Construction Contract Disputes

For a business or individual, a dispute over a construction contract can present a difficult roadblock that needs to be resolved efficiently and effectively so your project can move forward. One of the most common construction disputes involves lack of payment, and consequently mechanics’ liens. If you work in the construction industry, you have an active interest in your rights as a creditor against a business that owes you money for work performed or materials supplied. Our construction law practice includes representing contractors, subcontractors, materials suppliers and individuals to obtain judgments for payment, file mechanics’ liens, handle disputes over defects and scheduling delays, and resolve construction payment disputes through mediation, arbitration or litigation.


Enforcement of mechanics’ liens requires a written contract between the party owed money and the party it did business with. An exception exists for laborers. Our firm’s Managing Partner, James Rudolph, is a past president of the Board of the Massachusetts Associated Builders and Contractors, the organization’s current general counsel, and a recognized expert in construction contract drafting. We can help you plan for contingencies and avoid costly battles, rather than react when things go wrong.


Many people and businesses involved in a construction project have the right to place a lien on a construction project in order to get paid. Generally, a lien is a legal encumbrance on real estate that can result in the forced sale of the property to satisfy the project’s creditor’s judgment for payment, unless the creditor is paid what it is owed.

The following parties to a construction project have access to the remedy of a construction lien: general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, laborers, architects and engineers for on-site administrative services, and construction managers. Strict timelines exist within which you must file a lien in order to protect your payment rights. Do not delay if you are owed money for work on a private or public construction project. Learn how to enforce your payment rights with a construction lien (private construction jobs) or filing a bond claim (public construction projects).

We have represented hundreds of clients in construction contract disputes. Highlights of our work include:

  • Represented owners, contractors and material suppliers in matters involving liens asserted pursuant to the Massachusetts Mechanic’s Lien Law, recovering millions of dollars on behalf of contractors and material suppliers.
  • Handling various types of construction related matters including bond claims, bid contests, arbitrations, mediations, complex litigation and drafting and negotiation of construction documents for businesses and individuals in Boston and throughout Massachusetts.
  • Represented property owners and developers in matters involving construction defects, including the defense of a developer of a Boston condominium project from claims of construction defects asserted by the condominium trust and certain individual unit owners, and the representation of a high-end waterfront homeowner in a lawsuit against the manufacturer of custom windows due to defects and leaks.
  • Defended the purchaser of a “man camp” in an arbitration of claims brought by the seller. The arbitrator’s award granted the Client purchaser $1.1 million in its claims arising out of defects in construction, an amount far in excess of the original claims brought by the seller.
  • Represented the Board of Trustees of a newly developed 33-unit residential condominium in Boston asserting claims for construction defects against the developer and general contractor of the condominium. Despite the majority of the claims being against multiple single-purpose entities with no assets, the firm also asserted theories of liability against the owners of the entities and was ultimately able to resolve the matter for a substantial settlement payment to the condominium.

To speak with one of our construction litigation attorneys call Managing Partner Jim Rudolph or Jon Friedmann at 617.723.7700 or contact us online.

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