Resources

What Subs Should Know About Mechanic’s Lien Rights

What Subs Should Know About Mechanic’s Lien Rights

On private sector construction jobs, subcontractors and material suppliers who have not been paid often come to us and ask about their mechanic’s lien rights. A mechanic’s lien can be a powerful tool in getting an owner to pressure a general contractor to...
Good News for Subs on Indemnity Clauses

Good News for Subs on Indemnity Clauses

A recent decision by the Hawaii Supreme Court, Arthur v. State of Hawaii, No. SCWC-13-0000531, 2016 Haw. LEXIS 155 (June 27), has reduced the burden on subcontractors who are drawn into litigation against a general contractor. Every subcontractor who is being asked to...
Critical Documentation

Critical Documentation

At the start of every project, goodwill and trust are usually at their high point, and contractors often do not write down key agreements and understandings. When problems start to arise, trust and goodwill too often give way to the financial realities of potential...
Residential Contractors Should Know Their Rights

Residential Contractors Should Know Their Rights

In the January issue of Building Industry Hawaii, residential contractors were alerted to problems they may face if their written contract does not comply with Section 444-25.5 of the Hawaii Contractors’ Law. Hawaii law also provides certain positive rights to...
A Guide to Basic Estate Planning

A Guide to Basic Estate Planning

Estate planning can be compared to the creation of a personal legal “suitcase” in which all types of property ownership can be placed including personal belongings, assets, business holdings, financial resources and real estate. The person creating the...
Holding On to Sub-Bids

Holding On to Sub-Bids

Hawaii law limits the types of work that can be done by a general contractor. Under Okada Trucking v. Board of Water Supply, 97 Hawaii 450 (2002), general contractors must retain subcontractors for all work not automatically included in their A (engineering) or B...
Retaining Control of a Bond Claim

Retaining Control of a Bond Claim

Most of the general contractors we represent have had to post performance bonds or payment bonds at one time or another. In addition to paying a premium, they have to agree that, if a claim or a lawsuit is filed against the bond, they will indemnify (i.e. reimburse)...
Before You Sue, Consider Mediation

Before You Sue, Consider Mediation

Have you ever reached a point in your dispute with a contractor or another professional or a family member when you have said: “I’ve had it. I need a good lawyer. I’m going to sue!” As a lawyer with over 40 years in practice, let me offer a word of advice: Wait. Take...
Brokers are Liable

Brokers are Liable

Stockbrokers and financial planners are required by law to “know their clients” and recommend investments that are appropriate for them. The rules governing brokers require that they have reasonable grounds for believing that every recommendation is suitable for the...
Congress: Get Mediation!

Congress: Get Mediation!

Joshua Holland, writing on BillMoyers.com, observes that “A negotiation is between two parties that want different things and come to some compromise. Nobody should want a shutdown or a default and passing budgets and paying the federal government’s debts aren’t...