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Legal issues

Instructor: Stephen M. Phillips

Year 1
Introduction to legal issues facing roofing contractors

The objective of the first-year legal curriculum is to introduce you to the basic legal structures and issues associated with the operation of a roofing construction contracting company doing business in the U.S. Topics include:
  • Personal versus corporate liability
  • Legal entities: characteristics and differences among sole proprietorships, C corporations, S corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and holding companies
  • Risks of personal exposure in the roofing contracting business—bonding and indemnity agreements, credit agreements, signing documents in a personal capacity or a personal guarantee
  • Grounds of legal liability—breach of contract, negligence (tort), guarantees and warranties
  • Dispute-resolution procedures for construction disputes
  • Statutes of limitation and statutes of repose
  • Developing your own contract forms
Year 2
Analysis of construction contracts

The objective of this class is to enable you to negotiate reasonable construction contracts by familiarizing you with key clauses. The first step is to recognize provisions in construction contract forms drafted by general contractors and owners that either pose unreasonable liability risks to roofing contractors or reduce the legal rights to which a roofing contractor normally would be entitled in the absence of a contract provision eliminating the right. The second step is to develop an approach to effectuate more equitable contracts. You also will become familiar with the most commonly used construction contract forms promulgated by The American Institute of Architects.

Year 3
Select legal issues posing liability to roofing contractors

This class will address legal liability issues faced by roofing contractors from actual cases and problem situations. You will be presented with fact patterns and asked to analyze how a roofing contractor should approach the problem and steps the roofing contractor might have taken to avoid the problem. The problems will address such legal topics as:
  • Indemnification owed to an owner or general contractor for a personal-injury claim
  • Liability for claims because of emissions from roofing products and pollution exclusion in commercial general liability insurance policies
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) citations and unforeseeable employee misconduct
  • Liabilities and rights arising from approved roofing contractor agreements
  • Warranty liability
  • Liability issues arising from your work force—immigration, discrimination claims, wage and hour issues

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