The author holds a Ph.D. from Nova Southeastern University. She is president of Harmon/York Asso ciates, a 29-year-old construction consulting firm located in Ridgefield Park, N.J. Her e-mail address is email@example.com.
The construction business has never been simple. However, over the last 30 years it has become more complex and, unfortunately, litigious. Multiple parties, 500-plus page contracts in which the owner endeavors to transfer the risk of every contingency to the contractor (even those not within the contractor’s control), unstable economic conditions, are just some of the conditions that have made construction projects ripe for disputes. Contractors naturally react to the owner’s risk-shifting efforts with exceptions and clarifications to the terms and conditions.1 The result has been that both owners and contractors rely more on legalistic maneuvering to attempt to control their risks.