The firm is committed to the representation of owner, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, design professionals, and any others involved with litigation, alternative dispute resolution, contracts, and negotiations.  We offer competent and aggressive legal representation on a variety of construction related matters including:

Construction liens
Abandonment
Bonds
Bids / Change Orders
Non-payment
Mediation


Construction litigation
Breach of Contract
Delay Claims
Defective Workmanship
Contract disputes   
Arbitration


The construction industry and the lien laws, court rulings, and legislative changes that shape it are constantly evolving.  The advice and knowledge of a trained and experienced attorney can help to simplify the issues and avoid many of the common pitfalls.

Things to Consider When Drafting or Signing a Construction Contract

The Scope of the Work to be Performed

Lawsuits often occur because the parties fail to clearly and specifically describe the work to be performed by the contractor.  You should try to refer to any plans and specifications as often as possible to help clarify areas of ambiguity.  Also, make sure that the scope of work carefully tracks and includes any language used in bid submissions.

Payment

The method for submitting invoices, the form of invoices, and the time for payment should all be clearly defined in the contract.  Many contracts contain a pay when paid clause which attempts to shift the risk of non payment from the contractor to sub contractors.  Pay when paid clauses receive serious scrutiny from Florida courts and must be carefully crafted to be enforced.  

Notices

Notice clauses are often used in construction contracts to provide a vehicle for one party to alert the other party to conduct or omissions which constitute a breach of the contractís terms.  Notice provisions should contain the method of providing notice, the time period during which notice must be given, and the place where such notice must be delivered.  As with all contract matters, the preferred method of giving notice is by writing.

Termination

Termination of services may be necessary for a variety of different reasons, but the most common include failure to pay subcontractors or material men, defective workmanship, failure to achieve deadlines, and convenience.  Termination clauses should work in conjunction with Notice clauses so that each party is clearly aware of the contractís methods of enforcement.

Attorneys Fees and Jurisdiction

Itís always a good idea to include a provision awarding attorneys fees to the prevailing party in any legal disputes that might arise from the contract.  Floridaís Lien law does allow for the recovery of attorneys fees in certain situations, however the addition of an attorneys fee provision in the contract provides additional protection.  A jurisdictional clause naming the county where the project is located as the site for any legal disputes can help ensure cost effective and convenient litigation.
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Email:   jtzortman@attorneyzortman.com
 Law Offices of Jayson Zortman
Orlando Florida Region
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 AttorneyZortman.com