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Hurricane Ida Updates:

I enjoy working with clients to help them achieve their objectives, from obtaining the requisite licenses to assisting them with harnessing new technologies. Understanding the client’s interests and formulating a plan to achieve their objectives is a critical part of our relationship.

Susan Eccles has a diverse practice centered on construction, state and federal procurement/government contracts, and commercial litigation. She advises owners, contractors, sureties, architects, engineers, and carriers on a wide array of construction issues ranging from regulatory compliance and licensing concerns to construction defect, termination, and subrogation actions. Susan assists her clients with helping them obtain the requisite Louisiana licenses and approvals prior to bidding or breaking ground on a project, identifying and avoiding potential legal pitfalls, guiding them through every step of a construction project, and ensuring proper due diligence from every angle. When a client’s construction project doesn’t go as planned, Susan is on point to help resolve performance disputes and contract claims to keep projects moving forward. Susan has worked on and successfully resolved delay claims, unforeseen site conditions disputes, unauthorized material substitution claims, construction defect claims, bond tenders, project terminations, subrogation matters, and engineering, surveying, and warranty claims. Susan frequently counsels clients on the implementation of new technologies in reducing costs, improving efficiency, and increasing safety on construction projects as well as utilizing drones in defending/prosecuting claims Working with government contractors, Susan is a trusted resource to provide guidance on Federal Acquisition Regulation requirements, the DFAR, teaming agreements, subcontract flow down provisions, contract modifications, novation requirements, name change procedures, releases, claims submissions, and mandatory disclosures. Susan works with clients that provide mission management, mission support, and intelligence analysis and offers a unique perspective as counsel from outside of the Beltway.

In addition to federal procurement, Susan provides guidance on state and local procurements, including CMAR (construction management at risk), Louisiana Public Works Act, and Louisiana Public Bid Law. Such guidance includes advising clients prior to issuing requests for proposal, guiding clients through legislative approval of CMAR applications, and working with proposers on protesting awards.

In addition to her construction and procurement background, Susan is experienced in representing professionals including brokers, agents, architects, and engineers on professional liability claims as well representing clients in general commercial litigation matters.

Presentations

  • 2021 Commercial UAV Expo Construction Program
  • 2021 Commercial UAV Construction Roundtable
  • Louisiana Licensing Tips for Out-of-State Contractors in the Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
  • DFARS Part 228
  • Creative Ways to Gain Leverage When You Are Not Getting Paid
  • Expanding Opportunities for Drones on Construction Projects, Iberoamerican Drone Conference IDC 2020
  • Coronavirus Impacts on Construction Projects
  • Women in Drones, Commercial UAV Expo
  • Ethics, National Business Institute
  • Louisiana Procurement Policies, National Business Institute
  • Interplay Between Contractor, Surety, and the Government on Federal Construction Projects, American Bar Association, Federal Procurement Institute
  • Subcontractor Concerns on a Federal Project, American Bar Association, Federal Procurement Institute
  • Louisiana Insurance Bad Faith Claims, National Business Institute

Education

  • Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, J.D., 2005
  • Loyola University, B.A., 2002

Bar Admissions

  • Louisiana
  • Texas

Court Admissions

  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States Court of Federal Claims

Acknowledgements

  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating
  • Louisiana Rising Stars® (by Thomson Reuters) Construction, 2014–2021

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

  • American Bar Association, Forum on the Construction Industry, Member; Public Contract Law Section, Council Member and Construction Committee Co-Chair; TIPS, Surety and Fidelity Law Committee, Member; Forum on Air and Space Law, Member
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Louisiana State Bar Association
  • Texas Bar Association
  • Baton Rouge Bar Association
  • Women in Drones
  • Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International
  • DRONERESPONDERS Public Safety Alliance
  • Represented Fortune 100 Contractor in establishing a Louisiana subsidiary and obtaining Louisiana construction licenses.
  • Advised clients regarding utilization of unmanned aircraft in the construction industry including on bidding, job scope, safety, and construction defect documentation.
  • Advised clients regarding construction contracts, subcontracts, and internal policies, procedures, and job site programs.
  • Secured defense ruling and dismissal in a breach of non-competition agreement dispute between commercial entities.
  • Represented defense contractors in novating book of federal military construction work.
  • Served as outside general counsel to federal defense contractor and provided guidance on mission support.
  • Prepared and prosecuted certified claims on behalf of contractor and sureties on federal projects.
  • Prosecuted subrogation claim on behalf of international insurer in connection with refinery explosion.
  • Defended sureties and insurance carriers on large loss claims relating to nonconforming work and delays on federal, state, and private projects, including actions alleging bad faith.
  • Advised insurance professionals regarding claims for failure to procure insurance coverage.
  • Defended and resolved bond claims made under payment, performance, commercial, and fidelity bonds.
  • Served as outside counsel for agencies of the State of Louisiana.
  • Advised clients regarding utilization of unmanned aircraft and assisted with efforts to expand industry in Louisiana.
  • Prosecuted and/or defended claims brought under the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act.
  • Advised employees and commercial enterprises regarding rights under non-competition and confidentiality agreements.