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Unlawful Fees Charged to Small Businesses

FRAUD ALERT – Kernan & Associates is currently investigating and pursuing cases against a number of rental, waste disposal, commercial food delivery, shredding/recycling, and other types of companies that deliver supplies or equipment.  Small businesses are being harmed by these big companies through the charging of a number of unlawful and misrepresented fees, including fees they

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When Lien Waivers are Illegal

When Lien Waivers are Illegal Transcript Excerpt from the Kernan and Associates Radio Hour (fictional): Attorney: Hello, caller, are you there? Caller: Hi. I have a stupid question. Can I give-up my right to file a mechanic’s lien? I just signed a contract and there’s a section that says I hereby waive may right to

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Sexism in the WBE Certification Process (Part 4)

Sarah’s initial application for WBE certification went smoothly. Phew! She had heard nightmares about the process. She worried about the regulators presuming that she didn’t have what it takes to run the business. She worried about the caprices of certification officers, their biases and subjectivity. She worried about the perception that she didn’t have the

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Sexism in the Certification Process (Part 3)

Sometimes there’s a major problem with the way government agencies decide which businesses can be certified as a WBE or DBE. The rule of law in New York and elsewhere says that women who own businesses certified in a certain trade must have the technical expertise to perform the work of that trade. If a

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The Difference Between “Delay” and “Disruption” in Construction Contract Claims and Why That Matters

Due to the complexity of construction, combined with changes often inherent as a result of the very nature of construction, a contractor’s actual performance can deviate significantly from its originally planned method, manner, sequence, and duration of work. A deviation can impact both the schedule performance period and the overall cost of the project. Delay

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Sexism in the WBE Certification Process – Part 2

Regulations lay traps for unsuspecting women seeking certification as a DBE or WBE. The traps even ensnare women seeking re-certification years after operating successfully as a WBE and relying on the certification as the cornerstone of their business plan. Take Jane Doe, for instance, she and her husband John (or father or male business partner

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Don’t Leave Money on the Table – Request an Equitable Adjustment

Through various clauses, the government establishes its right to make changes in the contract statement of work or period of performance. In exchange for this right, the contractor receives compensating rights to equitable adjustments in contract price and/or schedule. The contractor exercises this right through the preparation and submission of a “request for equitable adjustment”

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Sexism in the WBE / DBE Certification Process (Part 1)

The regrettable presumption that someone’s daughter, or wife, doesn’t have what it takes to operate a construction company, was started not by misogynistic certification officers, it started with a few contractors’ deceptive practices. Here the cliche is true—a few bad apples—men who wanted more contracts and convinced close female family members to pose as owners

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Subcontractor’s Claims on Federal Contracts

Direct subcontractor claims are not authorized by the Contract Disputes Act (CDA) because there is no “privity” of contract between the government and the subcontractor. Specifically, there is no direct relationship between the parties. [See United States v. Johnson Controls Inc., 713F.2d 1541 (Fed. Cir. 1983).]  A subcontractor can make a claim against the government

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Protect Subcontractors from Bad Project Owners with these Words

It can’t be done, they say. You’re a subcontractor on a project with an owner that has screwed up everything from day one, and you want to sue the owner directly for damages because of project mismanagement so bad it should be criminal, but it can’t be done, they tell you. Filing a mechanic’s lien

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