Construction professionals at work

Last week, the Puget Sound Business Journal (@PSBJ) published an article I wrote about mechanics lien laws in Washington state. Thanks to them for contacting me about the guest contribution and publishing the article.

The article, titled “Mechanic’s liens gets a little easier (subscription required),” addressed the recent legal hurricane in Washington’s construction industry caused by the Williams v. Athletics’ Field decision. Prior to the Supreme Court’s decision last fall, case law in the state was confusing, with one division applying strict scrutiny to every lien dispute and another division applying liberal scrutiny. The effect of this difference in perspective became really pronounced in 2010 when an appeals court held that the mechanics lien form within the state’s lien statute wasn’t good enough (even though the statute itself said the form was satisfactory), the effect of this decision essentially invalidating every mechanics lien claim in the state.

The Supreme Court’s fall decision reversed the controversial appeals decision and clarified that Washington law requires courts to liberally construe mechanics lien claims. The result? Filing a lien claim, or at least defending a lien claim, became a bit easier.  What does this mean to the construction industry, to real estate owners, to the real estate market?  It’s all debated in the article…

We followed the Williams v. Athletics’ Field case through the courts here on the Construction Payment Blog, and you can read our articles on the case by clicking on its tag.

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