If you’ve hit a major dispute with your construction project in California, whether relating to the project or the contract, you need a construction attorney specializing in construction litigation. They can help you construct a powerful case. If you’ve never worked with one before, you can find the best one by following the steps below.
1. Look up construction attorneys local to your project
They’re familiar with construction law as it applies to property in your area of California (e.g. Bay Area, North California, Greater Sacramento). Attorneys and lawyers who are outside the area could still be well informed about your local or state laws, but local practices have precise knowledge. Local attorneys also have experience working local cases, whereas distant attorneys might not have worked a case in your area recently—or at all.
Search online for California construction attorneys near you, then make a list of those who offer litigation services related to your dispute. For example, many attorneys are focused on contract drafting and negotiation, while a few specialize in defect and contract disputes. It’s less common for attorneys to offer construction litigation, so there might only be a few with offices in your area.
2. Research their credentials and experiences
Once you have a list of local attorneys providing litigation services, research each one’s involvement in construction law cases. Many attorneys represent cases in multiple law areas, not limited to construction. Your attorney doesn’t need to exclusively work with construction cases, but they should still have extensive credentials and experience relating to litigation. It can help to have an attorney well-versed in various aspects of law, such as real estate and business and commercial law, as that can inform how they approach your case.
Go through each attorney’s website and search online for information on their education, training, and experience. All law is complex, but construction involves many entities, including general and subcontractors, developers, property owners, material manufacturers and supplies, and many more. Construction cases typically require investigation of several entities to determine where responsibility lies.
You can tell an attorney is skilled at navigating intertwined relationships if they have a high success rate of defending or winning construction cases. Browse their website to see if they sample case results listed, and note if any of them relate to yours. See if they’ve worked with your property type, whether private, commercial, or public.
3. Read client reviews and testimonials
The best measure of an attorney’s potential success with your case is their track record. Are prior clients happy with their results? Check Yelp! Reviews, online testimonials if provided, and browse online directories of recommended lawyers. Also look for mentionings of communication style and if the experience was relatively stressless.
You can also find information on their representation style by looking at their website. For thorough representation, you might be interested in an attorney who is firm about their dedication to providing clients transparency and respect.
4. Choose the attorney that best fits your needs
Once you’ve built a list of reputable attorneys, schedule a call or in-person meeting with each one. You’ll have a brief meeting to discuss your case and determine if the attorney is a good fit. Typically, this first meeting is short and free of charge. Use every minute to ensure when you finally make a decision, you’re choosing the right attorney.
If you’re facing a construction dispute, call Alves Radcliffe, LLP at 916-333-3375 or send us an email. We have over 25 years of combined experience, and serve clients throughout Greater Sacramento, Northern California, and the San Francisco Bay Area.