Sunday, September 30, 2007

Peter Cavanaugh to Speak on November 14, 2007 to MCA Detroit regarding "Prompt Pay" Legislation

Attorney Peter Cavanaugh will speak to the Mechanical Contractors Association (MCA) of Detroit on November 14, 2007 on the subject of Prompt Pay in Michigan: An Overview of Proposed Changes to Michigan Law.

Mr. Cavanaugh will discuss the changes to Michigan law that have been endorsed by AGC of Michigan that would affect payment practices in the construction industry. Among the proposed changes are amendments to the Michigan Retainage Act, the Michigan Builder's Trust Fund Act, the Differing Site Conditions Statute, and the Michigan Public Works Bond Statute. Mr. Cavanaugh will also address recent changes to the Michigan Construction Lien Act.

For more information, contact Cassie at MCA Detroit -- (313) 341-7661 Ext. 205 -- or visit the MCA Detroit's website.

ConsensusDOCS Released, Renewed Effort at a Fair Contract Document

On September 28, 2007, 20 leading construction associations, including AGC united to publish a consensus set of contract documents called ConsensusDOCS.

Why another set of form documents?

There are currently a variety of construction associations that produce standard form construction contracts, including AGC, COAA, EJCDC. However, standard contracts published by one association are perceived as ultimately favoring that association’s membership. This is a criticism that is frequently lodged against AIA contract forms. There is also a growing industry frustration that heavily modified standard form documents hardly resemble the original text. Sometimes “supplemental general conditions" are longer than the standard form.

Participants in ConsensusDOCS

  • National Association of State Facilities Administrators (NASFA),
  • Construction Users Roundtable (CURT),
  • Construction Owners Association of America (COAA),
  • Associated General Contractors of America (AGC),
  • Construction Industry Round Table (CIRT),
  • Lean Construction Institute (LCI),
  • Associated Specialty Contractors, Inc. (ASC),
  • American Subcontractors Association, Inc. (ASA),
  • Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC),
  • Finishing Contractors Association (FCA)
  • Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA),
  • Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association (PHCC),
  • National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA),
  • National Insulation Association (NIA),
  • National Subcontractor Alliance (NSA),
  • National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA),
  • Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA),
  • Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA),
  • National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP),
  • Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA), and
  • Engineers Joint Contract Documents Committee (EJCDC).*

* Actively participated in the drafting process, but considering endorsement after initial publication.

The Result

ConsensusDOCS includes more than 70 contracts and forms, and address all project delivery methods. Additionally, project specific information and modifications can easily be entered through the DocuBuilder software program.

These best practice documents address cutting edge issues such as electronic communications, and building information modeling (BIM). Initial publication will also include a transformative agreement called Tri-Party Collaborative Agreement, which will encourage lean construction. In a fashion similar to the ConsensusDOCS process, the Tri-Party Agreement will have three parties sign the same contract and create a core team. This type of agreement has been used more commonly in Australia and is also known as alliancing or relational contracting. The project’s core team, which may include key specialty contractors and consultants, will make consensus decisions based upon the best interests of the project.

More Information

For more information, check out In addition, AGC of America has background information on their website, including a 22 page commentary of the significant changes to be found in the ConsensusDOCs contracts.

Monday, September 24, 2007

U.S. Bureau of Engraving, Interactive Currency Site

A lawyer who doesn't have a few hobbies would be a boring one indeed. . .

As a kid, I was fascinated by coins, and had a pretty extensive "penny collection" before moving on to baseball cards. I haven't kept it up, but the last several years have seen a significant change in U.S. paper currency. Most of the bills we use every day have received significant face lifts or undergone other changes designed to thwart counterfeiters. Some changes are obvious, and others are not.

The U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing has a new interactive website that shows you (and your kids) what is new or special about the new U.S. currency. Check it out --

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Law Library of Congress, Michigan Legal Links

The Law Library of Congress recently updated its website. The LOC includes the world's largest collection of law books and legal resources. Among its online resources is an excellent Guide to Michigan Legal Resources.

For practitioners, the State Bar of Michigan and the Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) have collaborated to produce Michigan Law Online, which is a free online primary law research service for all Michigan Bar members in good standing.

The State of Michigan's website also includes a Directory of Michigan Law Libraries, which includes links to the nearly 50 law libraries in the state.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

New Bill Would Boost Set Aside for Disabled Veteran Contractors

On September 6, 2007, Sen. John Pappageorge (R. Troy) introduced S.B. 751, which would amend the Management and Budget Act to increase the goal for contract set asides for disabled veterans.

Under the current Act, it is the goal of the Department of Management and Budget (DMB) to award each year at least 3% of its total expenditures for construction, goods, and services to qualified disabled veterans. S.B. 751 would boost that that minimum goal to 5%.

The Michigan
Department of Management and Budget (DMB), the largest procuring agency for construction services in Michigan next to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT).

To track the progress of S.B. 751, follow this link.