questions to ask an attorney you plan to hire for a construction
to ask an Attorney -What questions
can you ask an attorney to find out if he/she can help you, or
is just someone eager to start billing.
Not surprisingly, there are many attorneys
that will say anything in order to get a paying client. Their
belief is that "its a legal problem" so they are qualified
to help. You want to be sure that the attorney you select knows
his or her stuff in the construction field.
Some typical questions would be:
Do they know the difference between construction-defect and construction
law? (Surprisingly, there will be few attorneys outside the area
of construction law that can intelligently define the differences,
and if they cannot describe either to your satisfaction, then
you should move on). Many attorneys that are not familiar with
either area of law, think all construction related disputes are
Do they know how to calculate or determine
CPM? (What is CPM?)
Do they know what float is? Who usually
How do they calculate or determine: general
conditons, acceleration or compression, as-builts, red-line, change
order impact (cost or time or both), delay impact, interference...?
How well do they know mechanics liens,
design professional liens, stop notices... these are all legal
situations, where any attorney should know the basic laws, but
if they don't, then you shouldn't let them get up to speed at
your expense. Find an attorney that already knows this area of
How well do they know indemnification,
subrogation, Miller act, construction bonds (performance bonds,
bid bonds, payment bonds, etc.), the different types of insurance.
How well do they know the differences in public works projects
vs. private works projects.
Do they know contractor licensing laws,
notices such as preliminary notices, notice of completion, conditional
and unconditional releases, abandonment. Do they know what conditions
allow for total disgorgement.
These are typically questions that will
help ferret out the construction law poseurs and give you a better
feeling about who meets your qualifications as a knowledgeable
construction law attorney.
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