TICL Construction and Surety Law Division

A Message from the Division Chair

May 2015

To CSLD attorneys:

In a moment of weakness I agreed to become both the chair of the CLSD and the editor of its newsletter.

I have been involved with the fidelity and surety industry for going on 40 years, and for most of that time was a member of the ABA TIPS fidelity and surety law committee with its thousand or so members. So it came as sort of a shock when I learned that the CLSD has only twelve members. 

Ours is a relatively stable body of law (thankfully), but cases are decided which add nuances to our understanding.  And Lord help us when the legislature goes into session; e.g. the recent change to the suit period on SFL 137 payment bonds. 

It seems to me that a lot more NY lawyers should be interested in cases and developments in NY law concerning suretyship and related issues. And they would also be interested in joining the Division if it enabled them to get good and timely content.

As you may know the Real Property Law Section has a Real Estate Construction Committee which overlaps in subject matter with the CLSD, and that committee has more members than the CSLD. At present combining the two construction groups is not a consideration.

One area where there is no overlap is an interest in suretyship. So it would seem that CLSD could focus its attention on issues that are relevant to contract and commercial surety, and insurance as it pertains closely to construction. For example, earlier this month I posted a summary of a case concerning the exposure to a subcontractor for failure to procure additional insurance for an owner and GC. 

I would also like to see us disseminate information on NY law helpful to bond claim adjusters on such issues as the rights and duties to the parties to bonds and indemnity agreements, as well as salvage rights of sureties. 

One idea I have is to send members short notices by email of new cases, etc. as soon as we become aware of them, and not wait to accumulate them for a newsletter. The key word here is short to make the process minimally burdensome on contributors.. 

I just spoke with an attorney who is a NYSBA member but is not a member of the Division. He said he would be happy to have this timely information, would probably join the Division, and also help send out emails with new cases – so maybe I’m onto something here. 

I solicit your suggestions to make membership in the CLSD meaningful and relevant to practitioners, enough so that it would attract other construction and surety lawyers to join us. Eventually we may meet to discuss issues of importance, but that’s way down the road………. 

Al Reeve


C. Allan Reeve, Esq., Chair
Reeve Brown PLLC
Suite 200
3380 Monroe Avenue
Rochester, NY 14618-4726
Phone: (585) 287-5275
Email: careeve@reevebrownlaw.com


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