Real Estate & Construction

In 2021, the Arizona Legislature revised the statutes that govern appeals from Registrar of Contractors (ROC) hearings, with the result that an appeal of an administrative agency’s decision can lead to a fresh trial in Superior Court, where the agency’s decision is disregarded.

The hearing process is fair, and Arizona ALJs are consistently intelligent, honest, and professional. Nevertheless, at the hearing the contractor faces an uphill battle: The contractor will be accused of violating workmanship standards, the ROC’s investigator will offer evidence substantiating the alleged violation, and the ALJ will likely view the investor’s testimony as credible.

It is not
Continue Reading ROC hearings and Arizona's "new trial" statute: two years later, the impact for contractors

AUTHORITY DEFINED | The Law of Agency is Important to Understand For any project, this Russian proverb is helpful: Doveryay, no proveryay – Trust, but verify. In other words, get it in writing. In the case of Eagle Rock Timber, Inc. v. Teton County, Idaho, 531 P.3d 488 (Idaho Supreme Court, June 13, 2023), a […]
The post Roads & Bridges | Authority Defined appeared first on Heavy Construction Law Blog | Jonathan Straw.
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DEFINING LABOR | How the Miller Act continues to shape the industry In the late 1700s, risks of nonpayment caused a shortage of construction workers, particularly in Washington, D.C. In 1791, Thomas Jefferson proposed a mechanic’s lien statute to solve the problem.  However, because a mechanic’s lien cannot attach to public property, the Heard Act […]
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Not bad power, but the ability of a decision-maker (e.g., court) to decide which side is right (or which is more correct). A judge’s power is not automatic. Every court must first decide if it has the power to decide the parties’ dispute – whether it has jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties […]
The post Jurisdiction is Power appeared first on Heavy Construction Law Blog | Jonathan Straw.
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In its September 2023 issue,


magazine listed Lang & Klain attorneys

Kent Lang


Bill Klain


Mike Thal

Jamie Hanson


Rick Friedlander

among its “Top Lawyer” selectees for 2023.

The magazine made its selections from voting conducted among Phoenix-area attorneys.
Continue Reading Phoenix magazine Top Lawyer list includes five Lang & Klain attorneys

In an effort to reduce heat-related illnesses and injuries for workers, the State of Arizona is stepping up the rate of workplace inspections for employers in high-exposure industries.

On July 17, 2023, the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH)


the launch of a “

state emphasis program

” (SEP) focused on “high heat” industries such as construction and agriculture. One provision of the SEP calls for inspections on any day that the National Weather Service has announced a heat warning or advisory for the local area.

Arizona employers in any industry that involves outdoor work (or work
Continue Reading ADOSH inspection program focuses on heat-related illness, injury

A new federal law requires many employers to make reasonable accommodations to meet the needs of pregnant employees.

Reasonable Accommodations.

The PWFA requires covered employers to provide to pregnant employees “reasonable accommodations,” which the

EEOC broadly describes

as “changes to the work environment or the way things are usually done at work.” Example include:

  • allowing more frequent breaks;

  • modifying work schedules;

  • providing seating;

  • allowing temporary transfers to less physically demanding positions;

  • modifying workplace policies regarding food or drink consumption; and

  • providing or modifying necessary equipment.

Your company may be excused from providing an accommodation if doing so would impose an
Continue Reading Pregnant Workers Fairness Act: What employers should know

MEDIATION MELEE| An arbitration case can be costly Arbitration can be a bridge over troubled waters. In this crossing, the parties argued over a $90,000 damages award plus a $1.3 million award of attorney’s fees and costs. In this case, a prime and sub were contracted for construction of the new steel arch bridge on […]
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Despite last week’s news that the state is pausing the approval of future Phoenix-area single-family development that over-relies on groundwater, don’t expect residential construction to dry up in your lifetime.


Kent Lang


Mike Thal

On June 1, Governor Katie Hobbs released the Arizona Department of Water Resources’ (DWR) updated study of the

Phoenix area’s groundwater conditions

. The study projects that, 100 years from now, the demand for groundwater in the region will have fallen short of supply by about 4% (or 4.86 million acre-feet).

That is a significant projection, because Arizona’s groundwater laws bar the DWR from
Continue Reading Groundwater restrictions: The sky is not falling, and residential contractors can stay the course

Legal doctrines called “piercing the corporate veil” and “alter ego” allow liability to reach individuals and entities outside a corporation or LLC. Attention to a few important details can help keep you protected..

Alter ego and veil piercing problems can arise when the interests of the entity and its owner(s) are so unified that they are essentially indistinguishable from each other.

The applicability of this legal theory will always depend on the facts of a case, but personal liability can be imposed if another party can prove that:

  • there was a “unity of control” between the corporation/LLC and another individual

Continue Reading LLCs and Corporations: How to preserve your liability protection

WRITTEN NOTICE | Beware that strict compliance of the contract might be required. When an owner replaced a contractor for significant safety violations, the owner sought to recover the costs for a replacement from the original contractor. A Texas jury found that the owner and the terminated contractor each breached the contract. Both sides were […]
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At the beginning, everyone is friendly with each other and excited for the upcoming project. Your enthusiasm might cause you to shortcut your normal procedures and to dive into the project before you have executed a comprehensive contract. After all, this is a friend of a friend – what could go wrong?



go wrong is what


could go wrong when you aren’t protected by contractual safeguards. Starting work without executing a comprehensive contract beforehand can lead to costly (and avoidable) problems down the road, such as arguments over:

  • what is or is not included within the scope

Continue Reading Contractors: Don’t let “friend of a friend” projects cause you to take costly shortcuts