Florida law provides significant protections to construction contractors, subcontractors and material suppliers. Contractors, subcontractors and suppliers have the ability to lien the real property which receives the benefits of their materials and efforts. If they are not timely paid, they have the ability to foreclose the property and receive payment from the foreclosure sale.
To preserve such powerful rights, however, the contractors and suppliers must comply with Florida’s lien laws. Subcontractors and suppliers who do not have a written contract with the property owner must serve a notice to owner in a form which complies with the statute upon the property owner within forty-five days of the subcontractor’s commencement of performance or the supplier’s supplying of materials.
A lien foreclosure action must be brought within one year of the recording of the claim of lien.
Even when a recovery of attorneys’ fees is recoverable by the prevailing party, the judge has discretion as to the amount of legal fees to be awarded. The judge will consider a number of factors including:
1. The time and labor required, the novelty and complexity of the legal issues and the skill required of the attorney.
2. The likelihood that the acceptance fo the particular representation will rpeclude other employment by the lawyer.
3. The fee customarily charged in the locality.
4. The amount involved and the results obtained.
5. The time limitations imposed by the client or the circumstances.
6. The nature and lenght of time of the professional relationship between client and lawyer.
7. The experience, reputation and skill of the lawyer.
8. Whether the fee is fixed or contingent upon the outcome.
When meeting with an attorney, be sure you have a good understanding of how the legal fees will be paid and whether you can recover your legal fees if you are successful in the litigation.