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Webinar: Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: Termination of California Construction Contracts

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October 5, 2021 @ 12:00 pm 1:30 pm

1.5 Hours MCLE

“Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: Termination of California Construction Contracts” will discuss all of the major issues that owners and contractors face regarding contract terminations on California construction contracts. The agenda will cover 1) Drafting and negotiating contract termination provisions; 2) Deciding if, how and when to terminate during performance; and 3) The mechanics, considerations and consequences of termination.

We’ll introduce the different types of termination clauses, and, for each, discuss the most common issues, examples and considerations and tips, both in the context of owner-prime agreements and prime-subcontractor agreements. The focus will be on the two most common types of contract terminations: those for default/cause and those for convenience/no cause; we will also cover cancellations and terminations by the contractor.

For default terminations, issues include the bases for termination, required notices and opportunities to cure, owner/contractor remedies, and the effect of an improper termination, and, for convenience terminations, issues include the breadth of the right to terminate and enforceability. For both terminations types, we’ll examine sample language and procedures, and we’ll discuss drafting considerations and tips. For cancellation and termination-by-contractor provisions, we’ll discuss when they are utilized, on what conditions and other issues.

We will then turn to deciding if, how and when to terminate during performance. Key subtopics are a) Key legal questions to ask; b) Key factual questions to ask; and c) The mechanics, considerations and consequences of termination. Among key legal questions are what the contract documents say about the right to terminate and how statutory and common law fill in any blanks or alter the parties’ respective rights; this discussion will include California restrictions on construction subcontractor substitutions.

We’ll conclude with practical and strategic considerations in whether and how to terminate and, if a termination is noticed, whether and how to challenge a termination and/or make a claim for recovery.

Speaker: Aaron Silberman

Aaron Silberman co-chairs Rogers Joseph O’Donnell’s Construction Practice Group and has practiced construction law since 1992. He represents general and specialty contractors, subcontractors, design professionals, and suppliers on federal, state and local public construction projects and commercial projects. He advises and represents clients in contract bidding, negotiation, performance and compliance and in administrative, judicial and ADR proceedings.

Mr. Silberman’s recent work includes disputes regarding Army Corps and military base projects, Department of Energy lab projects, California High Speed Rail, San Francisco Central Subway, numerous local public works projects, Caltrain Positive Train Control and Electrification projects, the BART extension to San Jose, California, and a Honolulu Area Rapid Transit light rail project.

Mr. Silberman has held a variety of distinguished positions in contractor and legal organizations, including the ABA Public Contract Law Section (former Chair), Associated General Contractors of California (former Bay Bridges District Chair, Legal Advisory Committee Chair), ABA Forum on Construction Law (former Governing Committee Member, Specialty Contractors & Suppliers Division Chair), and CLA Construction Practice Area Group (founding Steering Committee member).

Mr. Silberman is recognized in Construction and Government Contracts by Chambers and Partners USA and in construction law worldwide by Who’s Who Legal.

We are committed to accessibility! Virtual events are equipped with closed captioning. To request an in-person accommodation, send us a note at or contact us at 916-516-1760 for assistance.


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