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Ortmann, Mah and Guirguis Present at APWA Congress


Brian Robbins

The American Public Works Association (APWA) Congress 2012 begins August 26th in Anaheim, CA and extends until Tuesday, August 28th. Hunt Ortmann has sponsored an exhibit booth at Expo and has also been invited to speak to public agency officials in attendance on the topic of: “Recent Court Decisions and Their Impact on California Public Works”. The seminar will be presented from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm on August 27th, proceeded by the lunch program.

For more information about APWA Congress 2012, Click Here to visit their website.

Below, you will find a description of the workshop being presented by Dale Ortmann, Richard Mah and Wahid Guirguis.

Presentation Description:

The California Supreme Court, in the case of Greg Opinski Construction, Inc. v. City of Oakdale (2011), upheld contractual procedural requirements for claims. If the contractor wished to claim a time extension because of delays caused by the city, it was required to obtain a written change order by mutual consent or submit a claim in writing requesting a formal decision by the engineer. It did neither. Since the contractor did not follow the required procedures, the claim was denied on this ground alone.

In the case of P &D Consultants, Inc. v. City of Carlsbad (2010), the Court of Appeal held that oral authorization by the project manager for work beyond that contemplated in the written amendments to the contract did not bind the city. The plain language of the contract limited the city’s power to contract to the prescribed method. The project manager lacked authority to alter the written change order procedure or to make modifications orally or through conduct.

Learning Objectives:

Public Works contract administrators will learn the significance of:

  • Notice Provisions
  • Change Order Clauses
  • Disputes procedures
  • Who has authority?
  • What happens if the contract is not followed?

If you have any other questions or require further information, please email Nick Santoro at

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