Freedom of Contract Collides with Public Policy

American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice (TIPS) Committee News Spring 2016

Whitfield & Eddy Law attorneys John F. Fatino and Zachary J. Hermsen co-authored the ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice (TIPS) FSLC Committee Spring News article "Freedom of Contract Collides With Public Policy.

Contractors, sureties, and their lawyers know that things can get complicated when the federal government undertakes a large construction project. The government needs to find the right general contractor, the general contractor needs to find the right subcontractors, and all parties must cooperate to finish the job on time and on budget. In addition to the difficulties in coordinating these moving pieces, the legal system imposes its own complexities into this process. This article will discuss one of these complexities, the federal Miller Act and, specifically, the extent to which courts interpret the Miller Act as limiting contract agreements regarding future legal disputes.

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