McManus & Felsen LLP is a boutique law firm focusing on construction and government contracting. We work with clients at all project stages, from contract drafting, to project performance and delivery, to dispute resolution and litigation. Our clients are domestic and foreign and include owners, developers, contractors, suppliers, service providers, subcontractors, governments, architects, and engineers. McManus & Felsen’s experience spans a wide range of project classes and types, including commercial, residential, federal, environmental, airports, roads, hotels and resorts, prisons, hospitals, research facilities, and power and utility projects.
Engineering News-Record, the national publication of record for engineering and construction news, recently published a feature article on our firm's “teaming agreement” victory in federal court in Atlanta. On June 1, 2017, United States District Judge Mark Cohen ruled that “teaming agreements” are enforceable contracts in Georgia, denying a motion to dismiss a teaming agreement complaint we filed on behalf of clients Crystal Steel Fabricators, Inc. and Memco. Inc. Judge Cohen ruled that our clients could proceed with their claim that AMEC Foster Wheeler Programs, Inc., had breached its teaming agreement with them in connection with a steel fabrication and erection contract for a missile site in Poland. Our clients claim $2.5 million in damages.
Link to ENR article: http://www.enr.com/articles/42240-when-is-a-teaming-agreement-binding?v=preview
Under the Bahamas Arbitration Act, the Supreme Court of the Bahamas has ordered a resort developer and its contractor to proceed to arbitration and further ordered that Joe McManus be the sole arbitrator in the matter. The resort is in Freeport which will be the locale of the arbitration. Joe is a member of the Charted Institute of Arbitrators (London) and is an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association (Large Complex Construction Case and Commercial Panels).
In a construction-related dispute in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, McManus & Felsen LLP’s (M&F’s) clients filed motions to compel their dispute to arbitration. The district court denied the motions, and M&F’s clients appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The appellees moved to dismiss the appeals, arguing that the parties’ construction contract provided that the Maryland Uniform Arbitration Act (MUAA) governed and that the MUAA does not allow for an interlocutory appeal—an appeal before trial and before the trial court has entered a final order—of a denial of a motion to compel arbitration.
M&F argued that, despite the contract’s expressly identifying the MUAA, the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) also applies, and under the FAA a party has the right to an interlocutory appeal of the district court’s denial of motions to compel arbitration. The Fourth Circuit agreed with M&F, finding that, since the parties’ transaction involved interstate commerce and M&F’s clients had adequately invoked the FAA, the Fourth Circuit has jurisdiction to hear the interlocutory appeals.
The Fourth Circuit’s opinion is attached.
Joe McManus and Dale Ellickson of McManus & Felsen LLP will be presenting a webinar on Thursday, June 15, 2017 titled “AIA vs. ConsensusDOCS: Understand Which Documents Are Right for Your Organization”. This webinar is hosted by WPL Publishing Co., Inc., publisher of ConstructionPro Network.
This year, significant changes have been made to the standard form construction contracts. It the end of last year the AIA issued wholesale revisions to the commonly used AIA Standard Form Documents. Earlier this year, ConsensusDOCS released its updated forms including its Design-Build series. Although these “form documents” have now been around for many years, the debate rages on as to which form should be used, when and why. Attend this 90-minute presentation to learn and explore the key differences between the AIA and ConsensusDOCS, and to develop a better understanding of which “form document” best suits your needs.
This presentation will discuss updates to these documents, the ins and outs of the competing forms, and the biases that are found in each set. You will be more prepared to identify the key terms that may seem innocuous, but in reality, could have a significant impact on your rights and obligations should you enter one of these form contracts.
This 90-minute, information-packed program will help you:
This program will be more than just a review of the standard contract forms. Your speakers will take sides and comment/negotiate from the contractors and owners/architect’s side to share the changes to the contracts, in an informative and entertaining dialog between the speakers.
Joe McManus has been selected as a Fellow of the Construction Lawyers Society of America.
The CLSA is an invitation-only international honorary association composed of preeminent lawyers specializing in construction law and related fields. Fellowship is limited and selective, with lawyers being invited into Fellowship upon a proven record of excellence and accomplishment in construction law at both the trial and appellate levels. Lawyers nominated or selected may be in any discipline in the construction law arena, including contract specialization, negotiations, litigation, arbitration, appellate and/or surety law, but who have in addition superior ethical reputations. The CLSA is dedicated to promoting superior advocacy and ethical standards in construction law and fostering a scholarly and advanced exchange of ideas in all practices related to the specialty.
McManus & Felsen LLP is pleased to announce Joe McManus and Dan Toomey were nominated in the 2017 Construction edition of Who’s Who Legal. Who’s Who Legal’s website reads, “We identify the leading construction experts, who provide assistance to clients as expert witnesses in major construction litigation as well as advising on an array of quantum and delay issues. This year, 128 individuals from over 50 firms are highlighted for their exceptional expertise in the sector.”
We are proud to announce that Dale Ellickson has joined McManus & Felsen LLP as Of Counsel. His areas of practice include construction contract law and professional liability of architects and engineers. He is a member of the District of Columbia and Georgia bars as well as a Virginia architect with the high honor of election to the College of Fellows of The American Institute of Architects. See his detailed profile here.
Chambers & Partners 2017 writes:
Joseph McManus manages the practice of McManus & Felsen LLP. He attracts praise from clients for “good business instincts as well as legal skills” and is described as “a strategic thinker.” He has broad experience advising clients on government contracts and is frequently seen acting on national and international litigation and arbitration matters.
Joe McManus has been chosen to be recognized in the 24th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America for his work in the practice areas of construction law and construction litigation. He has been recognized by BestLawyers since 2003.
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