Construction Law & Construction Litigation

Saalfeld Griggs construction attorneys represent general contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, design professionals, and property owners. Our Construction Litigation Group provides advice in many areas of compliance and operations, including lien preparation and enforcement, construction and design contract preparation and enforcement, construction and design insurance disputes and coverage, Davis Bacon and prevailing wage matters, including fringe compliance and retirement and health plans, defined benefit retirement plans and union plans and environmental issues including stormwater management and environmental site assessments. We also represent our clients in disputes, including lien enforcement, construction defects, and disputes with the Construction Contractors Board.


The construction industry plays a major role in the economic success and vitality of the Pacific Northwest. The lawyers on the Construction Industry Team understand the construction industry's important role. They combine their legal knowledge with specialized knowledge about the construction industry to provide practical and sound advice to clients. Team lawyers represent the needs of general contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, design professionals, and property owners in all phases of private and public construction projects.

The Construction Industry Team represents clients in the following areas:

Construction Lien Advice, Preparation, and Enforcement

A properly filed construction lien may be the difference between payment in full and no payment for your work. When you are not timely paid for your work, it is important to seek help quickly to avoid losing your lien rights. Team lawyers assist contractors and design professionals in the collection of unpaid amounts under their contracts by providing advice as to the best course of action for payment, preparing, filing and foreclosing upon construction liens, and filing and litigating collection lawsuits.

Contract Advice, Preparation and Enforcement: Contracts are essential to any construction or design project. A party with a current, comprehensive and cogent agreement has a strategic advantage in resolving disputes or obtaining payment. Team lawyers are experienced in drafting, negotiating and enforcing various types of construction and design agreements.

Construction and Design Insurance Coverage and Disputes

Modern construction or design projects require a number of insurance products and coverage. Coordinating these various policies with each other and the contract requirements is critical to properly mitigating risks inherent in construction and design projects. Team lawyers are experienced in reviewing contracts and insurance policies for coverage requirements and, if necessary, litigation disputes concerning insurance coverage.

Construction Defects Disputes

Unfortunately, construction defects litigation has exploded over the past decade. Successfully handling a defects case requires a thorough knowledge of construction laws and insurance policies, the ability to work with various experts, organizational capabilities to manage massive amounts of information and documents, and superior trial and negotiation skills. Team lawyers handle defects cases and have these capabilities. If it appears that a defects claim may be made, don’t wait until the complaint is filed. Team lawyers can assist in evaluating insurance coverage, pre claim strategies, including contract defense, notice requirements and preservation of critical evidence.

Construction Contractors Board Disputes

Because of funding cut backs, the number of hearings before the CCB has significantly decreased. However, a filing before the CCB still requires careful consideration because of the potential effect on your bond. Team lawyers have handled many CCB matters and are prepared to assist you in responding to any complaint filed before that agency.

Prevailing Wage, Employment Law Compliance & Defense

The need for compliance with prevailing wage requirements creates unique challenges for construction contractors. Team lawyers advise clients on prevailing wage compliance and documentation issues, and vigorously represent clients in defending BOLI enforcement actions and other wage claim litigation. Team lawyers also advise the construction industry on compliance with the varied and complex state and federal employment laws, and defend employer clients before administrative agencies and in state and federal court. For more information about the Firm’s employment law compliance services, please click here.

Retirement and Health Plans

The firm’s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group regularly advises construction industry employers on the design and operation of retirement and health plans. For employers subject to Davis Bacon and Prevailing Wage laws, these unique plans can result in significant payroll tax savings to the employer and employees. For construction industry employers not subject to Davis Bacon and Prevailing Wage laws, the firm’s custom-designed 401(k), heath, and deferred compensation plans target benefits to key employees in ways not possible under standard plans. For more information about retirement and health plans for construction industry employers, please click here.

Real Estate and Land Use

The firm’s Real Estate & Land Use Group assists construction companies, developers, and property owners in selling, purchasing and developing real estate. They work with firm clients and the clients of other professionals to ensure transactions close timely and efficiently, and to help obtain all necessary entitlements for development and construction. Lawyers in this group also work with contractors and developers to make sure that local and state agencies issue construction permits timely. For more information about real estate transactions and development for construction companies, property owners, and developers, please click here.

Environmental Regulation and Defense

Development and construction projects can be affected by a number of environmental issues. Previous uses of the property, construction practices, and project design can all trigger environmental concerns. Team lawyers represent clients in resolving their disputes with environmental regulators, neighboring property owners, and former property owners. If you or your company is the subject of an environmental investigation or complaint, Team lawyers will work with you to create a strategy that quickly resolves the matter without unduly compromising your objectives for the project. Lawyers in this group can also develop best environmental practices to avoid environmental liability, assess environmental risks for your projects, or answer your environmental law questions.