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Blueprints Vol. II

July 16, 2015

Reasons to Read

By James T. Dixon, co-chair, Real Estate & Construction practice group

In this edition, I cover three noteworthy Cleveland projects and a set of three important legal updates impacting the construction industry in Ohio. At the left, you can find a list of upcoming presentations and recent publications, all of which are targeted to help you run your business.

Thank you for your attention.

Noteworthy Projects

I always enjoy using this space to publicize noteworthy projects involving clients. Several have made the recent news.

The Foundry Project

Perhaps you saw the full-page article in the Sunday Plain Dealer a few weeks ago regarding the conversion of an abandoned foundry on Cleveland’s east side into a multi-use facility featuring a fish farm, market, and arts incubator. Our Corporate & Securities practice is helping J. Shorey get The Foundry Project off the ground with its first-of-its kind business model/ecosystem that marries sustainability and profitability.

The Proton Therapy Center at University Hospitals

UH is the first in Ohio and one of the first in the nation to provide this cancer treatment option, which involves a beam of protons focused precisely on a tumor. The project made news recently due to the delivery of its superconducting synchrocyclotron accelerator. One of the other essential ingredients in the facility is concrete, a lot of it. Platform Cement, with whom I have worked for years, includes a video of its work on that aspect of the project on this page.

Hilton Cleveland Downtown Convention Center

The County and City, through a camera mounted on City Hall, provide daily construction photographs of the construction of this new hotel, which is taxpayer-owned and is set to open in time for next summer’s Republican National Convention.

Legal Developments

Ohio’s Appellate Courts recently issued a couple of decisions confirming Ohio law on two important construction law topics. In Michels Corp. v. Rockies Express Pipeline, L.L.C., 2015-Ohio-2218, the Seventh District reversed the decision of the trial court, which had dismissed a case based upon a clause calling for the dispute to be resolved in Kansas even though the project was in Ohio. Ohio’s Fairness in Contracting Act (Revised Code §4113.62) voids such provisions as contrary to public policy.

Also, Ohio’s Twelfth District, in RG Long & Assocs., Inc. v. Kiley, 2015-Ohio-2467, supported a subcontractor’s use of the doctrine of unjust enrichment to force a homeowner to pay for work. There, the homeowner settled with the subcontractor, paid with a credit card, then reversed the credit card payment after the mechanic’s lien deadline had passed. The subcontractor sued, went to trial, and fought the appeal. The amount in controversy was just $10,031.

Finally, the American Arbitration Association has updated several of its Construction Arbitration Rules. For disputes exceeding $100,000, mediation will occur unless one party opts out. The process relating to consolidation and joinder has changed. Preliminary hearing procedures have been refined. The Fast Track Rules will only apply for cases involving $100,000 or more. And, Arbitrators have expanded authority to address complicated discovery issues. A summary is available here.

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