Construction Industry Law: Transactional Practice, Dispute Avoidance & Resolution
This seminar is offered jointly with the College of Civil Engineering. The course covers such topics as: selecting the appropriate delivery system for complex real estate development and construction projects; competitive bidding for public works construction; claims for changes-in-scope, delay and construction defects; default, termination and calling upon the performance bond surety to complete; professional ethics; defective design and engineers' & architects' professional liability; ADR and dispute resolution mechanisms.
The seminar will be highly interactive, giving civil engineering graduate students and law students the opportunity to draw upon each other's educational background and to observe each other's approach to problem solving. Each seminar will be divided between team presentations (such as oral argument of a bid protest lawsuit, and direct and cross examination of a construction scheduling expert witness), and class discussion of issues raised by the reading materials, which will consist of appellate decisions, statutes, contract and bond forms, textbook, and professional journal articles. There will be weekly "informal" written assignments of class discussion problems, and four 4 page "formal" papers on such topics as: what constitutes a cardinal change to a contract entitling one party to terminate; the constitutionality of the Mechanics Lien Law. The seminar will be structured around a fact pattern describing a complex (and highly troubled) construction project involving the extension of a subway line to a large housing development. The problems encountered in the fact pattern implicate the legal principles discussed.
There will be no final examination. Students' grades will be determined by their class participation, their performance in team presentations, and their written papers. Since this seminar calls for significant class participation, regular attendance is required. All students will be expected to attend the first session of class. Registration is limited to 15 graduate students in civil engineering and 15 law students.