with Caroline Beavers
In this episode of Quit Getting Screwed, listeners get a powerful duo consisting of expert construction attorneys who also happen to be women. Karalynn Cromeens of The Cromeens Law Firm and Caroline Beavers of CHB Legal sit down to discuss the ins and outs of a construction subcontract and best practices for better understanding and negotiating them. In general, contracts can be intimidating due to the use of legalese, which is why this episode is essential for subcontractors. If you want to learn the meaning of what you are signing and have confidence that you’re making the right decisions when running your business, you’ve found the perfect podcast and are sure to learn some valuable information.
Caroline Beavers grew up in a small town in Arkansas on a rice and cattle farm. She also spent a lot of time with her father, a residential contractor. Growing up in a labor-filled environment, she discovered that while she valued hard work, she would much rather work hard inside with the air conditioning, which led her to take an interest in law. She graduated from the University of Arkansas and then moved to Denver, Colorado, to take the bar and begin her career in construction law. Caroline’s upbringing allows her to resonate with her clients, who are mostly construction workers. Caroline says her childhood ingrained a drive in her that “will not allow [her] to be outworked,” which has motivated her to rise above expectations in her career.
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Leaning into the topic of construction subcontracts, there is no doubt that these documents can be tricky to digest and have the power to leave your business at risk. Caroline suggests that before entering into something that will be difficult to get out of, go through your contract thoroughly and have a legal professional read it for you! There is a reason for this thorough process, as some verbiage within contracts can leave a subcontractor with no leg to stand on. Both Karalynn and Caroline agree that construction subcontractors should not be taking on the risks that come with working on some of these projects—especially in today’s economy, where many factors for a successful and timely project have become unpredictable.
Another risk that is discussed in this episode is one that you may have never even considered: fraud. Fraud is a major threat that is becoming more prevalent and less detectable as technology advances. Karalynn brings up an issue related to construction where hackers get into subcontractors’ emails and have GCs direct the payment to them. As scary as this sounds, Karalynn and Caroline are already on top of it, sharing different ways to avoid it and how it could be fought in court with the correct contract in place.
There are so many things that go into making a construction contract enforceable and effective, AND it can vary in each state. All these moving parts make it a difficult job for someone who doesn’t live, breathe, and sleep construction law. If you are in Denver and looking for an attorney to draft or review your contract, you can check out Caroline’s website to set up a time to chat. For more from Karalynn, follow The Cromeens Law Firm on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram. You can also purchase the book that started it all, Quit Getting Screwed, 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.