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Orlando Business & Commercial Law Blog

As building plans change, construction disputes can arise

When it comes to new construction, the changing of plans is all but inevitable. Delays, unavailable materials, workforce complications, weather and many other issues can arise over the course of a project. This can be particularly true when it comes to bigger buildings and properties.

Being prepared for these complications and changes can be crucial for all parties involved. One way to be prepared is to have a plan in place for resolving any construction dispute that does arise. For example, concerns have come up regarding the cost of a new NFL stadium and who will have to pay for it.

Legal support crucial before and after signing a contract

Contracts are legal documents that can prove to be crucial in protecting the interests of one or both parties who sign it. They are powerful tools and should not be signed without thorough examination and a clear understanding of the terms and restrictions involved.

Because there can be so much at stake when it comes to contracts, it can be crucial that you review them with a legal representative before signing and/or in the event that a dispute arises.

Defective airbag inflators lead to steep fines for Takata

The recall of more than 30 million vehicles just in our country alone is enough to grab anyone's attention, especially if the automotive part associated with this recall has been linked to hundreds of injuries and at least eight deaths so far. What the ongoing recall of Takata airbags illustrates is a worst-case-scenario for manufacturers and the true cost of negligence for businesses across the nation.

For those of our Florida readers who have not heard yet, Takata, the maker of the defective airbag, was recently fined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for violating "several provisions of the Motor Vehicle Safety act and the Federal regulations implementing the Act, including requirements that it notify NHTSA within a reasonable time (five days) of when it determined, or should have determined, the existence of a discovery of a defect," explains an NHTSA fact sheet.

Copyright lawsuit: How will it all shake out?

In recent posts, we have discussed the importance of protecting a business with copyrights, trademarks or patents. These tools can be a very effective way of legally establishing ownership of unique and specific products or services. In the event that another party violates this ownership by using or repurposing materials without permission, owners can take legal action in the form of commercial litigation.

However, it can be very complicated to navigate the legal process when ownership of material is called into question. This is why it can be crucial for people have the guidance and support of an attorney should they find themselves in this situation. For example, recently, a man filed a lawsuit against singer Taylor Swift for stealing musical lyrics. Unfortunately for him, it looks like his claim may not be successful.

Concerns over bidding misconduct could stall construction

Before most large-scale construction projects on public property or publicly owned buildings can begin, Florida laws dictate that a solicitation for competitive bids be completed. Bidding allows interested parties to submit proposals for what they can do and how much it will cost.

When bids are solicited properly and the appropriate bid is selected, this process can run fairly smoothly. However, if there are concerns about violations or impropriety, the projects can be stalled. Delays can be quite costly, so it is crucial for all parties to know and comply with the legal requirements of the competitive bidding system.

What's the difference between a patent, copyright and trademark?

As we discussed in our last blog post, businesses have a lot on the line when it comes to the services and products they offer. These are the things that set one company apart from another so it can be important to make sure they are protected.

Protecting business assets can mean different things to different employers, and the means of protection can vary based on what needs protection. For example, if you have a particular product, idea or creative work, you may want to protect it through a patent, copyright or trademark. Knowing the differences between these three things can make it easier for people to protect materials.

Make you mark (but be sure it's not the same as someone else's)

Brand and product recognition is extremely valuable to companies all across Florida. Whether it's a highly memorable tagline in a commercial or an identifiable logo, a symbol or phrase that allows consumers to almost immediately recognize a product can be worth much more than money.

For example, when we see an Apple product logo or BMW symbol on a vehicle, there are likely very specific connections you make and reactions you have. In the best case scenarios, these are favorable and increase the chances that a person will buy that product. Considering how powerful these identifying features can be, many companies want to trademark and protect them from being used by another entity.

Legal guidance crucial when it comes to business matters

Any employer knows that one of the primary keys to success is knowing a business inside and out. This can mean understanding the marketplace, being an expert on the product or service being sold, and researching the competition. All of this can take up a considerable portion of an employer's job duties.

Because of this, many employers do not have the time or resources to also familiarize themselves with the many legal issues that can come up in business and employment relationships. This is why it can be so crucial for business owners to have an attorney review things like contracts, employment policies and business transaction practices. Failure to do this could leave an employer vulnerable to expensive litigation.

How can I use a contract to avoid construction disputes?

Property owners across Orlando are looking to reconstruct, expand, renovate and otherwise change their homes or buildings on a regular basis. Sometimes these changes are necessary for a structure to be in compliance with certain codes; other times, the property owner is looking to make cosmetic changes in the hopes of increasing a property's value.

Whether you are looking to make a big change or more minor changes to a property, it can be crucial that you protect yourself, the project and your bottom line with a construction contract. These documents can be enormously valuable in helping people avoid disputes and clearly define expectations before going into a construction project. If you are about to break ground on a new project, there are some things you may want to consider regarding a construction contract.

Legal requirements can complicate zoning disputes

When it comes to real estate disputes, landlords, tenants and prospective buyers can find the process of seeking a resolution much more complicated than they expected. Florida laws regarding zoning, dispute resolution, leasing requirements and other common commercial real estate issues are quite complex and when a problem arises, it can be wise to have the support of an attorney.

For example, one man in Florida found himself in a difficult spot after his proposal to rezone land for use as a car wash was rejected. He has since requested that the dispute be resolved through mediation, but that may not be possible.