Editor’s Notes

It is becoming axiomatic that a contractor cannot prove owner-caused delay to project completion without critical path method (CPM) scheduling evidence. This was illustrated again in a recent case from the District of Columbia.


The public works contract required the contractor to maintain updated CPM schedules during construction. The contractor failed to do so, updating the schedule only twice over 14 months. The court said contemporaneous updates would have been the contractor’s strongest evidence. But the contractor could also rely on after-the-fact CPM analysis. Unfortunately, the contractor’s scheduling evidence was presented by an employee who did not qualify as a scheduling expert.


Another case in this issue involves an architect’s right to lien a project to recover his design fee. At one point the architect agreed to accept a condominium unit in the project in lieu of his fee. The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that this called into question the architect’s contractual right to his fee and his lien rights, even though the architect was never able to gain title to the condo unit.


The third case in this issue addresses an unorthodox price adjustment clause in a federal construction contract. Unlike the standard federal clause, this clause did not require the contractor to absorb the initial portion of the cost increase.




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