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Avoiding Problems on Your Next Construction Project

January 29, 2014 Construction Industry Legal Blog

If you are planning to hire a contractor in Florida to perform construction work, you must first do your homework. Many times, owners will hire a contractor without confirming the contractor is properly licensed and without knowing who is actually performing the work. Below are a few key issues to understand and consider before hiring anyone to perform construction work for you.

Enforceability of Contingent Payment Provisions in Construction Contracts

January 7, 2014 Construction Industry Legal Blog

Contingent payment provisions, often referred to as “pay if paid” or “pay when paid” provisions, are commonplace in subcontracts and lower tiered contracts. An often overlooked question that should be asked is, “Are they enforceable?” As is true with most questions in the law, the answer is, “It depends.” This Blog will focus on the enforceability of contingent payment provisions.

Terminating a Notice of Commencement in Florida: Owner and Lienor Beware

December 27, 2013 Construction Industry Legal Blog

The Florida Construction Lien Law is an intricate machine full of requirements and traps for the unwary. The notice of termination of notice of commencement (Notice of Termination) is no exception. For the construction project’s owner, the Notice of Termination is a sworn document from the owner. For the lienor, the Notice of Termination is a sign that something is happening on the project and, therefore, the lienor must act quickly to preserve the priority of its lien for amounts owed.

Florida Construction Liens: Fraud or Just a Good Faith Dispute

October 30, 2013 Construction Industry Legal Blog

Parties often cry “fraud” when defending against a construction lien recorded on their real property. However, the fraudulent lien card is sometimes overplayed and oftentimes lacks merit, considering the requisite proof to establish a fraudulent lien. The consequences of a fraudulent lien are significant – it is a complete defense to lien enforcement and can result in recovery of punitive damages and compensatory damages against the lienor. Sharrard v. Ligon, 892 So. 2d 1092 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2004). It can also result in the recovery of attorneys’ fees and costs against the lienor. Delta Painting, Inc. v. Baumann, 710 So. 2d 663 (Fla. 3rd DCA 1998). § 713.31, Fla. Stat. The filing of a fraudulent lien is also a third-degree felony. § 713.31(3), Fla. Stat.

What do Banks Look at When Evaluating Creditworthiness of Contractors?

October 2, 2013 Construction Industry Legal Blog

As credit begins to loosen, cash begins to flow and the building community starts to recover, we are in a unique position to advise both contractors and banks as to legal issues pertaining to loan origination due to our practice focuses in banking and construction. Contractors often ask us to reveal the secrets of how to be viewed as the best candidate for a loan or credit to further expand their business.

Revitalizing Downtown Jacksonville: Fifty Years in the Making

September 24, 2013 Construction Industry Legal Blog, Governmental Entities Industry Legal Blog, Professional Services Industry Legal Blog

  The revitalization of Downtown Jacksonville has been at the top of the business, civic, and political agenda for the last fifty years, but with the recent creation of the Downtown Investment Authority (DIA) Board, the effort to revitalize Jacksonville’s Downtown may finally be gaining momentum.  To appreciate why the […]

Indemnity Provisions in Construction Contracts

September 24, 2013 Construction Industry Legal Blog

Many times the party with the most leverage in contract negotiations forces the “weaker” party to hold it harmless or indemnify it for anything that goes wrong in connection with the contract, even problems caused by the “stronger” party’s own negligence. Indemnity is a risk shifting mechanism and essentially comes in two forms: common law and contractual. This article focuses on contractual indemnity provisions in construction contacts.

Top 10 Grounds for Construction Bid Protests in Florida

August 1, 2013 Construction Industry Legal Blog

For construction entities participating in the competitive bidding process, it is very important to be able to timely issue spot impermissible arbitrary contract awards or improper solicitations based on flawed specifications that merit immediate protest. The fundamental analysis can be boiled down to simple questions, such as:

• Were the bid specifications reasonably specific?
• Was the winner responsive and responsible?
• Was there fraud or misconduct in the bidding process?
• Has the winning bidder been given an unfair economic advantage that merits reconsideration?
• Does the action prevent the public entity from making an equal comparison of responses to the bidding solicitation?
• Has there been substantial compliance with the bidding procedures?
• Did the agency act arbitrary?

Beyond those questions, this Blog post seeks to identify the Top 10 most common grounds in which Florida procedural or substantive bid protests are based upon.

Implied Warranties in Florida: Essential Services

July 23, 2013 Construction Industry Legal Blog

On July 11, 2013, the Florida Supreme Court adopted the “essential services” test in determining whether the implied warranty of fitness and merchantability applies to improvements such as infrastructure, drainage systems, retention ponds, and underground pipes. Maronda Homes, Inc. of Florida v. Lakeview Reserve Homeowners Association, Inc., 38 Fla. L. Weekly S 573. In deciding the case, the Florida Supreme Court resolved a split of authority between two Florida appellate courts, and addressed a recently-adopted Florida statute dealing with such improvements. Compare Port Sewall Harbor & Tennis Club Owners Association, Inc. v. First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Martin County, 463 So. 2d 530 (Fla. 4th DCA 1985) with Lakeview Reserve Homeowners v. Maronda Homes, Inc., 48 So. 3d 902 (Fla. 5th DCA 2010); § 553.835, Fla. Stat. While the Court’s ruling is subject to rehearing motion (and, therefore, not yet final), it is an important holding that could significantly affect Florida’s construction and design industry.

Florida-Friendly Landscaping Law

July 18, 2013 Community Association Industry Legal Blog, Construction Industry Legal Blog

In 2009, the Florida Legislature changed an existing law that was aimed to encourage “Florida-Friendly” landscaping in communities governed by homeowner associations. Under the State Water Resource Plan each water management district is required to design and implement an incentive program to encourage all local governments to adopt new ordinances requiring Florida-Friendly landscaping.

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