As a Board-Certified attorney in construction law by the Florida Bar, Kimberly A. Gessner was invited to speak on Legal News and Review, a radio broadcast hosted by Charles Morehead III, President Elect of the Broward County Bar Association. Radio listeners hail from Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach, West Palm Beach and Jupiter, Fla., as well as nationally on iHeart HD radio.
Gessner spoke about the new amendments to Chapter 558, which is a statute that encourages dispute resolution in construction cases to try to avoid going to litigation.
“This amendment…starts to broaden that dispute resolution,” explained Gessner, noting that it now requires more adequate documentation of construction defects, which can help both property owners and contractors. “People are a lot more reluctant to spend money litigating over construction claims now. So I think people are looking more towards to ‘What are my alternative dispute resolution options?’ [Chapter] 558 is something that the legislature has presented that is a statute obligating them to do that.”
Pre-suit negotiations are another way to try to avoid going to trial. However, Gessner noted that unreasonable demands might cut pre-suit negotiations short. “I try to say ‘All right, where’s the issue? Is it in the masonry work? Do the architecturals not match the structurals? Where is the defect? Whose fault is it? Show me what you’ve got, I’ll show you what I’ve got, and let’s see what’s reasonable.’ You can tell when somebody comes to the table and they’re just going to strong-arm you.”
Gessner noted that an advantage Buchanan provides is the capability to offer comprehensive services in areas related to construction, including real estate, trusts and estates, and land use.
“Buchanan – I can’t say enough great things about it. We really do have wonderful people. Our culture is unmatched. Our firm really invests in their lawyers. They’re willing to stand behind them. They’re willing to do whatever we need to grow and flourish.”
Click here to listen to the broadcast, or tune in to WBZT 1230am Radio or iHeart HD Satellite Radio on Friday, November 27, 2015 at 6:00 p.m.