Practice Areas

Construction Services

The construction business is complicated and the profit margins are small. There is always a risk of substantial loss and even business failure. Our Firm's goal is to help our clients do well and stay out of trouble. Consulting with us on a regular basis will, in the long run, save you money. We can help you develop forms, procedures and business practices that will resolve issues more quickly when they arise and in the long run save you money. You may always call us to get some initial guidance for a minimal charge. Please call either Michael Nigro to learn about this low cost service. Because we are experienced both in drafting contracts and handling construction litigation, our experience and knowledge tends to be both broader and deeper than lawyers who only do one or the other.

1. Transactional Matters.

Don't Let A Bad Contract Put You Out Of Business

A bad clause in a contract can put a contractor or subcontractor out of business. Our attorneys have cumulatively over 75 years of experience in reviewing construction contracts. Because of our expertise, we can review a contract economically and fix and recommend strategies to fix a contract at the beginning when people are more reasonable than when a problem has already happened. We can review a contract often for as little as $500.00.

Bad contracts that can put you out of business include contracts that have:

    (a) no legal protection against bad plans and bad surveys;
    (b) clauses you don't know about hidden in the contractor's contract with the owner;
    (c) clauses that make you get permits and licenses for work that is not yours.
    (d) overreaching insurance and bond requirements;
    (e) unfair terms for extras;
    (f) unfair payment terms, i.e. "pay if paid" and "pay when paid" clauses;
    (g) clauses that put the loss for fire, flood or other casualty on you;
    (h) MBE, DBE and WBE participation requirements;
    (i) Prevailing wage requirements, especially when there is a jurisdiction battle between two unions.
    (j) LEED Requirements;
    (k) "termination for convenience" clauses;
    (l) mediation and arbitration clauses that can be unfair, expensive and tricky.

Because of our broad experience in preparing contracts and construction related matters, we can often review and prepare high quality contracts for less than many attorneys who have less knowledge about construction matters.

Consumer Fraud and Home Improvement

Home improvement work is highly regulated. Homeowners, contractors and subcontractors must be familiar with the statutes rules and regulations. They are complicated. The Legislature and the courts are regularly adopting new rules and practices and changing others. There are special statutes and rules for what a contract has to include, what kind of notice has to be given to a homeowner both by the contractor and its subcontractors, when money is to be paid, what happens when money is paid and the work isn't done, and a host of other problems and issues. Homeowners, contractors and subcontractors all need to consult an attorney when they get involved in this kind of business. In this area especially, an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure. The attorneys at Nigro, Westfall & Gryska, P.C. are knowledgeable about these matters and will be happy to assist you.

II. Construction Litigation

As hard as you try to avoid litigation, sometimes you will either have to file or defend a lawsuit. Nigro, Westfall & Gryska's attorneys have broad experience in all kinds of construction connected litigation representing owners, contractors, subcontractors, lenders and others directly or indirectly involved in these kinds of disputes. Because of this broad experience, we do not have to "reinvent the wheel." Often we will have the applicable law at our fingertips. Mike Nigro has written and taught extensively in this area and therefore often can successfully dispose of litigation at a lower cost to you than less experienced attorneys.

Protect Your Right to Get Paid.

Sometimes, the only way you can protect your right to get paid is to enforce your mechanics lien rights. Our Firm has been successfully enforcing lien and bond rights for over 30 years. This is an area which is very complicated, and the courts and the Legislature seem to make it more complicated each year.

Mike Nigro is a recognized leader in construction law and mechanics lien enforcement, and has articles and book chapters published on these subjects. His articles are often included by Westlaw in its data base. Westlaw is the leading research tool of the legal profession in the United States. Mike has an AV rating issued by Martindale Hubbel. Martindale Hubbel is the oldest and most respected Law List in the United States.

Construction Defect Cases and Home Improvement and Consumer Fraud Litigation

When a project gets into trouble because there are disputes on whether the work was done correctly, the case can get very serious and very expensive. The law in this area is often different from other areas of law, and specific knowledge of the law in this area is essential for success. Nigro, Westfall & Gryska, P.C. has successfully resolved either through trial or settlement many construction defect disputes to the advantage of our clients. Also, there are a host of statutory remedies that give special protection to consumers, especially homeowners. Understanding the application and limitations of these remedies is often critical to success.

Attorneys Focusing in this Area

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Please note that no attorney/client relationship is established until the client and the attorney agree in writing.

"Mike Nigro won a very important and difficult case for our non-profit organization. Mike counseled us through many complicated decisions by clearly explaining our choices, his strategy and recommendations. Once we determined that we could not reasonably resolve the case and we had to litigate, Mike thoroughly prepared our witnesses and presented a logical and persuasive case. He also deftly cross-examined the opposing witnesses to expose the inconsistencies and improbabilities of their testimony. We thank Mike very much for his hard work and conscientious representation."

Linda Yang
Executive Director of the Xilin Association
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