Alaska’s Supreme Court Holds That Executing a Settlement Agreement Releases Parties from Contractual Obligation to Arbitrate Disputes

SMJ Gen. Constr., Inc. v. Jet Commer. Constr., LLC, No. S-16785/16985, 2019 BL 131640 (Alaska Apr. 12, 2019)

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Ryan R. Deroo

In 2016, Jet Commercial Construction, LLC (“Jet”) entered into a subcontract with SMJ General Construction, Inc. (“SMJ”) to supply materials and labor for the construction of a restaurant in Hawaii.  The subcontract contained a dispute resolution provision that required the parties to first mediate any dispute and then submit it to arbitration if mediation was unsuccessful.  It also included a choice-of-law and venue provision designating Oklahoma Law and the courts of Cleveland County, Oklahoma for any lawsuits pertaining to the Agreement’s enforcement.

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Arizona Court of Appeals Rules Prompt Payment Act Does Not Apply To Design Professionals When Performing Normal Architectural and Engineering Services

RSP Architects, Ltd. v. Five Star Dev. Resort Communities, LLC
306 P.3d 93 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2013)

This action arose from a payment dispute on a construction project where an architectural firm, RSP Architects, Ltd. (“RSP”), contracted with a developer, Five Star Development Resort Communities, LLC (“Five Star”), to provide architectural services for a development known as the Palmeraie (the “Project”). Pursuant to the architectural services contract (the “Architectural Agreement”), RSP was tasked with several different duties, including “construction administration,” “overall coordination,” and “conceptual design” related to the Project. For its services, RSP was to receive approximately $3,000,000. Prior to completion, however, RSP ceased work on the Project and sued Five Star, alleging, among other claims, a violation of Arizona’s Prompt Payment Act, A.R.S. § 32-1129 et seq. (the “PPA”).

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