Common Ethical Issues in Construction Law
Construction law like many other areas of law is fraught with tangential issues that can permeate into the substance of construction law issues. Parties engaged in construction contracting are wise to look for and anticipate ethics issues before they become a problem. The common pitfalls are subtle and usually not discoverable unless familiar with the area of law.
In the context of contractual agreements, disclosure is one of the most important ethical responsibilities of both contracting parties. Each party must offer up information that is vital to the construction project including those facts about the structure—for example—that may be possibly detrimental to one of the contracting parties. For instance, if a building has previously had electrical wiring issues of which is only discoverable by the owner and that fact is integral to the successful completion of a structure, then the ethical thing to do is to make a disclosure. Similarly, each party must truthfully disclose their financial information as it is vital to the funding of a project.
Termination of a construction contract is another process where ethical behavior becomes crucial. Many termination terms in construction contracts require a notice of termination sent to the other party within an agreed upon length of time. Given this formality, the onus lies with the receiving party to accept notice and acknowledge it for the purposes of termination. If all termination requirements have been met, it is unethical for a contractor to continue work.
Guarding Proprietary Information
Guarding proprietary information in a construction contract scenario is usually tied to the issue of disclosure. However, in this case it calls for parties to protect information and utilize nondisclosure. In a familiar scenario, a construction company that has completed work for a business entity uses the unique design ideas and concepts and applies it to another job. Such conduct can land a contractor in litigation, especially if the contractor has signed a non-disclosure agreement as a predicted to being hired as a contractor.
Contact Us Today for Help
Brendan A. Sweeney is a knowledgeable Fort Lauderdale construction lawyer firm with years of experience advising on contractor best and ethical practices when involved in construction contracting. He has extensive experience with construction contract drafting, review and negotiation. Contact us now for a consultation.