Monthly Archives: September 2016

Public Private Partnerships in Florida Construction

As cities have become increasingly strapped for cash having lost tax revenue from the economic downturn, more and more have turned to public private partnerships (P3s) to achieve their goals and better serve their constituencies. P3s are agreements between a public entity and a private company wherein the company agrees to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain a public facility in exchange for a series of payments over a long term. This has most frequently been seen in Florida in the form of toll roads, but public entities are increasingly choosing the P3 model to better fulfill their other needs, too. Prime candidates for the P3 structure are medical office buildings, parking garages, bus or train depots, mixed use zoning to encourage high density land use, and higher education buildings. Locations with high credit rating and unused real estate benefit are best able to utilize the P3 structure. This article will summarize Florida’s very broad P3 statute and provide a framework to understand this unique and valuable construction scheme. Read Full Post

CATEGORY: Florida Construction Industry Law Blog Practice Areas:

How to Manage a Large Scale Human Document Review

What do you do when you are hit with litigation or a government investigation where you have hundreds of gigabytes, potentially meaning hundreds of thousands of pages of documents, and a short timeline for production? There are numerous technology-assisted ways to deal with large amounts of data, some of which include early cases assessment (ECA) tools, simple culling, and advanced analytics. Even with all of the technology available, large cases will likely require some form of manual review, but there are limited resources available that explain how to approach such a task. As such, what follows here is a step by step guide for how to manage human review, including both managing the human aspect of review and some basic technical considerations to take into account along the way. This should serve as a starting point for someone new to managing the process or who needs ideas for improving their large scale document review. Read Full Post

CATEGORY: Florida Business Litigation Blog Practice Areas: ,

The Earth Movement Exclusion: How Does it Affect Construction Defect Cases?

One of the biggest considerations for parties on both sides of any lawsuit is whether insurance coverage will apply to the plaintiff’s claims. This is especially true in construction defect cases, where the cost of repairing the alleged damage can be significant, and quite often beyond the financial means of the construction professional being sued. However, many litigants in construction defect cases, on both sides of the litigation, do not understand the intricacies of the insurance policy at issue, including the Earth Movement Exclusion present in many policies. Read Full Post

CATEGORY: Florida Construction Industry Law Blog

Important Things to Know When Serving on a Board of Directors

Serving on the Board of Directors of any corporation can be a great opportunity for both personal and financial growth. As with everything in life, however, in order to receive, one must also give. This article will summarize the responsibilities imposed by the law on directors who serve in the state of Florida. The law to which we will be referring is judicial common law and Florida Statutes. Specifically, we will examine Florida Statutes Sections 607.0801 through 607.0832, which are the sections of the Florida Business Corporation Act that address boards of directors. These sources of obligation are in addition to the articles of incorporation and bylaws specific and unique to each corporation, which often supersede the base standards set by statute. If the directors fulfill their duties, they will be protected from personal liability for negative consequences of their decisions by the business judgment rule. A convenient way to organize the obligations imposed by these sources of law is according to the three broadly defined duties of directors: the Duty of Good Faith, the Duty of Care, and the Duty of Loyalty. Read Full Post

CATEGORY: Florida Business Litigation Blog Practice Areas:

New Resident Screening and Avoiding Disparate Impact Claims

Most well-run community associations incorporate a new tenant application and approval process, and some even utilize such a program for new owners. A typical new resident screening program includes criminal background checks, credit checks, employment verification, and prior rental history. A community association is likely to deny any prospective new resident whose background check produces questionable items. But are associations cognizant of the liability concerns pursuant to recent changes in federal law regarding disparate impact claims for administering a flawed screening process? This blog post will discuss the recent changes to federal law involving new resident screening and how community associations can avoid disparate impact claims. Read Full Post

CATEGORY: Florida Condominium Law Blog Practice Areas: , , ,

Everything Lienors Need to Know About Construction Releases in Florida

Extensive knowledge about lien releases in Florida is integral to proper protection of parties entering into a construction project. This is primarily evident for those involved in construction, whose life work consists of providing their expertise, labor, and construction materials, primarily at their own expense at the outset of each project. In order for those in the construction industry to best utilize the protections afforded to them by Florida law, the key component to the process is self-education. Each and every construction project is an investment; an investment of one’s education, time, expertise, and financial backing. The time it takes to delve into Florida law and the protection it provides is small in comparison to the abuse and loss of value one could experience without doing so. Read Full Post

CATEGORY: Florida Construction Industry Law Blog Practice Areas:

Calculating Prejudgment Interest in Construction Defects Cases

Prejudgment interest can be a substantial amount in construction defects cases—especially if it is a large commercial construction defects case or a community association construction defects case. In these types of cases, it is often a number of years before damage from the construction defects manifests, and it is not uncommon for the construction defects litigation to take more than five years to be resolved by the Court. Taking the aforementioned into consideration, it can often be ten years or more between the time the Certificate of Occupancy is issued and a judgment is rendered in the trial. Although the date when prejudgment interest accrues is the subject of this blog, ten years or more in prejudgment interest can often be more than half of the actual damages sought in this case. Historically, owners have waived these large prejudgment interest awards in favor of settlement. Although every case is unique and every situation is different, waiving prejudgment interest leaves significant money on the table. This blog will discuss some of the basics of prejudgment interest. Read Full Post

CATEGORY: Florida Construction Industry Law Blog Practice Areas:

Do Banks Owe a Fiduciary Duty in Florida?

In order to state a cause of action in Florida for breach of fiduciary duty, there must exist a fiduciary duty, a breach thereof, and resulting damages. Gracey v. Eaker, 837 So. 2d 348, 353 (Fla. 2002). In Doe v. Evans, 814 So.2d 370 (Fla. 2002), the existence of a relation of trust and confidence between parties was sufficient to establish the presence of a fiduciary relationship. Id. at 374, quoting Quinn v. Phipps, 113 So. 419, 421 (Fla. 1927). Read Full Post

CATEGORY: Florida Business Litigation Blog Practice Areas:

Condominium Elections Are Approaching – Is Your Association Following the Rules?

The end of the calendar year means that most condominium associations are gearing up for their annual meeting and election of new board members. For many condominiums, this is a routine event, but for others, this may foster heated and contentious lobbying and under-handed tactics resulting in administrative challenges to the election process, and maybe even litigation. The current board and property manager for a condominium association should have a detailed understanding of the condominium election process. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation has published a State of Florida Condominium Election Brochure covering most of the procedural aspects of condominium elections. This blog will summarize important deadlines and considerations for these elections. Read Full Post

CATEGORY: Florida Condominium Law Blog Practice Areas: ,

A Game-Changer for Subcontractors in Payment Disputes

Though many construction professionals are generally familiar with Florida’s lien law, there is a little-known and little-used provision within the lien statutes that can prove to be a game-changer for subcontractors (or sub-subcontractors) when used correctly and in the proper factual circumstances. Read Full Post

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