Taft Construction Practice Group
Creating the foundation for a solid future
Taft has been helping clients build their futures for more than 130 years. We are business attorneys who see the big picture. Our Construction Team has broad experience in the construction industry and can provide a solid legal foundation for the work you do. We can assist you with every aspect of your project, from start to finish, whether you are an owner, developer, design professional, contractor or supplier. Our construction team is as multifaceted as you are.
Let us provide the legal framework for all stages of your project so that you can concentrate on what you do best - building your future.
Contractor Payments: Take the Money and Run, Even if the Bankruptcy Trustee Later Comes Calling
Imagine this scenario: your client is a contractor, subcontractor or materialman on a construction project. Having completed the work, your client is promptly paid in full. Because of this, your client doesn't bother to file a mechanic's lien on the project. However, within 90 days after the payment, the payor, usually the contractor or general contractor (or the owner), files for bankruptcy. Then sometime in the ensuing two years, long after any lien perfection periods have run, your client receives a polite letter from the debtor's bankruptcy or creditor trustee requesting return of the funds paid, claiming them to be a voidable preferential transfer under Section 547(b) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.1 What should your client do? Perhaps more importantly, should your client have done anything differently at the time of the payment?
OSHA's New Regulation on Confined Spaces in Construction
On May 4, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a new regulation on confined spaces in the construction industry. Previously, there was only one rule for construction employers - provide training to employees who enter confined spaces. The new regulation (29 C.F.R. § 1926.1201, et seq.) imposes additional requirements, including site evaluation by qualified personnel, posting notices to employees, adopting written safety and rescue protocols for certain hazardous confined spaces, continuous monitoring of hazards, and communication and coordination between different employers present at the site.
The standard went into effect on Aug. 3, 2015, but OSHA postponed full enforcement for 60 days, providing leniency to employers making good faith efforts to comply. That grace period expired on Oct. 2, 2015, meaning covered employers must now be in full compliance with the new standard.