Construction law: a complex and often challenging legal sphere

| Mar 12, 2021 | Construction Disputes |

Even a quick and cursory look at the construction industry spanning the country underscores a couple of immediately notable points.

Here’s one: The realm is manifestly complex.

And here’s the other: Conflict is a given, with contractual challenges and other disputes featuring in all types of projects.

The reasons why those dual realities exist are both multiple and obvious. An authoritative New York and New Jersey construction law source notes for starters that the industry “is controlled by many complex laws and regulations.” Coupled with that is an overlay of additional rules, processes and procedures often tacked on by actors ranging from state officials to county and municipal overseers.

In short, the fineprint and controlling imperatives can seem flatly exhausting. The above overview stresses that even a simple project “may seem completely overwhelming and unmanageable.”

And then there are complications arising from the human element, especially on significant undertakings. A project of sizable scope involves myriad participants, each with a unique focus and goal. Time pressures are a given. Unforeseen factors often emerge that derail project timelines and expectations. Some parties reliably perform as promised, while other may waver and even contractually breach.

Key catalysts promoting construction project conflict

Readers considering the header immediately above who focus intently on the construction industry know that project challenges routinely occur, owe to many sources and can eat up considerable amounts of time.

“Construction disputes are rife,” stresses a recently researched industry article on project conflict, “and on average consume 17 months per project in time and trouble to resolve.”

Given that, it pays in the most literal sense for project principals to cast acute attention on conflict triggers that can flatly upend expectations. Research reveals these prime agents of potential discord:

  • Scope changes (what was once perceived a certain way is now being cast in an altered post-contractual light)
  • Faulty design and poor (e.g., incomplete and/or inaccurate) documentation
  • Varied parties’ disagreement over the terms and conditions set forth in key agreements
  • Poor communication among project principals
  • Payment issues (delays, shortfalls, nonpayment)
  • Disagreement over performance and materials
  • Change order disputes

The triggering of any of those factors – either singly or working in concert – can yield clear downsides for any construction project. Timely and on-point input from a proven construction law legal team can help minimize conflict from project outset and minimize risks and liabilities thereafter.