Showing posts from March, 2015

Firm Attorneys Present for the Florida Bar Education Committee

Oscar E. Soto and Dale Evans Jr. recently presented for the 2015 Certification Review Seminar of the Florida Bar Education Committee. Oscar and Dale's presentation addressed legal issues related to the construction of educational facilities in Florida to a group of over 20 attorneys preparing to take the 2015 Education Certification Examination for the Florida Bar.

Insurance Authorizations

Many of our restoration clients have used and still use the “insurance authorization agreement” as a way to enter into a restoration contract with individuals, associations, and commercial entities before those parties have received payment from their insurer for the damages.Here’s how it works: after an owner of real property suffers wind, storm, fire and/or water damage to real property, the restoration company enters into an agreement with the customer.The entire agreement is based on the property owner’s insurance carrier’s approval of the owner’s claim under its insurance policy.The agreement typically states “this contract is subject to insurance company approval and this contract is null and void if owner’s insurance carrier fails to fund owner’s claim and/or funds less than the amount set forth in this contract.”The less popular version of the insurance authorization agreement states the contractor will negotiate the claim with the insurance carrier and perform the work f…

Lienable items under Florida Statute 713

Under Florida's construction lien law labor and services performed, as well as materials furnished for the improvement of real property are lienable (Fla. Stat. 713.05; 713.06). But what qualifies as an improvement of real property? As an initial matter, the labor, services and materials must bestow a permanent improvement to the real property. In one Florida case, an electrical contractor that hard wired a kiosk at a mall was held not to have lien rights. (Palm Beach Mall, Inc. v. Southeast Millwork, Inc., 593 So. 2d 1121 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 4th Dist. 1992)). The Court in that case found that while the electrical outlet to which the Kiosk connected to was a permanent installation, the kiosk itself and its installation was not a permanent improvement to the property giving rise to lien rights. Examples materials which would bestow a permanent improvement would be structural steel, roof tiles and plumbing fixtures incorporated into a project. It is not difficult to imagine ho…

Need Steel? Log on to Amazon...

     Forward Magazine, a Metals Service Center Institute publication recently circulated a fascinating article about the encroachment of Amazon on industrial supplier and distributer markets.1 The article, authored by Peter Beller, highlights a renewed interest in developing ecommerce options for steel distributors. A quick visit to confirms the author’s claim that “under the ‘materials’ category, metal: from aluminum sheets to stainless steel bars to copper tubing” are available for purchase.

     In light of Amazon's encroachment how worried should steel distributors and metal service centers be? Probably not all that much. According to experts consulted by Peter Beller, “Amazon [is not] going to laser-cut steel.”3 Furthermore, the customization, project know how and customer relationships developed by service centers are factors Amazon cannot realistically duplicate or compete with.

     Full online selling and shipping services isn’t new. In fact, as Mr. Beller …

News Release - Downtown Doral Charter Elementary School shows new vision for Local Schools

The Soto Law Group drafted a Program Management Services Agreement, utilized in the ground-breaking deal between Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS) and private developer Codina Partners for the creation of the Downtown Doral Charter Elementary School.  The project is unique because the school will be privately controlled and financed, but publicly managed by MDCPS. Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said such an arrangement was unprecedented in charter-friendly Florida, if not the country.  The Program Management Services Agreement is unique because MDCPS, rather than a private third-party, served as the Program Manager for the construction of the charter school and was therefore able to retain a degree of oversight and influence over the project despite the fact that the project was funded privately. 
Downtown Doral Charter Elementary School shows new vision for Local Schools