Getting a Lawyer for Construction Litigation

Almost all big businesses have in-house legal counsel for advice and assistance. However, this may not be so for smaller businesses. Whether your construction business has in-house lawyers or not, getting a specialized lawyer for litigation is essential when you are party to a legal dispute.

Construction litigation may involve a variety of issues – disputes pertaining to monetary issues with contractors or sub-contractors, disputes resulting from injuries due to construction defects, construction defect and property damage, and such others. How do these lawyers differ from the rest? Why do you need to find one for representation?

Here are a few important reasons for this.

Federal as well as state laws (Florida Statutes) may be applicable on construction litigation. This is a specific legal domain, and only a lawyer with adequate knowledge of these is capable of handling such matters.

Many of these cases involve multiple parties. If your lawyer does not have the necessary experience in this field, it is difficult to handle the complexity associated with multi-party lawsuits.

Negotiation skills are an essential, especially if the issues involve monetary problems. Whether it is negotiating a payment with a contractor or injury compensation settlement with a victim, your lawyer needs to know how to do it right.

Awareness of the alternative dispute resolution tactics to utilize is also essential. Whether it is mediation or arbitration, if your lawyer knows about it, it could be of immense help to your case.

Not all cases reach a resolution with these methods. This is even more reason for you to appoint a competent Miami construction litigation lawyer to represent you at trial, if the necessity arises.

How do you find such a lawyer? If you have in-house legal counsel, you may ask them for referral. If you do not have this option, it is better to consider using online resources for help. You are sure to find numerous legal practitioners working in this field from the directories and listings.

However, just any lawyer would not do. A thorough research helps assess which construction litigation lawyer would be suitable for your case. Look up the credentials of the lawyer online, check out the experience and success details, contact the local bar association for information, and look for client testimonials.

The field of construction litigation is varied – and you need to find a legal professional specializing in the specific kinds of cases that match yours. This way it becomes easier to ensure capable legal representation in a legal dispute.

Construction Phase Health And Safety Plan: Why Are They Important?

During the construction, maintenance, refurbishment or demolition of a property there are numerous hazards to health that needs to be accounted for by the principle contractor and the client. It is the contractor’s responsibility to be prepared for any unfavorable circumstances and to maintain a safe and healthy working place. Meeting with safety and legal obligations can be a bit of a tiresome task, especially if one tries to take the amateur approach. However, the construction phase health and safety plan is a valuable document and has to be prepared properly and while following all legal compliances.

A construction phase health and safety plan is set apart from other documents due to the fact that it must give the user information as to how the construction process is going to be carried out safely. It will have to signify how the principle contractor plans on securing a safe and healthy site. Although this document is of high legal importance when it comes to coordinating a construction project, its preparation is sometimes neglected. This is mainly due to the fact that contractors in an attempt to draw the construction phase health and safety plan by themselves, often end up doing so in an unacceptable format and not having followed all the legal technicalities and the HSE regulations.

The traditional approach would have been seeking legal advice and it would have undoubtedly cost you an arm and a leg. For contractors who are interested in running a cost efficient operation there are more cheaper and effective methods available. They could buy a template online which has been designed by engineers with experience in construction safety management. Consequently they do not make the mistakes that you could have made as it is their job to be up to date with all the legal formalities and the Health and Safety regulations. This template is relatively easy to use and enables you to input the necessary data with the greatest of ease. It becomes easy to draw up a construction phase health and safety plan within a very short period of time.

Once purchased, this template can be used as many times as necessary. Hence, drawing up proper safety plans at the minimum cost will not only ensure that your firm is efficient and making more profits, it will also ensure that you have an unscathed reputation with the HSE. You can pay for this software by means of a credit card and also through PayPal. You can live up to your firm’s legal obligations while at the same time; give it an edge to have the upper hand over your competitors.

Construction Lawyer – What Does He or She Do?

The construction industry is no stranger to legal “punch ups” and the person you want to see when that happens is your expert construction lawyer. But what exactly do they do?

Skills of the expert construction lawyer

A construction lawyer is a trained and experienced legal professional who understands the issues you face in the construction industry.

Whether you are an employer of construction skills, a head contractor, subcontractor, supplier or consultant to the industry, your experienced construction lawyer can help you with most of your legal challenges, or at least highlight to you any legal issues that you should be aware of that are outside their scope of expertise and direct you to a colleague who can help you.

Quality construction lawyers are generally experts in two main areas when it comes to construction matters:

1. “front end” work, which includes:

  • contract drafting and negotiation
  • general advice on structuring your business entities for asset protection
  • advice on suitable business documents and contract administration systems and procedures for minimizing your exposure to legal claims… and more

2. “back end” work, which includes:

  • advice regarding options for resolving disputes
  • general advice regarding issues that may arise during contract works execution
  • litigation expertise
  • expertise in assisting with applying alternative dispute resolution methods negotiating resolutions to disputes and seeking alternative solutions for commercial parties so they can proceed with a project without delay… and more

When should you engage a construction lawyer?

Well I’m sure you know the answer to this question already but so few construction professionals heed this advice. You should speak to your expert lawyer at the earliest possible time.

Why? Because when you get them to assist you in the early phase of your project or business you can avoid many more potential problems. Too often I see people draft their own inadequate contracts or sign up to draconian contracts prepared by other parties which include personal guarantees, and then when things move into a dispute phase they are already up the proverbial creek without a means of propulsion… if you know what I mean.

If you wait until you have already run aground (entered into a dispute) to try and change the course of your ship (your business and livelihood), it may well be too late. You see, the cost of engaging a construction lawyer at the start of your project will be about 10% of the cost of just one dispute (in the life of your project) going to court. So consider the math when next time the opportunity presents itself.

The cost of learning from your own mistakes over years of construction industry experience can be a costly one and, in some cases, more than you may have to pay for it. Even then, if you happen to know all the laws at a particular point in time (which is most unlikely), the laws are constantly changing and you’ll never be sure if you know when and how they have changed. The construction lawyer’s job, however, is to know what is about to change before it happens and they will share that invaluable advice with you to prepare you for that change.

The good construction companies with bigger budgets do tend to diligently seek out expert construction legal advice but even they skip this step on some projects… and on further occasion, they live to regret it. If you’re a small to medium sized operator in the construction industry, you cannot afford to take that risk, particularly on larger projects that tie up much of your cash flow.