Category Archives: bLAWg

Florida’s Civil Theft Statute

By

James O. Birr, III

Florida’s Civil Theft statute is an attractive claim to many plaintiffs because, if successful, it allows recovery of treble damages and attorney fees. See 772.11 of the Florida Statutes. Civil theft claims can be asserted by individuals and businesses alike, and are meant to create civil liability for criminal practices that are violations of 812.012-812.037 or 825.103(1) of the Florida Statutes (i.e. crimes of theft, robbery, and exploitation of elderly persons). A party contemplating asserting a civil theft claim under Florida law must be aware of its nuances and pleading a proof requirements before asserting the claim. Read Full Post

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Legal Actions the Buyer of Real Property Can Bring When a Seller Breaches A Real Estate Sales Contract

By Hans C. Wahl, Esq.

In a prior post, this blawg discussed the legal claims a seller of real estate can bring against a buyer when that buyer breaches the real estate sales contract. A buyer, on the other hand, also has various legal and equitable claims against the seller of real estate when the seller is unable to convey marketable title or if the seller has a duty to disclose certain defects but fails to make those disclosures. When the seller breaches, the buyer’s claims will largely depend upon the terms of the sales contract, along with the buyer’s underlying goals. This blawg post will describe the various legal actions that buyers of real estate can bring against a seller when that seller breaches the real estate sales contract. Read Full Post

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A Seller’s Disclosure Obligations When Entering Into A Real Estate Sales Contract

By Hans C. Wahl, Esq.

Before entering into a contract to sell a piece of real estate to a prospective buyer, a seller is obligated to disclose certain things to the buyer. When the seller fails to make those proper disclosures, the buyer has available several legal and equitable remedies that he or she can bring against that seller. This is because, under Florida law, a seller’s failure to disclose certain conditions is considered a breach of the real estate sales contract. But a seller does not always have a duty to disclose, meaning the buyer is still subject to the doctrine of caveat emptor in some situations. This blawg post discusses when the seller of real estate is under a duty to disclose, what the seller is required to disclose and under what circumstances the seller has no obligation to disclose. Read Full Post

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Good News for Design-Build Contractors: Design-Build Contracts Do Not Have to Identify a Licensed Architect

In Florida, design-build contracts do not need to identify a licensed architect . This rule was clarified in the recent case of first impression, Diaz & Russell Corporation, et al. v. Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation, 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 8113, No. 3D13-1764 (Fla. 3d DCA May 28, 2014). An exception in Section 481.229(3), Florida Statutes, allows contractors to “negotiate” design-build contracts, so long as the negotiating contractor is neither offering to render, nor actually rendering, the architectural services of the project. Read Full Post

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Measuring Delay Damages: Federal Construction Contracts

By: Brent T. Zimmerman, Esq. and Mark F. Moss, J.D. 2015
This is the final submission in a series of bLAWg posts dedicated specifically to explaining delay damages. This series has covered these damages from beginning to end. From successfully proving that a delay occurred, while addressing common defenses and discussing the various methods used to calculate delay damages (Part III, IV, V, VI, VII and VIII). All of this information is applicable to all construction contracts, but there are additional concerns and methods applicable to federal construction contracts. This final post will examine the special considerations and methods of calculating damages that are commonly associated with federal construction contracts.
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Construction Design Malpractice Actions in Florida: Which Limitation Period Applies?

By: Brent T. Zimmerman, Esq. and Brandon C. Meadows, J.D.

Design Professionals, such as architects and engineers, may be subject to malpractice actions arising from their performance of professional services. The Florida statute of limitations for professional malpractice claims is two years. Unlike other professionals in Florida, design professionals may also be subject to causes of action arising from services rendered in the design or planning of construction projects. The limitations period for actions arising out of the design, planning or construction of an improvement to real property is four years. Due to the nature of their profession, design professionals will inevitably face the apparent conflict between the two limitations periods. Whether you are pursuing or defending an action against a design professional arising from a construction project in Florida, understanding which limitation period applies is critical. Read Full Post

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Condo Associations Must Thoroughly Review Lender’s Documents Before Conceding That Lender is Entitled to First Mortgagee Protection Under § 718.116(1)(b), Florida Statutes

By: Hans C. Wahl, Esq. A crucial section of the Florida Condominium Act, which directly and significantly affects the assessment revenue and yearly budget for all associations, is Section 718.116(1)(b), Florida Statutes.  That section has become known as the first … Read Full Post

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Measuring Delay Damages: Inefficiency or Loss of Productivity and Measured Mile

As is evident from the previous posts of this series, delay damages are complex. This is Part VIII of the series dedicated specifically to explaining these damages. Previous posts in the series have discussed proving that a delay occurred, addressed the most applicable and common defenses and varying methods to calculate delay damages—the Total Cost Method, the Modified Total Cost Method, the Jury Verdict Method, the Eichleay Formula and damages for an increase in labor, material and equipment costs. This post will discuss two methods that award damages for either a total or partial loss of labor productivity. Read Full Post

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Pay When Paid Provisions: Are You Actually Shifting the Risk

Construction contracts contain many risk-shifting mechanisms. One such mechanism is the “pay when paid” provision that requires payment from one party before there is any requirement to pay another party. Typically, this contract provision is found in the contract between the general contractor and its subcontractors, as well as in the subcontractor’s contract with its subcontractors. If not properly worded, this risk shifting provision will not have its intended consequences. Read Full Post

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Legal Actions the Seller of Real Property Can Bring When A Buyer Breaches A Real Estate Sales Contract

It is not a situation that sellers of real property want to find themselves in, but it is a situation that could easily happen to anyone. After months of hard work getting a property in pristine condition to lure prospective purchasers, and then finally procuring a buyer, the entire transaction suddenly unravels. Despite signing the real estate sales contract, the buyer decides to walk away or, worse yet, fails to show at closing. What is the seller to do? This bLAWg post will discuss that very scenario and describe the legal actions that sellers of real estate can bring against a buyer when the buyer breaches the real estate sales contract. Read Full Post

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