How to Avoid These Common Lien and Release Traps

How to Avoid These Common Lien and Release Traps

This week’s episode of The Lien Zone Podcast, hosted by Alex Barthet, dives into “Common Lien and Release Traps and How to Avoid Them,” focusing on critical aspects of Florida’s Lien Law. Here’s what was discussed:

Lien Law Traps:

  • The importance of the “last work” definition, emphasizing that it does not include repair, punchlist, or warranty work, which is crucial for understanding your lien rights timeline.
  • The 90-day period for recording your lien is strict; it does not equate to three months, highlighting the need for precise calendar calculations.
  • Detailed explanations on how weekends and legal holidays can affect your lien and notice to owner (NTO) deadlines, potentially extending your filing period.

Release Traps:

  • Email copies of releases are considered valid even if the original is not sent, underscoring the importance of understanding the implications of electronic document exchanges.
  • The misconception that a release titled as “conditional” is automatically conditional, stressing the need to include explicit conditional language in the document.
  • The risks associated with $10 releases and the importance of specifying the expected payment amount in the release to protect your rights.

These insights are designed to arm construction professionals with the knowledge to navigate the complexities of lien and release processes, ensuring their rights are protected throughout the project lifecycle.

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About Our Host:

Alex Barthet
Principal, The Barthet Firm

Alexander Barthet is a board certified construction attorney in Florida and holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering.  He manages The Barthet Firm, a ten lawyer construction law firm in Miami, and maintains a construction law blog at He can be reached at 305-347-5295 or