Help, I Didn’t Meet the Project Set-Aside Goals! How Do Contractors Demonstrate Compliance With The CT Set-Aside Program If The Set-Aside Goals Aren’t Met?

by Carolyn A. Young, Esq. Contractors who bid on public constructions projects in Connecticut face numerous statutory requirements related to affirmative action and set-aside goals for small and minority owned businesses. If the set-aside goals are successfully met, then life goes on happily ever after. But how does a Contractor comply when it is unable to secure competitive bids from qualified small and minority Read More

Subcontractors Build the Projects and Shoulder Most of the Risk…. What’s Wrong with this Picture?

By Steven B. Kaplan, Esq.  [This article first appeared in the Winter 2023 edition of CONSTRUCTION Magazine (Vol. 62, No. 4).] In our world where construction managers and general contractors rarely self- perform work, shifting the risk to the subcontractors for nearly all problems that arise on a construction project has become a fait accompli. This risk shifting is accomplished by the GC/CMs including in Read More


Every employer has had to deal with an employee who has performance issues, such as a bad attitude, poor attendance or problems getting along with co-workers. In this article, I discuss basic considerations that employers should follow when dealing with performance issues. I. ACTIVELY MANAGE WITH A POSITIVE APPROACH Experienced employers understand that performance problems do not improve, but rather deteriorate Read More


by Steven B. Kaplan, Esq. In the prior article, I discussed the essential aspects of mediation which decisionmakers for construction participants—owners, contractors, subcontractors, and design professionals -- should consider when confronted with resolving disputes. Here, I continue that discussion in regard to arbitrating construction disputes. As previously noted, this discussion is not intended to serve as a Read More


By: Steven B. Kaplan Mediation and arbitration of construction disputes have been prevalent as methods of dispute resolution for decades. This is the result of the general consensus among construction professionals that the courts usually are not well-suited for resolving construction disputes. Most construction contracts require mediation—a non-binding, consensual settlement process—as a “condition precedent” Read More

Connecticut’s Set Aside Program: What Can—and Cannot—Be Dictated by Construction Managers On Municipal Projects

By Paul R. Fitzgerald and Steven B. Kaplan By law, Connecticut state agencies, municipalities and quasi-public state agencies must require contractors to utilize small business enterprises (SBE) and minority-owned business enterprises (MBE) when bidding and performing public work.  The law specifically requires that contractors on such projects must “set aside” at least 25% of all state-funded assistance to SBE Read More

The Connecticut Appellate Court Has Finally Weighed In On “Pay-If-Paid” Provisions In Construction Contracts, And The Decision Should Concern Subcontractors.

Perhaps the most consequential provision in any construction contract is the so-called “pay-if-paid” clause. This provision transfers the risk of owner nonpayment from the general contractor, who traditionally bears the risk, to the subcontractor, who is less able to assess a project owner’s creditworthiness or exert pressure on a nonpaying owner. In most jurisdictions, pay-if-paid clauses are disfavored by courts Read More

Confused about whether you can require your employees to get vaccinated for Covid-19 in Connecticut? Read on …..

By: Attorney Beth N. Mercier On January 13, 2022, in the case of Biden v. Missouri, et al, 595 U. S. ____ (2022) the United States Supreme Court blocked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) vaccine mandate for private companies with 100+ employees.   Relying on the Supreme Court’s decision, a federal district judge in Texas issued an injunction on January 22, 2022 temporarily blocking Read More

“Slaughter Clauses” Ruled Illegal for Listed Subcontracts on State of Connecticut Construction Projects

By: Steven B. Kaplan, Esq. Electrical Contractors, Inc.  v. Lawrence Brunoli, Inc. and North American Specialty Insurance Company, Docket No: X-07 HHD CV-20-6129731, Superior Court – Complex Litigation at Hartford     This case was brought by ECI, a listed electrical subcontractor on a State of Connecticut construction project, against the general contractor.  The Memorandum of Decision issued by the trial Read More

Key Mechanic’s Lien Requirements in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York

By: Carolyn A. Young, Esq. A mechanic’s lien is often a contractor’s most powerful leverage to ensure prompt payment on private construction projects. As your business expands into multiple states, it can be increasingly difficult to keep track of the various statutory deadlines to enforce these important lien rights. This article provides an overview of the key deadlines and requirements to protect your Read More