With a Legislature thoroughly dominated by Republicans and a very conservative Governor, one would have expected to see a lot accomplished in the 2011 Legislative Session. However, as it turned out, they are still politicians and can’t help but bicker among themselves. As a result not a lot was accomplished in the way of issues important to most contractors.
Welcome to the first in a series of articles which will touch upon the basics of various aspects of construction law in Florida. The series will largely be aimed at informing contractors of legal requirements, helpful tips, and pitfalls to avoid. However, the series will also be educational to consumers, and from time to time I will include tips aimed directly at consumers. What is a Construction Lien?
2011 marks Steve’s 15th Anniversary of achieving an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell. It is the pinnacle of excellence earned through a strenuous Peer Review Rating process that is managed and monitored by the world’s most trusted legal resource. It shows that he possesses the highest standards in both ethical behavior and quality of his legal work.
We had an opportunity to travel to Paris last summer to defend one of our clients in an international arbitration proceeding, for which we recently received a favorable outcome. Traveling with us was our associate, Scott Machnik, who was an invaluable asset in the defense of the case. His fiancée, Rachael Miller, who turned out to be a match to my wife Connie’s shopping acumen also came with us. After the arbitration was completed we were able to remain in Paris for a very nice vacation.
Under long standing laws and regulations a contractor or subcontractor has been considered the final user of construction materials for purposes of assessing sales tax on the materials. Consequently the material supplier would collect the sales tax from the contractor purchasing the material and remit it to the State. While there are exemptions from the sales tax for public bodies, these exemptions do not extend to materials purchased by the contractor.
MARLOWE MCNABB, P. A. is pleased to announce Stephen D. Marlowe has been named to Tampa Bay magazine’s Tampa Bay’s Top Lawyers. This publication compiles its list of top lawyers in the area by working in conjunction with LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell to find lawyers who have been rated by their peers to be AV Preeminent- the highest Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating available. In addition, Mr. Marlowe has been named to Florida Trend’s Legal Elite as well as Super Lawyers magazine’s best lawyers for 2010. These publications select top lawyers in Florida through an extensive process of balloting, blue ribbon panel review and independent research. Selection of 5 percent of Florida attorneys is its goal.
SB 1964 – The Governor has vetoed SB 1964 which would have granted architects, landscape architects, interior designers, engineers and surveyors special protections from claims for malpractice which would not be available to other professions.
SB 7157 – Our initial enthusiasm for HB 7157 relating to the sales tax exemption for materials used in public projects has been tempered by a closer review of the bill language. It had appeared that this bill would allow for the purchase of tax exempt materials by the contractors and subcontractors in place of the cumbersome owner purchase process now in place. This is not correct. However, the good news is that where an owner direct purchase is used, the contractor is protected from a later claim by the Department of Revenue that the process did not meet the requirements for the tax exemption. If this is the case, the owner not the contractor will now be liable for the sales tax. To get this protection, it is important that a tax exemption certificate be obtained.
As part of the federal government’s recent economic stimulus package, significant funds have become available for public school construction. In order to take advantage of these stimulus funds, contractors who wish to work on public school construction in Florida must become “prequalified.” See e.g., Florida Statute §1013.46. This article offers a brief overview of the purpose for prequalification, what it means and how it works.
Trial courts are required to apply the significant issues test to evaluate entitlement to attorney’s fees under § 713.29, Fla.Stat., even when the lienor obtains a judgment on the lien.
Before the Florida Supreme Court decided Trytek v. Gale Industries, Inc., 3 So. 3d 1194 (Fla. 2009), it was generally understood that a lienor who succeeded in obtaining a judgment in a lien foreclosure action was automatically entitled to recover its attorney’s fees as the prevailing party pursuant to §713.29, Fla.Stat. After Trytek this is no longer a foregone conclusion.