Introduction To Government Construction

Houston Construction Lawyer

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As a Houston Construction Lawyer, there are a number of key issues that subcontractors and general contractors should know when they are planning to bid or about to enter into a government construction project.  First, “government units,” such as a school or a government agency generally are protected by statute from claims for breach of contract.  Second, except for rare circumstances, you generally cannot place a lien on real property owned by the government or a “government unit.”  Third, the process for filing claims on bonds (in lieu of a lien as it is a government job) is heavily regulated by statute and must be complied with if you want to perfect a claim on a bond and increase your chances of recovering your damages. Contract compliance can be complicated. You should always consult a Houston Construction Lawyer if you run into problems with execution of a construction contract.

Government Immunity

A good construction lawyer will inform any contract that a state agency that is authorized by statute or the constitution to enter into a contract and that enters into a contract subject to this chapter waives sovereign immunity to suit for the purpose of adjudicating a claim for breach of an express provision of the contract.  Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code section 114.003.  Under Texas Governmental Code section 2260.051, a contractor may make a claim against a unit of state government for breach of a contract between the unit of state government and the contractor.  The unit of state government may assert a counterclaim against the contractor.  A contractor must provide written notice to the unit of government of a claim for breach of contract not later than the 180th day after the date of the event giving rise to the claim.  Additionally, the notice must state with particularity: 1) the nature of the alleged breach; 2) amount the contractor seeks as damages; and the legal theory of recovery. Texas Governmental Code section 2260.051.

The total money that may be awarded in such adjudication is limited to: 1) balance due by the agency under the contract, as amended; 2) the amount owed for written change orders; 3) reasonably attorney’s fees, if expressly available to all parties under the applicable contract; and 4) interest at the rate in the contract or under Sec. 304.003(c) of the Financial CodeTex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code section 114.004.  Such damages may not include consequential damages, exemplary damages, or damages for unabsorbed home office overhead. Id.

When you participate in a government job with an owner that is a government unit, your ability to pursue the government unit for remedies is governed heavily by statute and requires compliance.  You risk waiving or otherwise losing your remedies against the owner if you fail to comply with, not only the statute, but the subcontractor agreement or prime contract governing the work.  Any good Houston Construction Lawyer will tell you, “When performing a government job, FOLLOW THE CONTRACT AND DON’T PERFORM WORK REQUESTED OR CHANGE THE WORK UNLESS YOU HAVE A SIGNED CHANGE ORDER.” You must consult with a Construction Lawyer regarding contract disputes in order to avoid major problems.

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Resolution Contact a Houston Construction Lawyer

If you begin to have problems under your construction contract, you should immediately contact Loren M. King, a Houston Construction Lawyer who is familiar with construction laws, rules and regulations and may be able to assist you with any and all construction related disputes or problems.  You must act immediately as construction law, especially those regarding government construction jobs, is highly regulated and has quick deadlines that general contractors and sub-contractors must comply with in order to preserve their rights and remedies.