Articles Posted in Construction Generally

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On July 29, 2015, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law House Bill 2635 to amend Illinois’ Mechanic’s Lien Act (Act) to permit the substitution of an “eligible surety bond,” as defined, for a mechanic’s lien.  The new law expressly contemplates that a person may file a petition to substitute a bond for the lien on a property with the court of the county in which the property is located, and if there is a pending mechanic’s lien foreclosure action, the application may be filed at any time prior to 5 months after the filing of the mechanic’s lien foreclosure action complaint or counterclaim by a mechanic’s lien claimant.  If the court finds that an eligible surety bond has been posted, it is required to issue an order (1) substituting the bond for the property securing the lien claim; and (2) substituting the lien claimant’s right to recover on the bond for the lien claimant’s causes of action that could be asserted under Section 9, 27, or 28 of this Act. The new laws is effective January 1, 2016.

 

 

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Yesterday, Pillsbury attorney Robert Wallan published his client alert titled In Reversal, California Supreme Court Allows Assignment of Coverage for Liability Claims.  The Alert discusses the California Supreme Court’s reversal of its own heavily criticized decision in Henkel Corp. v. Hartford Accident & Indem. Co. (2003) 29 Cal. 4th 934.  The case is Fluor Corp. v. Superior Court.  The California Supreme Court announced that its rule against assignment, set forth in Henkel, must be reversed because the earlier decision failed to consider a 19th-century statute that dictates a ruling favoring assignability.

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Today, Pillsbury attorneys Mark Jones, Brian Wong and Jessica Lutrin published their client advisory titled SEC Adopts Final Pay Ratio Disclosure Rules.  The Advisory discusses the SEC’s adoption of its Final Rule under the Dodd-Frank Act to require U.S. public companies to disclose the ratio of the annual total compensation of their principal executive officer to the median annual total compensation of all employees.

Additional Source, SEC Proposes Pay Ratio Disclosures

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In the latest ruling in the case of National Association of Manufacturers, et al., v. SEC, a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held today that the Secuiety and Exchange Commission’s “conflict minerals” rule’s compelled disclosures—affecting the acquisition of certain minerals produced in the Democratic Republic of the Congo—and indeed Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Pub. L. 111-203, H.R. 203, H.R. 4173) (commonly referred to as Dodd-Frank), violate the First Amendment and are unconstitutional. Two Senior Circuit judges (Randolph and Sentelle) formed the majority, and Judge Srinivasan dissented.

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Recently, Cal/OSHA issued a News Release confirming that its criminal investigation into a cave-in death of a day laborer in late January 2012 has resulted in a 2-year prison sentence for both the employer and the project manager for involuntary manslaughter.  Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Relations (DIR) warns:  “California employers must provide workers with the necessary protection and training so they can do their jobs safely… When our investigations uncover negligent behavior by employers, we exercise our full jurisdiction to protect workers – including referrals to district attorneys for prosecution.” Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum joined in, warning:  “When preventable deaths occur on the job, employers must be held accountable.”

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In Minnick, et al., v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, decided on August 12, 2015, involves conservation easements.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the U.S. Tax Court’s decision that disallowed a charitable deduction under Treasury Regulation § 1.170A-14(g)(2) claimed by the taxpayers for the donation of a conservation easement, a widely-used vehicle to safeguard lands from commercial development that could adversely affect environmental values. Continue reading

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For the second time in two years, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in an important attorney-client privilege case,  has issued a Writ of Mandamus to protect the contents of an internal corporate investigation that was led by the company’s lawyers.  The case is In Re: Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc., et alContinue reading

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Recently, the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies coordinated a national sting operation carried out June 15-26, 2015 “to elevate consumer protection and deter illegal construction practices.”  Nine states participated in the effort to combat what is commonly referred to as the underground economy:  Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Washington.  Continue reading

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In a case that does not seem to have attracted much notice, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a very long opinion rejecting the arguments made by a number of major business trade groups that the new National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) union election rules exceed the agency’s statutory authority, are arbitrary and capricious and violate employers’ rights under the First and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution.  This case is Chamber of Commerce of the United States, et al. v. NLRB, decided July 29, 2015. Continue reading

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The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries recently confirmed that has been some confusion voiced about when the term “associated” in the phrase “associated Class 2 low voltage wiring,” added in recent revisions to the scope of work for Class B labels in W.A.C. § 296-46B-908, applies to the low voltage cable.  In its Electrical Currents newsletter, Volume 19, No. 8 (August 2015), it confirms that the term “associated” means “only the cable originally connected to the united listed on the Class B label may be extended or replaced to accommodate the replacement unit.  It does not include new cable installed to a new unit.”  It provides two scenarios with the options for permit requirements  (i.e., (1) a like-in-kind replace of a single furnace, heating unit, air condition, or heat pump, and (2) a like-in-kind replacement of a single furnace, along with the installation of a new air condition or heat pump), and includes an explanation for each.