Construction Litigation and Its Importance

Producing world class structures is crucial to the success of anyone involved in the construction industry. It’s important to keep the project moving along and finalize any necessary transactions in a timely manner in order to maintain a profitable enterprise. However, a number of things can go wrong during the process which could cost owners or companies a fortune.

Construction litigation can be quite complex due to the high number of parties and numerous moving parts involved. This creates several opportunities for issues to arise that can quickly skew the project’s deadline or halt the production all together. Someone dealing with construction litigation may deal with anything from material suppliers, to local government agencies that provide permits, to contractors, architects, property owners and the like.

Construction litigation can be broken down into several different yet overlapping segments. There are also sub segments to each of the main segments. The major segments consist of:

  • Contract negotiations and preparation
  • Liens and security interest to secure payment
  • Constructive defect litigation
  • Construction delay litigation
  • Personal injury litigation involving construction defects

Importance of Attorney Involvement

Construction litigation attorneys provide the greatest benefit for their clients through early involvement in the construction process. Having the attorney present at the inception of the project, as opposed to hiring once a problem arises, allows the client and the lawyer to work together toward common goals. Not to mention, it removes the potential for delay caused by teaching the newly hired attorney the logistics of the case. Considering time is crucial, spending time updating an attorney will only make things worse, especially if a big issue has occurred that must be worked out fairly quickly.

Stages of Construction Litigation

Before construction begins, it’s important identify and negotiate a realistic liquidated damage clause. It is a somewhat unenthusiastic, yet necessary part of the process. Reviewing all the relevant documents, gathering expert witnesses and discovering what the opposing side will argue will all be steps taken prior to the actual trial. Having an experienced construction litigation attorney will also prove extremely beneficial during this phase and into the trial stage. The trial stage involves the study and organization of all discovery documents produced and received, and all of the deposition testimony taken. Organizing witnesses and documentation during this phase will also be vital to ensuring a successful outcome.

Remember, litigation is a fluid, rapidly changing environment so it’s important to be realistic in the approach. Patience and determination are often necessary for the attainment of a feasible and pleasant outcome along with strategy, research and knowledge of the law.