Back in 2009, only a year or so after my first post here at Musings, I posted on why I’m in the field of construction law. Well, a lot has happened in the over 5 years since then, not the least of which is my move to solo practice in July of 2010 and the later certification as a mediator. As I sit here, I look back at the passage of time and the events between my last thoughts on this subject and now and wonder if my thoughts have changed?
Frankly, not much has changed as far as my attitude toward the practice of construction law. Despite my kids occasionally rolling their eyes when I talk about a case of interest to me and their sometimes moniker for me as a “dirt lawyer,” I continue to find the representation of the construction professionals that I call clients and friends to be fulfilling and worthwhile. Even in the face of criticisms that we lawyers cause more problems that we solve, I firmly believe that I and other good construction lawyers can and do help avoid and anticipate more problems than I cause.
As one of the few solo construction attorneys here in the Richmond area, if anything, I am more involved in the construction community. Between my continued and even increased involvement with the AGC of Virginia and my more recent appointment to the board of the Virginia State Bar‘s Construction Law and Public Contracts Section, I have gained even more insight into the workings of the legal and business landscapes of construction. With each new piece of information gained by such involvement, I see another side to the business of construction that I may not have thought of.
I continue enjoy my clients. I like to hang out with these construction professionals outside of the lawyer-client relationship. I find for the most part that the men and women I represent in the construction industry are pragmatic and look for a business solution before a litigation solution. As an attorney, I believe this to be the right attitude and this makes representing these folks something I enjoy.
My involvement with construction attorneys through the state bar has allowed me to see that, like their clients, most of these lawyers look for a pragmatic solution. As a general rule, these attorneys are polite to work with and ready to solve a problem rather than stir up trouble. I find this to be another reason I am still a construction lawyer and have not changed my focus.
In short, while mechanic’s liens, discussions of soil quality, and payment bonds are not for everyone, I personally find practicing construction law in Virginia to be a fulfilling way to pass the day.
As always, I welcome your comments below. Please subscribe to keep up with this and other Construction Law Musings.