Section Description Provided by Instructor
Construction Industry Law: Transactional Practice, Dispute Avoidance & Resolution
This seminar is offered jointly with the College of Civil Engineering. The course offers analysis of legal concepts that pertain to the construction and design industries, together with an understanding of how such concepts operate in practice. Topics include: implications of various contract forms and associated project delivery methods for complex real estate development and construction projects; competitive bidding for public works; claims for changes-in-scope, delay and disruption; design and construction defects; default and termination; insurance, surety and other forms of project security; engineers' and architects' professional liability; professional ethics; compliance and criminality; safety; and mediation, arbitration and other forms of ADR as applicable to dispute resolution mechanisms.
The seminar will be structured around a fact pattern involving a complex (and highly troubled) construction project extending a city subway line to a large housing development. In general, each week focuses on a distinct topic or issue commonly faced in the practice of construction law, with problems encountered in the fact pattern implicating the array of legal concepts. The seminar will be highly interactive, giving civil engineering graduate students and law students the opportunity to draw upon each other's educational backgrounds and professional perspectives, and to observe each other's approach to problem solving.
Each weekly seminar generally includes three primary components: a) student presentations and mock hearings and testimony (such as oral argument of a bid protest lawsuit, and direct and cross examination of a construction scheduling expert witness preparation for class presentations at times includes working directly with professionals in regular practice); b) class discussion of issues raised by the reading materials, which will consist of appellate decisions, statutes, contract and bond forms, textbook chapters, and articles from professional journals; and c) professors and guest professionals, all highly experienced practitioners, offering practical insights and perspectives.
There will be weekly "informal" written assignments intended to prepare the students for the discussion in class and to demonstrate the students application and understanding of the relevant assigned reading materials. In addition, there will be four 4 page "formal" papers that are evaluated for understanding, application of concepts and writing skills.
There will be no final examination. Students' grades will be determined by their class participation, their performance on oral presentations, and their written papers. Since this seminar calls for significant class participation, regular attendance is required with little or no absences. 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.