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Extending credit gives you an advantage over your competitors and increases sales. While this is very beneficial, especially in the construction industry, it doesn’t come without some risk.  Extending credit creates a financial exposure for you, and this may need to be absorbed if things don’t go well. Not everybody to whom you extend credit will always pay on time or, unfortunately, at all. It’s always possible that the job where you extended credit or…
When properly filed, a construction lien is a great tool for contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers seeking money owed for work performed or goods provided to improve real property. So, when a property owner fails to pay the general contractor that general contractor is entitled to enforce a claim for payment by placing a lien on the owner’s property.  But when improperly filed, a claim of lien may be found to be fraudulent and prove…
They are a big problem for all subcontractors and suppliers – those pay-when-paid provisions stating that payment won’t be due until and unless it is first paid by the owner. This shifting of the risk of non-payment from a general contractor to its subs and material suppliers has found its way into most every construction contract you see today.  Can you do anything to overcome these clauses? To start with, many of these clauses are…
I am sure you have processes in place to collect debts. But as a construction law firm that helps folks in the industry collect their debts, we have seen the best and worst practices. In this article, we will discuss how to improve your collection practices and how to protect your interests. Shore Up the Basics Get it in writing: Make sure the agreement that you have with your customer is in writing. This might…
Most contractors assume these terms are interchangeable and have the same meaning. They would be wrong. In reality, these provisions are not the same, and each has very different and serious implications. Hold harmless. If drafted correctly, a “hold harmless” clause has the effect of having the holder avoid liability for certain damages or claims as set out in an agreement. Typically, a contractor would be agreeing to hold the homeowner harmless from liability, or a subcontractor…
Here’s a scenario that is pretty common in construction. You are busy building an addition for a customer. You submit some change orders but the owner disputes your claim for extras. You explain that the scope of the contracted work was changed but the owner just isn’t seeing it your way. You then receive a check in the mail for a significant portion of your balance, but it is less than the amount you had…
Everyone involved in the construction industry has at least heard about, if not dealt with, liens. They are useful tools in assisting contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers to get paid what they’re owed. A lien represents an amount of money which remains due for work performed to improve real property. And when prepared properly, and filed timely and correctly, they are very effective. But what happens when a lien isn’t accurate, or worse, is fraudulent.…
Work as a Florida construction lawyer long enough and you’ll see the same lien questions come up over and over again.  Do you need a written contract to have lien rights? How long do I have to record my lien? How do I account for weekends and holidays? What is “last work” under the lien law? What happens after I lien? And can I lien homestead property? Can I lien homestead property? The short answer…
We have seen a lot of mistakes folks make when it comes to issuing lien releases. In this article, we are going to discuss the three most common lien release issues and how you should approach each. What form of partial and final waiver should I use? The first thing you need to be aware of is where you are in the pecking order of any particular construction project. If you are the general contractor,…
We see them every time we are on any highway – those construction vans and pickups with the contractor’s name, logo and phone number.  After all advertising is a part of every business. How else would the public know what services your company offers? But when it comes to the construction industry, advertising of this sort must be done in a particular way. There are rules to follow, specific rules, or you could find yourself in a pickle. Most critical is…