A wiseman once said, “a good lawyer knows the law, but a great lawyer knows the judge.” Most design professionals focus on construction contract language as seen through the narrow lens of their particular field of expertise. Unfortunately, judges often do not have the expertise of design professionals and must rely on a multitude of documents and the qualifications of the design professional to determine liability and other experts to determine damages. I was once involved in a case when a judge confronted my adversary who had proffered trial exhibits stacked three feet high and said from the bench that he had no intention of reading all of the proffered exhibits and would presume that given the volume there must be an ambiguity. He proceeded to order counsel for both sides to identify their best twenty (20) exhibits. A trial lawyer with many years of experience knows that most judges believe that less is more. When you have been practicing law for fifty-six years, you get to know the traits and characteristics of most state and federal judges.
If you, as a design professional, who knows the few simple questions to ask to set you on the path for a favorable outcome, call me. I’ll ask you these questions: “tell me in two simple sentences your best points and your adversary’s best points” and, based on your answer I’ll give you my best practice opinion on the probable outcome of your case.
Questions about this topic or any other construction law issue?
Contact John Scaldara at firstname.lastname@example.org or 443.738.1581.
ABOUT JOHN SCALDARA
Mr. Scaldara is chair of the firm’s Construction and Commercial Claims Practice Group, and a member of the Business Litigation Practice Group. Mr. Scaldara brings to the firm more than 50 years of experience in advising clients on various legal issues regarding commercial litigation, alternative dispute resolution, insurance, and other commercial matters. He is a member of both the Business Litigation Department and the Business Law Department of Offit Kurman.
ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN
Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the Mid-Atlantic region. With over 170 attorneys offering a comprehensive range of services in virtually every legal category, the firm is well positioned to meet the needs of dynamic businesses and the people who own and operate them. Our twelve offices serve individual and corporate clients in the Virginia, Washington, DC, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York City regions. At Offit Kurman, we are our clients’ most trusted legal advisors, professionals who help maximize and protect business value and personal wealth. In every interaction, we consistently maintain our clients’ confidence by remaining focused on furthering their objectives and achieving their goals in an efficient manner. Trust, knowledge, confidence—in a partner, that’s perfect.
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