It seems to be Miller Act time here at Construction Law Musings, not to mention in the Federal District Courts here in Virginia. Last week I discussed what sort of work can form the basis for a Miller Act claim. This week I am discussing the effect of a mandatory mediation contract clause on the same type of claim. I have discussed both the benefits and the possible negative consequences of the inclusion of such a clause in your construction contract.
The recent case out of the Norfolk, Virginia Federal District Court recently explored the related question of whether such a clause can be enforced in the context of a Miller Act claim. In United States of America, for the use of Precision Air Conditioning of Brevard Inc. v. Cincinnati Insurance Company, the Court was confronted with a possible conflict between the legal requirement that any waiver of the right to pursue a Miller Act claim must be explicitly waived in writing and the clear contractual language between the general contractor and the plaintiff stating that mediation was a condition precedent to suit.