Properties Magazine February 2017 : Page 64

LEGAL PERSPECTIVES Navigating property laws & regulations Five Points to Consider When Selecting Counsel ttention Construction Players, including but not limited to developers, owners, design professionals, general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers! News flash #1: construction proj-ects are unpredictable and risky. You should select attorneys to help you manage the risks. News flash #2: Attorneys cost money. Spending money on attorneys when project margins are already thin is like bad medicine. News Flash #3: Take the bad medicine, but choose it wisely. A JOHN SWANSINGER, ESQ. Choosing when to utilize construction counsel is an art form. Too much and it’s wasteful. Too little and it can open a Pandora’s box of liability, missed oppor-tunities and litigation. Even the most seasoned construction players struggle with this decision. Certainly, when an attorney is heavily involved in a project from start to finish and that project goes smoothly, the per-ception of an attorney’s value can quickly evolve into a “could have done it without you” attitude. Correspondingly, when there is little attorney involvement and the project goes smoothly, a “why waste the money” approach may develop. When the going inevitably gets tough however, you will want your attorney fully cognizant of your construction needs. Be mindful of these five key points: 1. Specialty There are upwards of 1,300,000 attor-neys in the United States and 40,000 in Ohio alone. You cannot be a construc-tion attorney unless you are involved in construction law on a daily basis. You can’t dabble. You can’t figure it out on the fly. Exceptional attorneys in what seem to be closely related fields will struggle with the peculiarity of the language and the nuances of each individual project while facing a steep learning curve; however, there is no time for it. Perform your due diligence and be 64 Properties | February 2017

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