Articles & Forms

11 Jul, 2019

2019 LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Part II – Tree Pruning, trimming, or removal on residential property

2019-07-11T20:09:10-05:00July 11th, 2019|Categories: Landscape|

The 2019 Florida legislature created a new statute, section 163.045, titled “Tree pruning, trimming, or removal on residential property.”  This new statute prohibits local governments from requiring a notice, application, approval, permit, fee, or mitigation for the pruning, trimming, or removal of a tree on residential property.  To have the protection of the statute, the owner must obtain documentation from an arborist certified by the International Society of Arboriculture or a Florida [...]

8 Jul, 2019

2019 LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Part I – Payment Bond Claimants – New Notice Requirements

2019-07-08T18:23:27-05:00July 8th, 2019|Categories: Bonds|

What You Need to Know The notice of nonpayment, which has been a prerequisite to a payment bond claim for a long time, must now be made under oath using a statutorily prescribed form. The Details Before Florida’s 2019 legislative session, subcontractors, sub-subcontractors, and material suppliers had to furnish a notice of non-payment as a condition to perfecting a payment bond claim.  These requirements appeared in § 255.05 (applicable to virtually all [...]

3 Mar, 2019

Subcontractor Loses Lawsuit for Payment Because it Failed to Furnish a Release

2019-07-08T18:08:15-05:00March 3rd, 2019|Categories: Releases|Tags: , |

What you need to know: Conditions precedent are used frequently in construction contracts. A “condition precedent” is something that must occur before performance by one party becomes due. For example, a contractor’s contract with a subcontractor may state, “Receipt of owner’s payment is a condition precedent to contractor’s obligation to pay subcontractor.” Courts will typically enforce conditions that are clear and unambiguous. In Team Land Development, Inc. [...]

2 Mar, 2019

Appellate Court Applies Significant Issues Test to Deny Both Owner’s and Contractor’s Claims for Attorney Fees

2019-03-03T17:46:47-05:00March 2nd, 2019|Categories: Construction Liens|Tags: |

What you need to know: Where a construction contract itemizes materials, installation, or other costs, a court may find the contract to be “divisible” such that one of the parties may have an enforceable lien for one or more of the items but be in breach as to other items. In lien enforcement actions, the party that prevails in the trial court on the “significant issues” will be entitled to recover [...]

1 Mar, 2019

Owner Relies on Forged Lien Releases, Proper Payments Defense to Defeat Subcontractor’s Lien

2019-03-03T17:26:08-05:00March 1st, 2019|Categories: Construction Liens|Tags: , |

What you need to know: A project owner may rely on a lien release in a subcontractor's name, even though the release was forged by the contractor and the subcontractor did not receive payment. If the owner complies with the requirements of the lien law, its liability for lien claims will not exceed the direct contract price. This is known as the “proper payments” defense. In Continental Concrete, Inc. v. Lakes [...]

20 Jan, 2019

Construction Releases Are Contracts

2019-02-16T11:11:00-05:00January 20th, 2019|Categories: Construction Contracts|Tags: |

In Spectrum Interiors, Inc. v. Exterior Walls, Inc., 2 So. 3d 1093 (Fla. 5th DCA 2009), Spectrum Interiors, Inc. (“Subcontractor”) was a subcontractor that subcontracted the stucco scope of work to the sub-subcontractor Exterior Walls, Inc. (“Sub-subcontractor”). Sub-subcontractor filed suit for non-payment. Subcontractor defended on a release that Sub-subcontractor had given. In the release, Sub-subcontractor represented that it: 1. had been paid in full through September 30, 2003; 2. did not [...]

9 Oct, 2018

Construction Liens are for Work Furnished in Accordance with the Direct Contract

2019-02-16T11:17:39-05:00October 9th, 2018|Categories: Construction Liens|Tags: |

If you are a contractor, Florida’s Construction Lien Law provides lien rights for “labor, services, materials, or other items required by, or furnished in accordance with, the direct contract . . . .” Fla. Stat., §713.05 (1997). The law defines a “direct contract” as one between the owner and any other person for improving real property. If you are a subcontractor, sub-subcontractor, materialman or laborer, the lien law provides lien rights [...]

9 Oct, 2018

Trial Tactics – Emphasizing Your Point

2019-02-16T11:23:54-05:00October 9th, 2018|Categories: Contractors, Going to Trial, Subcontractors|

When going to trial, a party would often prefer to present multiple witness at trial to testify to the same or similar facts and conclusions in support of the party’s position or against the adversary’s position. It drives the point home to the judge or jury. The impact might be even better when the testimony is provided by multiple experts. Despite the general rule that a party has the right to [...]

10 Aug, 2018

Florida Leaders in the New Economy

2019-02-16T06:30:20-05:00August 10th, 2018|Categories: Industry News|Tags: |

While last generation or two-generation old mindsets currently lead nationally to bring back coal, some leaders in Florida are committed to the global change toward sustainable practices. The latest news appears in Largo, Florida, where “the Largo City Commission voted to approve an organizational commitment to achieve 100 percent renewable, zero-emission energy by 2035. Largo will explore ways to reduce energy consumption and increase efficiencies through technology, building upgrades and retrofits.” [...]