There are many reasons why a contractor decides to seek the counsel of a Jacksonville construction attorney. An attorney can help you perfect a lien against an owner that refuses to pay, ensure that you’re compliant with Davis-Bacon Act wage requirements, and review your contracts to make sure you aren’t unknowingly signing away your rights. And that’s only the beginning. Construction law is complex, and there are virtually limitless uses for an experienced attorney that knows their way around not only the courtroom but also the project site.
In part one of this two-part series, the Jacksonville construction attorneys from Cotney Construction Law discussed why alternative dispute resolution saves you money and how OSHA defense can keep your project sites operable. Now, we will continue to discuss some common reasons why contractors seek legal counsel.
Contract Review Increases Transparency and Eliminates Bad Deals
Even the most seasoned contractors should have their contracts reviewed by an attorney before signing on the dotted line. Construction contracts are notoriously complex, and only an experienced attorney has the expertise to dig through the fine minutiae of your contract to unearth clauses that could cause your business irreparable harm.
When a dispute arises, you can almost always count on the contract to be the source of the problem. Breach of contract is a common occurrence in the construction industry because many contractors expect a fair deal. Unfortunately, their trust isn’t always rewarded, and many contractors are taken advantage of by wily owners with deceitful contracts. What once appeared to be a lucrative contract could later reveal itself to be your company’s undoing; after all, those tricky lien waiver clauses can be hidden in plain sight where you least expect them. If you want to ensure that you’re fully aware of the terms and conditions of your contract, a Jacksonville construction attorney can review your contact to help you avoid a bad deal.
Mechanics Liens Are More Complex Than They Appear
Every contractor is familiar with mechanics liens, but being familiar with what they do and how they work is vastly different from understanding the nuances of perfecting a lien. When an owner refuses to pay you for your hard work, an attorney can help you file a mechanics lien to obtain the compensation you deserve. Of course, you have to follow the proper procedures and meet strict deadlines to maintain your lien rights.
In Florida, there are no preliminary notice requirements for contractors. However, you must be able to furnish a list of subcontractors and suppliers no later than ten days after an owner requests a compendium. Mechanics liens are required to be filed within 90 days of the final provision of labor or materials. After you file a lien, it must be served to the owner within 15 days. It must then be enforced within one year unless the owner files a notice of contest of lien, in which case enforcement must take place within 60 days upon receival of notice. It’s a deceptively complex process that is best handled by an experienced professional.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.