Good News for Subcontractors and Suppliers: Prospective Lien and Bond Claim Waivers are Null and Void

Until now, Virginia has been among a number of states that allow a subcontractor or supplier of materials to a construction project to waive its rights to a mechanic's lien or a payment bond claim prospectively, before even beginning work, by agreeing to such a waiver in a subcontract, purchase order or even a progress payment lien waiver. With the passage of Senate Bill 891,Virginia joins the ranks of a majority of states that prohibit such waivers.

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The Emerging Law on the Commercial Use of Drones

The body of law relating to drones, those small, unmanned, remote controlled aircraft - those flying gizmos - is in its infancy, but is growing rapidly. In February of this year, the Federal Aviation Administration announced a new set of rules which authorize the commercial use of drones, albeit in a very limited manner.

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Supreme Court of Virginia address timeliness of a nonsuit under Va. Code § 8.01-380(A)

On April 16, 2015, the Supreme Court of Virginia issued an opinion regarding the timeliness of a nonsuit under Virginia Code § 8.01-380(A), which provides, in part, that “[a] party shall not be allowed to suffer a nonsuit as to any cause of action or claim, or any other party to the proceeding, unless he does so . . . before the action has been submitted to the court for decision.”

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Avoiding These Common Contract Administration Issues May Lessen the Likelihood of Claims

In my nearly 30 years of law practice, I tend to see the same mistakes repeated by general contractors and subcontractors during the administration of a project which either cause or contribute to disputes and claims. Three of the most common are (1) failing to give proper and timely notice, (2) proceeding with changed work without proper written authorization or required paperwork in place, and (3) failing to separately account for cost and time associated with extra work, backcharges or claims.

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Clarifying TILA's Extended Right of Rescission: Jesinoski v. Countrywide

In the recent case of Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that a borrower seeking to rescind a loan pursuant to Section 1635(f) of the Truth in Lending Act need only submit written notice to the lender within three years of the loan's consummation to exercise the right to rescind the loan transaction rather than having to file suit seeking rescission within that period.

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Resisting the Lure of S Corporations

As discussed in an earlier writing, an LLC taxable as a partnership is the superior choice of entity when the entity will own Appreciating Assets. The reasons are numerous and compelling. However, some tax advisors advocate S corporations because (1) an S corporation can pay its owners W-2 income (a tax partnership cannot) and (2) dividends from an S corporation are not currently subject to FUTA, FICA, and Medicare. If the entity only provides services and has no Appreciating Assets, this lure to S corporation status is enticing.

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