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Joint check agreements can be an effective way to ensure that payment makes its way downstream to a subcontractor or supplier, particularly when there is a distressed contractor or subcontractor on a project. Owners and upper-tier contractors and subcontractors weary of lower-tier subcontractors and suppliers filing mechanic’s liens (where rights exist) may elect to make…

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In December 2011, the Circuit Court of Maryland for Howard County awarded a Columbia, Maryland-based church an award of $1.165 million after its surety breached its contractual obligations to complete the project when the general contractor walked off the job. The property owner, First Baptist Church, purchased a surety bond from Fidelity & Deposit Company…

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The world’s developed economies may be set to emerge from several months of slowdown, led by the U.S. and Japan, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The Paris-based think tank said on Monday that its leading indicator of economic activity in its 34 member nations rose to 100.4 in December from 100.2…

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Employers now have until April 30, 2012 to post the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) rights poster. The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) decided to postpone implementation of the posting rule from January 31, 2012 until April 30, 2012. This requirement applies to both non-unionized and unionized workplaces. The poster provides a comprehensive list of…

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Governor O’Malley’s 2013 budget bill includes an “Amazon tax” provision similar to ones that are being considered and have been adopted by other states. The proposed law applies to online retailers located outside the state with affiliates in Maryland who receive benefits for referring potential customers to the out-of-state seller. Under the proposed law, that…

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The Maryland legislature is considering legislation to address the business community’s concerns about the Workplace Fraud Act (“WFA”). The WFA applies exclusively to the construction and landscaping industries. Under the current WFA, there is a presumption that all workers are employees unless an employer can demonstrate that they satisfy the ABC test. The ABC test…

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Many US contractors are unaware of the body of law that governs the shipment of materials from overseas. The Convention for the International Sale of Goods (“CISG”) operates as the governing law on international transactions involving the sale of goods between participating countries. (for a list of participating countries click here). The CISG is similar…

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Everyone should know the basics regarding mechanic’s lien in Maryland, including timing of bringing forth a claim, notice to parties, and other considerations. The following list consists of some of the basic considerations that any party to a potential mechanic’s lien should consider: Timing – In Maryland, a contractor or subcontractor must bring a mechanic’s…

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If you receive a notice of tax assessment from the Comptroller of Maryland and you don’t agree with it, don’t sit on it. You have only 30 days from the date of the notice to either appeal the assessment or pay it and claim a refund. If you don’t appeal or pay and claim a…

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Here are 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Business that will get this year off to a great start!  Be clear and concise about company policies. Review your employee manual and other policies for any necessary updates. If you don’t have one to review and update, set a firm deadline for drafting one. Green your…

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