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Gary Wirth -Ask The Lawyer
October 26, 2012 @ 12:00 am EDT
This morning’s speaker was Gary Wirth with the law firm of Morritt Hock & Hamroff. The firm was also the sponsor of the meeting.
Mr. Wirth was addressing the problems of collection. The collection issues that are germane to the construction industry in particular were central to the discussion. Not getting into an adversarial position in the first place was emphasized. When contractors fail to pay it is usually a chain of events that is the problem.
The customer may fail to get solid funding commitments and does not pay the contractor. The contractor subsequently cannot pay the subcontractor. The subcontractor has done his job in a professional and timely manner and wants his money. The contractor says yes, but too bad, there is no money being transacted until I get paid.
Wirth recommends that when there is an impasse don’t be docile and wait. That only makes collection less likely to happen. When the legal wheels start turning, get out of the way.
The other matter Gary addressed was the quality and the integrity of your legal representation. It is important but the way a client can ascertain those qualities was less apparent.
Other aspects of collection may not involve litigation. Arbitration is another route and that can be more or less effective than litigation depending again on the quality of the arbiter.