At Worman & Sheffler, P.A., we dedicate our practice to construction law. With more than 40 years of practice in the field, we have experience representing clients in all aspects of construction and business law. We provide quality, efficiency, and professional service, and are a trusted law firm in the community. One of our areas of practice is representing clients involved in Construction Contract Disputes.
Construction Contract Disputes
Construction contract disputes often arise from the specific terms of the written contract. Having an experienced construction attorney’s expertise is important when evaluating a construction contract – including the fine print – and cross-referencing the contract with related materials and documents for consistency. Each construction project may have multiple contracts that should be consistent and related to each other.
Disputes and claims are common in many construction projects, and most disputes occur over changes in the work, including revisions to contract drawings as issued at the time a contract was signed. There are procedures delineated in the General Conditions for the processing of change orders, including the handling of concealed conditions, claims for additional costs, minor changes in the work, and uncovering and correction of the work. There are also provisions for acceptance of defective or nonconforming work and termination conditions.
The second most common source of disputes is poorly documented or coordinated drawings. Coordinating engineering and architectural drawings from the beginning can help avoid conflicts.
In most cases, the facility manager has overall accountability for the project’s success and will mediate between the various outside parties. Contracts provide that the general contractor and the subcontractors continue working on a project even while a dispute is in progress. When a situation cannot be resolved through conversations with each party, a facility manager may need to go to formal negotiation, arbitration, or legal action.
Formal negotiations are when parties formally sit down to discuss their various viewpoints.
Formal arbitration is the next step in resolving disputes. Many contracts contain a clause such as, “Any disputes will be settled under the rules for arbitration in effect in (the state in which the project or organization is located) at the time of construction commencement …”
The clause indicates that all parties agree that claims and disputes will be settled through binding arbitration and that no lawsuits will be filed. Many organizations are opting for this approach to prevent expensive and time-consuming litigation.
When all other remedies have been tried, a dispute may go into litigation. Clear, precise, and consistent documentation kept throughout the project is critical to litigation issues. In complex cases, pursuing legal action can be expensive. Litigation is most appropriate when there are large claims worth millions of dollars.
When disputes arise in connection with a contract during construction, our attorneys at Worman & Sheffler, P.A. help clients resolve the disputes so that their projects can keep moving forward.
Whether litigation or some form of alternative dispute resolution is needed during or after construction, we work to minimize costs and resolve the matter as quickly and favorably as possible. If it is necessary to move beyond alternative dispute resolution to resolve issues, our attorneys are experienced litigators and can effectively advocate for our clients at trial or on appeal.
Our clients include owners, owner-developers, construction management firms, general contractors, trade contractors, vendors, and design professionals.
Contact our experienced attorneys for legal assistance regarding a construction contract dispute. Call for a consultation at 407-843-5353 or 888-279-3811 (toll-free). Our office is in Maitland, Florida, and we represent clients throughout the state of Florida.