Arbitration is one of the most common forms of dispute resolution in construction today, but the recent ruling by the Third District Court of Appeal illustrates some of the difficulties that parties to arbitration proceedings can face in appealing or vacating the arbitrator’s award.
The Florida Supreme Court recently issued a decision that has significant implications for contractors, subcontractors and property owners in Florida. On January 24, 2013, the court ruled in the case of Earth Trades, Inc., et al., v. T&G Corporation that Florida law precludes an unlicensed subcontractor from employing the common law defense of in pari delicto – referring to equal wrongdoers – by arguing that the general contractor knew or should have known that the subcontractor did not hold the required state licenses for the work to be performed.
Some major changes are now in effect for new applicants for contractor licenses in Florida, and the submission process has become simpler and less time consuming as a result. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the Construction Industry Licensing Board have revised their application process in an effort to avoid confusion and reduce the amount of time it takes to approve a license.