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Commercial Litigation

Commercial Litigation


Signing a contract presents many opportunities, but, when work proceeds and each party polarizes its position as it seeks a legitimate profit, adversity can result. This threatens to un-marry the relationship.

As a professional engineering or architectural firm, how do you seek the remuneration due under the contract, yet avoid disputes which only guarantee a “no-repeat” client? As a contractor, how do you balance the changing expectations of an owner, and maintain the profit objective you established at the beginning of the job? As an owner, how do you control a project that is complex beyond your initial expectations? And, how do you ensure the work site is managed safely, without assuming some measure of liability beyond that required?

Most of these concerns are best addressed before the project begins, best even before the contract is drafted. But that is an idealistic view of our process since the pressures of schedule and production usually dispense with this kind of measured action. The result can be claims by one party against another.

Claims are not entirely unavoidable, but many projects are completed without them. Most claims in construction can be controlled if resolution mechanisms for problems anticipated during construction are explicitly detailed. Where opposing parties proceed without a definitive understanding, problems can become major problems.

What are the means of control which facilitate harmony and production?

Before Contract Execution

Prevention is better than cure. Before any party executes a contract, legal counsel should be sought, and listened to. The cost of such a review is minimal as compared to resolution of a claim, or worse yet, the loss of a repeat client. Whether you are a design professional, owner or contractor, your best, early defense mechanism is a contract which details your rights, and not just your obligations under the contract. Our law firm relies on the use of well-developed and legally tested contract provisions. These are contract clauses which are most proven to provide a measure of legal protection to your interests.

During Contract Performance

When important changes to the work scope first arise, steps should be taken to protect your interests, even before a dispute is threatened. These changes can include stoppages, weather conditions, unforeseen conditions such as underground tanks or utilities, scope increases, lack of payment, or any other of the host of occurrences which may distract you from the job. We discretely advise you of your rights and the best way to proceed, without jeopardizing your business relationships. We tell you what to do and how to document it with your interests in mind.


Concerns are best addressed before the contract is drafted, but, realistically aren’t. That should not prevent a favorable relationship throughout the project.

But if those precautions have not been taken, then the retention of an advocate for your position becomes important. Crisis interests may foster the need to prepare for litigation or dispute resolution, which clearly requires a partisan perspective. Our technical experience will show in our presentation of your case; we understand the complexities, the technologies, and the uncertainties of design and construction and can build your case on the basis of real life in this profession, not just the figments of legal theory. It may be unfortunate that the project turned sour, but this does not create the occasion for generosity on your part.

Schedule your FREE Legal Consultation at (412) 344-6113

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