Something has happened. Maybe a client didn’t pay or your general contractor is having issues. Or maybe you filed your mechanics lien properly, but the owner never paid. Whatever the reason, you find yourself needing a construction lawyer.
While there are certainly plenty of lawyer jokes circulating, in reality, most lawyers are good people who want to help others. Your task now is to find someone you trust and feel comfortable with.
Because construction law has very specific rules and time frames, it’s smart to find an attorney who is experienced handling construction issues in your state. Someone with a lot of experience knows that the timeline is important and that notices, liens, and foreclosure actions all need to be filed before that timeline expires. A construction lawyer will have a process to make sure every case is tracked and their team will be trained in handling the paperwork on time.
If you need help finding a construction lawyer, ask around. You probably know someone else in the industry who has used a lawyer from time to time. If you have a project that crosses state lines, however, make sure you get an attorney who has experience practicing in both states. You may need to look for a firm that has a national operation just so you know that, wherever you end up working, they’ll be there to help when you need them.
The first step, once you’ve reached out to an attorney, will be to set up an initial consultation. Come to the meeting or phone call prepared with the documents for your case. They will ask you a lot of questions about the situation and you should do you best to answer fully and truthfully so they can get a full picture of the situation. You also want to have some questions prepared to ask the attorney as well. Remember, you’re hiring this person to work for you, so it needs to be a business relationship that is going to work.
You may prefer to meet with the attorney and have them take the case fully off your hands or you may prefer to know what’s going on and be educated on the law during the process. Make sure you communicate your preference to your attorney during the initial meeting.
During this first meeting, you also want to talk budget. An experienced construction attorney should have a streamlined way to handle lien filings and foreclosure actions, but you should still ask how much time they expect your project to take. Remember, just because your colleague got them to do a mechanics lien for an inexpensive price doesn’t mean yours will be as cheap. Depending on the situation, there may be more work involved. If you have the conversation up front, however, the attorney can explain what’s involved in handling your matter and set the expectation for you.
You can reach out to the attorneys at National Lien & Bond for all your construction needs. We have experience handling multi-state issues and working in all 50 states. We have over 30 years of experience and a process that works. Give us a call today.