"Here Comes the Money":
A Subcontractor's and Material Supplier's Guide to Perfecting Construction Lien and Bond Rights Under Florida Law
by Daniel R. Vega
Your brother runs a small tile installation company. He calls you complaining that he has not been paid on a job where he installed $15,000 worth of tiles for a general contractor. He wants to know what he can do. Your brother desperately needs the cash to pay off the tile manufacturer that extended credit for the tiles and to pay his laborer's wages. Because he previously installed tiles for that same general contractor on previous jobs and was always timely paid, the contractor's oral payment reassurances on this project were enough for your brother. Now, one month after the work has been completed and three months after the work was started, the general contractor is nowhere to be found and your brother remains unpaid. What do you tell him?
Even though it may be too late for your brother to perfect his construction lien and/or bond rights under Florida law, next time, compliance with some very basic steps prior to or during the time he is on the job will prevent a similar result. Indeed, if the final work product is not questioned, he should be paid in full, and you should be able to recover your attorneys' fees and costs in representing him. This article sets forth the process to ensure that your brother is paid.
Generally, Florida law provides that a subcontractor or material supplier ("lienor") who provides labor, work, or materials for the improvement of private real property located within Florida has a lien on that property for the value of the materials, labor, or work provided.1 The purpose of the Florida Construction Lien Law "is to protect those who have provided labor and materials for the improvement of real property."2
Private property owners concerned about clouds on title can exempt their property from liens by securing a lien bond in anticipation of construction.3 The lien bond substitutes for the property as security for the payment of a potential lienor.4 If the project is bonded, the lienor has a claim against the bond for the value of the work and/or the materials provided to improve the property. Owners can also transfer liens to bonds as they see fit after a lien is recorded.5 Public property, on the other hand, is exempt from liens.6 Accordingly, Florida law requires that every public job be bonded.7 However, because Florida construction lien and bond law abrogate the common law of contracts, courts strictly construe the corresponding statutory provisions.8
Perfecting Claim of Lien on Nonbonded Project
A lienor who is not in contractual "privity"9 with the owner must satisfy certain conditions precedent to perfect its right to a construction lien.10 First, the lienor must serve the owner with a "notice to owner."11 The service of the notice to owner does not mean that litigation will ensue or that the lienor will not be paid. The purpose of the notice to owner is to apprise the owner of the lienor's presence on the job so that the owner can protect itself from the possibility of paying over to its contractor monies which ought to go to an unpaid potential lienor who has previously provided work, labor, and/or materials.12 In other words, the owner can prevent paying twice for a lienor's work by verifying pursuant to a lien waiver (partial or final) that money paid to the contractor ends up paid to the lienor providing notice. The lienor must serve13 a notice to owner within the earlier of 45 days of first materials delivered to the project or work performed on the project or before final payment is made by the owner in reliance on the final contractor's affidavit.14
The notice to owner must be sent in the form provided by §713.06(2)(c). A deviation from the statutory form risks losing the lienor's rights entirely.15 If the lienor is not in privity with the general contractor, it must also serve the contractor with the notice to owner.16 The notice to owner should also be served on any lender identified in the notice of commencement17 because the lender may be obligated to seek lien waivers from lienors as progress payments are made.18
A lienor who fails to recover a timely payment and who has complied with its notice to owner requirements may lien the owner's property to obtain payment. To do so the lienor must record a claim of lien in the public records of the county where the property is located within 90 days of the final furnishing of materials, labor, or work or at any time during performance.19 It is safest to calculate this 90-day period as running from the date of substantial completion of the work.20
Florida courts apply the "substantial completion" test to determine when the 90-day period begins to run. In applying this test, the courts consider the following factors:
The claim of lien must also be in substantially the same form as that provided in §713.08(3). If the lien is not in compliance with the statutory form, the lienor risks losing its rights entirely.23 To effectuate the recording of the claim of lien, the lien must be prepared and notarized by the lienor and then taken to the clerk of court in the county of the property's location where it is recorded in the public records for a nominal fee.
Following recording, the claim of lien should be promptly served by certified mail, return receipt requested, on all of the applicable parties listed in the notice of commencement. If not timely served, "to the extent that the failure or delay is shown to have been prejudicial to any person entitled to rely on the service," the lien may be void.24 A word of caution: Even if an owner fails to record a notice of commencement, the lien should nevertheless be served on the owner at any available address.25
After the lien has been recorded, the lienor must commence a court action to foreclose the lien and recover for the work performed within one year from the date the lien is recorded.26 An untimely action bars foreclosure of the lien but not other potential remedies against the contractor or the owner, such as quantum meruit, unjust enrichment, or breach of contract claims. Furthermore, when a lienor files an action to foreclose a construction lien, it should always record and serve a lis pendens. Doing so prevents the owner from transferring title to a buyer without notice of the lien after the one-year lien period expires.27 The prevailing party on the lien action is entitled to an award of attorneys' fees and costs,28 and a likely award of prejudgment interest as well.29
Owner's Rights Against a Lien
Under §713.22, an owner may shorten the normal one-year statute of limitations for filing an action on a construction lien by recording a notice of contest of lien with the clerk of court in the county where the lien is recorded.30 After recording this notice, the clerk's office will mail a copy to the lienor informing it that suit to enforce the lien must be instituted within 60 days of the service.31 Any lien not sued upon within this 60-day time period is extinguished.32
Another way the owner can challenge a lien is pursuant to the "fraudulent lien statute."33 Section 713.31 provides that willfully exaggerated liens or liens prepared in a grossly negligent manner may be deemed fraudulent and unenforceable.34 The fraudulent lienor may also be liable to the owner for damages, costs, and attorneys' fees, and is potentially guilty of a third-degree felony.35 To avoid a fraudulent lien defense or, even worse, a counterclaim, a lienor should ensure that its claim of lien is recorded timely, only includes the actual amount due for the materials and/or work provided (i.e. , liens are not allowed to include interest, costs, or attorneys' fees) and should be prepared in good faith with due care and support from the contract, change orders, and financial records.36
Finally, although a lienor's lien rights may not be waived in advance, lien rights may be waived to the extent a lienor provides and is paid for its labor, services, or materials on the project.37 Lien waivers are usually conditioned on the payment of money due for the labor, services, or materials furnished.38 Accordingly, the contractor and/or the construction loan lender, on behalf of the sophisticated owner, will undoubtedly require written lien waivers from all lienors to the extent they are paid for work done or materials provided.39
Unconditional Private Payment Bondsł§713.23
When an owner does not want construction liens to be recorded against a particular property, it may require that the general contractor post an unconditional (traditional) private payment bond prior to construction. Such a bond stands as substitute security for the payment of lienors.40 Unlike a conditional payment bond (see discussion below), the unconditional bond exempts the owner's property from liens, whether or not the owner has paid the contractor.41 The governing statute requires that a lienor with actual or constructive notice of the existence of the bond sue on the bond instead of on a lien.42 To exempt the property from liens, the unconditional private payment bond must be attached to the notice of commencement at the time of its recording.43 If the bond is not attached to the notice of commencement when it is recorded, the owner/contractor can subsequently transfer liens to the bond.44
To perfect a claim against an unconditional private payment bond, a lienor who is not in contractual privity with the general contractor (i.e ., typically a material supplier or sub-subcontractor) must serve a notice to contractor on the general contractor before beginning, or within 45 days from the first day the lienor begins to furnish labor, materials, or supplies to the job.45 On the other hand, if a notice of commencement is not recorded, the bond is not attached when the notice is recorded, or a reference to the bond is not given in the notice, the lienor shall have 45 days from the date it is first notified of the bond's existence within which to serve the notice to contractor.46
In any case, if the lienor not in privity with the contractor is not otherwise notified in writing of the existence of the bond, the 45 days to serve the notice to contractor begin to run from the date the lienor first becomes aware of the existence of the bond.47 The notice to contractor serves to put the contractor on notice that the lienor will be looking to the payment bond for protection.48 The notice to contractor must be in substantially the same form as provided within §713.23(1)(c).
Additionally, as a condition precedent to recovery against an unconditional §713.23 payment bond (whether or not it was recorded with the notice of commencement), the lienor (inclusive of those in privity with the general contractor and those who are not) must serve the contractor and the surety with a notice of nonpayment not later than 90 days after the final furnishing of materials, labor, or work on the project.49 This notice perfects the lienor's claim against the bond for all payments due referenced in the notice and all subsequent payments that become due.50 The notice of nonpayment must be in substantially the same form as that provided by the statute.51 Serving a notice of nonpayment that does not adhere to the statutory form can negate an otherwise proper claim against the bond.52
A lienor not in privity with the general contractor cannot maintain an action for labor, materials, or supplies against the general contractor or the surety unless it first serves the notice to contractor and the notice of nonpayment.53 Likewise, the claim against the bond by a lienor in privity with the general contractor is barred if it does not timely serve the surety and the contractor with the requisite notice of nonpayment.54
All lienors must commence an action against the unconditional payment bond within "one year from the performance of the labor or completion of delivery of the materials and supplies."55 Similar to the analysis for the timing of an action on a claim of lien, the time period for bringing an action against the surety on the bond shall be calculated from the actual last day of furnishing labor and materials and not "by other standards, such as the issuance of a certificate of occupancy or the issuance of a certificate of substantial performance."56 Finally, similar to the notice of contest of lien, the contractor or its agent can also shorten the time limit for initiating an action against the bond from one year to 60 days by recording and serving a notice of contest of claim against payment bond.57
Conditional Payment Bondsł§713.245
A private owner concerned about clouds on title can also exempt property from the recording of liens by requiring that its contractor obtain a conditional payment bond.58 The conditional payment bond is a hybrid: In some instances, it will exempt the owner's property from liens and in others it will not. Generally, if the contractor's obligation to pay lienors is expressly conditioned upon and limited to the payments made by the owner to the contractor, the duty of the surety to pay lienors under this bond will be co-extensive with the contractor's duty to pay. This type of contractual provision is commonly referred to as a "pay when paid" clause.59 When a lienor's contract contains or incorporates "pay when paid" language and the owner has not paid the contractor for a lienor's work, the lienor is entitled to proceed against the property for payment pursuant to a claim of lien instead of against the conditional payment bond.60 Alternatively, if the owner has paid the contractor, the conditional payment bond protects the lienor in lieu of the property.61
Section 713.245 governs conditional payment bonds and sets forth several requirements for such bonds. First, the bond must contain, in at least 10-point type, the "pay when paid" clause set forth in §713.245(1)(c).62 The notice of commencement must identify the bond as conditional and the owner has to attach the bond to the notice of commencement when it is recorded.63 Finally, the bond must contain the words "conditional payment bond" "in the title . . . at the top of the front page."64
On a project bonded by a §713.245 bond, lienors must act prudently and timely to protect the right to get paid from the property. Thus, where the bond otherwise complies with §713.245, regardless if the underlying contract contains or incorporates "pay when paid" language, the statute requires the lienor to perfect its right to a claim of lien.65 Accordingly, lienors faced with a purported §713.245 bond should timely serve their notice to owner within 45 days of beginning their work and record their claim of lien within 90 days of completion of the work, even though the §713.245 bond is attached to the recorded notice of commencement. This point cannot be overemphasized. Then, notwithstanding the existence of the conditional payment bond, if the owner has not paid the contractor for that lienor's work, the lienor can proceed with an action to foreclose its claim of lien against the ownerłbut only if it has timely perfected and properly recorded the lien.66
Just as important, lienors must also protect the right to get paid from the bond. Florida case law implicitly requires that lienors faced with a §713.245 bond perfect the right to recover against an unconditional §713.23 bond. This is so because in North American Specialty Ins. Co. v. Hughes Supply, 705 So. 2d 616 (Fla. 4th DCA 1998), even though the bond complied with the statutory requirements of §713.245, it was treated as an unconditional §713.23 bond as to every lienor whose contract did not contain or incorporate "pay when paid" language.67 In fact, in North American Specialty, the lienor that failed to perfect the right to make a claim against the §713.23 bond was barred from recovery because its
failure to comply with mandatory notice requirements of §713.23(1)(d) and (e), Florida Statutes, is not excused by its faulty interpretation of §713.245, Florida Statutes, and its assumption that it need not comply with the §713.23 notice requirements.68
Alternatively, although the bond may purport to be conditional, if for some reason it does not satisfy the requirements of §713.245, it may also be treated as a §713.23 bond as to all of the potential lienors on a job.
Accordingly, if the general contractor's contract with any lienor is found not to contain or incorporate the necessary "pay when paid" language, pursuant to North American Specialty the bond is likely to be treated as an unconditional §713.23 bond as to that respective lienor.69 Because §713.245 does not mandate the service of a notice to contractor or a notice of nonpayment (i.e ., required to perfect a claim against a §713.23 bond) as conditions precedent to the perfection of the lienor's claim against the conditional payment bond, the lienor's failure to satisfy the notice provisions of §713.23 risks foregoing its bond claim entirely.70 Indeed, lienors are not prejudiced in any way by perfecting their rights under §713.23 against a bond that on its face satisfies §713.245 (conditional payment bond).
Where the bond is deemed a §713.245 bond as to a particular lienor who has properly recorded a claim of lien and the owner has paid the contractor for that lienor's work, the owner has 90 days to transfer the lien to the conditional payment bond.71 The owner does so by recording a notice of bond and a certificate of payment to the contractor in the public records in similar fashion to the recording of a claim of lien (see above).72
The notice of bond effectuates the transfer of the claim of lien to the bond, and the certificate of payment certifies that the owner has paid the contractor for that lienor's work, triggering the surety's liability on the bond.73 If the owner waits more than 90 days to transfer the lien to the §713.245 bond, the transfer is only effective as to that lien if the contractor, owner, and surety sign the notice of bond.74
If the lien is properly transferred to the conditional bond, the lienor has one year from the transfer date to bring an action against the surety on the bond.75 If the owner does not transfer the lien to the conditional bond for whatever reason, the lienor must disregard the existence of the bond and initiate an action to foreclose the lien within one year from its recordation date.76 Lienors, however, do not often know whether the owner has, in fact, paid the general contractor for their particular work until the owner transfers the lien to the bond and records the certificate of payment. It is imperative, therefore, that in a §713.245 bond scenario the lienor always perfect its right to a claim of lien and its rights against a §713.23 bond, unless it is unequivocally clear that the bond will be deemed conditional as to that lienor.
Finally, to the extent that the owner has partially paid the contractor for a lienor's work, and the recorded certificate of payment reflects this fact, the lienor can proceed with both a claim against the §713.245 bond for the amount paid by the owner and to foreclose its claim of lien for the amount unpaid.77 In this rare situation, the lawsuit must be timely initiated to comply with the one-year lien limitation period because the lien recordation date logically occurs prior to the date of its partial transfer to the conditional payment bond.
On a presumptively bonded job, a lienor's failure to perfect lien rights due to the identification of a §713.245 bond in the notice of commencement or otherwise is an easy way to avoid getting paid. Likewise, misinterpretation of the nature of the bond due to the contractual language involved and the consequent failure to perfect the unconditional bond claim pursuant to §713.23 can also result in nonpayment.
Instead, reference to the §713.245 bond in the notice of commencement (or on the bond itself) should trigger careful consideration of the relevant notice requirements, contractual language, and bond documents to ensure that the right to get paid (from either the conditional or unconditional bond and/or the property) is not lost through failure to recognize the true nature of the bond in question.
Florida's construction lien law also provides for the transfer of a claim of lien to a bond upon filing with the clerk of the court a bond written "in an amount equal to the amount demanded in such claim of lien, plus interest thereon at the legal rate for three years, plus $1000 or 25 percent of the amount demanded in the claim of lien, whichever is greater, to apply on any attorneys' fees and court costs that may be taxed in any proceeding to enforce said lien."78 If the lien is transferred to the bond before the lienor files suit, the surety must be named in the suit. The one-year limitations period for bringing an action on a claim of lien applies to an action against the transfer bond.79
Florida Public Payment Bonds
There are no lien rights in Florida when work is performed on publicly owned property. F.S. §255.05 (known as the "Little Miller Act" in reference to the corresponding federal law, 40 U.S.C. §270a) requires a person entering into a contract with the state or any county, city, or other political subdivision or public authority in excess of $100,000 for the repair or construction of a public facility to provide a payment and performance bond.80 The requirement may be waived by a local government for a contract in an amount of $200,000 or less.81
A lienor on a public job has the right to look to a §255.05 public payment bond for payment. The §255.05 notice provisions differ only slightly from those under a private unconditional payment bond (§713.23). Thus, a lienor in direct contract with a general contractor need only file suit on the bond within one year of last furnishing labor, services, or materials on the job.82 Lienors, such as material suppliers, however, who are not in privity with the general contractor, must first furnish the contractor with notice that they will look to the bond for protection ("notice to contractor").83 This notice must be served within 45 days of first furnishing work or delivering materials to the jobłsimilar to the notice to contractor required by §713.23(1)(c).84 The sub-subcontractor or supplier must also, within 90 days after the final furnishing of labor services or materials to the project, serve the contractor and the surety with a notice of nonpayment setting forth, among other things, the amount of the claim, the public project on which the work was done, and the name of the general contractor.85
An action by a lienor lacking privity with the contractor may not be instituted against the general contractor and/or the surety unless both notices are given.86 Finally, the action on the public payment bond must be commenced within one year from the last date of performance or delivery of materials.87 Attorneys' fees and costs are also recoverable by the prevailing party.88
Perfecting lien and/or bond rights under Florida law is not that difficult. The key to doing it correctly is making sure you and/or your client act prudently and quickly right before or at the time performance begins. Your client should certainly not wait until a pay requisition goes unanswered before starting to wonder if he or she possesses lien and/or bond rights. As discussed, the moment your client begins to provide labor, services, or materials, its lien and/or bond rights arise. Although perfecting a construction claim of lien will not always ensure that the lienor will be paid, when the payment cycle on a project breaks down, those lienors who perfected their lien and/or bond rights will be paid first. Indeed, adhering to the statutory framework is akin to having a guarantee for payment that is secured by the owner's property or by a bond. By following the statutory requirements to perfect lien and/or bond rights before they become an issue, instead of wondering if you will be able to recover your brother's $15,000 loss against a "dry well" general contractor, you will be able to return his desperate phone call and tell him, "Here comes the money!" with confidence.
1 See Fla. Stat. §713.02 and §713.06, (2001). Unless otherwise noted, all statutory references are to the 2001 version of §713.01 et al. and §255.05.
2 WMS Construction Inc. v. Palm Springs Mile Associates, Ltd., 762 So. 2d 973, 974-75 (Fla. 3d D.C.A. 2000) (citations omitted).
3 See Fla. Stat. §713.23 and §713.245.
4 See id.
5 See Fla. Stat. §713.24.
6 See Fla. Stat. §255.05.
7 See id.
8 See Johnson v. Aqua Pool Co. Inc., 725 So. 2d 458, 459 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 1999).
9 Contractual privity is the relationship between two or more contracting parties. See Barron's Law Dictionary 374 (3d ed. 1991).
10 See Fla. Stat. §713.06. This article does not address the lien and/or bond rights of a party who is in privity with the owner. In most cases, this party will be the general contractor. For a general overview of this procedure, see §713.05.
11 See Fla. Stat. §713.06.
12 See Broward Atlantic Plumbing Co. v. R.L.P., Inc., 402 So. 2d 464, 466 (Fla. 4th D.C.A. 1981).
13 The notice to owner and other required notices under the Florida Construction Lien Law must either be served certified or registered mail return receipt requested or by actual delivery to the person to be served. See Fla. Stat. §713.18.
14 Fla. Stat. §713.06(2)(a).
15 See Gulfside Properties Corp. v. Chapman Corp., 737 So. 2d 604, 607 (Fla. 1st D.C.A. 1999), rev. denied, 749 So. 2d 502 (1999).
16 Fla. Stat. §713.06(2)(a).
17 The notice of commencement is a document required by §713.13. The notice of commencement must be recorded by the owner in the public records of the county where the property sought to be improved is located before construction begins and posted at the job site for all to see. See Fla. Stat. §713.13(1)(a). In it, the owner sets forth detailed information relating to the project that can be used for recording liens and properly serving notices. See Fla. Stat. §713.13(1)(a)ū(f). If the project is bonded, the bond must be attached to notice of commencement at recording. See Fla. Stat. §713.13(1)(e). If the bond is not recorded, it can later be used as a transfer bond pursuant to §713.24. See id. See also infra, section on transfer bonds and §713.24.
18 The notice to owner must still be served even if the owner is actually aware of the lienor's presence on the job. See Tompkins Land Co., Inc. v. Edge , 341 So. 2d 206, 208 (Fla. 4th D.C.A. 1976) (advice to subcontractor by owner that fire hydrant was in the wrong place was not evidence of notice under the lien statute).
19 See Fla. Stat. §713.08(5).
20 "Substantial completion" within the meaning of a construction contract has been defined to be the time when "the owner begins to utilize the work for its intended purpose." See J.M. Beeson Co. v. Sartori, 553 So. 2d 180, 182 (Fla. 4th D.C.A. 1989).
21 Aronson v. Keating, 386 So. 2d 822, 823 (Fla. 4th D.C.A. 1980).
22 See Fla. Stat. §713.08(5).
23 Cf. Lofter v. Rashide , 523 So. 2d 1230, 1230-31 (Fla. 3d D.C.A. 1988) (claim of lien invalid because it incorrectly described the materials that were furnished by the lienor).
24 Fla. Stat. §713.08(4)(c).
25 See, e.g., Fla. Stat. §713.08(4)(c).
26 See Fla. Stat. §713.22.
27 See Fla. Stat. §713.22(1).
28 See Fla. Stat. §713.29.
29 See Argonaut Ins. Co. v. May Plumbing Co. , 474 So. 2d 212, 214 (Fla. 1985) (prejudgment interest is another element of pecuniary damages and once a verdict has liquidated damages as of a certain date, computation of prejudgment interest is merely a mathematical computation).
30 See Fla. Stat. §713.22(2).
31 See id.
32 See Dykema v. Trans State Industries, Inc., 303 So. 2d 52, 53 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 1974); Jack Stilson ~Co. v. Caloosa Bayview Corp., 265 So. 2d 85 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 1972), affd., 278 So. 2d 282, 283 (Fla. 1973).
33 See Fla. Stat. §713.31.
34 See id.
35 See Fla. Stat. §713.31(2).
36 The "good faith" exception to the fraudulent lien statute was enacted to prevent inhibiting those involved in a good faith dispute over monies owed from exercising their right to file a protective lien. See, e.g., Delta Painting, Inc. v. Baumann, 710 So. 2d 663, 666 (Fla. 3d D.C.A. 1998) (Cope, J., dissenting). See also William Dorsky Assoc., Inc. v. Highlands County Title ~Guaranty Land Co., 528 So. 2d 411, 412 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 1988) (recognizing that liens filed in good faith preclude an award of punitive damages); Vinci Development Co. v. Connell, 509 So. 2d 1128, 1133 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 1987) (same).
37 See Fla. Stat. §713.20.
38 See id.
39 The owner can also institute an action to discharge the lien. See Fla. Stat. §713.21(4). Further, an owner eager to remove the lien can transfer it to a bond. See Fla. Stat. §713.24.
40 See Fla. Stat. §713.23.
41 See Fla. Stat. §713.02(6).
42 See Fla. Stat. §713.23.
43 See Fla. Stat. §713.13(1)(e).
44 See Fla. Stat. §713.23(2). A lienor may also demand a copy of a payment bond, if any, from the owner, contractor, or surety at any time. See Fla. Stat. §713.23(1)(b).
45 See Fla. Stat. §713.23(1)(c).
46 See id.
47 See id.
48 See id.
49 See Fla. Stat. §713.23(d).
50 See id.
51 See id.
52 See Midtown Enterprises, Inc. v. Local Contractors, Inc., 750 So. 2d 683, 685 (Fla. 3d D.C.A. 1999), reh'g. denied, (2000).
53 See Fla. Stat. §713.23(1)(e).
54 See Fla. Stat. §713.23(1)(d).
55 Fla. Stat. §713.23(1)(e).
57 See id.
58 See Fla. Stat. §713.245.
59 See North American Specialty Ins. Co. v. Hughes Supply, Inc., 705 So. 2d 616, 618 (Fla. 4th D.C.A. 1998).
60 See generally Fla. Stat. §713.245.
61 See id.
62 See Fla. Stat. §713.245(1)(c).
63 See Fla. Stat. §713.245(1)(a).
64 See Fla. Stat. §713.245(1)(b).
65 See Fla. Stat. §713.245(4).
66 See Fla. Stat. §713.245(3).
67 See North American Specialty, 705 So. 2d at 617.
68 See id. at 618.
69 See id. at 617.
70 See id.
71 See Fla. Stat. §713.245(4).
72 See id.
73 See id.
74 See id.
75 See Fla. Stat. §713.245(2).
76 See Fla. Stat. §713.22(1).
77 See Fla. Stat. §713.245(10).
78 Fla. Stat. §713.24(1)(b).
79 See Fla. Stat. §713.24(4).
80 See Fla. Stat. §255.05(1)(a).
81 See id.
82 See Fla. Stat. §255.05(2)(a)2.
83 See id.
84 See id.
85 See id.
86 See id.
87 See id.
88 See id.
Daniel R. Vega is an associate with the Miami office of Carlton Fields where he practices construction and commercial litigation. He obtained his J.D., cum laude , from the Florida State University College of Law in 1998. The author acknowledges the assistance of Bruce King, Patricia Thompson, and Maria C. McGuinness on this article.