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Attorney’s Fees and Construction Liens: The Effect of Pre-Foreclosure Settlement Offers

In Florida, F.S. §713.29 allows the prevailing party in a construction lien foreclosure action to recover reasonable attorney's fees incurred as a result of the foreclosure. By introducing the risk of potentially paying the opposing party's attorney's fees, this statute is designed to encourage settlement of lien disputes without the need for litigation. In its most basic form, this statute awards the "winner" in a lien foreclosure lawsuit its attorney's fees. What many people do not realize however is the impact this statute can have in settlement discussions prior to the filing of a lawsuit....

Covering Complex Construction Risks Under An OCIP

Risk management practices are older than the building of Babylon (Hammurabi Code 1780 B.C.). However, the comprehensive risk management program which protects the Owner’s budget, known as an Owner-Controlled Insurance Program (OCIP), has only been available in the market place for about 20 years. “Wrap-ups”, as they are also called, were originally thought to be available only for projects in excess of $100M. Now, smaller projects of $30M or more are good candidates for OCIP benefits in today’s marketplace mainly due to the economy driving down pricing.  An OCIP’s hallmarks are its cost-effective, broad coverage for every enrolled Contractor, subcontractor, and some vendors (typically those who perform work on the job site); its safety record and reduced lost time due to injury; its reduced litigation between insured Contractors; and its responsible and financially reliable insurers which stand behind the coverage for the years before, during, and after the project is...

The “Infallible” Surety, Is Not Immune From The Impact Of A Bad Economy

When negotiating for payment and performance bonds, you should realize that even if you obtain the added protection, you are not 100% safe. Even though they might not be as likely as other construction entities to go out of business, sureties also go out of business. Furthermore, when they do, it can be as difficult to recover from a surety's estate as it is to recover from any other bankrupt construction entity....

Build the U.S. Wants to Help get America Back to Work

 Recent cooperative efforts to get the economy rolling through individual purchasing power include the Build the U. S. movement. Build the U. S. is a grassroots organization made up of manufacturers, contractors, architects, interior designers, and home buyers committed to buying and selling materials made in the USA for use in construction projects - public and private, commercial and residential. Born primarily from the desire to contribute in large ways and small to getting America back to work, Build the U.S. also brings American-made building materials back into vogue after the hard lessons learned by homeowners, homebuilders, product distributors, and manufacturers from the Chinese drywall debacle and other such consumer-products fiascos.This movement appeals to individuals who want to focus their consumer spending in a way that also helps others. Since consumer spending makes up seventy percent (70%) of our economy and since the purchase of American-made products promotes the...

Protect Awards By Intervention in Bid Protests

As competition for public contract awards continues to intensify, consider intervention in the event that an award to your firm is protested. If an administrative protest is filed, the particular agency rules and regulations may provide for intervention. In the context of a bid protest, intervention means having the chance to directly participate in the defense of a protest and participate in the proceedings. Florida case law has held that an awardee has a significant interest in the outcome of an award challenge, and therefore, standing to participate in proceedings. By intervening, you will have the opportunity to directly influence the outcome of a protest, and may in the process, be of significant assistance to the public agency in defense of the award. Don't sit on the sidelines while other parties dispute whether your firm should receive the contract award. Bear in mind, however, that there may be strict time limitations on...