What Is Commercial Construction Litigation?

Construction litigation refers to disagreements or disputes between the people or organizations involved in a construction project. The conflict involves any two or more stakeholders, including but not restricted to owners, contractors, subcontractors, material manufacturers, and suppliers.

Cost overruns from project delays, higher compensation payouts, and lengthy legal proceedings are the consequences of prolonged, unresolved disputes.

Common Causes of Construction Litigation

Commercial construction litigation cases are civil lawsuits. Generally, the complainant (plaintiff) seeks monetary compensation from the accused (defendant). In some cases, they may demand project completion as agreed upon in the contract. Others attempt to foreclose on the property due to unsettled balances. Overall, these commercial construction disputes often center around issues such as:

  • Breach of contract

    Breach of contract

    Failure to fulfill the obligations outlined in a written agreement is one of the most common reasons behind commercial construction lawsuits. Such breaches encompass nonpayment for services provided, unauthorized changes in work scope or design, delays in construction, or delivering work of subpar quality.

  • Nonpayment


    If contractors finish a project but do not receive the agreed-upon payment, they can pursue legal action. Contractors typically file a mechanic’s lien (a “hold” against the property), which has more far-reaching implications than a conventional lawsuit. These liens are attached to the property’s title or deed and enter public records, preventing the property from being sold until the owner addresses the liens. Unless the contractor has violated the contract terms, the owner must fulfill the transaction.

  • Unlawful mechanic’s lien

    Unlawful mechanic’s lien

    Some contractors provide inaccurate accounts or exaggerate the amount of compensation owed when filing a construction lien. In such cases, the defendant can have legal recourse by filing a fraudulent lien claim.

  • Construction delays

    Construction delays

    While delays due to poor weather, equipment failures, and sudden design changes are not the contractor’s fault, some contracts mandate completion by a specific date. Contractors can incur hefty penalties for going past the cutoff date, even if the cause is beyond human control. A good commercial construction attorney should be able to negotiate resolutions.

  • Construction errors and omissions

    Construction errors and omissions

    Architectural oversights, poor workmanship, and installation of faulty or inferior materials can lead to failed property inspections, deeming the structure unsafe. A claim may be refuted if, for example, the contractor used the materials specified in the written contract, but they proved defective during investigations.

  • Safety violations

    Safety violations

    Determining liability in the event of an injury involves careful consideration. If the worker endangered themselves (e.g., ignoring safety protocols or engaging in reckless behaviors), they bear responsibility for their actions. However, if the worker lacked safety training or if the working conditions were hazardous, the project managers would be held accountable.

  • Steps To Filing A Commercial Construction Claim In Phoenix, AZ

    Below is a general overview of our approach to construction litigation cases.


    Legal consultation: Start by scheduling a consultation with our commercial construction attorneys. During your meeting, you will discuss your situation in depth, including the nature of the dispute. Bring the relevant contracts and other supporting documentation.


    Case assessment: A lawyer will review your case to determine whether you have enough grounds to sue. If your claim is valid, they will advise you on the most suitable course of action.


    Investigation: This process typically involves examining the contract terms, interviewing witnesses, and gathering evidence to support and strengthen your case.


    Drafting and sending of demand letter: If deemed appropriate, your lawyer will draft and send a demand letter to the counterparty. This letter outlines your grievances and requests. It is a formal declaration of your intent to pursue legal action if the issue is not resolved amicably.


    Negotiation: In many cases, the plaintiff and defendant settle commercial construction claims without the need for legal proceedings. Your attorney will represent your interests during these private negotiations, working to reach an agreement that addresses your concerns.


    Filing a complaint: If the counterparty ignores your demand letter or refuses to negotiate privately, your lawyer will file a complaint with the court.


    Formal litigation: After filing the necessary documents, FR Law Group will represent you in court proceedings. We will provide the support and guidance you need, advocating for your rights and interests throughout the litigation process.


    Trial or arbitration: During a trial, a judge or jury will consider the available evidence and rule on liability for damages. In arbitration, a neutral third party will examine the evidence and come to a decision.

    The ‘FR Law Group’ Advantage

    Why should you choose us for your commercial construction litigation needs?

  • Experts in Arizona construction law

    Experts in Arizona construction law

    Scott Ryan, FR Law Group PLLC’s founding partner and managing member, has a bachelor’s degree in engineering and was a successful construction engineer before pursuing law. This proficiency in Arizona construction laws enables our firm to develop strategies that work against complex construction disputes.

  • Personalized approach

    Personalized approach

    Acknowledging that each case is unique, our lawyers tailor legal tactics based on individual contracts, project specifications, evidence, and other relevant documentation.

  • Streamlined dispute resolution

    Streamlined dispute resolution

    We are fully aware that commercial construction lawsuits can be time-consuming, energy-draining, and money-hungry. To lighten each client’s burden and minimize disruption to their occupations or businesses, we focus on efficient dispute resolution methods like mediation or arbitration. Only when absolutely necessary do we proceed with formal litigation.

  • Collaborative teamwork

    Collaborative teamwork

    We take the word “team” seriously around here, leveraging our firm’s diverse talents and areas of specialization to provide accurate legal counsel and effective representation. Our collective resources, skills, and legal acumen form the cornerstone of our success in delivering favorable outcomes for our clients.

  • “The client matters” philosophy

    “The client matters” philosophy

    As witnesses to the emotional and financial toll a commercial construction dispute can take, we endeavor to provide supportive guidance and transparent communication throughout the legal journey. Furthermore, in all that we do, our clients’ perspectives and preferences are the core of our decision-making.

  • Proven track record of excellence

    Proven track record of excellence

    FR Law Group PLLC has built a reputation for winning commercial construction litigation cases throughout Arizona. If you need help resolving a construction dispute, you won’t regret choosing us as your legal team.

  • File A Commercial
    Construction Claim With Confidence

    FR Law Group has some of the best commercial construction litigation lawyers in Phoenix. Our team has fought for countless clients and knows the ins and outs of handling breach of contract disputes, workplace injuries, mechanic’s lien, and all types of commercial construction litigation cases. We are primed, ready, and 100% devoted to protecting your interests, ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.

    You don’t need to navigate the complicated legal terrain alone. Let FR Law Group be your trusted guide in resolving commercial construction disputes. Call us now at (602) 698-9409 to schedule a legal consultation.


    How Much Experience Should A Law Firm Have In Construction Disputes?

    When it comes to legal matters, hiring an attorney who specializes in cases like yours is the best option. Just as you would seek an ophthalmologist rather than a general practitioner for vision problems, working with a specialist increases the chances of achieving favorable outcomes.

    How Long Do Commercial Construction Lawsuit Settlements Take?

    While many cases are quickly settled, some lawsuits can take years to resolve, especially if they involve multiple parties and evidence is unclear.

    Is A National Law Firm Better Than A Local One?

    Serving multiple areas is not always better. A law firm that focuses on your local area may have a deeper understanding of your district than one that represents clients across state lines.