When an attorney is trying a case, he or she is often hard-pressed to acquire all the facts, information, and knowledge that may be required to successfully defend or prosecute a case.
It is a common practice in many legal specialties for attorneys to frequently retain consulting or non-testifying expert witnesses to assist in trying a case. Although these experts play a somewhat different role than that of testifying experts, their advice can be highly valuable.
Another one of the benefits of working with a construction consultant is the protection of attorney-client privilege that can extend to their advice, according to one firm,
“In most cases, attorney-client privilege will protect the work of a consulting expert. To be certain that this is the case, attorneys must ensure that the information from the consulting expert is given for the purpose of providing legal advice. If that premise can be maintained, attorneys should have no trouble in protecting the work product of their consulting experts.”
When an attorney takes on a case involving some aspect of construction practices or the construction of a building, a special category of consultant may be needed, namely a construction consultant.
Legal construction consultants are knowledgeable about both construction and the law, allowing them to consult with attorneys and others in the legal arena on proper construction practices, code violations, structural defects, and other construction-related cases.
And, perhaps, a good question to ask here is, “What is a construction consultant?”
A Look at Construction Consulting
Construction consultants often specialize in particular areas of the otherwise quite broad field of construction.
Generally speaking, however, a construction consultant can assist clients in overseeing and assessing their construction and reviewing contracts for construction projects. Their expertise and services may also involve providing general technical and business assistance, as well.
A construction consultant’s responsibilities may also extend to working with architects and contractors to choose and implement a building design, advising on any environmental issues at the site, and even helping to ensure worker safety. In addition, experienced construction consultants can also draw up and administer contract negotiations between sub-contractors and construction firms.
When it comes to working with attorneys, a construction consultant can provide legal support for an attorney in several areas. This can include:
- Determining if a building is code compliant
- Review the building history of a property to determine if permits were properly filed
- Confirm if required maintenance was completed to industry standard
- Assess water damage to determine if an owner or a contractor is responsible
- Determine if a leak is the responsibility of a condominium association or condominium owner
- Assess fire and smoke damage for indications of structural issues
In the capacity of a construction consultant for an attorney, or law firm, a consultant may perform what is typified as forensic work. In the field of construction, this usually means determining why a building or structure has failed.
The problem with the building may be something relatively small, such as a shifting or cracked foundation. On the other hand, it can involve something far more catastrophic and major such as a structure collapsing.
When it comes to determining cause and liability, a construction consultant will be called in, and determine why and how the building failed.
Legal firms may hire a construction consultant to simply advise attorneys on cases, or to act as an expert witness, as well.
Expert Construction Consulting and Advice for Your Legal Needs
There are three main reasons attorneys should make use of a construction consultant:
Construction consultants working with attorneys can maximize the value of a case or assist the defense in defending their client or mitigating damages. An experienced construction consultant can provide several types of expert services that may be required for a case in a much more cost-effective manner. This can include tasks such as research, organizing documents, interviewing people, and reviewing related records.
Improved Time Efficiency
Pre-trial preparation is time-intensive, and delays are costly. A competent and experienced construction consultant will complete their work efficiently and promptly, leaving the attorney and legal staff free to focus on developing the strategic planning of the case.
Creating a Stronger Case
By making extensive use of the services and expertise of a construction consultant, an attorney can build a much stronger case for themselves and their clients. Being armed with the knowledge, experience, and expertise of a reliable and competent construction consultant means being prepared for any legal contingency that may arise in a case.
Whether as a construction consultant, an expert witness on a construction-related court case, or both, we can help make the difference when it comes to helping you get a successful outcome for your clients.
In addition, if you’re a contractor or homeowner getting started on a construction project, having a construction consultant by your side can also be hugely beneficial. An expert that is knowledgeable in all the crucial aspects of construction, including remodeling, can come in handy if you don’t have much experience in construction.
If you need professional construction advice and guidance, we are here to help you in all the phases of your project. We will also attend to all your questions before, during, and after the project.
To learn more, email us at email@example.com or give us a call at (707) 865-5157.