3 Invaluable Lessons from Alex Barthet

  1. It’s extremely important to hire a lawyer that specializes in construction law.
  2. Have your “Core 4” and build relationships with them so you see the trends in the industry.
  3. You are going to need a lawyer on your team at some point, so find one now, and get to know them. You won’t regret it.

This week, host Sue Dyer speaks with Alex Barthet, Principal at the Barthet Firm. He joins us to share his universal legal expertise.  Join us as we dive into his journey into law through engineering and how to pick the right construction lawyer.

Alex’s Journey to Becoming a Legal Expert (02:11)

Starting in Mechanical Engineering with an interest in construction and designing cars, but got near the end, and abruptly changed directions and went to work full time at his father’s law firm and went to law school while working.

Mistakes We Make When Picking The Right Lawyer (05:05)

  1. Hiring a lawyer based on who you know or price, and not specialty.
  2. Not hiring someone that is board certified in their specialty.
  3. Not finding someone that fits into the team.

How to Select the Best Attorney for a Specific Issue (07:46)

  1. Find someone that’s a specialist in the field.
  2. Search for the good and the bad on Google, and read reviews.
  3. Ask who specifically would be working on your project, and meet them.

Managing Expectations (10:27)

  1. Cost: make sure everyone is upfront with cost expectations.
  2. Develop small interim budgets to manage any surprises.
  3. The legal system takes lots of time – be patient with the process.

Examples of the Good and the Bad (15:31)

  1. Clients that think they can beat the odds, typically have worse results than those who work with an experienced lawyer.
  2. A client that hired a lawyer that was a solo practitioner that did a little bit of everything. The lawyer did not have specialist experience in construction and the client lost $350,000.
  3. Most successful clients create their own dream team with a Construction Lawyer, a Construction Insurance Company, a Bonding Agent and a Construction CPA – the “Core 4.”  Clients should socialize (i.e., lunch or drinks) to keep their ear to the ground.

Alex’s “Magic Juice” for Being a Great Leader (22:17)

  1. Listening to a variety of great podcasts.
  2. Learning from the “best of the best.”
  3. Being Humble and Showing Gratitude to your team.

All About Alex’s Podcast: “The Lien Zone” (24:44)

  1. Started by using videos that we created.
  2. 4,500 Listeners per month
  3. Quick bullet points on a variety of legal issues.
  4. Often, the mundane things tend to cause the most trouble.

The Very Best Advice Alex Has Ever Gotten (27:14)

Always Forward. It doesn’t have to be the best, but make sure there is incremental progress.

Resources for Listeners

Contact Alex

Contact Alex by Email

Contact Alex on LinkedIn

The Lien Zone on Instagram

Alex’s Parting Advice (37:57)

If you have a lawyer that you know, like, and trust, invite him/her out to lunch. Get to know them better.  If you don’t have a lawyer, find one, and put that person on your team. You will need them at some point.

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Remember…Construction Dream Team drops every Monday morning at 4 am PST. Please join us next week when Sue will interview another industry leader or expert so you can learn how to create your Construction Dream Team!

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