Ways A Florida Construction Lawyer Helps With Construction Contracts
They may not be the highlight of your day working in the Florida construction industry, but you know that contracts are an essential part of doing business. Written agreements are important for outlining the details of the project and describing the rights and responsibilities of each party. In the event of disputes or breach, contracts also provide you with options for resolving conflicts and enforcement in court.
Knowing the key role these documents play, it is surprising that many construction companies handle all aspects of contracting on their own. This can be a mistake if you do not have a legal background, but it is also ill-advised from a business standpoint: When you are investing time and effort in contracts issues, you take time away from running a successful operation. You can rely on a Florida construction contracts lawyer to assist with such important tasks as:
Preliminary Contract Considerations
If you are preparing the written agreement, legal counsel can assist with drafting the essential provisions. When you are presented with a contract created by another company, it is equally important to review the details to ensure protection of your interests.
Modifications and Change Orders
The contract should spell out the specifics for handling change orders, but not all contingencies are covered. Communication, reviewing the plans, negotiating modifications, and documentation are necessary for change order management, so an attorney can ensure the project stays on track.
Even when the parties cannot overcome a disagreement, their respective lawyers can often smooth things over. A solid construction contract will also include options for alternative dispute resolution, such as arbitration or mediation. These proceedings may occur out of a courtroom, but the proceedings are still somewhat formal and may be binding.
Lawsuits for Breach of Contract
If you cannot resolve disagreements, you might need to enforce your contractual rights in court – or you may be on the other side, defending your interests.
What to Look for in a Construction Contracts Lawyer
In addition to basic criteria like experience and a license to practice law, there are unique factors to consider with a Florida construction contracts attorney. One of the most important is Florida Bar Association certification in Construction Law, because there are strict criteria for this credential, including:
- Five years of practicing law;
- At least 40 percent of practice must be in the area of construction law during the three years prior to applying; and,
- A minimum of 45 hours in continuing legal education, concentrating on construction law; and
- Passing a written exam on construction law in Florida.
Trust a Florida Construction Contracts Attorney to Advise You
The team at Linkhorst & Hockin, P.A. will be at your side to address the critical details and legal issues that arise with construction contracts. Our founding partners are Board Certified in Construction Law, and our firm plays an active role with numerous industry trade groups. Contractors throughout Palm Beach County and South Florida can contact our Jupiter, FL office today to schedule a consultation.