Chris Hill’s Construction Law Musings has been one of the longest-running and most successful construction law blogs. While Chris is a Virginia-based lawyer, he has designed his blog to be relevant to readers throughout the U.S. He also demonstrates how to manage a blog effectively, without draining time and resources, while ensuring the content is fresh and relevant.
He achieves these results through a reliable schedule, and the effective use of guest posts (on Fridays). Hill has been careful about selecting his guest post providers; they always provide relevant and original material, and enhance the blog’s value.
Also, one of his recent posts reveals the effective repurposing of materials published elsewhere, where he cited an article he had published in AEC Quality Magazine. Here, he discusses the importance of encouraging clients to plan ahead to avoid litigation and seek mediated rather than litigated solutions where possible.
We construction attorneys and litigators, for better or worse, make our money because of the problems on the job and the grey areas in contracts that lead to long, drawn out litigation. Needless to say, this fact of life has given rise to a negative attitude toward an attorney’s role in the construction world.
Despite these attitudes, both within and without the legal profession, I firmly believe that construction lawyers can be a great asset to their clients. By bringing in a construction attorney early on (much as you would an accountant or a bonding agent) so that the lawyer can get to know your construction business and can be a partner in avoiding the contractual pitfalls and business issues that then lead to litigation a construction company can save headaches and, importantly, money in the long run. Contractors are a group of people that know that it is always more expensive to fix a problem than get it right the first time. A good construction lawyer can apply this principle to a client’s business and contracts.
Additionally, when the inevitable problems arise (Murphy was an optimist after all), a responsible, experienced and knowledgeable construction lawyer can and should help to smooth the waters and negotiate a solution to the problem short of litigation. Litigation is expensive. If your company needs to sue to get paid, you’ve quite honestly, already lost money on the project. Business owners (except for maybe tobacco companies) cannot run their companies and make financial decisions planning to be in litigation. Is litigation occasionally necessary? Yep. Should it be a last resort? Of course.
Hill’s blog has been a worthy contender in previous year’s competition and could be a finalist again this year.
You can vote for your favourite blog here. Voting continues through March 31.