Guest post by Henderson Franklin’s Construction Chair, J. Matthew Belcastro, Esq.

5-4-2016 8-11-32 AMFreedom to contract is one of the cornerstones of our system of jurisprudence. As long as the subject of the contract is not illegal or contrary to an established public policy, we Americans can contract in just about any manner we wish.

Yet, all too often when disputes arise in connection with a construction project, we find parties who have no contract or (potentially worse) a contract which is not suitable for the nature of the project and/or the interests the parties wish to protect.

The construction industry is somewhat unique because of the wide range of potential parties and relationships involved in a project: owners/developers, general contractors, design professionals, subcontractors, materials suppliers, lenders, sureties, just to name a few. These numerous relationships make it all the more important to protect yourself with appropriate contractual provisions.

Having the right contractual language can help you:

  • get paid the full amount you are owed and in a timely manner;
  • obtain alternative remedies if you are having trouble getting paid;
  • protect you from having to do more work or assume responsibility than necessary
  • protect you from liability and minimize your exposure
  • avoid going to court and unnecessarily incurring attorney fees
  • ensure that you recover all that you are entitled to recover if a lawsuit arises

Final C-Suite Speaker Series

Please join us on November 17 (from 5:00 – 7:00 pm), when Mark Schultz and I will discuss the most critical contractual provisions when it comes to preparing contracts for design professionals, general contractors, and subcontractors. Our discussion will focus on:

  • Scope of obligation
  • Payment terms
  • Limitation of liability
  • Insurance
  • Liens
  • “Pay when Paid” clauses
  • Indemnification
  • Dispute resolution

In addition to these topics, we are hoping to have a lively discussion to answer any questions about issues that may arise from time to time. We hope you will join us! Please click here to register.

About the Author

BelcastroJ. Matthew Belcastro concentrates his practice in the areas of construction litigation, construction contracts, business and real estate litigation.  He also has an active appellate practice. He is admitted to practice in all Florida state courts, as well as in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

Matt has been recognized by several publications, including Florida Trend Magazine‘s “Up and Comers” list (2009), Florida Trend Magazine‘s Legal Elite (2010, 2011, 2016) and Florida Super Lawyers ® magazine (2010-2012, 2014-2016) for his work in the field of construction litigation. He is also AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Matt can be reached at 239-344-1205 or by email at matthew.belcastro@henlaw.com.