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    Calais, Maine

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    Southern Maine Home Builders & Rem Assn
    Local # 2020
    8 Mulliken Ct Suite 3
    Augusta, ME 04330

    Southern York County Home Builders Association
    Local # 2030
    8 Mulliken Ct Suite 3
    Augusta, ME 04330

    Home Builders & Remodelers Assn of Maine
    Local # 2000
    8 Mulliken Ct Suite 3
    Augusta, ME 04330

    Modular Home Builders Association of Maine
    Local # 2015
    8 Mulliken Ct Suite 3
    Augusta, ME 04330

    Construction Expert Witness News and Information
    For Calais Maine

    Case-Shiller Redo Shows Less Severe U.S. Home-Price Slump

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    Code Changes Pave Way for CLT in Tall Buildings and Spark Flammability Debate

    New York’s Highest Court Gives Insurers “an Incentive to Defend”

    No Coverage for Negligent Misrepresentation without Allegations of “Bodily Injury” or “Property Damage”

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    Manhattan Home Prices Jump to a Record as Buyers Compete

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    Become Familiar With Your CGL Policy Exclusions to Ensure You Are Covered: Wardcraft v. EMC.

    Atlantic City Faces Downward Spiral With Revel’s Demise

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    Gardeners in the City of the Future: An Interview with Eric Baczuk

    Client Alert: Stipulated Judgment For Full Amount Of Underlying Claim As Security For Compromise Settlement Void As Unenforceable Penalty

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    Timely Legal Trends and Developments for Construction
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    Leveraging from approximately 5000 building and construction related expert designations, the Calais, Maine Construction Expert Directory provides a streamlined multi-disciplinary expert retention and support solution to builders and construction practice groups seeking effective resolution of construction defect, scheduling, and delay matters. BHA provides building related trial support and expert consulting services to the construction industry's most recognized companies, legal professionals, Fortune 500 builders, CGL carriers, owners, as well as a variety of state and local government agencies. Utilizing in house resources which include licensed architects, civil engineers, building envelope experts, general and specialty contractors focused on the evaluation of construction claims, the firm brings specialized expertise and local capabilities to the Calais region.

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    Calais, Maine

    Inability to Confirm Coverage Supports Setting Aside Insured’s Default Judgment on Grounds of Extrinsic Mistake

    January 21, 2019 —
    In Mechling v. Asbestos Defendants (No. A150132, filed 12/11/18), a California appeals court affirmed the trial court’s grant of an insurer’s motion to set aside default judgments entered against its defunct insured pursuant to the trial court’s inherent, equitable power to set aside defaults on the ground of extrinsic mistake, thereby allowing the insurer to intervene and defend its own interests in the case. In Mechling, Fireman’s Fund insured Associated Insulation of California, which was named as a defendant in asbestos litigation filed in 2009. Associated had ceased operating in 1974, but was somehow successfully served with the complaint and defaulted, leading to default judgments of several million dollars. Notice of the judgments was served on Associated but not Fireman’s Fund. Reprinted courtesy of Christopher Kendrick, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP and Valerie A. Moore, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP Mr. Kendrick may be contacted at Ms. Moore may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Gardeners in the City of the Future: An Interview with Eric Baczuk

    July 08, 2019 —
    I had the pleasure of interviewing Eric Baczuk, Designer at Google. We discuss his views on the future urban experience and design. We also touch on Sidewalk Labs of which Eric was a founding team member. What are you working on currently? I lead a design team imagining future of communication and thinking about possibilities for what–if anything–might replace the smartphone in our daily lives. What could be the next affordance or device that could offer us a more seamless interface with the digital world? Can you be more specific about the interfaces? It’s really just imagining a future with digital interfaces that might be a bit more natural and more humane than what is currently available. In many ways, I think the phone has monopolized social life. You see people standing on the street, for example, waiting for the bus, and 99 percent will have their noses glued to their phones. I think it’s quite anti-social, and in some ways, prevents the friendly, serendipitous encounters that used to be so characteristic of urban living. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Aarni Heiskanen, AEC Business
    Mr. Heiskanen may be contacted at

    Eleventh Circuit Rules That Insurer Must Defend Contractor Despite “Your Work” Exclusion, Where Damage Timing Unclear

    May 13, 2019 —
    The Eleventh Circuit has reversed an insurer’s award of summary judgment after finding that uncertainty about when the alleged property damage occurred raised questions about whether the damage came within the scope of the “Your Work” exclusion. More specifically, the court found unclear whether the damage occurred before or after the contractor abandoned the job, thereby triggering an exception to the “Your Work” exclusion for damage to work that had “not yet been completed or abandoned.” The decision illustrates how timing can be a critical factor when it comes to triggering coverage for work and completed operations. In Southern-Owners Insurance Company v. MAC Contractors of Florida, LLC, a pair of trustees hired MAC Contractors (doing business as KJIMS Construction) to serve as the general contractor for a custom residence. After construction began, disputes between the trustees and KJIMS caused the contractor to abandon the job before completing the project. The trustees followed with a lawsuit alleging, among other things, that KJIMS had damaged wood floors and a metal roof, which KJIMS had promised to remediate but never did. Reprinted courtesy of Michael S. Levine, Hunton Andrews Kurth and David Costello, Hunton Andrews Kurth Mr. Levine may be contacted at Mr. Costello may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    SCOTUS Opens Up Federal Courts to Land Owners

    July 15, 2019 —
    For nearly 36 years, the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City, 473 U.S. 172, 105 S.Ct. 3108, 87 L.Ed.2d 126 (1985) severely frustrated, if not all but foreclosed, a property owner’s right to bring a claim in federal court based on a regulatory taking. Under the Fifth Amendment, a property owner whose land has been “taken” by the government is entitled to just compensation. There are two types of takings direct or “inverse” or regulatory takings. A direct taking is where the government declares that it needs your land for public use and offers to pay you compensation. You might disagree with the amount offered – and that often is the case. But, a mechanism exists whereby a neutral third party – a condemnation board – will arrive at the compensation that is owed. On the other hand, an inverse condemnation or regulatory taking occurs when the government takes some action that restricts the use of the land in such a way as to severely impact it beneficial economic use. For example, if you own a strip of commercial property and intend to develop it and then the municipality comes along and suddenly changes the zoning classification of the parcel such that you can no longer develop it in a beneficial way, then you might have a regulatory takings case. Under the Court’s Williamson County decision, property owners falling within the later category were required to exhaust state remedies before proceeding to federal court under a claim that their Fifth Amendment rights were violated. The problem with this is that, as the Supreme Court explained, it creates a Catch-22. If property owners exhaust their state remedies and the state remedies result in an unfavorable outcome, the federal court is powerless to overturn that decision under the doctrines of res judicata and the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution. Well, yesterday, the Court overturned Williamson County, in Knick v. Township of Scott, 588 U.S. _____ (2019). There the Court held unequivocally a “property owner has suffered a violation of his Fifth Amendment rights when the government takes his property without just compensation, and therefore may bring his claim in federal court under Section 1983 at that time.” Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Wally Zimolong, Zimolong LLC
    Mr. Zimolong may be contacted at

    New California Employment Laws Affect the Construction Industry for 2019

    February 18, 2019 —
    The California Legislature introduced more than 2637 bills in the second half of the 2017-2018 session that became law effective January 1, 2019, many of which address employment issues facing California employers in the construction industry. Below we have summarized some of the more important laws (the summary titles are live links to the text of the new law), and employers are urged to protect their companies by updating contracts, policies, and/or practices for compliance. The following is for general knowledge, and we recommend you consult with your attorney for specific legal advice. AB 1565 – Contractor Wage Liability: AB 1565 repeals the provision that relieved direct contractors for liability for anything other than unpaid wages and fringe or other benefit payments or contributions, including interest owed. In the past, a direct contractor could withhold “disputed” sums owed to a subcontractor if the subcontractor failed to provide “information” about their and lower-tier subcontractors’ payroll records. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Smith Currie
    Smith Currie attorneys may be contacted at

    United States Supreme Court Limits Class Arbitration

    May 13, 2019 —
    On April 24, 2019, the United States Supreme Court held that the Federal Arbitration Act ("FAA") bars orders requiring class arbitration when an agreement is ambiguous about the availability of such a procedure. Lamps Plus v. Varela, 587 U.S. __ , 2019 WL 1780275, (2019). In Lamps Plus, the Court clarified a 2010 case in which it held that a court may not compel arbitration on a class-wide basis when an agreement is silent on the availability of class arbitration. Stolt-Nielsen S.A. v. Animal Feeds Int'l Corp., 559 U.S. 662, 687 (2012). In Lamps Plus, a 5-4 decision authored by Chief Justice Roberts, the Court explained that because the FAA envisions the use of traditional individualized arbitration, a party cannot be forced under the FAA to submit to class arbitration unless the parties explicitly agreed to do so. Because class arbitration does not share the benefits of traditional arbitration -- lower costs, greater efficiency and speed, and the parties' choice of a neutral -- the FAA requires more than an "ambiguous" agreement to show that the parties bound themselves to arbitrate on a class-wide basis. Unlike individualized arbitration, or even traditional class actions, class arbitration raises serious due process concerns because absent class members will have limited judicial review. Based on these critical differences between individual and class arbitration, the Court reiterated in Lamps Plus that "courts may not infer consent to participate in class arbitration absent an affirmative contractual basis for concluding that the party agreed to do so." Reprinted courtesy of Jeffrey K. Brown, Payne & Fears and Raymond J. Nhan, Payne & Fears Mr. Brown may be contacted at Mr. Nhan may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    John Aho: Engineer Pushed for Seismic Safety in Alaska Ahead of 2018 Earthquake

    February 06, 2019 —
    The son of a pioneer bush pilot in Alaska, structural engineer John Aho spent decades working toward earthquake preparedness. He helped found a key seismic safety commission in the state, and serves on the City of Anchorage’s geotechnical advisory group. The fruits of his labor were clearly demonstrated on the morning of Nov. 30, when the magnitudes 7.0 and 5.7 earthquakes that struck the city caused limited structural damage, partly due to stringent building requirements. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Christine Kilpatrick - ENR
    Ms. Kilpatrick may be contacted at

    Blue-Sky Floods Take a Rising Toll for Businesses

    March 04, 2019 —
    When American colonists planned downtown Annapolis, Maryland in 1695, they wanted easy access to the sea. Almost 325 years later, the sea is now closer than ever. It’s so close, in fact, that 16 small businesses lost roughly 2 percent of their revenue in 2017. In a first-of-its-kind study, Stanford University and Naval Academy researchers looked at the effect of sea-level rise on a single city-block. Specifically, they examined sunny-day floods—inundation that occurs when infrastructure built for lower waters is no longer sufficient to keep back the highest tides—at a central parking lot at City Dock. As sea levels rise, these “nuisance floods” are becoming more common. From the 1950s to the early 2000s, the days of flooding in the 27 most vulnerable cities across the U.S. grew from two per year to nearly 12. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Eric Roston, Bloomberg