Jeffrey C. Bright, Esq.

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Jeffrey C. Bright, Esq. has a multi-state construction practice and is licensed in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and California. He provides counsel on construction contracts, project disputes, litigation, employment law, and real estate development. Typical clients include contractors, subcontractors, construction managers, owners, developers, and design professionals. Jeff brings more than a decade of legal experience servicing the construction industry with sophisticated, solutions-oriented advice that is tailored to meet the risk allocation needs of the client and project.

Jeff routinely assists clients on redlining and negotiating construction contracts and has advised on hundreds of contract documents and negotiations. He prioritizes timely, practical advice to assist clients in closing deals. Jeff has guided clients on various project delivery methods, including traditional design-bid-build, design-build, multi-prime, delegated design, CM as advisor and CM at risk, integrated project delivery, joint ventures, and pricing methods such as cost-plus fee with GMP and modified, custom hybrid approaches such as cost-plus fee in combination with select stipulated price items. Jeff also advises clients on custom contract templates for standard terms and conditions. He has advised large, multi-state regional contractors and subcontractors regarding their standard contract documents and state specific modifications.

Experience navigating project disputes and claims

In addition to negotiating construction contract documents, Jeff advises clients on project claims and disputes. He has litigated numerous cases in federal and state courts, including disputes in front of administrative agencies, such as the Board of Claims. He utilizes arbitration, alternative dispute procedures, and alternative fee arrangements when cost-efficient. Jeff has advised clients on a wide spectrum of disputes ranging from multi-million-dollar complex multi-party claims, to practical solutions to reduce risk on projects. He is experienced with all types of construction disputes, including:

  • Breach of contract
  • Mechanics’ lien claims
  • Construction defect claims
  • Change order, differing site condition, and scope disputes
  • Negligent design, and errors and omission claims
  • Payment bond and performance bond claims
  • Liquidated damages claims
  • Time impact, delay, disruption, lost productivity, and acceleration claims
  • Claims on public projects under the Board of Claims’ jurisdiction
  • Claims under statutory prompt payment acts.
  • Insurance coverage and indemnity litigation

Partnering with construction clients to guide them towards success

Jeff regularly collaborates with Saxton & Stump’s attorneys to advise construction companies on their related business needs in the fields of corporate law, real estate and zoning law, tax law, executive benefits law, transportation law, and employment law. Jeff and Saxton & Stump’s team advise clients as they grow into new markets with new compliance regulations, including implementing affirmative action plans for federal contracting. They also advise and prepare handbooks and policies to comply with everchanging laws, government regulation, health and safety protocols, and multi-state regulations. Jeff litigates and guides employers on issues including non-compete covenants, misappropriation of trade secrets, EEOC complaints, and charges of discrimination or wrongful termination. Jeff also advises clients on union issues, unfair labor practices, and secondary boycott disputes. Jeff and Saxton & Stump’s team collaborate to counsel clients on real estate issues pertaining to mortgages, title, easements, real estate transactions, condominium and HOA matters, condemnation and eminent domain, landlord-tenant matters, subdivisions, zoning, deed preparation, and other issues that arise in land development and ownership of real property.

Prior to joining Saxton & Stump, Jeff founded Bright Law Firm PLLC, a boutique firm in Lancaster, PA focused exclusively on the construction industry.

Relevant Experience

Construction Projects

Advised and counseled design-builder on design-consultant subcontract terms, conditions, and negotiations for construction of $90M+ downtown 20-story mixed-use high rise, including 140+ apartments, and indoor/outdoor amenities

Prepared front end contract documents, including prime contract, general conditions, and supplemental conditions, for $70M+ construction of county courthouse, and advised contracting entity on bidding, awarding, and sole-source procurement

Advised and counseled contractor on $16M+ mutual termination for convenience on deduct to $66M project and negotiated close out on subcontractor packages

Advised and guided subcontractors and design professionals through growth into emerging markets of federal construction contracts, including drafting of Affirmative Action Plans, EEOC policies, and regulatory compliance

Drafted standard term contracts and subcontract agreements for regional contractors and subcontractors, including stipulated sum contracts, cost plus fee with GMP contracts, master contract agreements, and nested contracts for various delivery methods of design-bid-build; design-build; and construction manager

Timely advised and counseled contractors, subcontractors, and owners on negotiating terms and conditions on hundreds of construction contracts

Advised and counseled construction companies on licensing and compliance for expanding business and integrating related fields of design, engineering, architecture, and material supply chains, including multi-state licensing issues

Litigation and Disputes

Represented construction manager at risk in successful negotiation and settlement of combined $2M+ delay claims arising from design error on large mixed-use public project, involving complicated time impact claims from precast concrete fabricator, redesign costs, extended general conditions, and indirect unabsorbed home office costs

Advised and counseled contractor on negotiated termination of trade contractor on $3M+ scope for large senior living facility project

Represented prime contractor on $450K+ disruption and lost productivity claim against Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PSSHE)

Represented design-builder in partial negotiated settlement, and subsequent arbitration and litigation of $2.5M dispute against owner and design professional arising from exterior envelope, interior framing, and allegations of nonconforming work

Represented concrete subcontractor in obtaining successful arbitration award defeating pay-if-paid clause to recover retainage on project where prime contractor was not paid by owner

Represented HVAC damper, actuator, and airflow control subcontractor in successful full recovery of bond claim on public project

Represented framing and drywall subcontractor in reaching efficient settlement on $450K+ claim arising from six-story multifamily and luxury apartment project in Washington, D.C.

Obtained successful defense verdict in favor of site contractor on bench trial of alleged negligence arising from broken sewer laterals located underneath commercial parking lot

Secured $155K settlement in representation of homeowner against custom builder in defective construction lawsuit

Secured $150K+ negotiated recovery on behalf of electrical contractor arising from a change order dispute, after filing dispositive motions on public project litigated in the PA Board of Claims

Negotiated and secured $270K recovery on behalf of site contractor on change order dispute arising from unsuitable soils

Litigated and reached efficient early settlement in dispute arising from sinkhole that resulted in demolition of downtown duplex building

Obtained successful defense bench trial verdict in favor of prime contractor against subcontractor, where no additional compensation was awarded for claimed $181K change order for blasting on public sewer project

Represented general contractor in mechanics’ lien claim for $8M+ against portion of shopping mall and achieved successful recovery of payment

Represented prime contractor and achieved successful dismissal of public entities’ counterclaim under Steel Products Procurement Act in state court

Negotiated and secured $300K+ entry of mechanics’ lien judgment and recovery of payment on behalf of custom home builder against owner

Secured $150K+ negotiated recovery on payment bond claim by site contractor for payment on disputed public project, where prime contractor had argued that paving work was deficient

Filed complex mechanics’ lien and obtained successful negotiated recovery of payment for site work on strip mall shopping center

Represented subcontractor and achieved successful dismissal of insurer’s declaratory judgment action in federal court arising from water intrusion claim

Defended contractor in $250K+ prevailing wage dispute with Department of Labor arising under the Davis-Bacon Act, and related defense of payment bond claims and litigation.

Litigated indemnity and additional insured coverage claims on a complex, multi-party, seven-figure dispute arising from building collapse

Litigated three-week bench trial to verdict of construction dispute in excess of $1M arising from new construction of downtown multi-story commercial property

EDUCATION

Thomas Jefferson School of Law, J.D. summa cum laude, 2009

  • Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review

Franklin and Marshall College, B.A., 2004

BAR ADMISSIONS

Pennsylvania

Maryland

California

COURT ADMISSIONS

United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

United States District Court for the District of Maryland

MEMBERSHIPS

Association of Builders and Contractors (ABC) – Keystone Chapter, Board of Directors

Associated Pennsylvania Constructors, Risk Allocation Committee Member

Building Industry Association of Lancaster County

Lancaster Building Industry Foundation, Chair

Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC), Central Pennsylvania Chapter

Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC), National Association

American Bar Association, Forum on Construction Law

ABC Central PA Chapter, Past Board Member

York City Little League, Past Board Member

American Subcontractors Association (ASA) of Baltimore

Speaking Engagements

“Recognizing Time Impacts and Claims Avoidance,” Associated Pennsylvania Constructors, November 18, 2021

“Best Practices for Risk Allocation of Structural Integrity,” ABC Keystone, October 14, 2021

“Best Practices for Handling Union Activity,” Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC), April 23, 2021

“Bankruptcy and Cash Flow in the Construction Industry,” Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) Central PA Chapter, February 23, 2021

“The Election and Union Activity and Best Practices for Handling Union Activity on Project Sites,” ABC Keystone Contractor Peer Group, February 3, 2021

“Construction Contracts,” Working Builders Safety Committee (WBSC) Leadership Training, February 7, 2020

“Employee and Contractor Compliance Concerns and Best Practices: Don’t Trip into the Misclassification Pit,” ABC Keystone, December 11, 2019

“Negotiating Construction Contracts (and Subcontracts) and Navigating the Claims Process,” ABC Keystone, February 26, 2019

“Between the Lines: A Legal Seminar on the Do’s and Don’ts of Talking Politics and Unions in the Workplace,” ABC Keystone, ABC PA Free Enterprise Day in Harrisburg, April 8, 2019

“Superintendent Training Program (STP) – Contract Documents,” ABC Keystone, Winter 2018, Winter 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021

“Who Are You? Contractor Identification and Special Rules for Residential Work,” Inter-County Contractors Association, April 23, 2016

“Additional Bells & Whistles: Moneys at Stake in Construction Litigation,” Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) Central PA Chapter, March 29, 2016

Publications

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Lancaster, PA 17601
Phone: (717) 556-1000
Fax: (717) 441-3810

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Harrisburg, PA 17112
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