With one of the largest, dedicated teams of Board Certified Construction Attorneys (Board Certified by the Florida Bar) in Florida, Becker & Poliakoff’s Construction Law Practice Group is well known for its knowledge of the Construction industry and experience effectively protecting the interests of its clients. The Firm has handled numerous and varied construction-related cases, many of which have involved extremely complex issues with a multitude of defendants and scores of construction defects. Our construction attorneys represent clients in both transactions and disputes ranging from single and multi family dwellings to large commercial buildings, planned unit developments, retail, industrial and governmental projects.
Chambers USA 2010, a global law firm ranking guide, describes the Construction practice, “the team has an undisputed reputation for residential construction matters and is increasingly involved in commercial cases… regularly representing owners, developers, sureties and contractors, the group is particularly knowledgeable on condominium projects”.
Areas of Specialized Knowledge
The Firm prides itself on careful, upfront analysis of complicated delay claims in order to identify a client’s potential exposure. Becker & Poliakoff‘s Construction Law Practice Group has vast experience in the representation of property owners, developers, homeowners, contractors and subcontractors, design professionals, materials manufacturers in connection with construction of high rise and other residential developments, condominium conversions of older rental property, commercial property, mixed use projects and governmental buildings focused in these areas:
- Construction defects and deficiencies relating to residential and commercial construction
- Roofing defects, water intrusion, structural life safety issues;
- Construction Delays;
- Hurricane Recovery & Rebuilding;
- Insurance Coverage Disputes – negotiations and resolution of insurance claims relating to rebuilding;
- Mold and Mildew claims;
- Construction Contracts and related documents including loan documentation
The Firm has been a leader in Construction law in Florida as evidenced by serving as counsel of record in many of the leading appellate cases involving construction law including, but not limited to, the following:
Moransais v. Heathman, 749 So.2d 973 (Fla. Supreme Court): This Florida Supreme Court overturned it’s previously held view of the Economic Loss Doctrine providing that any aggrieved party may recover damages from a design professional based on negligence, without the economic loss rule acting as a bar to such claims. This historic case reversed a trend in the courts that prohibited those not in privity with homeowners, including condominium associations, from suing design professionals for damages resulting from their negligent conduct.
Edward J. Seibert, A.I.A., Architect & Planner, P.A. v. Bayport Beach & Tennis Club Association, Inc., 573 So.2d 889, 892 (Fla. 2d DCA): The Court held that design professionals that acquire approval before construction are considered to have complied with the applicable standard of care. However, this approval may be successfully challenged if it can be demonstrated that the approval was “clearly erroneous.” This case’s significance is that design professionals are held liable for damages when their building plans contain details that fail to comply with the applicable building code.
Grossman Holdings Ltd. v. Hourihan, 414 So.2d 1037 : When construction or design defects in real property cannot be corrected, or when the cost of remedying such defects would be greater than the value of the property, the measure of damages is the “diminution of the value of the property.” This case is important because it provided for a measure of damages that a homeowner could recover for defective construction.
Munder v. Circle One Condominium, Inc., 596 So.2d 144 (Fla. 4th DCA): In this critical case, the Court found no basis for piercing the corporate veil where developer made a conscious business decision not to renew a fire insurance policy on the condominium clubhouse as opposed to neglecting to pay the premium. This case confirmed the duty of a condominium developer to ensure that appropriate insurance coverage would be acquired for condominium associations.
Procurement of Goods, Services, Concessions By Governments
Several attorneys in our Firm have substantial experience in all aspects of drafting, negotiating, lobbying, and litigating procurement matters, including invitations for bids, requests for proposals, design-build contracts, change orders, bid disputes and payment and performance bond claims. Governmental entities, at all levels, purchase hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of goods and services from outside vendors. Everything from printing services, bus benches, garbage hauling, water-sewer expansions, concessions, to construction projects and much more are procured by government agencies. Becoming a government vendor can be very profitable for private companies who understand the complexities and nuances of governmental contracting.
Government procurement is a highly specialized area of the law for several reasons: each public body has a unique set of rules and regulations governing their procurement process which must be followed precisely; and often require extraordinary documentation in very short timeframes to submit, petition or protest an award. Thus, our experience in government procurement and insider’s knowledge of the governmental process is vital for our clients who do business with governments and rely on our knowledge, contacts, responsiveness and determination to get the job done. Our attorneys have extraordinary insights into the Request for Letter of Interest (RLI) and Request for Proposal (RFP) processes used by most state, local and quasi governmental entities in Florida. Our attorneys have provided strategic and political advice, on call lobbying, and helped draft responses for literally hundreds of winning concessions, and contracts bids. We also have a successful record throughout Florida in helping clients win multi-million dollar concessions and contracts for food, retail, duty free, billboards, bus benches, for hire transportation, shuttle services, luggage wrapping, luggage carts, currency exchange, phone cards, hotels, construction and engineering services, etc.
In addition to Board Certification by several attorneys, our Construction Law Practice Group members are well known in their field. They are frequent lecturers to industry groups and provide continuing education to contractors and property managers. They have authored numerous articles on varied topics pertaining to construction law in trade and mainstream media. They actively participate in the construction industry’s professional and trade associations including ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, Owners and Lenders Division, Florida Bar Real Property Section, Women In Construction, Association of General Contractors, Construction Financial Management Association and others. Most of the Construction attorneys practice exclusively in this highly specialized area of the law. The Firm regularly sponsors seminars for its clients and others to help educate them about claims avoidance techniques and new developments in the law.