- January, 2017 – Lynchburg Business Magazine
Lynchburg Business magazine engaged DataJoe Research to conduct a peer-to-peer survey of 140 lawyers in the Lynchburg area for the magazine’s “Top Lawyers of Greater Lynchburg 2016” edition published in December, 2016. As the magazine’s introduction to that edition stated, it was “recognizing the best of the best in the region’s legal community.” All 8 of PLDR’s principals are honored to be selected as Top Lawyers in their areas of practice: Ed Dawson, John Falcone, Paul Feinman, Scott Kowalski, Chad Mooney, Andrew Pearson, Jim Richards, and John Richards. Additionally, Scott Kowalski was selected as the Top Lawyer of Greater Lynchburg as a part of the survey process.
- 2016 – “PLDR Office Access – Church & 8th Street intersection will be closed starting June 13th – Access to and from the PLDR parking deck will remain open using the Church & 7th Street Intersection “
- January, 2016 – Board of Governors
We are pleased to announce that one of our principals, Scott W. Kowalski, was elected to the Board of Governors of the Virginia Bar Association at the VBA’s Annual Winter Meeting in Williamsburg on January 23, 2016. Scott will be serving a three year term on the Board.
- November, 2016 – Construction Law Case Update
Scott Kowalski co-presented the Construction Law Case Update with Jack Robb at the VSB Construction and Public Contracts Section Annual CLE in Charlottesville on November, 2016.
- October, 2015 – “Top 20 Under 40”
Lynchburg Business Magazine selected Chad A. Mooney as one of the Greater Lynchburg area’s “Top 20 Under 40” professionals.
- August, 2015 – “Friend of the Court”
John Falcone and Scott Kowalski prepared and submitted an Amicus Curiae (“friend of the court”) brief to the Virginia Supreme Court on behalf of the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc., the Associated Builders and Contractors, Virginia Chapter, Inc., and the Associated General Contractors of Virginia, Inc. in a case which has the potential to radically alter existing commercial practice in the construction industry.
The case originated in Fairfax County and involved the construction of a new church and its large parking lot. The church hired an engineer to design a storm water management system. The engineer’s design required use of a Rain Tank device under the parking lot, which subsequently collapsed causing substantial damages. The trial court found that the engineer was at fault for requiring the Rain Tank, which was not an appropriate system to use for the site. The engineer has appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that the general contractor assumed the risk of including the Rain Tank in the construction process, even though the engineer’s design required its use. Various engineer associations filed an Amicus brief supporting the engineer’s position.
The case represents a challenge by professional engineers to the prevailing commercial practice in the construction industry concerning the allocation of risk for the defects and errors in an engineer’s design. The existing rule of law and commercial practice allocates risk in a construction project to the party best situated to assume that risk. Because the engineer’s position in this case is a radical change to the existing rules and is also a dramatic departure from the construction industry’s accepted understanding of the standard AIA contract used by the industry, the Contractor organizations felt the need to submit a brief opposing those changes.
- July, 2015 – New Associate
We are pleased to inform you that we have hired Mark Burgin as a new associate in the PLDR Construction Law Group. Prior to joining PLDR, Mark clerked for the Honorable Jack S. Hurley, Jr. and the Honorable Richard C. Patterson in the Tazewell County, Virginia Circuit Court. Mark graduated from the University of Richmond School of Law with the Order of the Barristers and the Pro Bono Certificate and served as a Manuscript Editor for the University of Richmond Law Review, the Vice President of the Moot Court Board, and as a member of the Trial Advocacy Board and Client Counseling and Negotiation Board. He also interned with the firm Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, P.C. and the U.S. Attorney’s Office Civil Division. With the addition of Mark, PLDR continues to increase its ability to provide exceptional service to our clients in the construction industry.
- July, 2015- Successful Appellate Argument
Chad A. Mooney successfully argued to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that two outside parties, known as intervenors under the federal rules, could not join a lawsuit after the limitation period had passed, resulting in a dismissal of the alleged claim against the defendants. While watching underlying suit from the sidelines, the intervenors waited to see how the litigation unfolded. Despite the fact that the limitation period had expired, the intervenors sought intervention at an opportune time. Given the procedural hurdle, they argued that the limitation period should be equitably tolled due to extraordinary circumstances outside of their control. The Fourth Circuit ruled that the intervenors sat on their rights and failed to diligently pursue their alleged claim. Thus, the trial court’s decision was affirmed and the intervenors’ alleged claim was dismissed.
On a separate issue, the case presented a question of first impression with the court, however, not dispositive of the intervenors’ claims. While the case was on appeal, the underlying suit between original plaintiff and defendants was dismissed. Under the defense theory, had the intervenors been successful on the tolling argument, there would have been no pending case into which to intervene. Despite the procedural quandary, the court ruled that the intervenors could proceed with the claim, provided their alleged claims were not time barred. The case may be found at CVLR Performance Horses, Inc. v. Wynne, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 11819 (4th Cir. 2015).
- January, 2015 – VBA Construction Section
We would like to congratulate Scott Kowalski on his election as Chairman of the Virginia Bar Association’s Construction and Public Contracts Law Section Council for 2015.