I have successfully handled numerous complicated lawsuits involving real estate, business, construction defects, personal injury, securities fraud, insurance denials of coverage and bad faith handling of claims, dangerous products, airplane crashes, gas explosions, auto accidents, injury due to product defects, contract and business fraud cases, business vs. consumer cases, business entity management disputes, defective design, engineering and construction, involving both property loss and/or personal injury, business and accounting practices, real estate ownership, premises or operations liability and in cases involving contractor fraud in performance or in charging for the construction. I have acted as lead counsel for numerous matters of complicated litigation and/or transactions across the United States, including:
- Successfully handled complicated litigation involving business, corporate and partnership disputes, real estate, business, contract disputes, intellectual property, non competition agreements, business financing, and public relations issues.
- Lead counsel in numerous case negotiations, settlements, arbitrations and trials.
- Experienced in insurance and risk analysis, contract and bad faith analysis, business and securities fraud matters, dealing with contracts, ISO’s, negotiations, claims of breach or fraud, human resource issues, and highly technical and engineering issues and products liability.
- Cases include jury verdicts and settlements in the millions of dollars. If you’re having trouble with a claim, an inexperienced attorney or an insurance company, you would likely benefit from a free consultation.
Frequently asked questions:
1. Can I get more money for my injury claim if I hire a lawyer?
This depends upon your personality and the degree of difficulty to you case. If you are comfortable negotiating with an insurance company and if you are confident in your ability to properly evaluate your claim, you can likely do better without an attorney. This is because attorneys typically charge a contingent fee of about 1/3 of the recovery for their fee. In many cases the insurance company will pay you the policy limits of their coverage because your injury is worth far more than those limits. In some other cases, you may not have been seriously hurt and the insurance company may offer you an amount you feel is appropriate. In both these situations, you may well be able to settle on your own and keep for yourself the 1/3 which might have otherwise been paid to an attorney.
However, in most injury situations, the insurance company will try to manipulate you into believing and accepting less than the full value of your case. They will offer less than the case is worth, argue that they will not pay more, refuse to tell you their coverage limits, tell you the injury is at least partially your fault, etc. You will of course be bewildered as to the value of your case and overwhelmed about how much time and effort will be needed to settle it or take it to trial. In these instances, you would likely profit by hiring a competent attorney. Competent, however, doesn’t mean some guy your buddy’s divorce lawyer recommends or some guy with a lot of TV ads at night. Find out how much trial experience the attorney has with issues like yours and what results he has obtained. See what he thinks your case should be worth and make him commit to good communication practices with you.
2. My basement floor is heaving and the doors don’t fit. What can I do?
The builder, engineer, architect or other professional may have been negligent in the design and/or construction of your home. You likely have a valid claim but don’t wait too long because claims against such professionals are strictly regulated.
3. When I left my last job, I had to sign a business confidentiality and non-compete agreement. Now my old company is threatening me if I go to work in the same field. Do I have any defense?
Non-competition and other agreements which restrict the right to work are narrowly construed in Colorado and most other states. Have the situation analyzed by a competent attorney who has dealt with this issue many times. Unless you were a high level employee with access to truly unique information, there is a good chance you cannot be restricted.
4. What can I do if my building contractor did not pay his sub-contractors and there are liens filed against my property?
A contractor may be guilty of felony theft for accepting payment then not paying the subcontractors who did the tile, painting, supplied the lumber, etc.. Lien law is very strict and there are special provisions which can protect you.
5. How can the parties to a building contract best protect against disagrement and disputes?
If you are a contractor, always have a clear written contract with all terms and timelines spelled out. Never do a change which will add to time or cost of performance without a signed written and clearly defined change order. Always include a mediation-arbitration clause and a clause allowing the prevailing party in any dispute resolution to recover attorney fees and costs. Finally, have indemnification clauses in all your sub-contractor agreements.
6. How can I as a consumer best protect myself when planning a construction project?
You can have trouble with a foundation, roof or other aspect of the construction and wonder whether it was done properly? There is even a specific requirement to notify the contractor of defects before you can pursue a claim. Contracts for construction can be one sided in favor of the contractor. Always have any contract reviewed before signing and you can save a great deal of time and money should something go wrong. Remodeling contractors are notorious for problem construction and often have minimal or no licensing. Check out your contractor, get references and view other jobs before hiring him. In any situation where there may be a variable price, make sure all accounting for the project is openly available to you and that all checks are made payable jointly to the contractor and the subcontractor who actually did the specific part of the work.