For Industry Professionals, Managers, Trades & Suppliers
17000 St. Clair Avenue . Cleveland, Ohio 44110-2535
Tel.: (216) 531-5310 . Fax: (888) 833-5860 . E-Mail:
In Florida . 6500 Midnight Pass Rd. #105 . Sarasota, FL 34242 . (941) 349-2061.

Vol. 2006-12-b Special Issue December, 2006

Back and Forth

Year-end predictions require careful recognition of significant business trends, tempered with the human frailty of ignoring all signs, with the hope for the better days ahead.

Construction costs continued to escalate, with 2006 having recorded among the largest increases in several years. Material costs also continue to escalate, making estimates for future work even more risky.

Skilled, experienced labor remains a constant concern, with notable regional shortages of experienced labor necessary to perform annual services and to fulfill private and public work contracts.

Court and jury decisions continue to remain reasonably predictable and consistent with fair awards to compensate real, proven damages, while rejecting and even denying relief to less well- supported claims. Court decisions have continued to summarily reject flawed, delayed or improperly founded claims for relief, especially in public work cases. Private claims for relief still require careful preservation of facts and evidence necessary to support claims and to overcome defense motions for summary judgment or dismissal. Lawsuits still require a great deal of dedicated time, money and emotion in order to survive, much less prevail.

New laws and regulations continue to flourish and burden small and medium businesses. It came as little comfort
then, when, only recently, the U.S. government took a major step toward reducing the regulatory burden on small businesses by creating a searchable internet website that includes information on how to comply with the 192,000 federal regulations on the books!

Small businesses may now go online at: and search by keywords, industry or business topics like workplace safety. The site also includes links to compliance guides at each agency and the officials who can help small businesses with their questions. The SBA, which manages the site, plans to add state and local regulatory compliance information, and eventually enable users to customize the site to fit their particular business.

May 2007 result in better judgments and a safer year for all.

AUTHOR / EDITOR: J. NORMAN STARK is an Attorney-at-Law, a Registered Architect, (AIA, NCARB) Registered Landscape Architect, Interior Designer, Planner and Senior Appraiser (ASA), admitted to practice law before the Bar of Ohio, the US District Courts, Ohio and Illinois (Central Dist.), the US Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. He is a Mediator, Arbitrator and Litigator with experience in Business, Construction Law, and Public Works, and with additional experience in Real Estate, Construction Attorney (Legal Project and Crisis Management), and as an Expert Witness (Forensic Architect). His office is in Cleveland, Ohio.

home | consulting | public speaking | law letters | selected publications | background | contact