310 Practical Applications of Construction Law

Class Syllabus

Introduction 

The purpose of the 310 Practical Applications of Construction Law online course is to provide a framework for understanding the legal environment in which construction takes place. Students will learn the stages of contracts, how to avoid litigation, methods to protect yourself/ your company in a litigious society, understand the legal liability of construction professionals, avoid disputes using clauses, and be more informed when navigating the legality of the jobsite.

Students will learn about the different models of contracts, contract principles, offers, and defenses to the formation of contracts. We will review the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and how it is used in sales contracts. Topics also include the roles and responsibilities of the contractor, architect, and the documents that bind them.   Bonds, liens, and waivers,the legal liability of construction professionals, avoiding disputes through use of clauses, and how to avoid defects are included in this course.

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Student Reviews

Learning objectives for 310 Construction Law

Students who successfully complete Practical Applications of Construction Law will learn the basic principles of construction law. Topics to be studied include:

  • Recognize the validity of offers and counter-offers
  • Explain how the lack of a contract, or change order does not justify unjust enrichment
  • Recognize that Parole Evidence is subordinate to the four corners of the contract
  • Explain how the UCC governs the actions of suppliers
  • Establish the different methods commonly used to prevent litigation
  • Understand the protections afforded by bonds, liens, and waivers.
  • Examine the legal liability of construction professionals.
  • Explain how to avoid disputes through the use of clauses and how to avoid defects

Class Organization and Grading

The course will be taught in ten modules. Each module lasts one week. In that week students will read through the online lectures, participate in online discussion, take a quiz and submit a homework assignment using the IRAC format.

The following table lists the learning modules, the maximum value in points a student can receive within each module, and the time in which the modules must be finished.

Module

Point Value By End of Week
     
0. Orientation 4 1
1. Introduction to the Legal System and Contractual Relationships 30 1
2. Contract Principles 30 2
3.Sales Contracts (Uniform Commercial Code) 30 3
4. Dispute Resolution and Labor Law 30 4
5.Legal Aspects of Contract Documents 30 5
6.Bonds, Liens, and Waivers 30 6
7 Legal Liability of Construction Professionals 30 7
8. Avoiding Disputes: Clauses 30 8
9. Avoiding Disputes: Mistakes, Defects, and Unforeseen Conditions 30 9
10.Wrap up and Applications 30 10
     
Total Points

300

 

It is important that students keep up with the class and not fall behind.

Grading Policies

Points will accrue each week. Students will learn about an area of law that affects the construction industry, read cases relevant to the law,then compose a narrative on how the problem/grievance may be decided using the Issue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion (IRAC) format. The Honor Code in this class is simple: No student shall copy or plagiarize another’s work. Vigorous debate is recommended, however your written communications and your answers must be your own. Failure to abide by the Honor Code shall result in penalties to the student’s grade.

You will have full access to your grade sheet so you will be able to keep track of how you are doing at all times.

Your overall grade in the course will be determined by the total number of points you have accumulated on quizzes and assignments.   The grading scale is as follows:

  • A  300 to 270 points

  • B  269 to 240 points

  • C  239 to 210 points

  • D  209 to 180 points

  • Anything less will be considered an unauthorized withdrawal from the course or F (failure).

You will be given more information about the grading and other course matters in the Orientation Module.

The Textbook for 310 Practical Applications of Construction Law

Link to: Construction Law for Managers, Architects, and Engineers by Nancy White ISBN 978-1-4180-4847-1

Student reviews:

  • I am glad to have been a part of the discussions and lessons in this course as construction law has not been a topic discussed much so far in my career due to the fact that I spend my time in filed actually building the buildings. Of course, I have dealt with some forms of contract documents such as, change orders and RFI’s, submittals/transmittals, bid documents. All in a more on the job, practical type of a way without too much attention to the legal aspects of the documents.
  • As I advance in my career and work my way in to an office position, I am seeing the need to be aware of the various construction/contract laws that rule over all the parties involved in the project from A&E to owner to contractors. I will be applying the knowledge from these classes to my advancement in my career and in building my own business as I will obviously be in many positions where the law will be on my side if I know it and practice the right actions in dealing with legal situations.
  • I really appreciate how the teacher leaves us little bread crumb hints to make us think and investigate solutions.
  • The instructor is the greatest strength. 🙂 He really pushed us to get the IRAC thing. At first it was frustrating but after completing the course I feel like I’m starting to get it.
  • When this class got rolling I really saw how different it was–and I was really glad I’d already taken 204 because 310 would have been super hard without it.
  • Very experienced and knowledgeable teacher
  • I feel I have a better understanding now and I’m not as “in the dark” as previous.
    This class was much more than I expected. I’ll admit it took me a little while to get IRAC figured out but I definitely think I have got it better now. LOL. I really enjoyed all the discussions and appreciated the timely responses from everyone. I haven’t had a college course in over 30 years so it was fun to get into again. Looking forward to my next classes Building Green Buildings and Construction Equipment and Methods.