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Are You A Design-Build Firm?

Based upon weekly bid reports, the trend in Florida continues to emphasize design-build requests for proposals ("RFP") for public works projects. Public agencies view the design-build model as a means to streamline the procurement process as well as an opportunity to contract with one firm which has the responsibility for both the design and construction of a project....

Think “Green” When Bidding on Public Construction Projects

As more state and local governments incorporate green building standards into public construction projects, it becomes important for participants such as contractors and design professionals bidding on those projects to pay attention to the "green" details....

When is a mandatory contractual venue clause in a construction contract not mandatory?

As a subcontractor, you enter into a contract with a general contractor to perform construction work on a project located in a certain county in Florida. The contract, however, has a carefully worded mandatory venue clause stating that the venue for any lawsuit brought for breach of the contract shall be in a different county in Florida. Unfortunately, things take a turn for the worse on the project. The general contractor does not pay you. Accordingly, you file a Claim of Lien. In turn, the general contractor transfers your lien to a bond pursuant to Florida Statute § 713.24; with the bond being posted in the clerk’s office of the county of the project’s location. Now you need to file suit. You elect to sue for both a breach of the contract and for an action on your lien that was transferred to a bond (also known as a lien transfer bond)....

Becker & Poliakoff COO George Burgess Named to Florida P3 Task Force

Becker & Poliakoff is proud to announce that George Burgess, COO of the firm and co-vice chairman of its Public Private Partnership (P3) Practice Team, has been appointed to serve on the task force created by the state's new P3 legislation....

Florida adopts the Daubert standard for admissibility of expert testimony

Experts can play an integral role in construction disputes. At times construction litigation becomes a battle of the experts. Consequently, it is important to use an expert(s) that is not only well versed in his or her field, but an expert who is also able to provide admissible expert opinions in litigation. With the passage of House Bill 7015, effective July 1, 2013 and amendment of Florida Statute § 90.702 (Testimony by Experts), Florida has abolished the former Frye standard for the admissibility of expert testimony. See, Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C.Cir.1923), adopted by the Florida Supreme Court in Bundy v. State, 471 So.2d 9 (Fla.1985). The prior version of Florida Statute § 90.702 provided that: 90.702 Testimony by experts.—If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact in understanding the evidence or in determining a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by...

LEED v4 Passes

by Mark J. Stempler The newest version of the popular LEED Green Rating System is affirmed.  The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announcced that its membership voted to adopt LEED v4 by an overwhelming 86%.  This version of LEED has been in the works for a few years.  Ultimatly, it withstood controversy and was refined through several public comment periods. Changes in LEED v4 from the current version (adopted in 2009) include: *  A new credit category - Location and Transportation; *  A new credit in the Sustainable Sites category - Rainwater Management; and *  New prerequisites in the Water Efficiency category; and *  New requirements for the use of LEED AP's for specific credits. There are several other additions and changes in LEED v4 which will affect numerous types of buildings. For the complete list, check out http://new.usgbc.org/v4. The full LEED v4 program, along with reference guides, will be unveiled at this year's Greenbuild conference in Philadelphia...

Supreme Court decides Maronda Homes v. Lakeview Reserve

The Supreme Court issued its opinion in the Maronda Homes, Inc. of Florida v. Lakeview Reserve Homeowners Association, Inc., case earlier today. I previously blogged about the case and its ramifications on Florida’s common law implied warranties here. Subsequent to oral argument in that case the legislature enacted Section 553.835, Florida Statutes, which abrogated all common law implied warranties for “off site improvements” as noted here and here. The opinion recounts at length the procedural and factual history of the underlying case as well as the status of the law regarding common law implied warranties. It is the Supreme Court’s most comprehensive recitation of this area of the law since Gable v. Silver in 1972 and Conklin v. Hurley in 1983.  The original question dealt with whether the underlying 5th District Court of Appeal’s decision was correct, or if a prior 4th District Court of Appeal decision in Port Sewall v. First...