For those construction industry players who need a refresher on an evolving area of law, or for those new to the Sunshine State, the following article serves as a primer on some of the commonly faced issues by property owners and lienors, as well as best practices to maximize your compliance with the statute.
Florida’s fraudulent lien law has been on the books for well over a decade. The law simultaneously created a powerful tool for responding to construction liens while intensifying the scrutiny of lienors and the amounts liened for. Today, a host of caselaw exists to assist the industry in navigating the legal minefield that comes with enforcing construction liens in the Sunshine State. Just two years ago, and perhaps armed with some prescience, the legislature amended Chapter 255, Florida Statutes, in order to create a similar statutory framework for fraudulent bond claims on public projects. Since then, not one single opinion can be found in connection with the new language in Section 255.05(2)(a)(2), Florida Statutes. Yet, with the substantial increase in public construction work, more bond claims will inevitably follow.
On August 8, 2021, the Senate voted to move President Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure bill, the “American Jobs Plan” (“Jobs Plan”), forward with a final vote coming as soon as August 9, 2021. It will then move to the House. Political maneuvering aside, a vital component of the Bill is the investment in transportation, which could exceed $621 billion over an eight-year timeframe. This investment would include public transit, passenger rail systems, improvements of services, and a tremendous backlog of road, highway, bridge and other repairs.
With signs in the State of Florida all pointing to a possible resumption of medical cannabis licensing (the first of which was rulemaking involving the black farmers and the Pigford case), many businesses and entrepreneurs are once again seeking to capitalize on the financial potential of the Florida market. But…buyer beware!
Prior to 2018, the State of Florida Office of Financial Regulation, and partially in response to the rise in popularity of crypto currencies and curiously enough, ATM’s to transact business, often required the crypto currency business to obtain a Money Transmitter License.
About 20 years ago, an electronic revolution forced litigators to assess how to handle the growing data volumes leading to a new niche in the legal industry called eDiscovery. Particularly over the last five years, data has been growing exponentially as people create enormous amounts of electronic information. Although only a small percentage of data is stored into a subsequent year, the installed base of storage capacity, according to Statista, “is forecast to increase, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 19.2 percent over the forecast period from 2020 to 2025.”
Berger Singerman’s 2021 Annual Hurricane Season Survey polled more than 1,800 business owners and residents in South Florida. The results are alarming and prove that many are not ready to brace the season.
Following the recent wave of policy cancellations and non-renewals, many of Florida’s property owners are left wondering whether cancellation of their policy is imminent and, if so, how long will they have to find new insurance. The cancellation of an insurance policy always a concerns but even more time-sensitive during hurricane season. Fortunately, the cancellation of certain property insurance policies during a hurricane event is governed by Florida Statute Section 627.4133(2)(d), which outlines the various requirements and time frames Florida’s insurers must follow.
Given the amount of unprecedented ‘disasters’ we have had this past year and the COVID-19 pandemic directly affecting the construction industry with supply shortages and delays, there is simply no better time to be ready for severe storms than yesterday. Hurricanes have caused damage to all kinds of construction and infrastructure in the US, most recently in Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico. With supplies so scarce, industry-wide delays and contractors already weary, what legal measures can businesses and homeowners alike take to assure they are not left out to dry?
In addition to SB 56 and SB 630 which were signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis on June 16, 2021 as addressed in my blog post from June 17, 2021, Governor DeSantis signed Senate Bill 1966 into law on June 21, 2021. The legislation, which is effective July 1, 2021, makes additional changes to provisions in the Florida Condominium Act regarding condominium association board eligibility and condominium association budgets. Below are highlights of Senate Bill 1966 and the changes to the laws governing condominiums.
In May of 2021, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis expressed concerns about water levels at Lake Okeechobee, stating that: “with the lake at the level it is now, we're really concerned and bracing for the Corps to discharge. And that's not, we think, the way we want to go forward." With the onset of the wet season and what could be an active hurricane season this year, the Governor and some lawmakers are urging the Army Corps not to discharge Lake Okeechobee to canals and rivers to the east and west, but to send the water south to the Everglades. The reason is simple: toxic algae bloom in the waters of Lake Okeechobee, spurred on by the summer heat, threatens to impact residents and tourists who use south Florida waterways for business and recreation.