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Over its history, LAGC and its predecessor organizations have been a formidable advocate for the construction industry, seeking to protect the rights of contractors on public and private work projects to mitigate and allocate risks equitably between owners and contractors.

This effort takes the form of legislation, as well as in the courts when necessary, in order to pursue the interest of the contractor. In Louisiana, legislation is particularly important because Louisiana law is largely based on codes and statutes. However, once statutes have been enacted into law, those provisions must be properly applied and construed. The courts sometimes need LAGC’s help to do so. LAGC’s judicial advocacy most often takes the form of amicus curiae briefing.

Some of the important legislation passed due to the efforts of LAGC include:

· La. R.S. 9:2771, the Design Sufficiency Law which was originally passed in 1959 to provide immunity to contractors for deficiencies in plans and specifications. It was amended in 1960 to prohibit waiver by contract.

· La. R.S. 38:2211, et seq, the Louisiana Public Bid Law has undergone numerous changes and amendments under the watchful eye of LAGC. One notable legislative effort was the enactment of the uniform bid form legislation designed to reduce the number of bid disputes by creating a “bright line.”

· La. R.S. 38:2216H which prohibits contract clauses that waive, extinguish, or relinquish the contractor’s rights to recover delay damages caused, in whole or in part, by a public owner. That legislation not only benefits the contractor but also taxpayers. Much like the federally mandated differing site conditions clause, it allows contractors to bid its best price without a contingency for delays that may ensue that are beyond the contractor’s ability to control.

· La. R.S. 9:2780.1, the Anti-indemnity Statute requires each party to accept and cover their own liability.

· Prompt Payment Legislation, such as the mandamus provisions of La. R.S. 38:2191, and La. R.S. 38:2248 limiting the withholding of retainage.

· La. R.S. 38:2241 establishing the statutory nature of the payment bond on public work contracts to make uniform the liability of sureties for payments due for subcontractors and materialmen.

These successful efforts, as well as others, have been achieved due to not only the willingness of staff, consultants, counsel, and others working for LAGC to pursue these efforts tirelessly, but also because of support and participation of the membership.

The times we live in require continued vigilance to not only protect the statutes and laws enacted heretofore, but also to come to grips with continued emerging problems that require LAGC's attention, whether in the legislature or in the courts. One of the components that is key to the success of these efforts is the continued support of members of LAGC. Many of these provisions were passed because scores of members showed up at the legislature to testify and stand together to support the effort by LAGC's advocates. Member support is needed now more so than ever to deal with the problems of the day.

No other Louisiana trade association or group has been as vocal or as effective for the Louisiana contractor as has been LAGC.

The executive director, Ken Naquin, has identified some of the current issues of concern. These include:

· How do contractors get paid by public entities even with a valid final judgment in hand?

· How do we solve the dilemma created by certain case precedents, such as Glencoe, which requires that the bonding company pay subcontractors and suppliers, even when the owner has failed to pay the contractor for the work?

· How do we reign in the misuse and abuse of liquidated damage provisions by public owners, who attempt to “strong-arm” contractors when seeking to be paid for their work or for valid claims?

It has long been recognized that industry wide issues require industry wide support. While the pandemic may have forced us into our own “bubbles” that does not have to diminish or reduce the efforts of LAGC to tackle these and other industry issues. Now, perhaps more than ever before, participation and action by its members is required to support LAGC’s efforts on behalf of the industry.

Russel W. Wray is an attorney and owner of Wray & Associates ( and practices in Louisiana.

This article is informational and should not be used as legal advice. One should independently consult with an attorney, prior to relying on any of the information provided herein.

Wray & Associates © 2022.

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