Tuesday, June 30, 2015

RISE is Accepting Applications for the CSRP Exam

Roof Integrated Solar Energy (RISE) Inc. is accepting applications for its next Certified Solar Roofing Professional (CSRP) exam, which will be held Sept. 10. The CSRP designation is a voluntary certification for professionals who plan and oversee installation of roof-mounted photovoltaic (PV) systems. The credential evaluates whether candidates have the underlying knowledge required to successfully install a roof-mounted PV system. The application deadline is Aug. 14.


From NRCA

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
407 N. Howard Avenue
Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33606

Monday, June 29, 2015

NRCA Members Provide Roof System for National Roofing Week

In honor of National Roofing Week July 5-11, former NRCA President Nelson Braddy, president of King of Texas Roofing Co. LP, Grand Prairie, led an effort to provide a new roof system for the Momentous Institute in Dallas, an organization that serves 6,000 kids and family members directly each year through mental health programs and a social emotional health based curriculum at its nationally acclaimed Momentous School. The project also marks the kickoff of a campaign to promote National Roofing Week.

From NRCA

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
407 N. Howard Avenue
Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33606

Friday, June 26, 2015

RISE is Accepting Applications for the CSRP Exam

Roof Integrated Solar Energy (RISE) Inc. is accepting applications for its next Certified Solar Roofing Professional (CSRP) exam, which will be held Sept. 10. The CSRP designation is a voluntary certification for professionals who plan and oversee installation of roof-mounted photovoltaic (PV) systems. The credential evaluates whether candidates have the underlying knowledge required to successfully install a roof-mounted PV system. The application deadline is Aug. 14.

From NRCA

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
407 N. Howard Avenue
Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33606

Thursday, June 25, 2015

New Roofing Material Could Keep Homes Cooler

The University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, has created a new roof material made up of layers of specialized plastics over a layer of silver. It reflects the sun's rays, staying 50 degrees cooler than current white roofs. "Cool roofing reduces the severity of the urban heat island problem in towns and cities and helps eliminate peak power demand problems from the operation of many air conditioners," said Geoff Smith, co-author of the research.

From NRCA

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
407 N. Howard Avenue
Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33606

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

NRCA Publication Provides Information About LEED v4 Provisions

NRCA offers LEED v4: Roofing-related Provisions, which explains the roofing-related provisions of the most recognized sustainable building rating system -- the LEED Rating System, Version 4 (LEED v4). The publication offers background information, descriptions of possible roofing-related credits and prerequisites for rating systems for the Building Design and Construction and Building Operations and Maintenance categories. It also includes a listing of typical LEED-related submittals and explains which roofing-related provisions have changed in LEED v4 versus previous LEED editions. The member price for the publication is $35, and the nonmember price is $65.

From NRCA

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
407 N. Howard Avenue
Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33606


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

USAID Working with Sri Lanka Company to Create Eco-Friendly Roofing Products

The United States Agency for International Development is working with a company in Sri Lanka to create eco-friendly roofing products made from entirely recyclable materials. A new factory will be built with about an $800,000 investment from USAID and Building Solutions, and its manufacturing process will reduce waste and energy consumption in the developing country.

From NRCA

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
407 N. Howard Avenue
Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33606

Monday, June 22, 2015

Roof Farm Will Test Roofing Materials From Top Manufacturers

The American Modern Insurance Group and the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety are conducting a roof-aging study using four structures with asphalt shingles from six top manufacturers. The organizations plan to study the aging of the roofs over 25 years. The project should provide data on the effects of different weather conditions over a period of time.


From NRCA

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
407 N. Howard Avenue
Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33606

Friday, June 19, 2015

Pollution-Eating Roof Tiles Could Improve Air Quality

Roofing manufacturer Marley Eternit is pushing the U.K. government to use pollution-eating roof tiles to improve air quality. The tiles are used in Japan and the Netherlands. A photocatalytic coating on the tiles absorbs nitric oxide, one of the main causes of air pollution.


From NRCA

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
407 N. Howard Avenue
Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33606

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Startup Working on Drone to Assess Roof Damage

Startup HoverStat Technologies is working on a drone-automated roof-inspection system that can help assess damage more quickly. One of the company's partners recently received approval to experiment with the drones for commercial purposes.


From NRCA

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
407 N. Howard Avenue
Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33606

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Unlicensed Subcontractor Can Pursue Miller Act Bond Claim


Technica LLC v. Carolina Casualty Ins. Co., 749 F.3d 1149,2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 8023 (9th Cir., April, 29, 2014)


The 9th Circuit held that the fact that a subcontractor was unlicensed under California state law did not affect the subcontractor's ability to assert a Federal Miller Act payment bond claim.  The Court concluded "the Miller Act may not be conditioned by state law."

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
407 N. Howard Avenue
Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33606

New York Church Replacing 101-Year-Old Roof

Saint James' Episcopal Church in Skaneateles, N.Y., is replacing its 101-year-old roof at a cost of $500,000 to $600,000. The project will include replacing the main roof and making repairs to the windows, eaves and chimney. Easton Specialties is working on the project, which is scheduled to be completed by mid-August.


From NRCA

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
407 N. Howard Avenue
Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33606

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

North County, California, Aggressively Installing Solar

Numerous North County, California cities are investing in green energy, including solar power, to save taxpayer money. Carlsbad invested $1 million in solar roofs for the parking lot at Alga Norte Community Park and plans to install solar at its Safety Training Center. Meanwhile, Vista installed 192 solar panels on two buildings at the Gloria McClellan Adult Activity and Resource Center through a federal grant.

From NRCA

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
407 N. Howard Avenue
Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33606


Friday, June 12, 2015

Biltmore Estate's 120-year-old Copper Roof Gets Repairs

The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C., is undergoing extensive repairs to its 120-year old copper roof, including the replacement of the 500 to 600-pound north tower ridge cap. A temporary rubber membrane seal is in place during the work. Additional hips and panels on the tower will also be replaced.


From NRCA

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
407 N. Howard Avenue
Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33606

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Solar Power to Buy Shanghai All-Zip Roofing System Group for $44.3 Million

Solar Power has agreed to buy Shanghai All-Zip Roofing System Group for $44.3 million. All-Zip is a top roofing provider in China. All-Zip will further Solar Power's strategy to tap China's increasing demand for distributed generation solar PV projects, said Solar Power Chairman Xiaofeng Peng. He noted China's National Energy Administration plans to "actively support" such projects.


From NRCA

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
407 N. Howard Avenue
Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33606

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Midwest Fence Corp. v. United States Department of Transportation, et. al. Case No. 10 C 5627 (N.D. Ill. March. 24, 2015)

Almost  two  years  after  the  Ninth  Circuit  Court  of  Appeals  in  Assoc.  General Contractor’s  v.  Cal.  Dep’t  of  Transportation  upheld  Caltrans  DBE  outreach program, on March 25, 2015  United States District Court in Chicago Judge Harry Leinenweber granted summary judgment in favor of the United States Department of Transportation, (“USDOT”) the Illinois Department of Transportation (“IDOT”) and the Illinois State Tollway Highway Authority (the “Tollway”). 

Midwest Fence  Corp  is  a  non-DBE  fencing  and  guardrail  contractor.  Midwest brought  a  constitutional  challenge  to  the  federal  and  Illinois  Disadvantaged Business  Enterprise  programs.  Midwest’s  complaint  alleged  that  the  DBE programs  violated  the  Equal  Protection  clause  of  the  U.S.  Constitution, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Illinois Civil Rights Act of 2003.    Specifically,  Midwest  asked  the  court  to  declare  the  federal  DBE program  unconstitutional  on  its  face,  that  the  program  lacked  congressional authorization  and  that  the  authorizing  statute  is  unconstitutional.    Additionally, Midwest challenged Illinois application  of  the  federal  DBE  program  as unconstitutional. 

On  summary  judgment  the  court  found  that  the  federal  DBE  program  was constitutional  and  Illinois  application  of  the  DBE  program  was  constitutional.  At the  heart  of  the  case  was  the  validity  of  the  disparity  studies  used  to  substantiate the  DBE  programs.  The  court  took  judicial  notice  of  the  evidence  presented  to Congress  in  support  of  the  federal  program’s  reauthorization  including  the statistical  and  anecdotal  evidence.  The  defendants  also  presented  an  expert  report that  considered  ninety  five  disparity  and  availability  studies  concerning  women and minority owned businesses. The ninety five reports examined the procurement of  over  one  hundred  public  agencies  in  thirty  two  states.    66%  of  those  studies indicated  that  DBEs  were  significantly  underutilized  relative  to  their  availability. Ultimately the Defendants argued that the disparities showed by the various studies were not attributed to factors other than race and sex and were consistent with the presence  of  discrimination  in  construction  and  construction  related  professional services.   

Midwest  argued  that  the  Defendant’s  evidence  was  flawed  because  the  expert failed to account for capacity when measuring availability.  According to Midwest the  failure  to  account  for  capacity  skews  the  results  of  availability  and  disparity studies. In support of its position Midwest pointed to the  Rothe Development case where  the  Federal  Circuit  rejected  a  set  of  disparity  studies  that  failed  to  account for capacity.    

The court rejected Midwest’s argument by distinguishing Rothe case one where the evidence  used  to  support  the  government’s  compelling  interest  only  included studies from one state, two counties and three cities.  Midwest  also  argued  that  the  DBE  programs  unduly  burden  predominantly majority-owned  subcontractors  that  are  small  and  specialized  in  trades  where DBEs  tend  to  operate.  The  Court  disagreed,  reaffirming  long-standing  precedent that some “sharing of the burden” of affirmative action programs among majority- owned businesses is constitutionally permissible.    

In  the  end  the  court  found  that  the  federal  and  state  DBE  programs  were constitutional and that Midwest failed to present any affirmative evidence to rebut the disparity study evidence presented by the Defendants.   


From The Small Business Sub-Committee Report

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
407 N. Howard Avenue
Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33606

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Jax Utilities Management, Inc., v. Hancock Bank et al., 2015 WL 1809322 (Case No. 1D14-664, April 22, 2015).

This case concerns a contractor’s failed attempt to obtain relief against the lender on a large development project.  Lender obtained a final judgment of foreclosure in September 2011 against developer.  In December 2011, contractor filed suit against lender for an equitable lien and unjust enrichment.  The suit also included a claim against developer for breach of contract for failure to pay nearly $500,000 invoiced in June 2009 that developer failed to submit to lender.  The trial court entered summary judgment in favor of lender and the First District Court of Appeal affirmed on two grounds.

The First District held that the one-year statute of limitations on contractor’s equitable lien claim commenced when it last performed work and that the limitations period expired well before it filed suit in December 2011.  The court summarily rejected contractor’s argument that the limitations period did not begin until lender filed suit to foreclose on the property.

The First District also held that section 713.3471, the Florida statute dealing with lender liability to contractors, precludes common law remedies such as equitable lien and unjust enrichment.  The statute provides a cause of action against a construction loan lender that decides to cease further advances under a construction loan and fails to give notice to the contractor.  The Court found that the plain language of this law evinces a legislative intent to displace the common law remedies and the law is so repugnant to common law remedies that the two cannot coexist.


From The Construction Regulation Subcommittee Monthly Report

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
407 N. Howard Avenue
Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33606

Friday, June 5, 2015

Burlington & Rockenback, P.A. v Law Offices of E. Clay Parker, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L.Weekly D915 (Fla. 5th DCA 2015)

A  fee  agreement  between  co-counsel  stated  that  the  appellate  lawyers  counseling  at  the trial court level would earn a stated hourly fee plus 1-1/2% of gross recovery were settled prior  to  filing  post-trial  motions  OR  2-1/2%  of  gross  recovery  if  case  settled  after appellate counsel were required to prepare post-trial motions.  After jury verdict of $13M for  plaintiff,  defendant  filed  post-trial  motions  and  one  defendant  settled  with  plaintiff.  The other defendants proceeded on appeal which served to affirm the jury verdict.


The trial attorney's interpreted the agreement to require that they pay only the hourly fee plus  1-1/2%  but  the  appellate  counsel  demanded  their  hourly  fee  plus  2-1/2%  of  the recovery.    Once  the  underlying  medical  malpractice  suit  was  resolved,  the  trial  court found for the trial attorneys allowing the hourly fee plus 1-1/2%.  The Fifth District Court of Appeal held that the trial court had reached an absurd interpretation of the contract and had  erroneously  reasoned  that  the  appellate  counsel  had  breached  the  fee  agreement  by disagreeing with the trial attorneys.  The appellate court cited to Black's Law Dictionary as  well  as  the  American  Heritage  Dictionary  for  clarity  as  to  the  meaning  of  "settled."  The  court  noted  also  that  principles  of  contract  interpretation  govern,    requiring  (1)  the parties'  intentions  to  be  determined  from  the  plain  meaning  of  the  words,  (2)  that dictionaries  are  commonly  consulted  for  such  plain  meaning,  (3)  the  entire  contract should  be  read  as  a  whole  and  provision  should  not  be  considered  in  isolation,  and  (4) that the contract should be not interpreted to achieve an absurd result.  In other words, the court  should  reach  a  contract  interpretation  consistent  with  reason,  probability,  and  the practical aspect of the transaction between the parties.  

From the Construction Transactions Subcommittee Report

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
407 N. Howard Avenue
Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33606

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Validity of Arbitration Agreement Based Upon Harmonious Meaning of its Wording

Nursing  home  admission  agreement  contained  arbitration  agreement  that  stated,  "If  not cancelled,  this  Agreement  shall  be  binding  on  the  Resident  for  this  and  all  of  the Resident's other admissions to the Facility without any need for further renewal."  Estate alleged negligence against the nursing home and sought to avoid arbitrating the dispute.  Accordingly,  Estate  opposed  Facility's  Motion  to  Compel  Arbitration  which  the  trial judge  denied.    On  appeal,  the  Court  reversed  the  denial,  upholding  the  validity  of  the arbitration  agreement  after  applying  principles  of  contract  interpretation  to  the  specific arbitration agreement:   

1.  Arbitration  agreements  are  contractual  in  nature  and  their  construction remains  a  matter  of  contract  interpretation.    Seifert  v  U.S.Home  Corp,  750  So.  2d  633 (Fla. 1999);   

2.  All provisions of arbitration agreement must be interpreted in such a way to prevent rendering them meaningless.  Kel Homes, LLC v. Burris, 933 So. 2d 699 (Fla. 2d DCA 2006);  Ibis Lake Homeowners Ass'n v. Ibis Isle Homeowners Ass'n, 102 So. 3d 722 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012);   


3.  All  provisions  of  arbitration  agreement  must  be  interpreted  "to  give harmonious effect to all the terms".   Spring Lake NC, LLC v. Figueroa, 104 So. 3d 1211 (Fla. 2d DCA 2012).  Contrast  this  outcome  with  a  similar  nursing  home  arbitration  provision  in  LTCSP

From the Construction Transactions Subcommittee Report

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
407 N. Howard Avenue
Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33606

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Amelia Island Restaurant II, Inc. v. Omni Amelia Island, LLC, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D947 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015)

The  First  District  Court  of  Appeal  upheld  an  exclusivity  provision  in  a  lease,  thus allowing tenant-restaurant to block landlord from leasing to another restaurant upon lease renewal.    Lease  required  that  tenant-restaurant  not  be  in  default  in  order  to  renew  the lease.  Landlord claimed tenant-restaurant was in default at time it served its first notice to  renew  lease  because  it  owed  interest  and  a  $50  processing  fee  from  earlier  late-paid rent.  However, landlord's attorney had written in a letter that the tenant-restaurant could exercise the option to renew after "addressing other (non-interest and non-processing fee) issues.


From the Construction Transactions Subcommittee Report

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
407 N. Howard Avenue
Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33606

Monday, June 1, 2015

Contract Provision Addresses Pollution Insurance Coverage

This contract provision is intended to be added to a roofing contractor's downstream subcontract document. In a previous contract provision, NRLRC discussed the importance of binding subcontractors to any insurance requirements imposed upon the roofing contractor. There are some instances the roofing contractor should impose even more demanding insurance requirements on its subcontractors, such as when reroofing an occupied building, school or condominium. In these situations, the roofing contractor should require its subcontractors to maintain insurance that will provide coverage in the event of a personal injury claim arising from exposure to fumes, or in the event hazardous substances are spilled or released at the property: 

Pollution insurance coverage: Subcontractor shall carry pollution coverage providing coverage for claims arising from fumes, vapors, emissions, spills and other such claims arising out of Subcontractor's Work. Roofing Contractor shall be named as an additional insured, and Subcontractor's insurance shall be primary and noncontributory.

From NRLRC
Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
407 N. Howard Avenue
Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33606