid our client 100% of both his damages and legal expenses.
- Our professionals represented a general contractor in a successful binding arbitration of a $1 million claim for additional payment against an owner of a commercial development project.
- In representing the design/builder, our construction team successfully defended against the design/builder’s bid protest in the construction of a $6 million public facility.
- A materials supplier was hit with a $643,000 breach of contract claim. Our litigators won at trial, successfully defended the verdict on appeal, and obtained full payment of the judgment.
- In a one-month trial, our trial team both prevailed at trial and on appeal for a general contractor in a large claim against a landlord and tenant in a commercial restaurant cost overrun claim.
- In a three-week trial, we won a breach of contract claim on behalf of the seller against the buyer of a multi-family residential project involving the loss of tax benefits pursuant to an IRC 1031 Exchange.
- A general contractor hired our firm to defend against a multi-million dollar claim on a major telecommunications network project. Following an aggressive litigation strategy, the case was resolved successfully in mediation.
- A landlord turned to our construction professionals to handle a $14 million claim by a tenant arising out of the construction of Internet data centers. The dispute was resolved successfully at mediation.
- The owner of a private fixed base operation aviation project hired our firm to help negotiate construction management and architectural services contracts for the construction of a $25 million facility.
- A subcontractor had a $400,000 claim for payment in a residential high-rise construction project. The subcontractor hired our firm, and we successfully litigated the claim to judgment in superior court.
- The prime contractor for a high visibility, multi-billion dollar infrastructure project has hired Hopkins & Carley to advise the company on a variety of construction issues. These include negotiating multi-million dollar change orders, resolving a dispute with nearby property owners, and negotiating large contracts with an international steel supplier.
- Legal Issues for California Professional Engineers
- Statutory Remedies – Mechanic's Liens and Stop Notices
- Construction Contract Clauses in California
- Change Orders in California
- Using Special Masters and Referees Effectively