Public Construction and Procurement

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Dickinson Wright attorneys represent states, municipalities, and other governmental agencies in all aspects of the procurement of labor, materials, and services involved in the design and construction of public projects. We also represent private developers in complying with the procurement requirements applicable to public improvements which may be included in their projects, such as intersections, traffic control, and utilities for which developers may seek reimbursement or other benefits. Our representation involves not only the drafting of solicitations and contracts (both standard and manuscript), but also providing advice on the solicitation process and how to respond when unique situations arise. We also assist in the preparation of procurement rules and guidelines.

Our attorneys regularly represent the procuring agencies or governments, as well as bidders and proposers, involved in protests arising from public procurements. Because we have represented both the government procuring agencies and parties seeking to protest procurement decisions, our attorneys can provide a comprehensive analysis of any protest issue. We have been involved in the administrative resolution of protests, filing and defending protests in lower courts, and through the appeals process. Our attorneys have also served as bid protest hearing officers.

The team also represents government entities, contractors and developers in relation to claims arising from the negotiation and contracting for public construction projects, including claims on performance, payment and subdivision bonds and security.

Representative Experience:

Representation of and defense from numerous Federal Miller Act and Little Miller Act Claims, all of which involved related surety bond (payment and performance bonds) claims as well as handling many surety bond disputes (payment and performance bond) on private construction projects.

Representation of a municipality on claims brought by a contractor claims as well as prosecution of professional negligence claims arising from an underground tunnel collapse.

Representation of public agencies and political subdivisions in bid protests such as (i) the construction of a city hall facility; (ii) the renovation of an airport terminal; (iii) a contract to supply UNIX computer workstations to numerous State agencies; (iv) a wastewater treatment plant; and (v) an interstate bridge project.

Representation of one of the largest engineering companies in the United States in claims of more than $7,000,000 arising from design and construction management of a $40,000,000 wastewater treatment plant and construction of its related sewer lines.

Representation of a joint venture of two large architectural firms in a dispute over the construction of a large hospital complex concerning claims for fees sought by architectural joint venture and defending improper design claims raised by the owner.

Representation of energy pipeline owner regarding acquisition of right of way and permit issues for utility corridors.

Representation of a major engineering and construction consulting firm in resolving audit issues with the local school board concerning management of a number of school construction projects.

Representation of a landowner in an eminent domain lawsuit, obtaining a favorable jury award against the state and successfully defending the award in the appellate court.

Representation of a public school board in connection with a dispute with its general contractor and designers involving a defective roofing system installed on new high school.

Representation of an electrical construction company/software design entity in a pre-bid qualification for the Gordie Howe International Bridge (Detroit-US – Windsor Canada) for the “smart road” installation/construction.

Representation of an electrical construction company/software design entity in the negotiation of contracts for the supply and maintenance of software for traffic controls for two Canadian municipalities.

Negotiation of Agreements with a municipality for public messaging/communication on Highways (RESCU System) and operation of the central management system.

Representation of a municipality in relation to a design-build contract for a sewage treatment plant.

Preparation of comprehensive integrated design and construction contracts and procurement documents for several municipalities, and other government agencies (including a school district).

Representation of a major public hospital district in negotiating a $40 million dollar programing agreement, then developing an integrated procurement and contracting system for the solicitation and contracting for design and construction services to implement a $900 million bond program to build a hospital and multiple regional medical centers.

Representation of multiple government agencies, school districts and municipalities, dealing on a regular basis with procurements, bid protests and related issues. Representation includes serving as general counsel and as a school district hearing officer in relation to construction procurement protests.


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