Finding an attorney who is a “real person” can be difficult. Many attorneys surround themselves almost exclusively with other attorneys and are accustomed to speaking in ivory tower legalese. You should be able to connect with your attorney on a personal level, and he or she should speak to you in plain language that you can understand. You will be working very closely with this person on issues that are very important to you. It is important that he or she be down-to-earth and someone that you connect with.
The most common complaint that clients have of their attorneys is that the attorney is unreachable, does not communicate with them regularly, or does not promptly return your calls. Your attorney should reach out to you about your case regularly and respond within 24 hours to calls and e-mails. An open line of communication between you and your attorney is essential to building trust.
Your attorney’s goal should not be to win at all costs. Rather, it should be to achieve a favorable outcome for you as efficiently as possible. It is important that your attorney set realistic expectations at the outset as to the costs you should expect, the concerns that the attorney has about the outcome of your case, and the length of time that you should expect your case to take.
Regardless of the nature of your case, we have an experienced attorney who will focus on your individual needs. Our team of attorneys works closely together, bringing each of their different fields of experience to bear in order to optimize our client care.
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I am personally committed to ensuring that each one of our clients receives the highest level of client service from our team. Our mission is to provide excellent legal work in a cost-effective manner while maintaining open lines of communication between our clients and their attorneys. Many of our clients are going through difficult times in their lives when they reach out to us. They should feel comfortable leaning on the experience and knowledge of our attorneys as their counselors and advocates. We are here to help!
In this article, our Cook County construction lawyers explain some of the most important clauses in general contractor agreements. We discuss the importance of specificity in the scope of work and contract price clauses, as well as the importance of deadlines for completion of work and liquidated damages. The “scope of work” clause lays out the work that the contractor is responsible for delivering in exchange for payment. The most important consideration in a scope of work clause is minimizing ambiguity in order to avoid future litigation. There are several common methods used to establish a contract price: lump sum, unit pricing, cost of work plus contractor's fee, and time and materials. It is crucial that the contractor and owner have a clear agreement on the deadlines associated with the project and the consequences for the contractor failing to meet these deadlines. A contractor’s failure to complete the project on time is one of the major sources of a potential dispute between the owner and the contractor. Allowances are amounts set aside as part of the contract price for work that requires further plans or specifications from the owner. If the actual cost of the item is less than the agreed-upon allowance, the owner will usually a credit for the difference. General contract agreements usually require the contractor to prepare a “schedule of values” that breaks down the total price of the contract and assigns values to various parts of the work in order to determine how periodic payments will be made to the contractor. The owner and contractor will usually agree that periodic progress payments be made to the contractor based on completion of the work shown on the schedule of values. In the course of the construction project, owners will often want to make changes to the project specifications. A change order is a written agreement between the contractor and the owner to adjust the contract price or the completion deadlines based on these changes.
In this article our Cook County construction litigation lawyers explain guaranteed maximum price construction agreements. In a guaranteed maximum price agreement, the contractor charges a flexible rate which may vary based on the actual cost of materials and labor. However, the contractor also limits the maximum price that the owner can be charged for the contract, bearing the risk of the cost of the project exceeding that amount. We explain key clauses in GMP agreements including allowances, contingencies, and schedules of values.
In this article, our Cook County construction attorneys explain how mechanics liens work and how to protect your lien rights. If you are a general contractor or subcontractor who has not been paid for his or her materials or labor, you can follow the steps to file and perfect a mechanics lien to ensure that the property cannot be sold without paying your contract price plus attorney fees and costs.