Here are my Answers, Short and Straight.
| A common complaint for my line of work
is that no straight answers are available. Here are short, straight
answers to questions that can be hard to get elsewhere.
Q: Who are you?
- A: I am an attorney located in Chicago, Illinois whose work
includes mechanics liens. More details are on the ABOUT
Q: What is this site really about?
- A: In Illinois, when someone does work on a building and
doesn't get paid, using a mechanics lien, they can sell the building
and keep some or all of the sales price. The mortgage may not
get paid out of the sale. This is a great way to get paid if
you're the worker, and horrible if you own the building or hold
the mortgage, but have a dispute with the worker. Whichever side
you're on, there are things you can do ahead of time to protect
yourself, if you know what to do. If you want to know what those
protections are, go back to the LEARN
page, or CONTACT me.
Q: All I need is a mechanic's lien form. Just give me the
forms, and I'll fill them out.
- A: Okay, go here to find out where
to get forms, and a tidbit of other info...
Q: What do you really want? Why put all this information
on the Web for free?
- A: Because I am in the mechanics lien business, obviously
I would like to find clients who need legal services relating
to mechanics liens.
- A: DON'T WAIT UNTIL YOU HAVE A PROBLEM TO LEARN THIS MATERIAL.
Very few people learn anything about mechanics liens until
after a major problem has arisen. However, mechanics liens problems,
like so many other kinds of problems, are much easier to prevent
than fix. Therefore, one purpose of this page is to teach people
the importance of observing mechanics lien principles at the
start of the construction process, and during.
- A: The educated client is one who knows when to call me (among
Q: What do you charge?
- A: I use different fee systems, depending on the type of
- A: My hourly fee is $150 per hour, calculated on 1/10 hour
increments. An hourly fee is used for open-ended commitments,
such as litigation.
- A: Flat fees, that is, a single payment of a specific amount,
can be negotiated. If the amount of work is definite, then a
definite amount of fee can be arranged, like bidding a construction
job. Many legal audits fit this category, and for single-family
residence jobs can be as little as $750.00.
- A: Percentage fees and other types of payment can also be
arranged in an appropriate case.
Q: If I call you with a question, aren't you always going
to tell me that I need to hire you?
- A: No. Mechanics lien issues are questions of security in
a business transaction, and I can't make the value judgment for
someone else about what that security is worth to them.
- A: What I will do is to make suggestions about what would
provide you some peace of mind and how much the peace of mind
would cost. Sometimes the dangers in a project are just so small
and unlikely that the cost of being careful is too high. Do you
really need me to handle a $500 renovation? Probably not. But
if your project involves a significant amount of money or is
otherwise complex or difficult, then some advice beforehand could
mean the difference between a successfully completed project
and a catastrophe, like losing your building, losing your mortgage,
or bankrupting your business.
- A: I do not rush into every case because I prefer to build
trust with my client over time. Despite some of the advertisements
you see in the yellow pages, finding a lawyer should not work
like buying a used car - the consequences of rushing into a case
are just too serious to do in good conscience for either the
lawyer or the client. Besides, one very significant part of what
a client needs is advice about which fights to pursue and which
fights to avoid. Why start a relationship with bad advice if
you want it to last?
Q: I read the other pages about how mechanics liens work,
and it just looks like a way to trap people and rip them off
using legal technicalities.
- A: Yes, it certainly can be used that way, which is exactly
why you need to make sure that you are not on the receiving end
of the legal technicality.
Q: Do you do personal injury or medical malpractice?
- A: My practice is limited to contract matters, especially
construction and mechanics liens, and other commercial and business
legal services. Further description is on the CONTACTS
page. Personal injury and medical malpractice are not part of
my practice. Instead, when I have a request for a type of work
which I don't provide, I help people find other lawyers who work
in other areas.