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Jonathan P. Sauer
Attorney at Law
Sauer & Sauer
15 Adrienne Road
East Walpole, MA 02032 jonsauer@sauerconstructionlaw.com
Phone: 508-668-6020

SEMINARS! SEMINARS! SEMINARS! SEMINARS! SEMINARS! SEMINARS!

Some contractors have had us put on one or more of the following seminars at their shop. Do your PM’s and supers know what they really need to/should know?

Contact us for details!

Contractors and Friends:

We only give seminars twice a year, in the fall and in the spring, and we’ll be giving our seven most popular seminars on selected dates in September, 2017 and in October, 2017. These free seminars are: (1) How To File a Payment Bond Claim; (2) How To File Mechanics’ Liens; (3) Understanding and Negotiating Subcontracts; (4) Differing Site Conditions, Changes and Delays; (5) Protecting Your Accounts Receivable; (6) The ABC’S of Massachusetts Public Bid Protests; (7) Dealing With Your Surety When Claims Are Made Against Your Bonds. We also give these seminars at contractors’ offices. If you are interested in that, please contact us.

At the end of virtually everything I write is our slogan “Knowledge Is Money In Your Pocket! (It really is!)” As an attorney practicing only construction and surety law, I frequently talk with general contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers and owners who have lost rights with issues involved with on or more of the seven topics and seminars described below. Sometimes, these are six figure errors.

Sometimes I tell them that I can’t do anything for them. Or, that I can do something for them but not as much as what I might have been able to do if I had been involved with the problem earlier and, generally, at a lower cost. And, Friends, if you get nothing else from this transmittal, get a knowledgeable construction attorney involved with your problem before the problem can’t be avoided any longer and has to be dealt with. By doing so, you are more than likely going to save yourself some attorneys’ fees and, in many instances, you’ll have the chance of obtaining a better result.

The time to protect your rights is before they are irrevocably damaged or lost. And, the only way you can do that – apart from getting your attorney involved with an issue earlier - is if you yourself know what your rights and obligations are before the issue arises or has gotten out of hand. Using the information you can get from the free seminars described below, may save you money and put you in a position to better handle the problem or issue. I can think of several examples from my own practice where contractors did not understand some of these concepts and that lack of understanding, and the problems resulting from that, drove them out of business or caused them needlessly to lose a lot of money thay they might otherwise still have.

And, that is the goal of all of my writing, all of my teaching and the website. Protect yourself, your family, your company and your employees and their families. A great many people have taken advantage of these resources to their benefit. And, why shouldn’t you be one of them?

The first collections seminar I gave twenty years or so ago - other than for specific companies in-house and through insurance agencies for their customers and prospects, which I still do today - was at Bentley College. There were 42 attendees. When I gave the same seminar a year later, I saw that someone taking it had already been to the previous collections seminar the year before. I asked him why he was taking the same seminar twice. He told me that using what he had learned at the first seminar, he had made $195,000 the previous year that he would not otherwise have made.

Could you use an additional $195,000? Imagine what you could do with that money!!

While reading someone’s articles – mine included - is fine, nothing beats an ability to ask questions and benefit from the comments and experiences of your fellow attendees. We’ve also found that, in many instances, class attendees make some new business contacts in class that they might not otherwise have made. You can ask questions – in person - until you run out of questions.

These free seminars (with descriptions of topics) are: (1) How To File a Payment Bond Claim; (2) How To File Mechanics’ Liens; (3) Understanding and Negotiating Subcontracts; (4) Differing Site Conditions, Changes and Delays; (5) Protecting Your Accounts Receivable; (6) The ABC’S of Massachusetts Public Bid Protests; and (7) Dealing With Your Surety When Claims Are Made Against Your Bonds. These will all be given at our office at 284 Main Street (Route 1A), North Walpole, MA. (This is our second office location, the one we refer to as our ‘Conference Facility’.) Our office is on the first floor on the far right side of the building (facing the building from Route 1A) and is accessible only from our exterior door at the front of the building and not from the lobby in the middle of the building. All seminars begin at 10 am.

If you would like to attend one or more of these seminars, just send us an email with basic contact information (company name, telephone number and email address) and tell us which seminar(s) you would like to attend to attend and on what date. (Each seminar is given twice.) If a company is sending multiple individuals, we would like this information as to each attendee. We do not send out ‘confirmation’ emails. If you don’t hear from us, you’re all registered. Each seminar is between one and one-half hours and two hours. The course outline for each seminar is as described below. Please note that these seminars will not be given again until the Spring of 2018.

You don’t even have to take notes, as virtually everything I say will be in a hand-out you can take back to the office with you.

Here they are:

1. “HOW TO FILE A PAYMENT BOND CLAIM”

As to payment bonds, topics discussed include:

  1. Bonds are not insurance, and why that matters.
  2. What does it mean to ‘file’ on the bond.
  3. How do you get a copy of the payment bond.
  4. What are the parts of a payment bond you need to understand.
  5. What are the three most important provisions in the payment bond.
  6. How do you write to the bonding company, including what documents do you send them and why.
  7. How long do you give the bonding company to settle your claim before initiating suit.
  8. How do you motivate the bonding company to settle your claim.
  9. How the bankruptcy of the bond principal affects your payment bond claim.

(10) What are the particular bond provisions as to private and public (state and federal) work.

(11) The ‘other’ payment bond to be aware of.

(12) The all-important ‘third party verification’ of your claim.

(13) Filling out proofs of claim.

(14) How to set up your claim to maximize the possibility of obtaining interest.

(15) Tolling agreements.

(16) Payment plans with your debtor as are affected by surety bond claims.

The thrust of this seminar is to assist the attendees in better understanding how to prepare for the filing of a payment bond claim and how to enforce payment bond claims.

This seminar will be given onSeptember 12, 2017 and on September 14, 2017

2. “HOW TO FILE MECHANICS’ LIENS”

With regard to mechanic’s liens, we will discuss Massachusetts lien law and explain:

(1) How one files a lien.

(2) When do you file a mechanic’s lien.

(3) Where do you file the lien.

(4) Who has to get notice.

(5) What is necessary to have in order to file a mechanics’ lien.

(6) The importance of the written contract.

(7) Notices of identification.

(8) The ‘back door’ lien.

(9) How to maximize the potential value of your lien.

(10) The rights of second tier material suppliers and subcontractors as compared with the rights of first tier material suppliers and subcontractors.

(11) Lien rights as to condominium common areas.

The thrust of this seminar is to assist the attendees in better understanding how to prepare for the filing of a mechanic’s lien and how to preserve lien rights.

This seminar will be given on September 19, 2017 and on September 21, 2017

3. “UNDERSTANDING AND NEGOTIATING SUBCONTRACTS

Topics to be discussed include:

(1) Pay-when-paid clauses.

(2) No damage for delay clauses.

(3) Unilateral right of termination clauses.

(4) The three elements of every contract.

(5) Liquidated damages and actual delay damages.

(6) Incorporation by reference of other contractual documents into your contract.

(7) When (and whether) proposals are part of the contract.

(8) Letters of intent – when are they enforceable and when are they not.

(9) The importance of attorneys’ fee and higher interest provisions as contract terms.

(10) The use of emails in helping to create contracts.

(11) The importance of understanding lien waivers and releases, especially “partial” ones.

The thrust of this seminar is to assist the attendees in better understanding the practical and legal significance of the contracts they negotiate and sign.

This is a good, basic introduction to contract law at any tier and has application to contracts at any level (e.g. general contracts, home improvement contracts).

This seminar will be given on September 26, 2017 and on September 28, 2017

4. “DIFFERING SITE CONDITIONS, CHANGES AND DELAYS

This seminar will discuss common problems relating to differing site conditions, changes and delays, including:

(1) Notice provisions.

(2) What constitutes proper notice along with the timing and the form of the notice.

(3) Ways of getting around notice provisions.

(4) Construction change directives.

(5) Work done under protest.

(6) What to do when your contracting party refuses to give you a change order prior to doing the work.

(7) Statutory provisions bearing on some of these issues.

(8) The importance of pictures and videos.

(9) The importance of good daily reports.

(10) The authority of superintendents to order you to perform extra work.

(11) What signed t & m slips and verification of daily time and materials actually mean.

The thrust of this seminar is to assist the attendees in better understanding how to proceed with changes in the work occasioned by changes in the scope of work, plans and specifications and changes occasioned by differing site conditions and delay.

This seminar will be given on October 3, 2017 and on October 5, 2017

5. “PROTECTING YOUR ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE”

These items will be discussed:

(1) Better understanding how to prepare and enter into simple written contracts with as little as two or three sentences, which you can prepare yourself, all done through emails!

(2) Better understanding how and when to file a mechanic’s lien.

(3) Better understanding how and when to file a payment bond claim.

(4) Better understanding the additional required steps for lien and bond claims for second tier material suppliers and subcontractors (those whose contracts are with subcontractors, not with the general contractor.)

(5) Develop strategies for obtaining information as to your contracting party’s other jobs in case it is necessary for you to ‘reach and apply’ (attach) them to get paid.

(6) Better understand your obligations to give your contracting party notice as to your claims for changes, differing site conditions and delays.

(7) Better understanding lien waivers and releases, partial and final.

(8) Better understanding how and when to pursue dispute resolution.

(9) Better understanding how not to allow your receivables to excessively age.

(10) Better understanding that of your customer’s three potential responses to your bill, there is only one response that you can influence in order to get paid.

(11) Reach and apply actions.

The thrust of this seminar is to assist the attendees in better understanding how to protect their accounts receivable.

This seminar will be given on October 10, 2017 and on October 12, 2017

6. “THE ABC’S OF MASSACHUSETTS PUBLIC BID PROTESTS”

Topics to be included:

(1) What documents you need to file a bid protest.

(2) What are the tactical decisions that need to be made before filing a bid protest.

(3) Strategies in proceeding with an ‘unofficial’ bid protest.

(4) What happens at an AG bid protest hearing.

(5) What preparation you need in order to improve your chances of success with your bid protest.

(6) What are the grounds you need to file a potentially successful bid protest.

(7) What bid errors require mandatory rejection of a bid and what bid errors the awarding authority has the authority to waive as minor bid defects.

(8) Under what circumstances you should file an AG bid protest.

(9) Under what circumstances would a court action be preferable.

(10) Appealing an adverse bid protest decision.

(11) How bid protest decisions are enforced.

(12) The value of ‘love me’ letters.

This seminar will be given on October 17, 2017 and on October 19, 2017

7. “DEALING WITH YOUR SURETY WHEN CLAIMS ARE MADE AGAINST YOUR BONDS”

Topics to be included:

(1) Prior planning.

(2) The general indemnity agreement.

(3) Documenting your defenses to your surety.

(4) Tender of defense issues.

(5) Negotiating payment bond claims yourself.

(6) Assisting the surety in obtaining completion contractors.

(7) Repaying the surety for its loss and expense payments, including desired goals as to payment plans.

(8) Indemnity suits.

This seminar will be given on October 24, 2017 and on October 26, 2017

All of these seminars are free and they all will be given at 10 am on the dates indicated.

Space is limited! If you would like to attend, simply send us an email with your contact information (name of your company, email address and telephone number) to jonsauer@sauerconstructionlaw.com telling us which seminar(s) you would like to attend and on what date. If a company is sending multiple individuals, we would like this information as to each attendee. As mentioned above, we do not send out confirmations. If you don’t hear from us and your computer tells you your email went through, you are confirmed! We expect these seminars to fill up quickly.

Book early!

And, we hope to see you soon!

Main Office (East Walpole)

Sauer & Sauer
15 Adrienne Road
East Walpole, MA 02032
Phone: 508-668-6020
Email: jonsauer@sauerconstructionlaw.com
           sallysauer@sauerconstructionlaw.com

 

                         “KNOWLEDGE IS MONEY IN YOUR POCKET”

           (After all, who doesn’t like money in their pocket?)



 
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