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A Valid Independent Contractor Agreement Does not Necessarily Exempt Employers From Wage Claims

July 10, 2013 Construction Industry Legal Blog

In the face of wage claims under section 448.110, Florida Statutes, the existence of an independent contractor agreement not always dispositive in classifying an individual as an independent contractor or an employee for the purpose of a wage dispute. Courts consider a number of factors when deciding whether an individual qualifies as either an employee or independent contractor under section 448.110, and the existence of an independent contractor agreement is not dispositive, nor given much weight, in this decision.

Top 5 Construction Mediation Tips and Techniques: Tip #5 – Draft your Settlement Documents in Advance of the Construction Mediation.

June 28, 2013 Construction Industry Legal Blog

The fifth installment in a five part series entitled “Top 5 Construction Mediation Tips and Techniques.” The Blog posts from this series are intended to be cumulative and should be reviewed as a whole in order to fully receive the message of the author. My fifth and final construction mediation tip is to draft your settlement documents in advance of the construction mediation so that you are not racking your brain trying to compose key language for a binding legal document late at night after trudging through a long day of hard-nosed negotiations.

Top 5 Construction Mediation Tips and Techniques: Tip #4 – Take your Construction Mediator Selection, Pre-Mediation Conference, Mediation Statement and Mediation Presentation Seriously.

June 27, 2013 Construction Industry Legal Blog

Please allow this Blog post to serve as the fourth installment in a five part series entitled “Top 5 Construction Mediation Tips and Techniques.” The Blog posts from this series are intended to be cumulative and should be reviewed as a whole in order to fully receive the message of the author. This post will focus on the importance of participation in the pre-mediation process.

Top 5 Construction Mediation Tips and Techniques: Tip #3 – If There are Reasons Why your Case may not Settle at a Construction Mediation, Understand them in Advance.

June 26, 2013 Construction Industry Legal Blog

The third installment in a five part series entitled “Top 5 Construction Mediation Tips and Techniques.” The Blog posts from this series are intended to be cumulative and should be reviewed as a whole in order to fully receive the message of the author. This post will focus on the importance of understanding barriers to settlement and overcoming those barriers.

Florida Statute 558.0035: Limiting Design Professional Negligence

June 25, 2013 Construction Industry Legal Blog

Starting July 1, 2013, a new Florida Statute will allow businesses to limit, by contract, their employee’s liability for professional negligence claims. Senate Bill 286 and Florida Statute Section 558.0035. The new statute applies to business entities architects, interior designers, landscape architects, engineers, surveyors, and geologists. The business entities that will be able to utilize the provisions of the statute include corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, limited partnerships, proprietorships, firms, enterprises, franchises, associations, trusts, and self-employed individuals, whether fictitiously named or not, doing business in the State of Florida.

Top 5 Construction Mediation Tips and Techniques: Tip #2 – Know Your Case Well. Know Their Case Better.

June 25, 2013 Construction Industry Legal Blog

The second installment in a five part series entitled “Top 5 Construction Mediation Tips and Techniques.” The Blog posts from this series are intended to be cumulative and should be reviewed as a whole in order to fully receive the message of the author. This post will focus on the importance of knowing your case and that of your adversaries.

Top 5 Construction Mediation Tips and Techniques: Tip #1 – Ensure You and Your Client Fully Understand What Mediation is and What its Benefits and Purposes are.

June 24, 2013 Construction Industry Legal Blog

Any significant piece of construction litigation will at some point be mediated in advance of trial. Florida Statute 44.102 provides for a court-ordered mediation and sets forth the main reasons why a construction mediation case should be mediated, both from the party’s perspective and the court’s perspective. Namely, mediation offers an opportunity for a third party neutral to encourage and facilitate the resolution of the dispute amongst the parties. The parties in large construction defect or contract litigation cases often become so embroiled in the daily minutia of winning small discovery or motion practice battles that the opportunity to share a complete overview of their triable case with an independent third party construction mediator and all of the parties involved in the matter will serve as a chance to refocus the case on the major issues and monetize those issues to refined damage calculations in preparation for trial.

Tree Removal Laws in Jacksonville, Florida

April 5, 2013 Construction Industry Legal Blog

By: Austin B. Calhoun J.D. 2013

In Jacksonville, Florida, do you have the right to cut down trees on your own property at will? You might be surprised to learn the answer is “no.” Having recognized the vital role trees play in our ecosystem, Jacksonville, Florida has enacted tree removal laws to protect against the over-destruction of trees. In sum, these laws require a permit to remove “protected” trees, require mitigation for removed trees, and empower the city to enforce civil fines and criminal punishment for violation.

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