Commercial or business litigation can be defined as the “practice of law dealing with the legal problems arising from commercial and business relationships,” according to the Florida Bar. The construction industry is one area that sees a lot of these disputes, which can include everything from a breach of contract to a construction defect or a dispute between investors.
Construction law is a complex area involving numerous statutes and court rulings. Disputes can arise out of any number of situations, and while many can be resolved out of court, some require a strong litigation attorney to ensure a positive result.
Commercial Litigation Attorneys in Gainesville
No matter how small or large a particular project may be, a dispute or some other issue can come up at any time. One reason is the number of parties involved in a construction project – not only do you have the owner and contractor, you also have subcontractors (i.e. plumbing, electrical, etc.), any sub-subcontractors, material suppliers, engineers, architects, sureties, insurers, investors and more.
With all of these different individuals and organizations involved on one project, it can be easy to see how a dispute can arise.
Of course, these disputes can delay completion and cost thousands, if not millions, of dollars. It’s not uncommon for a project to sit idle for years as a defect or contract dispute drags on.
Common Types of Construction Disputes
A dispute in a construction project can take on many forms. Some of these issues can be resolved through negotiation, mediation or arbitration. However, some situations can become so complicated that commercial litigation is needed to provide a clear answer.
Some of the more common types of construction disputes include:
- Breach of contract (owner or contractor)
- Construction and design defects
- Construction delay
- Insurance coverage disputes
- Surety bond disputes and claims
- Licensing disputes
- Failure of payment by the owner to the contractor, or the contractor, to subcontractors
- Underestimating costs
- Failure to adhere to agreed upon plans
- Misrepresentations and omissions
- Investor and partnership disputes
- Construction site accidents
This of course barely scratches the surface of what can come up during a construction project, even for the simplest home additions and renovations. What may seem like a straightforward project may quickly turn into a nightmare.
One of the best ways to help avoid a construction dispute during a project is to ensure you have a comprehensive commercial construction contract. Commercial construction projects are often multi-party, multi-million dollar ventures. Our construction law experts are experienced in drafting commercial contracts to help ensure your project goes smoothly.
Settling a Construction Dispute
Perhaps you are a homeowner or condo association and are having problems with the contractor not completing important phases of the project within a reasonable amount of time. After the project is completed, you find several issues with the workmanship of the contractor or the subcontractors.
Or, perhaps you’re a contractor who hasn’t been paid for your hard work. You have employees, suppliers, subcontractors and personal bills to pay, and can’t afford to wait too long.
How these situations are handled depends on a variety of factors, but typically, a surety and insurance protects the owners. However, the process for pursuing compensation and a resolution is complicated and requires the assistance of an experienced commercial litigation attorney.
If you’re a contractor, you can file a claim with your surety for immediate payment and then put a lien on the property. Chapter 713 of Florida Statutes outlines the various requirements of filing a construction lien against a property owner. These requirements can be very confusing, and if done improperly, can backfire and result in a defamation lawsuit or counter-lien.
One other point to keep in mind is whether any statute of limitations applies to your case. Chapter 558 of Florida Statutes outlines steps owners must take when filing a claim for defective work.
Contact the Commercial Litigation Attorneys at Warner, Sechrest & Butts in Gainesville
Attorney Robert Butts and support staff at Warner, Sechrest & Butts, P.A., in Gainesville possess extensive experience representing owners, contractors, subcontractors, sureties and any party to a construction dispute.
Mr. Butts is unique among construction and commercial litigation lawyers in that he is both certified for construction law by the Florida Bar as well as a licensed contractor. Coupled with his extensive business law expertise, Robert Butts brings a unique skillset to find the best way to resolve a construction dispute, be it through mediation, arbitration or litigation.
Whether it’s fulfilling the requirements for filing a lien against an owner, or beginning the process of pursuing damages against a contractor, Robert Butts and associates work tirelessly to understand your situation and proceed accordingly.
Do not delay — some types of cases have a statute of limitations, so it’s vitally important you consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Contact commercial litigation attorney Robert Butts and associates at Warner, Sechrest & Butts, P.A. in Gainesville to discuss your case today.