The Law Firm of Richard M. Baron

With over 30 years of construction law expertise, Richard “Rick” Baron had been representing contractors, subcontractors, project owners, design professionals and others with legal problems ranging from the highly sophisticated to the more basic, practical ones. A writer of innumerable legal articles and publisher of the industry acclaimed newsletter “Plumb Law”, he brings personalized attention to your files instead of passing them off to a lesser attorney or someone who is being trained on your hard-earned dollar. With offices in New Jersey and New York, the firm’s services includes every step in the construction process from the drafting of construction contracts to the litigation or arbitration of disputes.

Bad day at the project site?
I can help.

Every construction project encounters problems—some big, some small. Having an experienced construction lawyer available to address them promptly can help prevent small problems from becoming large ones, large problems from becoming nightmares, and sometimes, stop a potential problem from becoming a real problem at all. With decades of experience, helping contractors and others in the construction industry solve their problems is also the most satisfying aspect of my work. It is what I do.

Business people pointing fingers at construction worker Burst water pipe leaks water
Collection of historic construction branding and custom engraved hard hat Person looking in empty wallet

Non-payment
I can help.

Getting paid for your work can be as hard as the work itself. Sometimes, the problem arises from matters like defective plans and specifications, unanticipated subsurface conditions or one of various forms of project mismanagement. Other times, extra work claims are unreasonably rejected, or undervalued. Or, progress payments and retainage are not paid because of unjustified claims of poor contractor performance, late performance, or simply: “I ran out of money”. I can help get to the core issues to get you paid, and suggest actions which may resolve the problem.

Collection of contracts

Construction Liens, Mechanics Liens and Bond Claims
I can help.

Mechanics liens and payment bonds can provide a contractor with excellent payment protection rights, but they each come with different rules governing recovery, different time limits for enforcement in court, and different limitations on their use. Get it wrong, and you could end up losing your protections; in extreme cases, you could end up owing damages and counsel fees to someone else. As one of the original drafters of the New Jersey Construction Lien Law, I can help you use that law, and others, to maximize your protection.

Engraved custom hardhats and firm newsletter pamphlets Crowd raises numbered signs to bid on product

Public Bidding
I can help.

The rules governing public bidding disputes are intricate. Different types of issues, like responsiveness and responsibility, come before public bodies, or courts, who can be governed by different rules and practices. Furthermore, the time available to file or respond to a bid protest is short. Since a wrongly rejected bid will not give the disappointed bidder a right to recover lost profits, a strong knowledge base and a quick response can be essential to overturn, protect or obtain a contract award. After decades of involvement, this complex niche in the law is a subject where I can help. 

Row of heavy construction equipment with overlaid calendar Antique clock in front of smashed drywall and light switch

Project Delays and Time of Performance
I can help.

In construction, time can mean almost everything. Project owners expect a job to be completed within the contract completion period; but sometimes, they do not recognize their own fault as a cause of delay, or that a delay was due to matters beyond the contractor’s control. A project delay may allow a contractor a right to recover its own damages for delay, disruption, acceleration, or resequencing of the work. On the other hand, an Owner’s refusal to grant time extensions, or a contractor’s failure to timely request them, may result in the Owner’s imposition of liquidated damages, or assert its own delay claims. These kinds of disputes can become sophisticated; do you really want to trust just any attorney to handle them? 

Contract Reviews and Drafting
I can help.

Contracts are like the rules in sports—if you don’t follow them, you get penalized. Too many penalties can cost you the game. Form contracts from the AIA or other parties invariably protect the other side’s interests; that is why you are given them to sign.

Well experienced in the review and drafting of construction contracts and related agreements, I can prepare documents to meet your needs. These include general contracts, subcontracts, purchase orders, consulting agreements or joint venture agreements, and other types of instruments, such as lien waivers. I can also propose changes to someone else’s forms to make them fairer. Contract language matters in the law; use it to your advantage.

Hand with contract comes out of pile of paper
Frustrated contractor reviews design plans

When Mistakes Happen
I can help.

No one is perfect, but a contractor need not “take it on the chin” even though an error was made. Sometimes, another party shares responsibility. Other times, there are contract clauses and laws which can protect a contractor from liability or damages claims. Or perhaps, the damages demand is wholly out of proportion to the actual loss which is recoverable under the law. Generally, mistakes are best addressed as quickly as possible; it can preserve a customer relationship. But, legal assistance can prevent the contractor from assuming unnecessary overexposure to liability or losses. To prevent it, I can help.

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