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New State Law Requires Public Bid Openings

During the several years, there has been some controversy concerning whether bid openings should be open to the public and what information bidders should have access to. In 2011, the Florida Legislature expanded the exemptions to the Public Records Law enlarging the time for bids to be exempt from inspection and copying from ten days to thirty days from the opening of the bids, or until the time of a notice of intended award, whichever is earlier. Concerns were raised as to access to information, and whether bid openings should be open to the public. This year, the Florida Legislature enacted Section 255.0518, Florida Statutes which requires state and local agencies to open sealed bids for the construction or repairs on a public building or public work during an open meeting conducted in accordance with the Sunshine Law. The agency is further required to announce the name of each bidder and the price submitted in...

Governor Declares State of Emergency

As a result of Tropical Storm Debby, the Governor has issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency in the entire state of Florida.  The order does several things including (I will not go through the entire list here): - Activates the State's Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and appoints the Director of the Division of Emergency Management as the State Coordinating Officer ("SCO"). - Activates the Florida National Guard and places them under the direction of the SCO. - Allows state, regional and local agencies to deviate from statutes, rules and orders to the extent that such actions are needed to cope with the emergency. This includes, but is not limited to, budgeting, leasing, travel, conditions of employment and compensation of employees. This provision expires within 30 days of the order unless extended by the Governor. - Allows pharmacists to dispense a 30-day prescription refill for maintenance medication. - Gives Agency heads the authority to abrogate any applications for permits and licenses...

Being Indemnified for Your Own Wrongdoing

Despite the general rule that parties to a contract may agree to any terms they want, there are some terms that must satisfy certain requirements in order to be enforceable, like indemnification provisions. Even in short, simple, standard form documents, like work orders, the provisions must satisfy the requirements, or you might not be able to rely on them when you need them most....

So You Have Received a Repair Offer–Now What?

Once an offer for repairs of defects has been made, owners may feel both relieved and overwhelmed by the number of issues to be addressed. That is why, before accepting any offer for repairs, owners should speak with their attorneys about memorializing the parameters of the repair offer in a written agreement....