Larry Leiby is of counsel to Malka & Kravitz, P.A., and a member of LB Consensus, LLC, an ADR services firm. He serves primarily as a mediator and arbitrator in construction disputes. He also teaches construction law at the Florida International University College of Law. He is the author of The Florida Construction Law Manual, Volume 8 of the Florida Practice Series on Westlaw (Reuters-Thomson-West Publishing), which he updates annually. Mr. Leiby received a lifetime achievement award in 2008 from the Florida Bar Construction Law Committee. He is rated as AV–preeminent in construction law by Martindale-Hubbell, and certified as a mediator by the Florida Bar and the International Mediation Institute. He is a fellow in the College of Commercial Arbitrators, and an AAA Master Arbitrator. Mr. Leiby can be reached at email@example.com.
Construction lien statutes protect contractors and suppliers from nonpayment for services and materials. When the construction contracts provide for arbitration of disputes, complex issues can arise that relate to enforcement of the lien and the arbitration agreement. This article examines those issues.
Your client is a contractor, subcontractor, or material supplier on a construction project and claims that it has not been paid for labor, services, and/or materials. The contract has an arbitration clause and your client wishes to arbitrate rather than litigate. The client also wishes to avail itself of its statutory construction lien rights. Many issues are raised when the remedy of lien enforcement and the contractually agreed dispute resolution process of arbitration are available. Among these issues are: