Shields Mott Blog

How to Seek Interest and Attorneys’ Fees Against Slow-Paying Public Entities

Effective August 2018, the Louisiana Legislature amended the “Prompt Pay” statute in the Public Works Act, allowing contractors to compel public entities to pay progressive stage payments and final payments via mandamus proceeding, including interest and attorneys’ fees. When a public entity fails to timely pay a contractor and certain deadlines lapse, a contractor can file proceedings to force the public entity to pay, collect interest of up to 15% of the outstanding payment application, and potentially reasonable attorney’s fees. Public entities have become aware of these changes and are responding quickly because of the onerous interest charges.   [Read More…]

ESI: The Odyssey — Part 2: A Brief Meditation on Metadata

Metadata generally refers to the data surrounding the creation and use of a document, such as file name, format, location, dates and permissions. In other words, it encompasses the identifying characteristics of a file that are not evident just by looking at the file itself. For example, every time you create, open or save a Microsoft Word document, hidden information is automatically created and stored in that document. In addition to the data that is automatically added, there is other metadata that is user-introduced, such as hidden text, track changes, embedded objects, and so on.  Of course, metadata does not only reside in Microsoft Word documents. [Read More…]

ESI: The Odyssey — Part 1: Know Your Hash Value

The very nature of electronic evidence poses numerous, unique challenges to the discovery process and the admission of electronic evidence. ESI, like any information, is discoverable in litigation, but one of the things that makes ESI different is its sheer volume. The vast majority of newly produced information is created and stored electronically. When you combine this with the relative affordability of cloud storage, a staggering number of electronic documents are being created and stored, even by small business clients. Thus, discovery in litigation, even in cases in which the amount of controversy is relatively modest, can embrace huge quantities of data. [Read More…]

Material Suppliers – – Maybe the 75-day notice is not required?

On August 6, 2018 the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal held that a materialman who failed to provide notice per La. R.S. 38:2242(F) could still pursue a claim against the general contractor and the surety on the payment bond on a public works project pursuant to La. R.S. 38:2247.  In doing so, the First Circuit has arguably recognized that the 75-day notice set forth in La. R.S. 38:2242(F) is no longer required in order for a materialman to assert a claim against a public works payment bond under the Louisiana Public Works Act. [Read More…]

School Board Must Pay Retainage Regardless Of Liquidated Damages Claim. And, Soon Public Entities May Have to Pay Interest On The Retainage Too!

Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (“Court”) held that a public entity, the Orleans Parish School Board (“School Board”), had to promptly make the final payment of retainage to a Public Works contractor, Woodrow Wilson Construction, LLC (“Woodrow”), despite the fact that the School Board claimed it had a right to withhold liquidated damages from Woodrow per their contract (“Contract”). [Read More…]

Materials Suppliers Beware of La. R.S. 9:4802(G)

In a recent appellate decision obtained by Shields | Mott LLP, the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal made clear that “La. R.S. 9:4802(G)(3) requires that the seller of movables provide notice of nonpayment to the owner and general contractor in order to preserve the right to a lien.” [Read More…]

Shields Mott Win – Construction Managers can now be liable to Contractors

On March 9, 2018 the Louisiana Supreme Court denied Jacobs Project Management Co./CRSS Consortium (“Jacobs”) writ of certiorari regarding the Louisiana Court of Appeals, First Circuit December 6, 2017, decision in the case.  In doing so, the Louisiana Supreme Court has arguably blessed the concept that contractors have a right of action against construction/project managers even through no contractual relationship exists between a contractor and a construction/project manager. [Read More…]