Latest News

30 Mar, 2015

Demanding A Reduction in Retainage

By |2018-04-23T23:55:11+00:00March 30th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Nebraska Prompt Pay Act|

One of the attendees of the Goldleaf Surety presentation asked a great question about reducing retention under the Nebraska Construction Prompt Pay Act, Nebraska Revised Statutes, 45-1201-45-1211.  He wanted to know whether there was any way to reduce and recover retainage during the project.  The short answer is retainage should be reduced half way through the project, but there is no right to recover retainge for work performed during the [...]

24 Mar, 2015

Partner Craig Martin Installed as Member of Board for Associated Builders and Contractors, Cornhusker Chapter

By |2018-07-11T18:17:16+00:00March 24th, 2015|Latest News, News|

Craig Martin is a new member of the board for the Associated Builders and Contractors, Cornhusker Chapter.  ABC is a leading voice promoting free enterprise within the construction industry and promotes "merit shop", a philosophy that awards work to the most qualified and lowest bidder regardless of labor affiliation.

24 Mar, 2015


By |2018-04-23T20:59:42+00:00March 24th, 2015|BOP - Business Operations Policy, Midwest Insurance Law Guide|

    Oh the horror of extensive water damage – especially to a business operation!! Insurers know this well.  Companies are very careful to underwrite only certain losses in a standard BOP (business operations policy) insurance form.  All other rain and water losses need to be covered by endorsement at an increased premium cost.  A small commercial Iowa store owner found this out the hard way. However before we get to [...]

24 Mar, 2015

Des Moines Divides the House: Files suit against rural drainage districts

By |2018-04-23T18:22:20+00:00March 24th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Midwest Agricultural Law|

As previously reported in A House Divided, Des Moines claims its water supply has been polluted by excessive nitrogen from farm runoff drained through the rural tiling systems.  Des Moines' threat to sue neighboring rural drainage districts for failing to prevent the pollution of Des Moines water supply is no longer idle. On March 16, 2015 Des Moines filed suit against the board of supervisors of Sac County, Calhoun County [...]

23 Mar, 2015

Partner David Schmitt at the Forefront of Cyber and Telecom Issues

By |2018-07-11T18:17:16+00:00March 23rd, 2015|Latest News, News|

David Schmitt received his Master of Laws (LLM) degree from the University of Nebraska's Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law program in 2013.  This program which was started in 2008 has had 42 lawyers graduate since its inception.  Click here to read more about NU's "space law" program and Mr. Schmitt's interview with the Omaha World Herald regarding his cyber law practice.

23 Mar, 2015

Improper Classification Under Davis Bacon Can Be Costly

By |2018-04-23T23:55:11+00:00March 23rd, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Davis Bacon Act|

The Department of Labor announced late last year that it had recovered nearly $2 million in back wages and fringe benefits from a subcontractor that provided constructions services at the federally funded Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project in the Nevada desert. This was not a failure to pay Davis Bacon wages, but a failure to properly classify laborers on the project. The DOL determined that the laborers should have been [...]

23 Mar, 2015

Malpractice Payments Decrease

By |2018-04-23T23:57:54+00:00March 23rd, 2015|Medical Malpractice, Midwest Medical Legal Advisor, Risk Management, Tort Reform|

According to a new study appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, in the past ten years, the rate of medical malpractice claims resulting in some sort of payment has seen a drastic reduction. The study examined data from the National Practitioner Data Bank and the American Medical Association's Physician Masterfile to identify trends in the frequency of claims against doctors over a 19 year time period ending [...]

17 Mar, 2015

Submitting Claims on Government Projects Can Be Tricky

By |2018-04-23T23:55:11+00:00March 17th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Government Contracting|

The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals opinion in K-Con Building Systems, Inc. v. United States illustrates the difficulties a contractor may face when pursuing a claim before a Contracting Officer. After nearly 10 years of litigation, the court found that the contractor’s claim to the Contracting Officer did not contain enough detail to allow the claim to proceed. That’s a lot of time and resources wasted on a claim that [...]

16 Mar, 2015

Partners Brian Brislen and Dan Waters Presenting at NBI Seminar May 5, 2015

By |2018-07-11T18:17:16+00:00March 16th, 2015|Latest News, News|

Brian Brislen and Dan Waters will be presenting on a variety of subjects at an NBI Seminar to be held on May 5, 2015 at the Scott Conference Center.  The seminar, “Partnership and Shareholder Disputes from Start to Finish” will guide participants through ownership conflicts in family-owned and closely-held businesses.  For more information, please click here.

13 Mar, 2015

Partner Sean Minahan Presents at 2014 LEAD Alumni Conference

By |2018-07-11T18:17:16+00:00March 13th, 2015|Latest News, News|

Sean Minahan, a fellow of LEAD 31,  presented at the 2014 LEAD Alumni Conference on January 17, 2015 in Kearney, Ne.  The presentation topic was an explanation of the proposed changes to the EPA's definition of "Waters of the United States" under the Clean Water Act.  The Nebraska LEAD Program began 33 years ago to develop future agricultural leaders in Nebraska.  You can learn more about this program at

8 Mar, 2015

Pay-if-Paid Clauses, Nasty, but Enforceable

By |2018-04-23T23:55:11+00:00March 8th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Construction Contracts|

I am preparing for a presentation this week on Troublesome Contract Clauses to the Construction Specifications Institute (“CSI”), Nebraska Chapter. One of the clauses we will be discussing is the dreaded Pay-if-Paid clause, a particularly nasty provision that places the risk of owner's solvency squarely on the subcontractor's shoulders.  While pay-if-paid clauses can create tremendous problems for subcontractors, they are enforceable. Pay-if-Paid clauses eliminate the obligation to pay the subcontractor [...]

6 Mar, 2015

A House Divided: Urban Iowa Threatening to Sue Rural Iowa for Farm Runoff

By |2018-04-23T18:22:20+00:00March 6th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law, Water Law|

  Dividing the House "A house divided against itself cannot stand."  Abraham Lincoln quoted this indisputable truth in reference to the issue of slavery.  Although unlikely to lead to civil war, the debate between urban water use and rural land use is an ever increasing concern. The issue has come to head in Iowa and may be fought in court.  The city of Des Moines plans to file [...]

1 Mar, 2015

Can General Contractors Make Subcontractors Pay for OSHA Violations?

By |2018-04-23T23:55:11+00:00March 1st, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, OSHA|

OSHA has long held the opinion that general contractors may be held liable for subcontractor’s OSHA violations and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, overseeing the Midwest, has agreed since 2009. To combat this risk, general contractors would be well served to incorporate targeted indemnity provisions into their subcontracts that require subcontractors to pay for all claims and costs associated with subcontractor caused OSHA violations. OSHA’s Multi-Employer Policy OSHA’s Multi-Employer [...]