Construction

Whether it’s assembling a lawsuit for defective work, building a contract between a general contractor and a subcontractor, or designing a construction claim to comply with the Miller Act, Johnstone Adams construction attorneys get the job done right. Our comprehensive resources, including a stable of expert consultants, combined with our abundant experience in this arena has positioned us as one of the leading legal services providers for the construction industry in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and along the I-10 Gulf Coast corridor.

From pre-project to close -out, our commercial construction experience includes:

  • Liens
  • Bonds
  • Sureties
  • Marine construction
  • Contract drafting and review
  • Contract disputes
  • Architectural and engineering design claims
  • Insured defense
  • Financing
  • Negotiation
  • Arbitration and litigation
  • Construction delays
  • Liquidated damages
  • Design defects
  • Payment
  • Submittals
  • Change orders
  • Retainage issues

Johnstone Adams construction clients include general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, developers, owners, design professionals, construction lenders, offshore builders, and shipbuilders.

WHAT CAN A CONSTRUCTION LAWYER DO FOR YOUR BUILD?

Our construction lawyers have ample experience providing practical legal advice to all parties in the construction industry, from architects to contractors, subcontractors, developers, engineers, banks, sureties, insurance companies, material suppliers, and owners. Building a new home, office building, shopping mall, or any structure is a complex, stressful and costly experience, and these builds can be dangerous.

You may face disputes on cost, quality, duration of the build, workplace injuries and damages, and construction defect allegations after the fact. Construction disputes involve many individuals and companies and substantial sums of money, which is why the commercial litigation process is so convoluted. Contracts involving companies and independent contractors may call for resolution through mediation, arbitrations, or a dispute review board. An experienced construction lawyer understands how to navigate these situations to reach the desired resolution.

Our construction lawyers at Johnstone Adams, LLC may assist individuals and businesses facing legal challenges as they build a new structure. Whether it’s a home or commercial building, our attorneys can help in these ways and more:

  • Obtaining land for the project as well as addressing any environmental concerns regarding the build.
  • Acquiring financing from another source, including preparing and negotiating loan documents outlining the rights of the bank and other funding sources.
  • Assisting on decisions regarding the approach to project delivery, including multi-prime, design-build, and design-bid-build construction.
  • Drafting bid requests for the developer or owner to find a contractor. (Public projects for government properties may be required to file a bid protest to show a fair bidding process.)
  • Drafting and negotiating contracts between contractors, subcontractors, and the owner after a project is awarded.
  • Arranging documents for insurance and bonding to secure work performance and protect the involved parties against personal injury lawsuits and property damage.

HOW A LAWYER HELPS DURING A PROJECT BUILD

Building a new structure has countless moving parts and people involved. It’s common for material deliveries to be delayed, and unforeseen events may cause issues that delay the entire project. However, our construction lawyers help everyone involved understand and comply with them to ensure your build goes according to plan. Construction law is one of several practice areas that is rewarding work because our team gets to help you start at the beginning and see you through to a successful conclusion.

If contractors, subcontractors, or other parties are not paid, we can help to file bonds or liens to secure full payment for their hard work and the cost of their materials.

CONSTRUCTION LAW IS A MULTI-FACETED AREA

Construction lawyers require vast knowledge in many legal areas. We must be well-versed and prepared to handle any legal problems along the way as the construction industry is affected by many other places of business. Issues can happen that involve banking, taxes, and contract laws.

Environmental law often plays a role in larger builds to make sure wildlife and essential parts of nature are unharmed by the construction process and completed structure. A dispute between owners, contractors, and other parties can involve criminal law, bankruptcy law, tort law, insurance law, bone and lien law, and litigation. Our worker’s compensation and personal injury knowledge come into play if someone is injured while working on the build.

Johnstone Adams, LLC has a team of lawyers specializing in these practice areas, making our law firm an excellent choice for representation throughout the construction process.

CONTACT OUR CONSTRUCTION LAWYERS IN MOBILE

Our construction lawyers understand the intricacies of building a new home, building, or large shopping center and have successfully helped many clients pursue their real estate and construction goals. Contact our Mobile, Alabama office today at (844) 682-7682 or fill out our online contact form.

STRENGTHS

  • Liens
  • Bonds
  • Sureties
  • Marine construction
  • Miller Act claims
  • Contract drafting and review
  • Contract disputes
  • Architectural and engineering design claims
  • Insured defense
  • Construction delays
  • Liquidated damages
  • Retainage issues

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FEATURED CLIENT STORIES

Fighting City Hall

Our client, a large commercial general contractor for whom we act as outside general counsel, was hired by a municipality in South Alabama to renovate the existing city hall building and to construct a new building adjacent to it. Design errors soon put the project behind schedule, and disputes arose between the city’s design professional and our client over responsibility for extra work and remedial work necessitated by the defective design documents.

Johnstone Adams approach and solution

Our client’s reasonable attempts to compromise were ignored by the city and its design professional. On behalf of our client, we retained an independent architect to review and interpret the construction documents so as to provide an opinion as to which party or parties was at fault and whether our client’s performance failed to comply with the drawings and specifications. The city refused to consider the architect’s opinions, decided instead that not only would it withhold progress payments to our client but also demanded liquidated damages. The project was half-finished and in peril.

Outcome

We counseled our client to continue working and see the job through; but, at the same time, we demanded arbitration and began building our client’s claim, which eventually grew to more than a million dollars. With the assistance of the architect that reviewed the design documents, as well as a scheduling and delay expert, we were able to position the case so that, with an arbitration date looming, it would be settled on terms generous to our client.

First the Hurricanes, Then the Storm

The years 2004 and 2005 brought several hurricanes, most notably Ivan and Katrina. The Gulf Coast was devastated. Johnstone Adams handled many construction matters in the years that followed these storms. We defended construction defect claims and also assisted our clients in rebuilding projects.

One very interesting case involved the rebuilding of Naval Air Station Pensacola. We represented a large mechanical contractor that was awarded an $8 million contract to provide mechanical and plumbing services in the construction of four new buildings. The project was built by a national defense contractor with an $80 million contract with the U.S. Navy.

The project was plagued with delays from the start that were not anyone’s fault. For example, during excavation for one building, an antique ship was discovered buried on the site, which stalled construction for months while archaeologists and historians decided on the best method to preserve the ancient relic while at the same time moving the project forward. There were other delays, however, that were the fault of one party or the other.

Johnstone Adams approach and solution

Eventually, the project was completed. The Navy was happy, but that feeling was not shared by anyone else involved. Even though the general contractor was paid in full by the Navy, without any assessment of liquidated damages, the GC nevertheless withheld retainage from our client, as well as most of the other subcontractors, and assessed liquidated damages for delay on top of that. Our client was owed about $1 million on its contract and was faced with a $2 million claim for liquidated damages. After negotiations proved unfruitful, we filed suit under the federal Miller Act in a Florida federal court and were soon joined by eight other subcontractors and suppliers who had also not been fully paid.

Outcome

After three years of litigation and several mediation proceedings, we settled our client’s claim for 90% of the amount it was owed and complete exculpation from liability for liquidated damages.

NEXT STEPS

Johnstone Adams’ construction attorneys know the industry from foundation to completion, including the intricacies and challenges surrounding lien litigation, defective construction and how to handle claims for liquidated damages. Transactions, negotiations and litigation in this arena are often as complex as the entire building process. Our responsive and experienced attorneys have the necessary depth and breadth to provide you with the quality legal services you need without the high price tag and sluggish response associated with large law firms. Contact Johnstone Adams today to allow us to assist in resolving your construction issues.

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