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Widerman Malek Law Blog

The Persuasive Power of a Government Contract Lawyer

The private and the public sectors work in starkly different ways; this can be ascertained by simply looking at the way in which contracts are awarded to suppliers and contractors. The first thing that you need to realize about a government contract is that the government is not in it for profit; therefore, they would […]

Why is the Timing of Substantial Completion so Important?

Why is the Timing of Substantial Completion so Important?

The contract is the first place to look to determine the specifics of when a certificate of substantial completion should be issued. Assuming it is the point where a certificate of occupancy (CO) is also issued, this means that the governing authority has to approve the building to be occupied and used for its intended use. At this point, the contractor will often prepare a list of items to be completed for the architect and/or engineer to review and inspect. The architect and/or engineer will prepare the certificate of substantial completion and set a deadline to complete the final items. Depending on the contract, this is usually the point where the owner will have to pay the “final” payment minus costs to complete the final items. This is the number one reason issuance of the certificate of substantial completion is so important to a contractor (and/or subcontractor).

Loan Modification, Stipulated Judgment, Deed in Lieu,…What do you do?

Loan Modification, Stipulated Judgment, Cash for Keys,…What do you do?

It is best to talk to an attorney before you ever get to the point where you start falling behind on your mortgage. Before things start to go downhill too much, you might be able to save yourself a lot of future problems by talking with a professional up front. Having said that, if you find yourself at the point where you have already missed a mortgage payment, or several, you likely still have several options available. For the purposes of this article, we will assume that the mortgage is on your Florida homestead property.

Construction Liens, Landlords, and Tenants

Construction Liens, Landlords, and Tenants

A landlord can be liable for a construction lien (or mechanics’ liens) if the landlord fails to take proper precautions or fails to timely respond to a contractor or other lienor. An “owner” must sign the notice of commencement for construction or improvements to begin on a premises.

What is a Certificate of Occupancy and do you need one?

What is a Certificate of Occupancy?

A certificate of occupancy or CO in theory is very simple. It is the approval from the local jurisdiction that allows anyone other than construction workers, engineers, etc. to occupy the structure, with some exceptions that this article does not address, such as for industrial structures and projects. This sounds simple enough, but in order to receive a CO, the structure is typically required to be nearly finished, but not necessarily completely finished. It is often times the point at which substantial completion occurs, but case law is clear that they are not necessarily the same and in fact, receiving a CO is certainly strong evidence that substantial completion has occurred, but not necessarily the only evidence needed. For further information about substantial completion, visit my blog on substantial completion.

Construction Bonds in Florida

Bonds hold a certain mystery for the uninitiated, and not for nothing. But they’re not so complicated, and at their essence, they’re no more than contracts. The basis of any bond is that a surety (the party posting the bond) guarantees to pay if the principal (usually the contractor) defaults on an obligation. A key […]

What is Construction Law?

What is Construction Law?

Construction law is really a form of contract law, but a very complex and technical form of contract law that has many additional twists and turns. It can also include tort claims, as in the case of construction defects or negligence. Construction law for starters involves some form of design or construction project. The parties involved range from owners to architects and engineers to contractors and subcontractors with several parties in between.

Substantial Completion: When exactly does it occur?

When an owner decides to build something, he or she usually decides that he or she wants it completely finished, okay the owner always wants it completely finished.  But is the owner guaranteed that?  Probably not.  Now does that mean a contractor can walk away from a job after placing the concrete building slab, highly […]

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