Construction

PDH represents many companies who operate in the residential, commercial (including multi-family) and industrial construction industries. On behalf of our construction clients, we deal with a myriad of legal issues relating to the construction process. Our focus is on negotiating contracts, minimizing disputes during construction, construction liens, OSHA citations and proceedings, bond and surety claims, insurance, and construction defect litigation. PDH clients include owners, engineers, architects and general contractors, but we primarily represent subcontractors and suppliers. When it comes to construction litigation, arbitration and mediation, PDH has trial lawyers who understand construction issues.

PDH clients also include truss and structural component manufacturers, building material suppliers and installers serving residential and commercial builders and contractors across the United States. PDH also serves as national counsel for the Structural Building Components Association and the Engineered Wood Products Association.

PDH construction lawyers write and present nationally on risk management issues, customer contract review and negotiation, construction defect litigation, residential and commercial construction insurance coverage issues, non-insurance risk management, construction best practices, and OSHA citations and proceedings.

Types of Construction Law Services Provided by PDH

Doing Construction Business in Texas. Effectively competing in the construction business in Texas requires the knowledge and ability that PDH possesses to work through federal laws and regulations (such as the Occupational Safety and Health Act), state laws, licensing requirements and regulations, building codes, and numerous court decisions of the Texas appellate courts that relate to construction. Forming and operating a construction company in Texas also requires a thorough understanding of entity formation and governance, areas in which the lawyers of PDH excel.

Contract Drafting and Negotiation. We review, prepare and negotiate contracts for owners, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers. We are familiar with and have worked with all of the major professional and industry forms. When drafting and negotiating contracts, we take an even-handed approach, with the goal of achieving a balanced and fair contract for the contracting parties. When representing subcontractors and suppliers, we apply many customized solutions to the contract drafting process since many of our clients are routinely asked to sign very one-sided contract forms.

Insurance Advisory Services. PDH's construction attorneys support our clients on insurance issues from project inception to project completion and beyond. We understand the types of risks our clients face and help them work with their insurance brokers to secure insurance at a reasonable cost. PDH takes a consultative approach to understanding each client's operations, business and growth strategy, financial position and philosophy, and risk tolerance. In turn, we help our clients understand exactly the types of insurance coverage they have and whether to negotiate for particular endorsements or to modify policy exclusions based on the types of risk they face.

We furthermore work with our clients on effective claim management, working side by side with our clients' internal resources to effectively minimize the exposures they face every day. Our approach helps our clients reduce their insurance expenses and improve their experience modification rating, thus gaining a competitive edge.

Ongoing Construction Disputes. Throughout construction, we also advise and counsel clients about concerns and disputes, helping them navigate any number of legal issues that may exist. The construction disputes we handle range from back charges and scope of work disputes to work interference claims. We also routinely become involved in performance issues, defects, failure to build per plans and specifications, disputes over applicable codes and conflicting drawings and specifications, as well as subrogation, contribution and indemnity.

Mechanics’ Liens and Payment Bond Claims. PDH represents numerous companies throughout the State of Texas who supply materials to, or who serve as subcontractors for, residential, commercial and industrial construction projects. We thoroughly understand the prerequisites that must be followed to properly perfect liens and/or payment bond claims. We also routinely handle litigation relating to such liens and other construction collection matters.

Material suppliers and subcontractors providing material and/or labor to construction projects located in Texas face some of the most complicated mechanic’s lien laws found anywhere in the United States. They must comply with technical statutory requirements in order to protect their rights against private property owners or, in the case of bonded public or private projects, sureties.

While there are multiple means that PDH deploys for construction collections, including actions for sworn account and breach of contract, and actions under the Construction Trust Fund Act and the Texas Property Code, as well as prompt payment statutes, the most important means to collect in the State of Texas is through proper compliance with the statutory requirements necessary for suppliers and subcontractors to assert a mechanic’s lien on a privately owned project in Texas.

Construction and Design Defects. PDH is well versed in construction defect legal issues in order to effectively advise our firm clients with respect to lawsuits or arbitration claims filed against them. We help our clients navigate the construction liability and contract issues that come up in every construction defect suit, as well as the very important insurance issues that may dictate whether the client is defended by its Commercial General Liability Insurance carrier, and whether such carrier will provide funding for a settlement or in the event an adverse verdict is rendered.

OSHA Citations and Proceedings. PDH represents clients, including manufacturers and those engaged in the construction industry, on Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) developments and enforcement plans. PDH further represents firm clients confronted with citations and other enforcement actions arising from alleged violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

PDH Representation of Structural Building Component Manufacturers.

PDH clients include many truss and structural component manufacturers located throughout the United States who are members of SBCA, the Structural Building Component Association, an association Kent J. Pagel and PDH have represented for approximately 20 years. Kent Pagel, the firm’s founding shareholder, has over 30 years of experience practicing construction law.

What PDH Does for Structural Building Component Manufacturers.

Kent Pagel and PDH represent structural component manufacturers involved in claims, arbitration proceedings, litigation and appeals relating to construction defects, truss collapses and product fall-down, engineering, design professional malpractice, customer contracts, moisture intrusion claims, and mold.

The firm also counsels structural component manufacturers in the area of drafting bids and proposals and construction contract documents, contract negotiation, insurance coverage and defense, mechanic’s and construction liens, transportation matters, environmental issues, intellectual property issues, and surety bonds.

What PDH Does for the Structural Building Components Association.
  • Attend and participate in SBCA Board of Directors meetings and other Association Committee meetings.
  • Regular writers and presenters on liability (including construction defect litigation), risk management, and insurance issues facing companies in the construction industry.
  • Author of the five track risk management series Online Risk Management and Liability Avoidance (ORisk) Program—Risk 101, Insurance 101, Bidding and Terms and Conditions of Sale, Builders’ Risk Transfer Provisions, and Successfully Negotiating a Customer Contract—see www.sbcindustry.com/orisk.php.

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