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    Florida Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: In Title XXXIII Chapter 558, the Florida Legislature establishes a requirement that homeowners who allege construction defects must first notify the construction professional responsible for the defect and allow them an opportunity to repair the defect before the homeowner canbring suit against the construction professional. The statute, which allows homeowners and associations to file claims against certain types of contractors and others, defines the type of defects that fall under the authority of the legislation and the types of housing covered in thelegislation. Florida sets strict procedures that homeowners must follow in notifying construction professionals of alleged defects. The law also establishes strict timeframes for builders to respond to homeowner claims. Once a builder has inspected the unit, the law allows the builder to offer to repair or settle by paying the owner a sum to cover the cost of repairing the defect. The homeowner has the option of accepting the offer or rejecting the offer and filing suit. Under the statute the courts must abate any homeowner legal action until the homeowner has undertaken the claims process. The law also requires contractors, subcontractors and other covered under the law to notify homeowners of the right to cure process.


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    Tri-County Home Builders
    Local # 1073
    PO Box 420
    Marianna, FL 32447

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    Local # 1064
    1835 Fiddler Court
    Tallahassee, FL 32308

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    Building Industry Association of Okaloosa-Walton Cos
    Local # 1056
    1980 Lewis Turner Blvd
    Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547

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    Local # 1048
    4400 Bayou Blvd Suite 45
    Pensacola, FL 32503

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    Local # 1000
    PO Box 1259
    Tallahassee, FL 32302

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    Local # 1007
    PO Box 7353
    Lake City, FL 32055

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    103 Century 21 Dr Ste 100
    Jacksonville, FL 32216

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    Building Consultant News and Information
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    ESTO FLORIDA BUILDING CONSULTANT
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    The Esto, Florida Building Consultant Group is comprised from a number of credentialed construction professionals possessing extensive trial support experience relevant to construction defect and claims matters. Leveraging from this considerable body of experience, BHA provides construction related trial support and expert services to the nation's most recognized construction litigation practitioners, Fortune 500 builders, commercial general liability carriers, owners, construction practice groups, and a variety of state and local government agencies.

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    Newmeyer Dillion Secures Victory For Crown Castle In Years-Long Litigation With City Council Of Piedmont Over Small Cell Wireless Telecommunications Sites

    December 30, 2019 —
    Newmeyer Dillion, a prominent business and real estate law firm, is pleased to announce that, on November 18, 2019, the City Council of the City of Piedmont unanimously voted to approve the installation of 17 small cell wireless telecommunications sites by Newmeyer Dillion client Crown Castle NG West LLC, the leading provider of shared communications infrastructure in the United States. This victory ends a long-running legal dispute over Crown Castle's small cell wireless network, which was vehemently opposed by Piedmont residents and previously rejected by the City Council, prompting Newmeyer Dillion to bring a lawsuit against the city in 2017. The dispute began in 2016 when Crown Castle filed an application with the City Council of the City of Piedmont to build nine small cell wireless sites designed to provide critical wireless telecommunications coverage in Piedmont. In October 2017, the Council denied the network, rejecting some of the proposed sites or approving others with onerous conditions. Newmeyer Dillion's Government, Land Use and Environmental practice group filed a lawsuit on behalf of Crown Castle in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in November 2017, challenging the Council's decision. Drawing from the language established in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the lawsuit alleged that Piedmont's ordinances established an unreasonably high bar of approval, unlawfully prohibiting telecommunications services in the city. The city quickly requested a court-supervised settlement, which was approved by the City Council in December 2018 and allowed Crown Castle to reapply to build 17 small cell wireless telecommunications facilities. The unanimous City Council approval came after extensive mediation work between the two parties. "We are excited that our years-long efforts have culminated in this major win for Crown Castle, allowing them to build out critical telecommunications infrastructure in the City of Piedmont," said Michael Shonafelt, partner at Newmeyer Dillion. "With the growing national need for robust telecommunications networks that can handle voice communication and modern data demands, approvals such as this are significant, not just for the community the network serves, but for the viability of the national telecommunications network as a whole. Our team is proud to be using our multidisciplinary, business-oriented approach to successfully advise clients navigating these issues." About Newmeyer Dillion For 35 years, Newmeyer Dillion has delivered creative and outstanding legal solutions and trial results for a wide array of clients. With over 70 attorneys practicing in all aspects of corporate, privacy & data security, employment, real estate, construction, insurance law and trial work, Newmeyer Dillion delivers legal services tailored to meet each client's needs. Headquartered in Newport Beach, California, with offices in Walnut Creek, California and Las Vegas, Nevada, Newmeyer Dillion attorneys are recognized by The Best Lawyers in America©, and Super Lawyers as top tier and some of the best lawyers in California, and have been given Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review's AV Preeminent® highest rating. For additional information, call 949.854.7000 or visit www.newmeyerdillion.com. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Brenner Base Tunnelers Conquer Peaks and Valleys in the Alps

    October 21, 2019 —
    A logistics tangle decades in the unraveling, the Brenner Base Tunnel project is having a banner year. Twin tunnel boring machines in May were released on their relentless journey to mine the main tunnels underneath the Alps between Austria and Italy, while a multinational crew of 2,400 workers armed with a toolkit of just about every mining technique is swarming four major worksites, including a particularly challenging area where workers must undercut a river and pass through the fast-flowing aquifer below it. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Scott Blair, ENR
    Mr. Blair may be contacted at blairs@enr.com

    When Do Hard-Nosed Negotiations Become Coercion? Or, When Should You Feel Unlucky?

    October 21, 2019 —
    Conflict in a negotiation is to be expected and is arguably healthy for the process. Owners and contractors are constantly engaged in negotiations; whether it be negotiating changes to the work, changes to the schedule, or changes to the contractual terms. But at what point does taking a strong position in a negotiation cross the line and become coercion or bad faith? A recent decision from the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals touched on this very issue. While this is a government contract case, the issues discussed in this case (namely negotiating a change) are routinely encountered in just about every construction project. This decision is instructive because it adds to a trending line of cases that limit an owner’s and contractor’s negotiation tactics. On August 5, 2019, the board issued an opinion in the appeal of Sand Point Services, LLC vs. NASA, ASBCA Nos. 6189. In Sand Point Services, the contractor was hired by the owner to repair the Wallops Flight Facility’s aircraft parking apron. During its work, the contractor hit a differing site condition, namely unsuitable soils. The contractor sought additional time and money for this differing site condition. The owner ultimately responded with a show cause letter to the contractor claiming, among other breaches, that the contractor was significantly behind schedule. This was generally viewed by all parties as the start of default proceedings against the contractor. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Stan Millan, Jones Walker, LLP
    Mr. Millan may be contacted at smillan@joneswalker.com

    What is an Alternative Dispute Resolution?

    August 26, 2019 —
    Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) is a term that refers to a number of processes that can be used to resolve a conflict, dispute, or claim. ADR processes are alternatives to having a court decide the dispute in trial. ADR processes can be used to resolve any type of dispute including but not limited those related to families, neighborhoods, employment, businesses, housing, personal injury, consumers, and the environment. ADR is usually less formal, less expensive, and less time-consuming than a trial. Most Common Types of Alternative Dispute Resolutions Mediation In mediation, an impartial person called a “mediator” helps the parties try to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of the dispute. The mediator does not decide the dispute but helps the parties communicate so they can try to settle the dispute themselves. Mediation leaves control of the outcome with the parties. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Bremer Whyte Brown & O'Meara LLP

    In South Carolina, Insurer's Denial of Liability Does Not Waive Attorney-Client Privilege for Bad Faith Claim

    October 14, 2019 —
    Determining the scope of discovery can be challenging, particularly when an insurance bad faith claim is involved. Courts often face the difficult decision of weighing the importance of preserving attorney-client privilege with the public policy rationale of protecting an insured against their insurer’s bad faith behavior. The Supreme Court of South Carolina recently recognized this dilemma by rejecting a hardline approach to bad faith discovery disputes and adopting a case-by-case analysis. The case, In re Mt. Hawley Ins. Co.,1 arose out of a construction defect claim. ContraVest Construction Company (“ContraVest”) constructed a development in South Carolina and was later sued for alleged defective construction. ContraVest sought coverage for the lawsuit from its insurers, including Mount Hawley Insurance Company (“Mount Hawley”), which had provided excess commercial liability insurance to ContraVest during the relevant timeframe. Mount Hawley denied the claim, which prompted ContraVest to sue it for bad faith, breach of contract, and unjust enrichment. Reprinted courtesy of Ashley L. Cooper, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C. and Bethany L. Barrese, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C. Ms. Cooper may be contacted at alc@sdvlaw.com Ms. Barrese may be contacted at blb@sdvlaw.com Read the court decision
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    General Indemnity Agreement Can Come Back to Bite You

    October 21, 2019 —
    I talk about payment bonds often here at Construction Law Musings. I talk a bit less about performance bonds and even less about the General Indemnity Agreements (GIA) that are signed by companies and their principals as part of the agreement between a construction company and its bonding company for the provision of these bonds. However, this does not mean that these GIA’s are not important. In fact, these are the agreements that allow a bonding provider to recoup any money paid out pursuant to either a payment or performance bond. A 2018 case illustrates their importance. In Allegheny Cas. Co. v. River City Roofing, LLC, the Court considered a claim by Allegheny seeking both specific performance of the collateral agreement and reimbursement of certain expenses and investigative costs expended by Allegheny pursuant to its performance bond. Allegheny sought to be reimbursed for certain payments for siding work, investigative costs, and costs spent enforcing the GIA. Allegheny further sought to force the defendants to post sufficient collateral. To do so, Allegheny sued in the Eastern District of Virginia and then moved for summary judgment stating that the GAI uneuivocally required such a result due to the good faith payment for the siding work and the plain language of the GIA. In response, the Defendants, River City Roofing and its principals that had personally guaranteed the indemnity, argued that the GIA did not apply to the siding work because only the roofing contract was subject to the performance bond and that any bond claims for which collateral was demanded were inchoate and therefore not proper for specific performance. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at chrisghill@constructionlawva.com

    Another Reason to Always Respond (or Hensel Phelps Wins One!)

    September 16, 2019 —
    Here at Construction Law Musings, Hensel Phelps Construction Co. is best known as the company that got whipsawed between indemnity rules and the lack of a statute of limitations for state agencies. However a recent case out of the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia gave them a win and illustrates, once again, that failing to appear or respond is never a good option. In Hensel Phelps Construction Co. v. Perdomo Industrial LLC, the Alexandria, VA federal court looked at an arbitration award entered for Hensel Phelps and against Perdomo under the Federal Arbitration Act. The facts of the case showed that Perdomo “double dipped” into the deep end of refusal or failure to respond. First of all, the contract required arbitration and any award was enforceable in any state or federal court having jurisdiction. Based upon this language, Hensel Phelps filed a demand for arbitration with the American Arbitration Association against Perdomo and its surety, AAA sent notice to both Perdomo and Surety, and. . . neither responded or appeared at what was ultimately 8 days of hearings. After hearing Hensel Phelp’s evidence and the total lack of defenses from Perdomo and Surety, the panel issued an award in favor of Hensel Phelps, finding Perdomo LLC in default and holding Perdomo LLC and Allied World jointly and severally liable in the amount of $2,958,209.71 and Perdomo LLC individually liable in the amount of $7,917,666.30 plus interest. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at chrisghill@constructionlawva.com

    A Few Green Building Notes

    December 02, 2019 —
    This past week, the blogosphere (if that’s even the word these days) has been abuzz about green building and the value that green can add to a project. Three items in particular (among many) got my attention. The first of these was the fact that a new private sustainability rating system is ready for launch. The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (or ISI) is seeking public comment on its proposed envISIon. This new system (aptly dubbed Version 1.0) will go “live” in July for comment. Why mention this new system? First of all, ISI’s founding members are the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Public Works Association (APWA) and the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). This trio gives the new program some fairly heavy weight backing. Second, while there are rating systems aside from the ever present LEED, none have taken hold in any real way to compete with LEED. I am curious to see if the envISIon system has any better luck. Finally, this shows that sustainable building is of interest to more than the USGBC and those of us that discuss LEED on a daily basis. I find this to be a great thing that could lead to more societal acceptance of sustainable practices as a standard practice rather than a goal. Hopefully such efforts will offset the other two notes that caught my eye recently. The first of these is the foreclosure of the Chapel Hill, North Carolina Greenbridge project. This project is well documented at my friend Doug Reiser’s (@douglasreiser) Builders Counsel blog so I won’t further discuss the details here. However, the question that Doug asks is a good one, i. e. were the “green” elements of the project to blame? Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at chrisghill@constructionlawva.com