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Andrews Myers
Business Insight from the Ground Up
Negotiating an Owner and Contractor's Rights and Liabilities for Defective Work
by Katie Gourley  Whether purchasing improved property for renovation or planning a new development, one of the most important steps for an owner in the real estate development process is negotiating a fair contract with its general contractor. The working relationship between an owner and general contractor can make or break a development. While defective work is a common reality in construction projects, an owner’s rights against the general contractor are governed almost entirely by what is negotiated and agreed upon in the contract. Despite Texas law providing certain statutory methods of recovery, the state’s strong belief in a party’s freedom to contract can result in serious restrictions on the owner’s ability to recover for defective work. Therefore, an owner’s remedies when faced with defective work are an important topic of negotiation.
Typically, an owner’s primary remedy for defective work is through the incorporation of both express and implied warranties, which may address the quality, completeness, and adequacy of the contractor’s work. Under Texas law, certain warranties apply to a contractor’s work regardless of whether such warranty is explicitly stated in the contract. Read more...
Real Estate
Texas High Speed Rail Hits Roadblock
by Elaine Howard  For several years, Texas Central Railroad & Infrastructure has been working on the almost unimaginably complicated process of creating from nothing the first dedicated high speed rail line to exist in the United States.  The route will take riders from Houston to Dallas/Fort Worth in 90 minutes.  Estimates of cost and impact vary; the current estimated price tag is about $15 billion, which would all come from private investment.  Opponents have questioned whether the project is commercially viable, and suggested that a public bailout would likely be required at some point. 
Among several early requirements of this project is the acquisition of roughly 8,000 acres of private land.  By some reports, Texas Central has obtained at least a third of that land by negotiation with landowners. Read more...
New Shareholder Jim Aycock 
Jim Aycock, a trial attorney whose practice includes a wide variety of complex commercial litigation matters in state and federal courts, as well as domestic and international arbitrations, has joined the firm as a Shareholder in the Houston office. His practice focuses primarily on financial litigation, energy matters, real estate disputes, and general business disputes.  Click here to view Jim Aycock's full bio.
New Shareholder Ryan Schmidt
Ryan Schmidt, a transactional attorney whose practice focuses on construction, commercial real estate and corporate transactions, has joined the Houston office as a Shareholder in the Corporate/CRE and Construction practice groups.  For more information on Ryan click here
To download the press release click here.
Employment Short Takes
by Tony Stergio and Andy Clark   The Occupational Safety and Health Administration amended 2016’s rule on the “Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” to remove the requirement that businesses with 250 or more workers must electronically submit logs of each on-the-job injury or illness their workers sustain.  These employers, however, must still keep such records on site. The amended rule still requires that these, and some smaller employers, submit a less-detailed summary of their workers’ illnesses and injuries to OSHA annually. 
The original regulation, which OSHA adopted in 2016, required certain employers to log injury data in documents known as OSHA Forms 300, 301 and 300A and submit them to OSHA each year. Form 300 is a list of every work-related injury or illness, Form 301 details some specifics of Form 300 entries, and Form 300A is a less-detailed summary of the injury and illness data.
The 300A summary must still be submitted by March 2, 2019 Read more...
What Happens When Your Customer Files Bankruptcy?
by Lisa Norman   When your customer files bankruptcy, a series of questions will run through your head. How do I collect the outstanding receivable? Can I choose whether I continue doing business with this customer? What happens to the money the customer just paid me? These are all valid concerns for a company that suddenly finds itself as a “creditor” in a bankruptcy case.
First, know your rights. You have a right to share in distributions (money) paid out from the customer’s bankruptcy estate. You have a right to be heard by the court regarding the plan of reorganization, the priority of claims, and your defenses to any challenge to your claim.  You also have a right to challenge the debtor’s discharge of debts.  Read more...
Join Us at the Upcoming Special Events in February & March

2/27 - AM supports the State Bar of Texas Construction Law Section Conference
2/28 - Tim Ross presents on "Termination Issues" at the SBOT Construction Conference
3/1 - Ben Westcott provides a "Legislative Update" at the SBOT Construction Conference
3/6 - AM sponsors the CREW Houston luncheon
3/21 - Tony Stergio provides a "Legal Update" at the TBB Safety Committee meeting
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