In the fourth episode of The Quit Getting Screwed Podcast, Karalynn is joined by fellow construction attorney and podcast host Jason Lambert to delve into the muddy waters of construction litigation. Jason’s practice and podcast, Hammer & Gavel, are based out of the sunny state of Florida, giving him and Karalynn, whose practice and podcast are run out of Texas, the perfect balance of similar and dissimilar ideas to make for an intriguing and earnest look at the hairy side of construction law. It’s common knowledge that lawyers make good money from litigation and frequently aren’t totally candid with their clients regarding ways litigation could have been avoided. In this podcast episode, Karalynn and Jason will debunk and debrief in a candid, tell-all talk show format. They’ve been around the block a time or two, and now they want to share what they know with you.
Like Karalynn, Jason’s background is in the construction industry.
“My parents owned an electrical supply warehouse, so I grew up working in that, working around electricians. After college, I worked for them for a little bit longer and decided I was tired of working with family,” he says on this. Jason switched gears ever so slightly and went into project management with one of his family’s past clients, and then continued in the field for a while before letting his passions lead him into construction law.
“Most of the work I was doing at that point in time, even as a project manager, was helping the company that I was with put together their contracts and even put together small development deals. So, it just sort of fit with what I was already doing,” Jason recounts. Like Karalynn, his interest in construction law was born from his involvement in the industry before he began his legal career. In fact, he and Karalynn agree that their prior experience elevates their expertise and grants them a more varied perspective. It grants them the perspective of not only the lawyer but also that of the business owner, the material supplier, the client, and the contractor.
The two attorneys take a hard left turn into discussing the regulations in their respective states of expertise. Jason reflects on some of his experiences learning Florida construction law in his early days, remarking on how stringent the requirements and regulations are in the state and saying, “In Florida, the only industries that are more regulated than general contractors are doctors. And not just, you know, regular doctors, but surgeons.” Additionally, the penalties for operating without a proper license as a contractor in the state of Florida include not only unenforceable contracts but also actual criminal charges.
Karalynn’s experience as a Texas construction lawyer boasts a completely different experience. Texas’s rules and regulations more frequently come into play on the back end after the work has been done. Construction laws, regulations, lien procedures, and more can vary significantly from state to state, and this dichotomy is a perfect example of that.
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The conversation eventually makes its way to litigation, the long-awaited topic at hand. Jason believes litigation is a poor and often ineffective means for conflict resolution and suggests that this belief is largely due to the attorneys, not their clients. He speculates how tipped the scales are concerning whether you may have a good attorney working in your favor or one invested in only their own financial gain. On the other side of the same coin, Jason also covers the fickle position of clients who are determined to win on principle, stating that, “That’s fine, but principals are very expensive to have in litigation,” a point on which Karalynn whole-heartedly agrees.
Karalynn and Jason agree on quite a lot, in fact, though their different experiences and areas of expertise put them at odds a few times throughout the episode, as well. Ultimately, the episode proves to be an educational and honest look into construction law from the perspective of two extremely qualified construction attorneys with almost three decades of relevant experience between them.
Be sure to listen in on Episode 4: The Ugly Truth About Litigation: What Lawyers Won’t Tell You (With Jason Lambert) and get the inside scoop on all of the secrets your construction lawyer wouldn’t want you to know. That is, of course, unless your construction lawyer is Karalynn Cromeens or Jason Lambert. The Quit Getting Screwed podcast features exceptional industry-affiliated professionals with unmatched insight and guidance to help you run a better business. If you want more information about what we do or a full episode transcript, 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.