What questions to ask an attorney you plan to hire for a construction problem.

What 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 "construction defect".

Do they know how to calculate or determine CPM? (What is CPM?)

Do they know what float is? Who usually owns it?

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 law.

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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