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Acceleration of Debt in Mortgage Foreclosures: Beware of the Statute of Limitations

December 22, 2014 Construction Industry Legal Blog

By: James O. Birr, III

Mortgage foreclosures in Florida took an interesting twist in December 2014, due to the recent decision in Deutsche Bank Trust Company, et al. v. Beauvais, et al. This decision effects the time period for bringing foreclosure claims in the event of acceleration and a prior dismissal of a foreclosure lawsuit.

Unlicensed Contracting in Florida: Beware of Arbitrating This Issue

November 25, 2014 Construction Industry Legal Blog

By: James O. Birr, III

The Florida Statutes provide for licensing of certain contractors performing work in this state. If a contractor does not have the requisite licensing, that contractor will not be able to enforce its contract or lien rights. See Florida Statute Section 489.128. This is a dagger to any person seeking to enforce such an illegal contact. While on its face, this statute appears clear, when a party is in arbitration, such an illegal contact may still be enforceable. The Village at Dolphin Commerce Center, LLC, vs. Construction Service Solutions, LLC.

Construction Industry Licensing Board Part II – Proper Methods for Certified General Contractor to Obtain Roofing Experience

November 20, 2014 Construction Industry Legal Blog

Many Florida contractors and license holders have a general understanding of the Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board (“CILB”), but like many quasi-judicial bodies, it can remain a mystery to those who practice and appear in front of the CILB. For those who chose to appear pro se in front of […]

Qualifying Agent for Licensed Contractors and the Lake Eola Builders Exception

October 21, 2014 Construction Industry Legal Blog

By Austin B Calhoun

Construction is a risky business. One risk is the danger to the public from activities of incompetent contractors. The Florida Legislature has addressed this risk. Chapter 489, Florida Statutes, regulates construction “contracting,” as defined in Section 489.105(6). To protect the public, a business organization that wishes to engage in contracting must be “licensed.” To be licensed, a business organization must have a “qualifying agent” in accordance with Chapter 489 concerning the scope of the work to be performed under the contract. Fla. Stat. 489.128(1)(a) (2014). This requirement raises questions: Who is a qualifying agent? How does a company register a qualifying agent in accordance with Chapter 489? When does a company need to register a qualifying agent? This blog answers these three questions and addresses the federal Lake Eola Builders case that tries to craft an exception to the strict rules of Chapter 489.

Venue Selection Clauses in Construction Contracts: Contractors and Subcontractors Beware

October 20, 2014 Construction Industry Legal Blog

By: James O. Birr, III

Most well written construction contracts, or any contract for that matter, have provisions governing venue for litigation of disputes arising out of or related to the contract. These types of provisions are commonly referred to as venue selection clauses. Depending on how the venue clause is worded, a court may require the parties to litigate their claims in a venue that does not jibe with what the parties intended. In the context of construction defect cases, and notwithstanding whether the venue clause is mandatory, parties may still be required to litigate in a forum other than the one they selected. Love’s Window & Door Installation, Inc. v. Acousti Engineering Company.

General Contractors: Make Sure you Have a Subcontractor Exception to Your Work Exclusion in Your CGL Policy

August 18, 2014 Construction Industry Legal Blog

By Austin B Calhoun

Do you know what your CGL insurance policy covers? General contractors may expect that their CGL policy covers the cost to repair defective work, or other components of the project that were damaged by defective work. This may be one of the primary reasons a contractor purchases CGL insurance. However, this coverage may not exist. It depends on the language of the policy and endorsements. Of particular importance is the “your work” exclusion and the “subcontractor exception,” which were the subject of a recent Florida case. In J.B.D. Construction, Inc. v. Mid-Continent Casualty Company, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13358 (11th Cir. July 11, 2014), the court denied coverage based on the “your work” exclusion. This blog looks first at the concept of “property damage” coverage and then examines how the holding of J.B.D. Construction impacts the breadth of property excluded from “property damage” coverage by the “your work” exclusion. Lastly, we examine how elimination of the “subcontractor exception” renders your insurance nearly useless in construction defect cases.

Good News for Design-Build Contractors: Design-Build Contracts do not Have to Identify a Licensed Architect

July 15, 2014 Construction Industry Legal Blog

In Florida, design-build contracts do not need to identify a licensed architect . This rule was clarified in the recent case of first impression, Diaz & Russell Corporation, et al. v. Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation, 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 8113, No. 3D13-1764 (Fla. 3d DCA May 28, 2014). An exception in Section 481.229(3), Florida Statutes, allows contractors to “negotiate” design-build contracts, so long as the negotiating contractor is neither offering to render, nor actually rendering, the architectural services of the project.

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