In the first episode of The Quit Getting Screwed podcast, Highs & Lows in Construction Law published author of the best-selling Amazon book, Quit Getting Screwed: Understanding and Negotiating the Subcontract, Owner and Managing Partner of The Cromeens Law Firm, and Founder of The Subcontractor Institute, Karalynn Cromeens, is joined by Lien Specialist and Office Director Jessica Mora and Senior Managing Construction Law Attorney, Courtney Stricklen, to discuss the inner trappings of construction law.
Lien collection victory
Mora has more than a decade of experience in Liens and shares with Cromeens about multiple victories she has seen for the firm. For example, Mora discusses a client she had during 2020 who was owed about $400,000. Said client was no longer within the lien timeline for most of the problem project and was only timely for roughly $3,000 of the project, give or take. Mora’s team knew the client was not within proper lien timelines and that they could no longer file a valid lien to ensure this client’s payment. However, they knew that there were other ways to approach collection, and they opted to pursue those avenues.
Mora’s team sent notices out to the appropriate parties, called the owners in question, and even called banks to push their cause. They made enough of a disturbance that, eventually, the client was paid for his work in full. Mora said, “I don’t think even think I know my tricks!” regarding how she manages to see cases as victorious as this one come across her table. She attributes her tenacious success to simply following her gut and ensuring that if she can cause enough noise, the attention from the desired parties falls on the clients that need to be paid. In this instance, the client was delighted to attain the total amount owed to him with Mora’s drive and wit to back him up and make it happen.
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Construction litigation success
When Sr. Managing Attorney Courtney Stricklen contributes a story of her own, it comes with a little less excitement. Her many years of expertise have been cultivated primarily in construction litigation, a far less pleasant side of the process. After Mora concludes the tale above, Stricklen remarks, “You know, I kind of wish I got these great stories that Jess has where it’s like, oh, you only spent a thousand dollars, and you collect 400,000! But unfortunately, that does not exist in litigation. We are expensive.” She says there are usually more “kind-of victories” than outright great ones, and she goes on to support this statement with a story of her own.
Stricklen had a client who was hired to remodel a home. Though this client did their work, they did not get adequately compensated for their labor. As a result, the client was neglected $5,000 of the funds they were owed, so they followed protocol and filed a lien on the property. Upon doing so, the owner then sued Stricklen’s client. “Once you’re sued, you’re stuck,” said Stricklen. “You either go to court, or you get a judgment against you, and you don’t want that.” Stricklen’s client was forced to fight a $5,000 lawsuit and, after spending upwards of $60,000 fighting it, Stricklen and her client won their case. Unfortunately, though it was a victorious case, the client lost far more than initially owed in attorney’s fees. Thus, despite doing everything by the book and winning on paper, they still lost in reality.
These are just two contrasting examples of the many stories Karalynn’s experienced guests share regarding the ins and outs of construction law. Throughout the rest of the episode, they both share advice for construction professionals, new perspectives, and information about their specific work. Tune in to Episode 1: Highs & Lows in Construction Law (with Courtney Stricklen and Jessica Mora) to hear all 17 minutes of this fantastic insight.
Make sure to subscribe to the Quit Getting Screwed podcast so you don’t miss the next episode. We drop new education for your ears every two weeks! Do you want further information? If so, you can find us at subcontractorinstitute.com. We’re also on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, and the book is available on Amazon.
This article is intended as a general educational overview of the subject matter and is not intended to be a comprehensive survey of recent jurisprudence, nor a substitute for legal advice for a specific legal matter. If you have a legal issue, consult an attorney.