• Posts by Hugh Lee
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    Hugh Lee’s areas of practice include school and public works construction law and construction disputes and litigation, including construction contract administration, bidding and bid disputes, and architectural ...

Newly introduced AB 219 seeks to amend Labor Code section 1720.3, relating to the definition of "public works."  Existing law defines "public works," for purposes of requirements regarding the payment of prevailing wages for public works projects, to include, among other things, the hauling of refuse from a public works site to an outside disposal location with respect to contracts involving any state ...

In a recent decision, Pittsburg Unified School District v. S.J. Amoroso Construction Co., Inc. (December 22, 2014), the California Court of Appeal affirmed that public agencies have the right to unilaterally declare a default under a construction contract and demand a distribution of securities retained by escrow.  The Court based its decision on Public Contract Code section 22300, which provides that once a public agency sends a proper notice of default, it has the right to withdraw securities held in an escrow retention account “immediately upon its own determination” if it determines that a contractor has defaulted on the construction agreement. The key issue confirmed by the Court is that a public agency may unilaterally determine that a contractor defaulted on its obligations under a construction agreement without judicial determination, and thus, may unilaterally withdraw retention proceeds from an escrow account.

The new law becomes operative on January 1, 2015.  Therefore, any lease leaseback project that is awarded after January 1, 2015, involves a projected expenditure of $1,000,000 or more, and uses any money from the Leroy F. Greene School Facilities Act of 1998 or any future state school construction bond must comply with the mandatory prequalification procedures found at Public Contract Code section 20111.6.

On September 18, 2014, Governor Brown signed AB 1581 which amended Education Code sections 17406 and 17407 (the lease leaseback statutes) to expressly provide that the mandatory prequalification requirements apply to the lease-leaseback delivery projects.  The mandatory prequalification requirements set forth in the new Public Contract Code section 20111.6 apply to any school district public works ...

Recently, the California Court of Appeals, Fourth District, Division Two, issued its decision in Golden State Boring & Pipe Jacking, Inc. v. Eastern Municipal Water District, Safeco Insurance Company (2014 WL 3615942) with important implications regarding, among other things, when a stop notice may be deemed premature and ineffectual.

The Eastern Municipal Water District (“EMWD”) hired S.J. and ...

It is not an uncommon practice for unscrupulous and unlicensed contractors to “borrow” a licensed contractor’s license by designating a genuine licensee as a responsible managing employee (“RME”), even though that RME has little to do with supervising the work or managing the company.  Some of our school and community college district clients have suffered from poor work done by contractors ...

On April 7, 2014, the State Allocation Board (SAB) released priority funds totaling $372,200,000 for school districts that submitted requests during the current round of priority funding.  SAB designated this release for 105 projects in 43 school districts.

In order to obtain funding apportioned to a specific project, school districts must submit a Fund Release Authorization Form to SAB by July 7, 2014.  The ...

Under the Civic Center Act (Education Code Section 38130 et seq.), every public school facility is considered a civic center where citizens, school-community councils, and clubs, as well as senior, recreation, education, political, artistic, and other organizations may meet. A school district may grant use of school facilities and grounds upon certain terms and conditions deemed proper by the governing ...

Under current law, postsecondary education institutions, including California Community Colleges, the University of California, and the California State University, are required to follow competitive bidding procedures to procure contracts for goods and services above a certain value.  With respect to California Community Colleges, Public Contract Code section 20651 requires competitive bidding ...

Public Contract Code section 20111.6, which goes into effect on January 1, 2014, requires school districts to prequalify bidders for certain construction projects. Specifically, any school district with an average daily attendance of 2,500 or more must prequalify bidders for: 1) any project using funds from the Leroy F. Greene School Facilities Act of 1998 or 2) projects using funds from any future state ...

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