What to Expect with Construction Litigation in Florida
If you are involved in a Florida construction law dispute and have not been able to resolve it through out-of-court methods, you could be looking at a lawsuit. The most common causes of disputes in construction include poorly drafted contracts, errors and omissions in the specification documents, and a party failing to comply with contractual obligations. Therefore, parties to construction litigation may include property owners, developers, contractors, design professionals, and government bodies. These lawsuits can even involve neighboring property owners who have a disagreement about a project going on nearby.
No matter whether you are seeking remedies in court or defending claims of misconduct, you will need skilled legal representation as a party to construction litigation. The process is extremely intense, requiring in-depth knowledge of construction case law, statutes, regulations, and court procedural rules. You should make it a priority to speak to a Florida construction law attorney if a lawsuit is looming for your business. Some background on what to expect with construction litigation is also informative.
Initial Filings: The way you start a lawsuit in Florida is by filing a complaint, in which you identify the parties, state the facts behind your dispute, and request that the court find in your favor. Your complaint should also specifically describe the relief you seek, usually monetary damages to cover losses caused by the other party.
You must officially serve the defendant with the complaint, at which point that person or entity will have the chance to respond to your allegations by filing an answer.
Motion Practice: Attorneys representing the parties may file motions during the pretrial stages, and these are requests for the court to take a specific action that affects the proceedings. Examples of motions include:
- A motion to compel evidence;
- Motions to have certain evidence tossed;
- A motion to dismiss the case; and,
- Motions regarding discovery.
Discovery: This aspect of construction litigation involves the exchange of information through official legal channels. You will work closely with your attorney to forward discovery requests to other parties, and you will need to participate in responding to discovery from other parties. Examples of documentary discovery include:
- Written interrogatories;
- Requests to admit facts; and,
- Requests to produce documents.
Depositions are another type of discovery, in which parties and witnesses are questioned by lawyers on topics that are critical to the litigation.
Trial: On the date of trial, attorneys will first select a jury, unless the judge will decide in a bench trial. The attorneys will present opening arguments, call witnesses, and present evidence to convince the court of their respective positions. The judge or jury will weigh the evidence, deliberate, and render a verdict for one of the parties.
Trust a Florida Construction Lawyer for Litigation Support
If you are a party to construction litigation or see a lawsuit in your future, please contact Linkhorst & Hockin, P.A. to speak to a member of our team. You can call 561-626-8880 or visit us online to set up a consultation at our offices in Jupiter, FL.