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We Mean Business in Texas
Not Off the Hook – New Legislation Leaves Some Risk on Contractors for Design Defects
by Lauren Scroggs Most states have long followed the Spearin doctrine, which prohibits a project owner from shifting design liability to a contractor for defects resulting from an owner-provided design. Texas, by contrast, has long adhered to the Lonergan doctrine, which holds contractors liable for defects in an owner-provided design unless the contract between the owner and contractor specifically shifts the design risk to the owner. Whether or not Texas contractors knew the doctrine by name, they often felt the practical effects of Lonergan when asked to accept owners’ design disclaimers and take on design liability by warranting that plans provided to them were suitable for construction. 

The tide on contractor design liability changed with the passing of Senate Bill 219 this legislative session. Specifically, for construction contracts entered into after September 1, 2021, the Legislature enacted the following limitation on a contractors’ liability for design:

"A contractor is not responsible for the consequences of design defects in and may not warranty the accuracy, adequacy, sufficiency, or suitability of plans, specifications, or other design documents provided to the contractor by a person other than the contractor's agents, contractors, fabricators, or suppliers, or its consultants, of any tier." Tex. Bus. & Comm. Code § 59.051(a).  Read More...
Biden Administration Ends ICE Raids, Will Focus on Employers Instead
by Tony Stergio The Biden Administration recently announced that it was ending ICE raids designed to apprehend unauthorized workers. In doing so, the Administration is reversing the Trump Administration practice of using such raids, which often resulted in the arrests of large numbers of unauthorized workers.

The Biden Administration, much like the Obama Administration before it, will focus its efforts on employer practices and documentation. We, therefore, anticipate more I-9 audits and employer penalties for I-9 violations, rather than the incarceration and deportation of unauthorized workers.

Because of this shift in policy, employers must ensure that they are complying with their obligations under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (“IRCA”). Read More...
Andrews Myers Welcomes Three New Attorneys
Please join us in welcoming, Colby Binford to the Houston office. Colby’s practice focuses on construction law, litigation, and alternative dispute resolution. He represents general contractors, subcontractors, and small and mid-sized companies in a variety of construction
and business related disputes. He has represented clients in over 200 bench trials and multiple jury trials in the course of his career. Colby earned a B.A. degree in History from Sam Houston State University, and his J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center.
We also welcome back a familiar face, Katy Jo Richards, to the Houston office. She was a summer associate as part of the firm’s 2020 Summer Law Clerk program. Katy Jo’s practice focuses on advocating for general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and project owners in various capacities, including litigation, negotiations, contract review, and appeals.
Katy Jo earned a B.A. degree in International Studies and Spanish from Texas A&M University in 2017, and this May achieved her J.D. (cum laude) from Baylor Law School.
Lastly, welcome Josh Cunningham to the Houston office. His practice is devoted to commercial real estate, corporate and commercial transactions. Josh earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Texas Christian University in 2014, and this May achieved his J.D. from South Texas College of Law Houston.
Potential Side Effects of Reverse Mentoring
by Ben Westcott Offering a strong mentor program within your company can be a major benefit to your employees. Perhaps it is apparent to some, but a well-structured mentor-mentee relationship often benefits the presumed mentor just as much or more than the mentee. Andrews Myers has a mentor/mentee program in place for all of our attorneys. Each summer, in addition to our firm’s summer associates, we work with the Rice Football Internship Program and the University of Houston Construction Management Internship Program. I have experienced innumerable professional benefits first hand through each of these mentoring opportunities.

Working as a mentor has helped me and I suggest it to anyone seeking a revitalization to your practice; new understandings of the law; new perspectives of professionalism; and improved ways to service clients. You may not know that you need these things, but working with a mentee can bring you any and all of these benefits.

If you haven’t yet tried being a mentor and want to get involved, check out the Texas State Bar’s Mentoring Program or UH’s Construction Management Internship page.
Real Estate

End of Year Round Up: Reviewing Your Agreements for Upcoming Obligations

by Katie Gourley As the holidays creep closer and the busy season takes over, now is the time to dust off your contracts and leases for an end of year review. Oftentimes these documents fall by the wayside after execution, only to be pulled out in the event of a dispute. However, many agreements contain ongoing obligations outside of routine rent or other payments, including notice for renewals or terminations that you may not have on the forefront of your mind. Looking ahead, it is a great idea to review your leases and other agreements to prepare yourself for upcoming obligations that may sneak up and make sure your 2022 calendar includes the deadlines for these important notices.

Whether a lease or a service agreement, it is important to remain aware of the expiration date of each agreement’s term. This is important for leases or contracts that you do not want to let expire and can be doubly important for leases or contracts that you do not want to let auto-renew.

In the case of a lease, this end-of term timeline can affect when and whether you can extend your stay at your current premises. Many leases contain renewal options, where the tenant has the option to extend the term of the lease under the same or similar terms. Read more...
Hunter Barrow, Litigation Star

Hunter Barrow has been recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a 2022 Texas Litigation Star in Commercial Litigation. Awarded to individuals recommended consistently as reputable and highly

effective litigators by clients and peers, honorees are considered to be the preeminent litigation practitioners in the US.

Focused exclusively on the U.S. litigation market, Benchmark Litigation identifies leading attorneys who have displayed the ability to consistently handle complex, high-stakes cases in multiple jurisdictions, and who are revered within their business and legal communities for the quality of their litigation and trial work. Benchmark Litigation is the definitive guide to litigation attorneys in the United States and determines their recommendations through case examinations, interviews of clients and reviews by the nation’s leading private practice lawyers and in-house counsel.

About Andrews Myers
Where to find Andrews Myers
10/28 - SPONSOR HBJ Webinar: Digital Disruption in the Commercial Real Estate Industry
10/28 - SPONSOR ABC Houston Excellence in Construction Awards
11/02 - AGC Membership Luncheon, Austin
11/03 - CREW Houston Luncheon
11/04 - SPONSOR ABC Central Texas Fall Golf Tournament
11/04 - SPONSOR Houston Business Journal Best Places to Work Luncheon
11/06 - SPONSOR ASA She Builds It Park Beautification Project
11/08 - AGC of Texas (Austin) Monthly Luncheon
11/09 - SPONSOR AGC Houston Annual Safety Meeting
11/10 - GBVBA Skeet Shoot
11/11 - SPONSOR  AGC Houston Member Mixer
11/17 - NACM Education Series w/ Jason Walker & Carl Williams
11/18 - AGC Houston Distinguished Speaker Series
11/20 - SPONSOR AGC Austin Rodeo & BBQ Cook-Off
11/30 - AGC of Texas Christmas Party
12/03 - SPONSOR Houston Contractors Association Christmas Party
12/07 - SPONSOR GACC Houston Stammtisch
12/08 - CREMM Holiday Party
Andrews Myers, PC
Founded in 1990, with offices in Houston and Austin, Andrews Myers, Attorneys at Law, is a corporate law firm and recognized market leader in Texas construction law.  The firm focuses on the concentrated disciplines of commercial litigation, construction, commercial real estate, corporate and business transactions, with additional emphasis on related issues including bankruptcy and insolvency, energy, employment and capital formation. A seasoned team of attorneys provides timely and cost-effective solutions to the most complex problems facing entrepreneurs and middle-market industry leaders throughout the state and the nation. For more information please visit
COVID-19 Updates
Andrews Myers attorneys have been tracking and updating the many changes that could effect you and your business throughout the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic. To see all of the articles and information you may have missed, please visit our dedicated COVID-19 page on

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