Construction Dispute Attorneys
Construction disputes have the potential to delay the project. Any delay costs the project owner and the contractor money. At Lerner & Weiss, our goal is to have your back and, as far as legally possible, promptly resolve disputes so as to minimize any monetary loss.
Construction Contract Disputes
Contracts are the cornerstone of construction projects. Most projects require parties to enter into multiple construction contracts involving many different subcontractors providing many different services in order for the project to be completed. The failure of one entity in the chain of service or goods providers can throw off the entire project.
When work is not provided according to contract terms, disputes arise. Although there is almost no end to the types of contract disputes that may arise. Below are are a few of the most common.
Construction schedules are generally tight and have very little flexibility. Time schedules depend on all subcontractors and material suppliers to follow the plan with impeccable preciseness. A delay by one entity in the construction process can permeate the entire project resulting in an incredible cascade of lost profits.
Whether delayed by weather, design problems, work stoppages, change-orders or any other issue, at Lerner & Weiss, we use our expertise in negotiations to promptly resolve the issues to minimize the delay and loss all the while preserving the rights of our clients.
Extra Work & Change Orders
It is rare for a project to proceed without a change order which often requires extra work. The original contract should provide the procedure for changing orders and requiring extra work. Even so, in the haste to get work completed on time, often changes are made and extra work required without either party complying with the contract provision that states that any changes and any requirements for extra work must be in writing.
Although the law may honor the changes as according to an oral contract, disputes may arise. At Lerner & Weiss, we work to resolve these issues so the project is not delayed and work can proceed amicably and on schedule.
Scope of Work
This is often one of the most neglected contract terms but also one of the most important. This is the basis of the contract. It establishes the actual duties one party has to the other.
General contractors often enjoy vague scope of work terms. A vague term allows them to push for a scope beyond what a subcontractor believed the work entailed. Subcontractors benefit by having the scope of work precisely defined and detailed in their contracts. This allows them to rely on their contract terms when asked to do work beyond the scope that is articulated in the contract.
When disputes arise, the first step is evaluation of the contract to see what the parties intended when they entered into the agreement. Scope of work disputes need to be resolved quickly in order to avoid delays that cost the project money.
Construction Disputes Involving Payment
Payment to contractors, subcontractors and material suppliers are vital in order to keep the project alive. There are some legal protections designed to mitigate financial loss or disruption in payment. These include:
A mechanics lien is filed against the property owner who owes you money. The property cannot be sold unless you get paid and there are circumstances which allow you to foreclose on the property if you do not get paid. At Lerner & Weiss, our construction law attorneys are adept at filing mechanics liens in order to meet the complex legal time and notice requirements that must be met.
A surety bond has been compared to an insurance policy. The general contractor files a bond which guarantees payment to subcontractors and material suppliers in the event the contractor runs out of money.
Although this contract provision is almost always part of contracts for public entities, it behooves subcontractors and material suppliers for private projects require the contractor to provide a surety bond.
A stop notice is filed with the entity that is paying the contractor, generally the bank. Your document demands the bank, or whoever is paying, to withhold whatever amount you can prove you are owed from any payment it plans to pay the contractor. That amount is held in trust until your dispute is resolved.
Lerner & Weiss work to enforce prompt payments statutes so that you get paid for your work whether you are working on a private or public project. These statues are complicated and required detailed compliance in order to apply them to your own situation.
Contact Our Experienced Construction Dispute Attorneys
Whatever the nature is of your contract dispute or payment issue, contact our construction law attorneys at Lerner & Weiss for assistance. We have a combined 60 years of experience assisting our construction law clients with all aspects of the industry.
We are skilled at negotiations, which encompasses a large part of this area of the law. We strive to prevent any work stoppage that will disrupt the completion date of the project.
We recognize the need for deadlines to be kept and for minimization of any loss. If trial cannot be prevented, we bring our construction litigation attorneys will fight diligently to protect your rights.