The Barthet Firm

Solutions Found is not just a tagline for us; it is at the core of how we practice law. We understand that clients are interested in finding an answer to their problems and with more than 200 years of legal experience under our combined legal belt, we can cut through the legalese, identify the real issues, and pin down practical solutions. We know that value and responsiveness are important, and we appreciate the fact that in the real world business consequences matter more than legal theories.

Sending a Notice To Owner can help get you paid – if done timely and correctly.  Here are the mistakes to avoid. In the state of Florida, if you are not contracted directly by the owner of a property, sending a Notice To Owner can secure your lien rights and/or bond claim rights. This communication lets your customers know you are serious about getting paid on your terms, not theirs. General contractors often say they…
A breakup is often compared to a broken mirror: better to leave the pieces than risk more damage by trying to pick them up. But when it comes to business relationships, that kind of quick, clean split is often impossible and ill-advised. Contractors facing a split with a customer need to deal with the fallout professionally, addressing payments still due, materials ordered but not yet installed, and warranties yet to take effect. Simply walking off a…
Ethical behavior is defined by a set of ideals and moral principles, a system of values guiding one’s conduct.  It is in the end society’s sense of what is the right way of acting, working and living.  The concept dates back to the ancient Greek philosophers who struggled to define good and bad character traits.  Fast forward to modern times, the idea of establishing a code of ethics has permeated most every profession and industry,…
Contingent payment clauses can be found in almost all Florida subcontracts.  These clauses require an owner to make payment to a contractor before the contractor has any obligation to pay the subcontractor.[1]  These clauses continue to expand in scope, often including the surety (where there is one), and may also provide that the subcontractor has no cause of action of any kind against the contractor or surety if the contractor is not paid.…
Hopefully you can keep construction dispute from moving into the legal arena. But if you are sued or inclined to initiate legal proceedings, here are key things to keep in mind. First, remember that anyone can sue anyone for almost anything. Understanding this means understanding the critical need to document all issues to protect yourself. In a court setting, documentation carries great weight. Make sure your contracts are in writing, ideally reviewed by a lawyer,…
These days any employee critical to a company’s continued success and profitability is likely to be asked to sign a Non-Compete, Non-Solicitation and Non-Disclosure Agreement. In enforcing such agreements, courts look to see if the restrictions actually protect “legitimate business interests.” So when Jones resigned to go work for a competitor, her prior employer quickly filed suit, seeking to prohibit her from violating the non-compete agreement she had signed. The former employer argued such a prohibition was critical…
You may be surprised, but you can still lien and get paid without a signed contract. A contract is a meeting of the minds. Two parties agree in principal to certain key terms about what is expected of each of them. The lien law does not mandate that a contract be in writing, or signed, for it to be valid and enforceable. The same law, however, requires that the owner have a contract with anyone…
75% of all employees have stolen at least once from their employers, and more than two thirds have stolen more than once according to Statistic Brain Research Institute. This amounts to a 50 billion dollar loss a year. Wow! When it comes to construction, it appears that equipment theft remains a low risk – high reward crime of opportunity, especially in Florida which continues to rank as one of the top five states for such…
As a supplier, protecting your rights to get paid is critical for the long-term health of your business. Not knowing the value of liens and bonds, and how each can safeguard your payment, can be a big problem. Likewise not having good documentation in place is hazardous to your financial well being. Do You Have The Right Documents In Place? Make sure each of your customers has a signed, up-to-date credit application on file. Long…
One thing that will change in the post-Coronavirus world will be protection clauses in construction contracts. “Legal” terms once buried in fine print, like “force majeure” and “frustration”, will be closely reviewed by contractors, owners and their legal advisors in the future. Force Majeure Generic force majeure clauses will likely be more precise. The parties to the contract should give more thought to force majeure definitions. When seeking to limit exposure, contractors must be specific…