@constructionlaw

May 19th, 2009

hill-036Christopher G. Hill

Principal, Durrette Bradshaw PLC

Virgina Business Magazine “Legal Elite” in Construction Law

Author of the Construction Law Musings blog

 

Today, we’re tweeting with @constructionlaw: construction lawyer, commercial litigator and one of VA Biz Mag’s “Legal Elite”

  1. @Constructionlaw, thank you for joining us today on Twitter. In 140 characters, who is @Constructionlaw?
    A guy who enjoys representing construction folks, enjoys the interaction of law practice, and is out to help clients succeed
     
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I work with all “levels” of construction pros in an attempt to keep them out of trouble and go to court if necessary
     
  3. What are some specific types of clients you represent?
    Mostly subcontractors and suppliers, but some general contractors and engineers
     
  4. And what would you say is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Right now, getting paid. I see green construction being one on the horizon
     
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    That depends. I always focus on their issues. The first question I ask is what their biggest issue is.
     
  6. What’s the most significant client representation you’ve had?
    Recently I represented a pipeline company in a big suit in Federal Court. I think all of them are significant though
     
  7. Good point…. Why do your clients hire you?
    I think because of my expertise and that they know I have their interest, even more than my financial stake, at heart.
     
  8. How are you and your firm responding to financial difficulties your clients may be experiencing?
    I am telling them all to be proactive and think hard about their business practices . . ..
    If I can help them through their financial bumps, I feel good and they tend to come back
     
  9. Makes perfect sense. Congrats on joining the faculty of Solo Practice University. What do you teach for them?
    Construction Practice 101 (or how to get, serve and keep a construction client) #SPU
     
  10. How do you help your clients meet their business and strategic objectives?
    By reviewing their business practices and contracts from a risk management perspective . . .
    and working with another great lawyer at my firm on other issues
     
  11. Hmmm – a future 22 Tweets twitterviewee, perhaps… How do you market your practice?
    presenting to the local AGC chapter and being active in the AGC. my blog #SPU, talking to people
     
  12. Tell us about your blog, Construction Law Musings (http://bit.ly/17FHYY). Who is it written for?
    Anyone interested in the construction industry and its marketing and legal issues, from contractors to lawyers.
     
  13. What was your objective when you started blogging? Has that changed?
    I need an objective? (grin) Actually, it was to get my thoughts out in a less formal and more immediate way…
    My objective now that I do that is to have Musings be a resource
    For more on this see @lawfirmblogger’s great interview at http://bit.ly/XCHzv    

  14. It certainly would seem that your blog is a valuable industry resource. Has blogging made you a better lawyer? How?
    Yes. It keeps me up to date on issues and through my guest posts teaches me something on at least a weekly basis.
     
  15. Your use of guest posts is great. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    Who knows, at least an hour, on days like today when I was part of a panel at the AGC, much more.
     
  16. All time well spent I’m sure. Have your Web 2.0 activities had an impact on referrals or client engagements?
    Yes, I have gotten more calls from web hits and have made numerous connections that I never would have had.
     
  17. Let’s switch gears a bit: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Besides the economy and the need to retool our business model. Well, the economy and the need to retool our business model.
     
  18. Indeed. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Who knows? My view is that there will be fewer mammoth firms and more solos and small firms due to client demand.
     
  19. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Wow, probably a nutty philosophy professor, that’s all that my degree qualified me to do besides law school :)
     
  20. Now I *get* the #SPU gig…. How do you want to be remembered?
    (smile) As a guy who helped people and had fun doing it but mostly as a great dad and husband.
     
  21. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Chase the kids, study for the LEED AP exam (until June 13) try to learn to shoot sporting clays & spend time with my family
     
  22. Good luck w/LEED exam! Final question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Be ready to hit the ground running and if necessary start your own firm. . .
    Try to get as much practical experience as your school will let you and mostly have fun with it.

Great advice. Thank you very much for your time today; you gave us another great 22 Tweets twitterview!

you’re welcome. Thanks for the opportunity

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@chrischeatham

May 12th, 2009

c-cheathamChris Cheatham

Construction attorney

LEED Accredited Professional (AP)

Associate, Crowell & Moring

Author of the Green Building Law Update blog

Today, we’re tweeting with @chrischeatham: construction attorney, LEED AP, author of the Green Building Law Update blog, and more

  1. @Chrischeatham, thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Who is the person behind @Chrischeatham?
    I’m a construction attorney concerned about green building legal issues on the horizon.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I do construction litigation primarily. We handle big and small construction delay cases.
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Contractors, sureties, owners. Often against federal or state govts.
  4. What is the single most important legal issue affecting your clients?
    Responsibility for LEED certification. Or at least it will be…
  5. Sounds like you’ll be busy for a while…. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    You have to understand the owner’s expectations og a green building project to manage risk.
    I also tell clients you have to understand the owner’s expectations OF a green building project to manage risk.
  6. :-) What was the most significant client representation you’ve had?
    Easy. We represented numerous insurers in the Katrina litigation. Would’ve been largest construction litigation case ever.
  7. I can only imagine…. Why do your clients hire you?
    I can handle very complicated construction delay cases efficiently. And low rates!
  8. Good reasons indeed. How are you and your firm responding to financial difficulties your clients may be experiencing?
    Our rates are low so we can litigate for clients who have a tight budget.
  9. You are certified as LEED AP (the 2nd to be interviewed on 22 Tweets!). How does that help your clients?
    I understand legal risks that arise from LEED process. And I can properly draft LEED project contracts
  10. Why aren’t more traditional construction firms embracing green building, particularly given the economy?
    Initial costs to learn green construction is a barrier. And green still not in demand in majority of country.
  11. Is that changing? Will green building ever have a meaningful impact on the country’s energy requirements? When?
    Absolutely. Absolutely. The stimulus includes $25B for green building. Will have big impact and market will shift.
  12. That’s welcome news… How do you market your practice?
    My blog is my homebase. I use it to generate leads, speaking and writing opportunities. @lexblog is the best!
  13. How much time would you say you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    Maybe an hour? I lost track a long time ago.
  14. Bet it’s more than that… You mentioned your blog (http://bit.ly/GhOE). Why do you write it and who should read it?
    I write it because I’m concerned about legal issues facing green building industry.
    Green building industry professionals who recognize risk should read it.
  15. Has blogging made you a better lawyer? How?
    Definitely. I look for issues that could harm my clients before they happen.
  16. A nice value-add for them. What impact have your Web 2.0 activities had on referrals and client engagements?
    My best green building contacts are direct result of my blog and twitter. And more diversified contacts.
  17. Nice value-add for you…. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    The entire legal landscape has shifted. Firms got too big. I am very concerned for young associates.
  18. Perhaps trend changing:could argue that firms are shrinking… What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Firms shrinking means associates fired. 10 years: smaller, regional firms. Lower rates or even flat rates.
  19. Interesting perspective re fees. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I think I would be a novelist, like Hemingway. I would go crazy like him too.
  20. Phew. Good thing you got into law school…. How do you want to be remembered?
    Professionally: dedicated and fair. Personally: good husband.
  21. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Watch Kansas Jayhawks sporting events. Some might say I am a bit obsessed with Kansas basketball.
  22. Last question for you today: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Recognize that things have changed. Figure out your passion and write and talk about it all the time.

Thanks for the interview today. It was fun!

Thank you very much for tweeting with 22 Tweets and answering our questions. This was a great twitterview.

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@scottwolfejr

April 28th, 2009

sw

Scott G. Wolfe, Jr.

Construction lawyer and Member, Wolfe Law Group

LEED AP

Serial Blogger: author of Blogging is Speaking, Brazil Construction Law, Chinese Drywall Blog, Construction Law Monitor, Construction Lien Blog, and Louisiana Green Building Law

Entrepreneur and a whole lot more

Today, we’re tweeting with @scottwolfejr: lawyer, entrepreneur, and New Orleans City Business Magazine 2008 Innovator of the Year

  1. @Scottwolfejr, thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Who is the person behind @Scottwolfejr?
    Thnx for having me. So, this 1st Q is very easy or hard. Easy: Me Hard: Husband, entrepreneur, attorney & student.
     
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    We focus exclusively on construction law, w/ offices in SEA, WA and N.O., LA. We’re 4 yrs old, do smart work, young & fun.
     
  3. Sounds like you like what you do…. What type of clients do you represent?
    We do. Generally builders, suppliers, trades & others in constr. industry. Size varies; we rep multi-million $ co.’s – mom & pops
     
  4. What’s the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Those who installed Chinese Drywall in N.O., this stuff carries big consequences. http://www.chinesedrywallblog.com ….
    More generally- Obama Employment Law and Immigration changes. http://bit.ly/oJNvQ
     
  5. What then is the single most important business issue affecting your clients?
    In SEA w/ recession, many need business, & are trying to transition from private sector to public sector in light of stimulus…
    In NOLA, recession hasn’t hit hard. Payment & cash flow is always problem here, & keeping good documentation on projects
     
  6. Striking how diff those two markets appear to be. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    I tell them thank you, that I want to learn about their business & try to prepare them for legal process.
     
  7. What was the most significant client representation you’ve had?
    Hard ?. Post-Katrina, we helped a lot of people get right-side up. That had rewarding moments.
     
  8. Can only imagine what it was like trying to pick up the pieces then. Why do your clients hire you?
    I think we do a good job distinguishing our firm from the crowd, and people react to that. Plus…
    Plus, via the web, we are constantly conversing with potential clients, & they see us as an authority on construction law.
     
  9. How are you and your firm responding to the financial difficulties your clients are experiencing?
    We try to help them make good decisions about settlement v litigation & we try to contractually put them in safe positions
     
  10. Am sure they appreciate. Congratulations on your recent certification as LEED AP. What does it mean for your clients?
    Thank you. Many of our clients are interested in growing into the green market, and it means we can be a source for them
     
  11. You’re actively challenging the LA Bar’s attorney advertising rules. Why are they bad for clients and the profession?
    100 reasons. Most basic: bar regulated a medium (the net) it doesn’t understand & based on how it worked 5 yrs ago…
    Think of reasons why Internet is good for clients and profession. The new La. ad regs compromise those reasons
     
  12. Good luck with that effort. On that note, how do you market your practice?
    Exclusively through our website, blogging, SEO & social networking. Very little paid ads. Virtually 0 traditional ads.
     
  13. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    We have great help at WLG. I still spend 10% of my day on it. I figure branding req. either 10% of my day or 10% of my money.
     
  14. You have 7 (yes, seven!) blogs (see list @ http://bit.ly/t8d3). How do you manage them in the 10% of your time window?
    Its tough, but helps that I enjoy it. I get help from WLG partner @douglasreiser, our law clerk @sethsmiley and wife @emwolfe.
     
  15. Clearly you’ve embraced Web 2.0. How have your Web 2.0 activities impacted your practice?
    It makes a bi-coastal practice painless, increases our efficiency, & keeps us connected to colleagues & clients
     
  16. It’s exciting to watch and learn from you. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Staying relevant. ‘Good boys club’ isnt relevant on a global scale; automation is real; & litigation trivialities are transparent.
     
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    I defer to Richard Susskind’s “The End of Lawyers” http://tinyurl.com/9qupcz
     
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    No doubt, I would simply dedicate more time to being an entrepreneur.
     
  19. Guess THAT was the easy question…. How do you want to be remembered?
    Big Q. Re: Family, I just want to be remembered fondly. Professionally, as a valuable mind.
     
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    My wife & I love travel & enjoy wine, & freq combine the 2. Pre-WLG, I would fly my Cessna, but recently, it just sits
     
  21. You might be the first pilot on 22 Tweets…. What languages do you speak?
    Unfortunately, only English. I can stumble through basic Spanish conversation.
     
  22. I’m pretty sure stumbling counts…. Final question: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Ignore the competition for grades. Learn the law & plan to be hard-working and innovative post-grad.

Valuable advice indeed. This was great; thank you very much for tweeting with 22 Tweets and answering our questions

That was lots of fun. Thanks for having me.

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