Construction Law and Litigation

For more than twenty years, Wisler Pearlstine’s construction lawyers have successfully assisted clients in handling and solving various types of disputes and issues that arise on construction projects. The firm’s construction lawyers combine a wealth of construction law knowledge with practical, hands-on project and litigation experience to bring efficient and cost-effective results for our clients.

Our Clients:

The firm’s construction law practice covers both public and private construction projects. The practice focuses on public works’ projects including highway, bridge, transit and utility construction projects. The projects at issue range from relatively small and specialty projects to large, complex projects involving multiple parties and millions of dollars. Drawing on their deep and varied experience, the firm’s construction lawyers regularly counsel and represent owners, general contractors, specialty subcontractors and architects/engineers throughout Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The firm’s construction clients include:

  • Heavy/Highway contractors
  • Utility contractors
  • Electrical contractors
  • Structures contractors
  • General building contractors
  • HVAC contractors
  • Excavation and site work contractors
  • Asphalt concrete, and other materials producers
  • Steel fabricators and erectors
  • Institutional Public and Private Owners

Services We Provide

Contract Drafting

  • Our construction lawyers have significant experience in drafting and reviewing various contractual arrangements involved in construction projects. We draft contracts for clients and review documents they receive from other parties. The types of documents include architectural services agreements, design consultant agreements, pre-construction services agreements, existing conditions studies agreements, construction management services agreements, general construction contracts and general conditions, subcontracts. A significant portion of time in this area involves drafting and reviewing subcontracts and identifying carefully hidden provisions that attempt to shift excessive risk to our subcontractor clients.

Bid Disputes

  • On public works’ construction projects, our lawyers regularly handle matters and disputes arising from public bidding. The services range from advice on public bidding issues to full scale injunction proceedings when disputes arise from a public bid. Our construction lawyers have a solid understanding of the substantive and procedural principles that govern public bidding and are able to prosecute and defend bid disputes effectively for our clients.

Litigation and Claims

  • Throughout a client’s construction project, our lawyers continually provide advice concerning project issues, delays, disruptions in work, payment issues and design problems. We regularly counsel clients on issues and problems that arise with a view toward attempting to find and implement a cost-effective solution immediately, with the goal being to avoid costly litigation or other dispute resolution at the conclusion of the job. However, when a dispute is unavoidable – either at the end of a project or, if warranted, during a project – we vigorously prosecute and defend all types of construction claims for our clients. These include:
  • Payment Claims, including statutory “prompt pay” claims
  • Design deficiencies
  • Delay, disruption and inefficiency claims
  • Acceleration claims
  • Extra work claims and change order disputes
  • Mechanics’ Lien claims
  • Payment and performance bond claims
  • OSHA and related project safety claims
  • Unforeseen coverage claims
  • Insurance coverage claims
  • Design error and misrepresentation claims

Where We Practice

Our construction lawyers represent clients in construction matters both in state courts and federal courts. Our practice spans:

  • Pennsylvania Supreme Court
  • Pennsylvania Superior Court
  • Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court
  • Pennsylvania Courts of Common Pleas
  • Pennsylvania Board of Claims
  • New Jersey Superior Courts
  • New Jersey’s Appellate Division and Supreme Courts, and
  • United States District and Circuit Courts in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey

Additionally, we have experience in many different types of private alternative dispute resolution (ADR), including:

  • Arbitrations and mediations before the American Arbitration Association
  • Other common law and compulsory arbitration proceedings
  • Mediations
  • Other public and private dispute resolution forums.

Teaching and Publications:

Wisler Pearlstine’s construction lawyers regularly write and lecture on construction law matters and developments, and have recently taught seminars on Pennsylvania’s Prompt Payment Acts, Pennsylvania’s Mechanics’ Lien Statute and Indemnities and Risk Allocation in Construction Contracts.  Recent publications include:

Recent Developments in Pennsylvania Construction Damages by Mason Avrigian, Jr. and Jeffrey P. Wallack

To Arbitrate or Not to Arbitrate? That Continues to Be the Question by Mason Avrigian, Jr. and Jeffrey P. Wallack.

Our construction lawyers not only lecture in formal seminars, but frequently provide informational sessions for our clients on construction law and construction-related issues, whether in full office meetings or more focused job or project meetings.

Contacts:

For more information regarding the firm’s Construction Law and Litigation practice, please contact either the Practice Chair, Mason Avrigian, Jr. (mavrigian@wispearl.com or  610-834-3450), or Partner, Jeffrey P. Wallack (jwallack@wispearl.com or 610-834-3454).