COVID-19’s Impact on Construction: Is There a Remedy? – Time Extensions, Force Majeure, or More?


CLE credits earned: 1 GENERAL (or 1 LAW & LEGAL for WA state)

This presentation addresses potential relief—contractual or otherwise—on construction projects impacted by COVID-19. Many construction projects are now stopped, not starting, or at least subject to slowdowns and delays due to COVID-19. Whether you are a contractor or an owner, understanding how the law and your specific contract address this pandemic is critical to successfully managing your project. This presentation will provide an overview of these key issues and provide you with a better basis to effectively understand and manage COVID-19’s impacts to construction projects.

This course is co-sponsored with myLawCLE.

Key topics to be discussed:

•   What constitutes Force Majeure?
•   Is COVID-19 an excusable event under basic form contracts?
•   COVID-19 under public (federal and state) construction contracts
•   What to do if your contract has no force majeure clause
•   Summary and recap of relevant COVID-19 action items for your projects

Date / Time: April 30, 2020

•   2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Eastern
•   1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Central
•   12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Mountain
•   11:00 am – 12:00 pm Pacific

Choose a format:

•   Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program “live” in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for “live” CLE credit.
•   On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 24 hours after the original recording date and are view-able for up to one year.

Select your state to see if this class is approved for CLE credit.

Choose the format you want.


Original Broadcast Date: April 30, 2020

William J. Shaughnessy, Esq. is an associate in the Litigation Practice Group. He focuses on construction and infrastructure projects, contract review and negotiation, construction litigation, alternate dispute resolution, and government contracting.

Bill represents a variety of clients in the construction industry, including, owners, general contractors, design-build contractors, suppliers, and subcontractors. His experience ranges from representing a design-builder on a $400 million highway and bridge design-build project in the Pacific Northwest (involving complex geotechnical and design issues), to representing a design-build contractor on a $125 million dispute on a major Texas transportation construction project (encompassing claims for lost productivity, disruption, differing site conditions, and cumulative impact), and representing a global manufacturing company in a AAA arbitration dispute with more than 10 parties related to the construction of a $1.5 billion design-build government project in Utah. More recent representation includes that of a general contractor in an arbitration involving the construction of a $60 million windfirm project located in the Great Plains with issues involving delay, acceleration, and defective work, as well as an electrical contractor in a state court dispute involving issues of delay with the construction of the Atlanta Braves SunTrust Park.

As lead counsel, Bill successfully represented a commercial roofing subcontractor in a federal court trial involving the construction of a government facility in connection with claims of breach of contract, wrongful termination, and bad faith.

In addition to his construction practice, Bill has experience representing clients in state and federal courts in all aspects of a wide variety of litigation matters, such as contract disputes, lender liability, fraudulent conveyances, and commercial asset recovery.

In 2008 and prior to beginning his career in law, Bill played professional baseball with the San Diego Padres. He currently is active in the greater-Atlanta community coaching youth baseball.

William E. Underwood, Esq. is an associate in the Litigation Practice Group. He focuses on construction litigation, alternative dispute resolution, and contract drafting, review, and negotiation.

William represents a broad array of domestic and international clients, including owners, general contractors, and design-build contractors, with issues related to large industrial and infrastructure construction projects located in the United States and abroad. He has represented clients in a number of US and international dispute forums, including state and federal courts, federal boards of contract appeals, AAA arbitration, ICC arbitration, and LCIA arbitration.

William provides legal advice to clients throughout the entire life cycle of a project, from inception to completion. William’s experience ranges from representing owners and contractors involved in high stakes disputes regarding billion-dollar projects to advising clients on issues related to contract drafting, contract negotiation, risk mitigation, and overall project management.

While in law school, William served as a student attorney in the Washington and Lee Community Legal Practice Center and represented the school in the ABA Regional Client Counseling Competition. He also served as an article’s editor for the Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice and authored a published student note on Fourth Amendment search and seizure law.

Christopher D. Cazenave, Esq. is a partner in the Litigation Practice Group. He focuses on construction litigation and alternative dispute resolution.

Chris advises clients in all facets and at every step of construction-related disputes, including early dispute avoidance, pre-litigation counseling, settlement, mediation, arbitration, pre-trial strategy development, and trial. He understands that disputes on a project can lead to costly delays or threaten successful outcomes altogether and works closely with clients to manage risks and determine the most effective, results-oriented resolution to keep projects on time and on budget. Fully prepared to take a matter to trial, he and others on his team recently won a favorable $71 million jury verdict involving a dispute on the construction of a multibillion-dollar fertilizer plant. But he also recognizes that dispute prevention is the surest means to help clients achieve their goals.

Chris represents owners, general contractors, subcontractors, lenders, and other stakeholders and businesses from across the construction industry. He has successfully handled many multimillion-dollar disputes across the United States in federal and state courts and in arbitration before the American Arbitration Association and the International Chamber of Commerce.

With deep experience in a broad range of subjects, Chris has counseled clients in matters involving oil and gas facilities; petrochemical facilities; condominium, retail, and office space; entertainment venues; and other projects. Chris draws on a network of skilled consultants to create and manage efficient teams of in-house counsel, Jones Walker attorneys, and outside professionals, as needed.

Chris is active in the American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law, a presenter at industry conferences, and the author of a number of papers on construction-litigation issues.

Accreditation Policy
myLawCLE seeks accreditation for all programs in all states. (Accreditation for paralegals sought thru NALA and NFPA paralegal associations.) Each attending attorney/paralegal will receive a certificate of completion following the close of the CLE program as proof of attendance. In required states, myLawCLE records attorney/paralegals attendance, in all other states attorney/paralegal is provided with the approved CLE certificate to submit to their state bar or governing association.

    Automatic MCLE Approvals

All myLawCLE CLE programs are accredited automatically either directly or via reciprocity in the following states: AK, AR, CA, CT, FL, HI, ME, MO, MT, ND, NH, NM, NJ, NY, and VT. (AZ does not approve CLE programs, but accepts our certificates for CLE credit.)

    Live Video Broadcasts

Live video broadcasts are new live CLE programs being streamed and recorded for the first time. All of these programs qualify for “Live” CLE credit in all states except NV, OH, MS, IN, UT, PA, GA, and LA —these states require in-person attendance to qualify for “Live” CLE credit.

    “Live” Re-Broadcasts

“Live” Re-broadcasts are replays of previous recorded CLE programs, set on a specific date and time and where the original presenting speakers calls in live at the end of the event to answer questions. This “live” element allows for “live” Re-broadcast CLEs to qualify for “Live” CLE credits in most states. [The following states DO NOT allow for “live” CLE credits on re-broadcast CLEs: NV, OH, MS, IN, UT, PA, GA, and LA]

Many states allow for credit to be granted on a 1:1 reciprocal basis for courses approved in another mandatory CLE jurisdiction state. This is known as a reciprocity provision and includes the following states: AK, AR, HI, CT, FL, ME, MO, MT, ND, NH, NM, VT, NJ, and NY. myLawCLE does not seek direct accreditation of live webinars or teleconferences in these states.