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5 Signs Your Construction Dispute Is Headed for Litigation

Construction projects are based on a number of essential agreements – between the project owner and general contractor, between the general contractor and the subcontractors, and suppliers, and so on.

Under ideal circumstances, the project progresses from concept to completion without any major disruptions, but this outcome isn’t always the reality. Participants disagree on invoices, timelines, and other relevant factors. While most disputes can be settled via negotiation and compromise, others end up in court. Here are five signs that your construction dispute is headed for litigation.

Sign No. 1: Everyone stops talking to one another.

As long as all parties are communicating, there is a reasonable chance of settling a dispute without going to extremes. But when one side goes into sudden radio silence and stops answering your calls and emails, it’s a sign that they’re no longer interested in discussing the matter with you further and you’re likely to get a summons and complaint.

Sign No. 2: The other party refuses to compromise.

Even if the other person or company keeps the lines of communication open, the situation can turn into a lawsuit if they refuse to compromise. This outcome is especially likely if there is a lot at stake, such as an unfinished project or a large supplier invoice that hasn’t yet been paid. If neither side in the dispute is willing to compromise on their expectations, they’re more apt to sue for what they want.

Sign No. 3: They report you to an outside regulator.

If the other party reports you to a body that governs your profession, such as the Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board, they’re questioning both your professional competence and your ability to fix the problem underscoring the dispute. Litigation is the logical next step to resolve the situation.

Sign No. 4: “Talk to my lawyer!”

Although disputants often threaten to get an attorney involved, it doesn’t always mean that they’re going to do it. Sometimes they’re trying to alarm you and make you either back down or give up. If they warn that they’ve already retained legal counsel, contact your own attorney, because few people invest in a lawyer unless they’re prepared to take action.

Sign No. 5: You are served with a summons and complaint.

Once you receive the paperwork, you’re no longer headed for litigation – you’re already there. Although there is always a chance of settling the matter out of court, you want to retain counsel now if you haven’t already.

If your construction dispute is headed for litigation, protect your interests by hiring an experienced Florida construction law attorney. Depending on the circumstances of the disagreement, Attorney Marisa Portuondo may try to negotiate a settlement before proceeding to a form of alternative dispute resolution such as arbitration. If litigation turns out to be necessary, she will not hesitate to represent your case in state and even federal court. To schedule a consultation and case review, please contact us.





The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters, and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send us any documents to review or confidential information until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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Marisa Portuondo

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