by Mark A. Cobb
Earlier this week, I had a wonderful experience: I was invited to be interviewed on the Atlanta Legal Experts radio show to discuss Georgia Construction Law. It was quite an honor to be asked to appear on this show as Atlanta Legal Experts is one of the many great shows on Buckhead Business Radio. To hear a podcast of the show and my comments about materialmen liens and payment bond claims, please click here > > >
Although I had to arrive at their Buckhead studio pretty early in the morning, as soon as I entered the green room, the producers and hosts made me feel comfortable about being interviewed. Emily Rowell was the show’s host and Alvaro Arauz was the co-hosts. Both demonstrated wonderful demeanors and worked well together, and, they asked me and the other panelists some very good questions.
The had invited three other Atlanta-area attorneys to be interviewed during this show. Prior to meeting at the studio, I did not know any of these attorneys, but they were each very personable and professional. As it turns out, Nate Hansford, a workers’ compensation lawyer in Atlanta, was graduated from my alma mater (Washington and Lee University) with mutual interests and connections.
Another bright, energetic attorney on the panel was Myrlin Earle; Myrlin began his practice representing insurance companies, and now he focuses on personal injury work. As with many litigators, he had some very exciting stories to share about his courtroom experiences!
The third panelist was Lorena Saedi of the Saedi Law Group who practices bankruptcy law in Atlanta. In discussing her firm, she emphasized that clients meet with an actual attorney and not a legal assistant. This is a great policy and it’s always refreshing to meet attorneys who care about their clients.
The show allowed me to educate the audience on subcontractor rights regarding payment for their materials, labor and services on construction projects throughout Georgia. As I discussed the advantages that subcontractors and building material suppliers have in collecting the money they are owed through the use of liens, surety bonds and Georgia’s Prompt Payment Act, I also pointed out that construction lawyers such as myself often sit in the middle of the project and we consult with–and bring in–legal specialists as needed. Both our large prime contractors and regional subcontractors as well as contractor laborers may experience a job-related injury on the construction site; furthermore, there are so many parties involved on a construction project that the risk for bankruptcy is real and affects those downstream (it typically does not affect their rights to file a mechanics or materialman’s construction lien or their right to file a claim pursuant to a payment bond.) Thus, it was very beneficial to me to make the connections with these other Atlanta Legal Experts.
Also, as a group we were able to discuss current legal trends. Undocumented aliens, for example, have some (but not all!) of the rights given to United States citizens. I was able to discuss some of the fraud issues which we have encountered in our practice when an unscrupulous general contractor or subcontractor tries to take advantage of someone who is undocumented or someone who struggles with English because it is their second language. These individuals deserve competent legal representation.
Our group also discussed the economy from our unique perspectives. I was able to share that our clients–regardless of their position as a prime contractor, a specialty trade subcontractor or a materialmen–are seeing larger construction projects, more opportunities to bid for work, and more new developments getting underway.
If you missed the show or have any questions about Georgia construction law including construction contacts, construction liens, materialmen’s lien rights, payment bonds (including Miller Act and Little Miller Act), delays or damages, please contact me.
Thank you Atlanta Legal Experts for choosing me to be interviewed and continued good luck with the show in the future!