Changes in Construction Law Needs

Making an appeal in court

It wasn’t all that long ago that it would have been hard to find a construction attorney in the United States; and the handful that existed could only be found somewhere in a big city. In those days, most construction law firms dealt almost exclusively with disputes with the federal government or prepared contract claims.

Things have changed a great deal. Today, it’s fairly easy to find a construction attorney, since there are approximately 30,000 of them nationwide. These attorneys must now be specialists in contract law, construction issues, arbitration and contract disputes, legal regulations, commercial real estate law, and employment law.

They also have to be on top of the constant developments in technology that have changed the construction industry greatly in the last few decades, as well as all kinds of insurance issues, environmental laws, and finance issues. A construction attorney now must be among the most well-rounded of lawyers available.

What might be changing in the realm of construction going forward? One key issue is the development of public private partnerships, or PPP. In such a partnership, the private sector does most of the development, design, and construction. They are paid for their work, of course, but the government keeps ownership, allowing the private entity to collect revenue from the project in exchange for ongoing maintenance.

This creates the potential for new complications in all types of transactions, and requires the a construction attorney to have a robust understanding of all the legalities and precedents involved.

Another interesting area of development is the strong increase in litigation over construction defects in the past few decades. This is a growing area of concern for construction companies and litigation attorneys alike. Owners and buyers of property are more aware of their rights and have been actively pursuing litigation against things like mold, toxins, and shoddy construction of all types.

These kinds of disputes do not involve any original building contracts, but tort law and class actions. This means the construction law firm must be actively developing expertise in these areas as the issue of defect litigation increase.

As regulations come and go, technology advances, and we continue to build, attorneys need to keep up with these changes so as to provide services that will help the construction industry grow and thrive in an ever-changing world.

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