No less a tribunal than the U.S. Supreme Court will try to clarify construction-industry conflict about where lawsuits between primes and subs are tried. Lower courts have disagreed about what to do, but the prevailing industry wisdom is that it is best to try prime-sub disputes near the project location. Yet some primes insist subs sign "forum selection" clauses, which require trials in the prime's home state—and subs continue to cave in and sign them. Neither action speaks well for the state of risk-management in the construction industry. Despite the forum-selection clauses, many subs will sue locally for money they
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.