Default Banner Image


You work hard, get a bid to be accepted as a contractor, do a good job building and still get sued. You ask yourself why. Read on to find out:

  1. Number one reason contractors get sued:
  • Payment Disputes: This could be in the context of commercial or residential projects; public or private contracts.
  • Typical scenario: Contractor does work, usually good work, client is happy.  Client makes changes, contractor fails to get the client’s approval to a change order showing it is OK that the price has increased because of the client’s changes.  Contractor bills client at the end of job and the amount is much more than the client thought and then there is a large balance left.  If contractor goes after the client for money due, then contractor usually gets slapped with a construction defect lawsuit.Learn how to protect yourself and your business
  1. Best way to minimize the impact of any lawsuits: documenting the work at every step: 
  • Starts with a good contract with the Owner and each and every subcontractor: spell out the exact scope of work, incorporate the plans and specifications. Have an attorney draft or review;
  • Good written communication with the design and project engineers/ architects
  • Put the changes in writing (Change Order) and get approval from client;
  • Follow engineers’ plans and specifications, any deviations need a written approval from the engineer;
  • Have written daily fields report to document what happened in the project every day of the work;
  • Send out preliminary notices as a matter of course; and
  • Finally, take photos regularly and document the dates of the photos to show the progress of the job.
  1. Another important advice:
    • Stay away from verbal agreements. Any minor agreement on the job, should be memorialized in an e-mail, example:  “this is to confirm that…., if  you do not agree please let me know immediately.”
    • If you get confirmation in a text, get them printed, (there are apps that do that) or get screen shots and print them.
  2. Final Advice: Establish a good working relationship with an attorney before you get into trouble, have the attorney review your contracts and get you set up with forms you can use every day.  This will keep you away from a lawsuit or at least minimize the costs and save you tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs as well as disruption of your business and impact on your business and personal life.

This article is informational only and meant to provide guidance. It is not meant to be legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. For what to do in your specific situation, please consult with a qualified Construction Law attorney.


Ghassemian Law provided thoroughly constructed and effective legal strategies for successful outcomes in the complex world of construction law for our small company. Core competence, due diligence, and a commitment to client needs are strengths that inspire confidence and keep producing results when it counts most.

Peter Greenberger

Pacwest Construction and Development Inc

Mahyar and her team possess a wealth of construction and business law expertise. Expertise to both guide a client away from litigation and, if not possible, to skillfully represent them in court.

Thierry Montoya

AlvaradoSmith APC

Mahyar Ghassemian and her firm are the best construction dispute litigators and negotiators in the industry. Mahyar is an expert in this area. Her firms knows the law and are very tenacious in obtaining the best results for their clients. I have been involved in very lengthy litigation as co-counsel in a very big case and jury trial. Mahyar is one of the hardest working and most effective advocates I have ever had the privilege of working with.

Paul Hoffman

Hoffman Legal Corporation

Small Firm Value – Large Firm Expertise