Construction Lawyers

A construction litigation attorney understands that construction projects are complex, costly, and time-consuming. When materials don’t arrive on schedule, the contract isn’t honored, payment isn’t made, or the work is defective, it can leave you reeling while you search for answers and compensation.

Fortunately, you can hire a construction attorney to represent your company. A construction litigation attorney at Johnstone Adams gets the job done right. We have comprehensive resources, including a stable of expert consultants. This, combined with our abundant experience in construction law, 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.

Our construction litigation lawyers’ expertise and experience covers:

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

Whom Our Construction Lawyers Help

A construction litigation attorney at Johnstone Adams provides legal expertise to all players in the construction industry involved in both private and public projects. Our clients include general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, developers, owners, construction lenders, and shipbuilders.

We also provide legal advice to architects, engineers, banks, sureties, and insurance companies.

Why You Need a Construction Lawyer

Construction projects are complicated. Whether you are building a home or a commercial property, these projects can be stressful and expensive – not to mention dangerous.

Throughout the project, you might have disputes that require the assistance of a legal expert to resolve. From arguments over cost, quality, schedule, change orders, defects, damages, and even injuries, the list of potential disagreements that may need to be resolved is lengthy.

There is also usually a lot of money at stake in these disputes, which makes it essential to hire a qualified construction litigation attorney.

Contracts involving companies and independent contractors may call for resolution through mediation, arbitration, or a dispute review board. An experienced construction litigation attorney understands how to navigate these situations to reach the desired resolution.

Issues a Construction Litigation Attorney Can Help Resolve

A construction litigation attorney can be valuable to you for many reasons, but some of the more common include:

  • Drafting and reviewing contracts: A lawyer can help draft a record of the agreed-upon terms including scope of work, payment, schedules, and other critical details of your project. The right contract can be invaluable if a dispute arises.
  • Documentation of claims: Construction contracts are notoriously detailed about how claims that arise during a project are to be handled. A construction lawyer can guide you through the process and make sure a claim is documented properly and that timely and proper notice of the claim has been given.
  • Filing and defending construction liens: A construction lawyer knows the lien laws, which are different from state to state. These laws contain filing and timing requirements that must be complied with, and there are many traps for the unwary. If you have a lien issue of any significance, you should contact a construction lawyer immediately.
  • Employment issues: Was someone injured on the job? Were legal requirements met when hiring and terminating individuals? Were workers correctly classified as independent contractors? These issues can require legal expertise from a construction lawyer.
  • Handle lawsuits: If your construction project gives rise to a dispute that cannot be resolved between the parties themselves, whether over missed deadlines, defective work, or more, it’s imperative to have an expert construction lawyer on your team to make your case in court.

What Is Construction Law?

Construction lawyers require knowledge in many legal areas. They must be well-versed in the law, experienced in the industry, and prepared to handle a variety of legal issues that may arise, since the construction industry intersects with many other business interests such as banking, taxes, and insurance, to name a few.

Environmental law often plays a role in larger builds to ensure 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, bond and lien law, and litigation. Additionally, our workers’ compensation and personal injury knowledge come into play if someone is injured while working on the project.

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 A CONSTRUCTION LITIGATION ATTORNEY IN MOBILE

A construction litigation attorney understands the intricacies of building a new home, building, or large shopping center and we 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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