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Save A Legal Fee? Sometimes You Better Talk With Your Construction Attorney

May 10, 2012 — Douglas Reiser, Builders Counsel

I love writing this column, because I think it’s refreshing for contractors to hear that they don’t always need an attorney. Today’s post is the “Un-Save a Legal Fee” because I want to point out a specific illustration of when you definitely need your attorney. Using a construction contract template can be fine, but you always need to consider its application to each project ? or it could bite you in the rear.

Seattle attorney Paul Cressman published a prime depiction of bad contract management, last week. A Florida appellate court struck down a general contractor’s “pay if paid” clause when it became ambiguous because of some incorporated language from its prime contract. Specifically, a clause in the prime contract required the general contractor to pay all subcontractors before receiving payment from the owner, while the general contractor’s “pay if paid” clause required its subcontractors to wait for payment until it arrived from the owner.

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Save A Legal Fee? Sometimes You Better Talk With Your Construction Attorney