Posts By: Chris Wielinski

The Best Commercial Dispute Resolution Attorneys in San Antonio

alternative dispute resolution (1)

Disputes in business are inevitable and inescapable. Sometimes figuring out how to resolve disagreements in business can seem overwhelming and impossible. Litigation is one route, but not always the best one, as it can be time-consuming, expensive, and lead to unpredictable or unmanageable outcomes.

Alternative dispute resolution attorneys offer their experience in the law and negotiation techniques to help parties in commercial disputes find resolutions without the frustration and risk of a lawsuit. If you seek a San Antonio alternative dispute resolution lawyer, consider Cokinos | Young. Our team has extensive experience in using less adversarial and more collaborative methods for resolving business disputes fairly, including arbitration in all its forms and mediation. 

When Businesses Disagree

Businesses encounter disputes and disagreements in many contexts, and these disputes often take various forms. For example, many companies argue over the interpretation of words in a contract. If they cannot agree, the matter may result in parties asking a judge to decide instead based on existing law and precedents. Beyond contracts, business law can also produce disagreements over areas such as taxes, terms of employment, insurance coverage, product liability, labor and employment, partnership provisions, securities transactions, unfair competition, anti-trust regulations, simple transactions, and many others.

Resolving Business Disagreements

In the midst of a dispute, as emotions run high, there may be a tendency to want to rush to court to file a lawsuit. Cases may eventually have to go there, but sometimes it makes sense to explore ways of resolving disagreements without incurring the time and cost of a lawsuit. Ultimately, professionals have many ways of ending their quarrels even without involving an attorney. Simple and determined negotiation between parties can lower the temperature and help put the dispute to bed. If that doesn’t work, other options are available short of a lawsuit.

How Alternative Dispute Resolution Works

ADR allows parties to come together to resolve disagreements without resorting to expensive and drawn-out lawsuits. In arbitration, a neutral third party or neutral panel listens to the parties’ positions, following a more relaxed set of rules of evidence, and then provides an opinion on how to end the fighting. By contrast, in mediation, an impartial third party works directly with parties to help narrow their differences and suggest ways to structure potential settlements. Terms of arbitration and mediation may vary from case to case, as some decisions may be binding while others are appealable to a court.

The San Antonio, Texas, alternative dispute resolution attorney team at Cokinos | Young applies its expertise to help businesses reach cost-effective and fair resolutions separately from litigation. Representative areas of experience in alternative dispute resolution include cases involving commercial, industrial, residential and highway construction, employment, real estate, lender liability, commercial fraud, deceptive trade practices, intellectual property, contract issues, personal injury, and insurance coverage. In this area, there is no substitute for experience. Attorneys at Cokinos | Young also serve as national trainers in the ADR field and are sought-after speakers at local and national seminars.

5 Steps for Choosing a Construction Accident Lawyer in San Antonio

construction accident lawyer in san antonio

Construction projects involve large numbers of professionals working together to build something meaningful. It could be a housing development, a mall, a stadium, an office building, or another large project. Unfortunately, not every project goes off perfectly. 

Sometimes accidents happen that result in injuries or death. As a result, parties involved in the project, such as owners, general contractors, project managers, or others, may need the advice and counsel of a construction accident lawyer and a construction accident law firm.

Deciding which counsel to retain is a critical decision for organizations facing lawsuits over construction accidents. Here are five steps to follow in choosing a construction accident law firm for legal representation, and how Cokinos | Young can help.

Recognize and Identify the Problem

Construction accident litigation can touch on several different types of law. The first step in choosing a construction accident lawyer in San Antonio and other cities is to analyze the incident to understand what kind of lawyer can help. Areas commonly touched on in construction accidents are personal injury law, surety law, insurance coverage expertise, and government compliance. Cokinos | Young is a full-service firm offering all relevant practice areas.

Seek Referrals

Word-of-mouth remains a powerful way of identifying attorneys with relevant experience. Consult with colleagues, friendly partners, family, industry trade associations, or bar associations for recommendations. Build up a preliminary pool of potential attorneys, as the first choice may not be the best choice. Ask referrers many questions about their experiences.

Consult Rankings and Directories

Another source of information to add to the candidate pool are legal referral sources. Many companies publish listings of recommended construction accident lawyers based on feedback from peers and clients. These directories may be able to identify well-regarded attorneys in particular specialties in specific jurisdictions. Cokinos | Young has multiple Chambers USA and AV-rated attorneys and handles matters throughout the state of Texas, as well as nationally and globally. 

Conduct Additional Research

Review the attorneys’ bios, which usually list representative matters that can further showcase relevant experience. Conduct additional research using publicly available sources to learn more about the attorneys. Check disciplinary databases maintained by bar associations.

Interview Candidates

Schedule a consultation with a few of the candidate attorneys. This initial meeting involves the mutual sharing of information, about the case and the firm alike, that may help point to a final choice. Clients deserve clear, prompt, and consistent communication about their issues, a hallmark of Cokinos | Young. Clear communication leads to trust, which can help lead to positive outcomes.

Well known for leadership in construction law since 1989, Cokinos | Young offers legal services that are delivered with a commitment to efficiency, value, and client service. In today’s complex and constantly changing business environment, Cokinos | Young uses practical experience and pragmatic approaches to manage serious legal challenges, such as those in construction accidents. Clients benefit from their extensive experience on a wide range of construction projects in both the public and private sectors. Call or contact Cokinos | Young online to schedule a consultation.

5 Elements of a Successful Commercial Real Estate Agreement

san antonio commercial real estate attorney

Every commercial real estate transaction, regardless of the type of property and its business purpose requires a contract. Whether for purchasing or leasing, certain elements must always be present in a valid commercial real estate contract. Without these elements, the contract can be voided or deemed unenforceable. Below, we explain the five elements that must be present in a successful commercial real estate agreement.

Inspection Terms

An agreement to purchase commercial real estate must include terms of inspection. Inspection requirements vary from state to state but should include the following:

  • The buyer agrees to purchase the property pending inspection.
  • The specific type(s) of inspection(s) that will be conducted.
  • The date the inspection(s) will be completed.
  • How long after the inspection(s) the buyer has to terminate the agreement.

Inspection terms in commercial leases are typically reserved for the end of the lease period. The landlord may require an inspection at the end of the tenancy to ensure that the property is returned in an agreed-upon manner. 

Price and Financing Terms 

The purchase price and financing terms detail the exact price of the property, how the purchase will be financed, the bank or lender financing the purchase, the exact amount being financed, and any closing costs. If there are closing costs, the agreement should describe whether the seller or buyer will be paying the costs. Also required is the projected closing date. In commercial leases, the price will be the base rent, security deposit, and any other payments the tenant is expected to pay the landlord for the length of the agreement or the lease.


Depending on the state, certain warranties and representations related to the condition, safety, and value of the property must be disclosed and detailed in the agreement. The seller or landlord should clearly and honestly describe any known problems or flaws with the property, how the issues will be addressed, and whether they will be addressed before closing. Some agreements state that the property is being sold or rented as is, meaning the seller or landlord offers no warranties and makes no representations about the property’s condition.

Detailed Description of the Property

One of the critical elements of a commercial real estate agreement is the description of the property to be purchased or rented. The description must include the exact address or location of the property and any additional property included in the purchase or lease such as furniture, other structures, inventory, or fixtures. The description should also include any liens or legal claims against the property.

Remedies in the Event of a Breach

If any party, whether the buyer, seller, landlord, or tenant, breaches or fails to comply with the terms of the agreement, the contract needs to include any remedies to which the non-breaching party will be entitled. Remedies can be monetary compensation, a court order to do or refrain from doing something, or the termination of the agreement altogether. Commercial real estate transactions can be complex and are best handled by local and experienced commercial real estate attorneys like the team at Cokinos | Young. Serving multiple cities, including Dallas, our attorneys will effectively guide business owners through the commercial real estate process at affordable rates. Contact us today for the best commercial real estate representation.

Cokinos | Young Nationally Ranked Tier 1 Law Firm in 2023 “Best Law Firms”

Cokinos | Young is pleased to announce that the firm has been ranked in the 2023 U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers®, “Best Law Firms” for the 13th consecutive year. Cokinos is listed nationally in 3 practice areas and regionally in 8 practice areas.

Firms included in the 2023 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.

To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must have one lawyer listed in The Best Lawyers in America, which recognizes the top four percent of practicing attorneys in the United States. Cokinos | Young has twenty lawyers listed in The Best Lawyers in America – Travis M. Brown, Gregory M. Cokinos, Stephanie H. Cook, J. Parker Fauntleroy, W. Patrick Garner, Charles Getman , John L. Grayson, Philip Kinkaid, Beau E. LeBlanc, Dana Livingston, Robert J. MacPherson, Shelly D. Masters, Stephanie L. O’Rourke, Darrell W. Taylor, Roger D. TownsendJohn C. Warren, Peter Boyd Wells IV, Patrick J. Wielinski. 

Ranked firms, presented in tiers, are listed on a national and/or metropolitan scale. Receiving a tier designation reflects the high level of respect a firm has earned among other leading lawyers and clients in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism and their integrity.

Cokinos Young, P.C. received the following rankings in the 2023 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms”:

  • National Tier 1
    • Litigation – Construction
  • National Tier 2
    • Appellate Practice
    • Construction Law
  • Regional Tier 1
    • Austin
      • Construction Law
    • Dallas/Fort Worth
      • Construction Law
      • Insurance Law
      • Litigation – Construction
    • Houston
      • Appellate Practice
      • Construction Law
      • Litigation – Construction
      • Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
    • New Jersey
      • Litigation – Construction
    • San Antonio
      • Commercial Litigation
      • Construction Law
      • Litigation – Construction
  • Regional Tier 2
    • Austin
      • Appellate Practice
      • Litigation – Construction
    • Houston
      • Commercial Litigation
    • New Jersey
      • Construction Law
  • Regional Tier 3
    • Houston
      • Admiralty & Maritime Law
      • Corporate Law


Cokinos | Young has led Texas construction and real estate law for over three decades. And today, our 100+ dedicated professionals operate coast to coast and proudly handle all aspects of construction law for owner/developers, project managers, general contractors, design professionals, subcontractors, sureties, and lenders. We provide both dispute resolution and transactional services to clients through all phases of commercial, industrial, pipeline, offshore, civil, and residential construction. Our reputation was built on relentless commitment to client service and the industries we serve, and that remains our primary driver. Dedicated. Resilient. Expertise. That’s Cokinos | Young. Learn more at


The U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in the field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process. To be eligible for a 2023 ranking, a law firm must have at least one lawyer recognized in the 13th edition of The Best Lawyers in America® list for that particular location and specialty.


U.S. News & World Report is the global leader in quality rankings that empower people to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives. A digital news and information company focused on Education, Health, Money, Travel, Cars and News, provides consumer advice, rankings and analysis to serve people making complex decisions throughout all stages of life. More than 40 million people visit each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.


Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected lawyer ranking service in the world. For 40 years, Best Lawyers has assisted those in need of legal services to identify the lawyers best qualified to represent them in distant jurisdictions or unfamiliar specialties. Best Lawyers awards are published in leading local, regional and national publications across the globe.

Lawyers who are nominated for consideration are voted on by currently recognized Best Lawyers working in the same practice area and located in the same geographic region. Our awards and recognitions are based purely on the feedback we receive from these top lawyers. Those who receive high peer reviews undergo a thorough verification process to make sure they are currently still in private practice. Only then can these top lawyers be recognized by Best Lawyers.

When Is Alternative Dispute Resolution Needed?

alternative dispute resolution

No one really wants to go to court for something they can settle in an informal setting. Before launching a full-scale lawsuit, it’s sometimes a good idea to check and see if alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is the right choice for you. ADR can take several forms, such as mediation, or neutral evaluation, but it always involves some kind of informal discussion and settlement that happens outside of court. It’s often favored by businesses with lawsuits on their hands and can significantly reduce the costs, time, and tension poured into a legal issue. Here are some pointers on whether or not ADR is right for an issue: 

One Party Isn’t Clearly in the Right

If it’s apparent to any unbiased and reasonable person that one of the parties in a legal issue is clearly and totally at fault, and that party isn’t willing to make a complete settlement, then the other party shouldn’t make an attempt at arbitration. It’s best to take it to court because they’ll be able to win the case. Most issues aren’t that simple, though, so when it isn’t clear that one party or the other is totally at fault, it’s often a good idea to consider ADR. 

Both Parties Are Willing and Able To Negotiate

If both parties are amicable toward one another, arbitration is probably the better option. It can turn a process that normally takes months or years into something that takes a few weeks. Of course, if the issue concerns harassment, intimidation, or any sort of violence, then don’t wait to take legal action. Also, both parties should be willing to give and take a little. Alternative dispute resolution isn’t about winning, but about solving the issue, and this isn’t going to happen if nobody is willing to back down a bit on their demands. 

ADR Isn’t Going to Turn Into Litigation

Arbitration shouldn’t be an undercover court procedure. Many attempts at arbitration, especially by large corporations, have turned into as much of a legal hassle as litigation. If the case is too complex for any of the different processes of arbitration available, a court procedure may actually be simpler. The point of arbitration is to make a resolution as simple, cost-effective, and short as possible for everyone concerned, so if it’s going to be ugly in any event, it should be ugly in court.

Keep in mind as well that promises made by parties in arbitration aren’t usually legally binding, so one party should not negotiate if they have serious reason to think the other party isn’t going to uphold their end of the deal. Above all, if the parties do decide to move forward with ADR, it’s important for them to commit to the fact that it is meant to be a resolution, and thus to try and solve the dispute as amicably as it can be done. Despite the fact that it isn’t for every case, alternative dispute resolution is often a great way to minimize the effects of a dispute by keeping it as informal and friendly as possible. 

The 7 Most Common Construction Accidents

common construction accidents

Every year, thousands of construction workers are hurt on the job. Construction work is physically demanding and can be dangerous if safety protocols aren’t followed. Fortunately, by learning the most common types of construction accidents and taking precautions accordingly, you can avoid these hazards and return home safely at the end of every workday. It’s easy to think of construction as a high-risk profession because it involves working with heavy machinery and operating in tight spaces with lots of potential for injury. But that doesn’t mean it’s inevitable that you or your coworkers will get hurt. You just need to know what hazards to look out for and take measures to mitigate their risks as much as possible. Read on for information about the 7 most common types of construction accidents to help keep yourself safe at work.

Tool and Equipment Accidents

One of the most common types of construction accidents, being struck by tools and equipment is a source of injury for many construction workers. When tools or equipment are being used inappropriately and/or in a way that doesn’t account for the presence of nearby workers, accidents like these can happen. You can protect yourself by:

  • Knowing what kinds of tools and equipment are used in your line of work and how to use them properly.
  • Wearing the proper safety gear, like hard hats, goggles, and appropriate footwear.
  • Keeping yourself out of harm’s way by staying a safe distance away when equipment is in use and keeping your hands away from moving parts.
  • Communicating with nearby coworkers if you see a potential hazard that could lead to someone being struck.
  • Staying alert, especially when you’re tired, stressed, or focused on a particular task.


If you feel fatigue setting in, take a break. Often, fatigue is a warning sign that your body needs rest. If you ignore it and push through the work, you could be more prone to accidents. You should also be careful about taking medications that can make you drowsy, like certain headaches, allergies, and cold medications. If you’re feeling tired, try some natural remedies, like drinking a caffeinated beverage or taking a short walk before attempting to get back to work.

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)

The repetitive nature of the work and heavy lifting involved with many construction jobs can lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Improper lifting technique, overexertion, and working with poor posture can all contribute to MSDs, which can sometimes lead to long-term disabilities. To reduce your risk of suffering from an MSD, be sure to:

  • Take frequent breaks when performing heavy lifting.
  • Use proper lifting techniques when moving equipment and materials.
  • Use equipment like cranes and forklifts whenever possible instead of manually lifting equipment.
  • Wear appropriate footwear and clothing to reduce strain on your body.
  • Stretch and strengthen your muscles regularly to help reduce the risk of developing MSDs.
  • Speak to your supervisor if you’re concerned about your ability to perform certain tasks due to the risk of MSDs. They may be able to assign you different tasks.
  • Consider pursuing certification in joint health and ergonomics to become a more employable candidate for construction jobs.

Confined Spaces

Certain construction sites feature confined spaces, which are areas that are too small to easily fit a person inside. These kinds of spaces can be dangerous, as occupants may have trouble getting out if they become injured or trapped. Common examples of confined spaces include sewage and water wells, inside walls or utility ductwork, and manholes. To keep yourself safe in a confined space:

  • Only work in a confined space if you have the proper training and equipment.
  • Stay alert and communicate with others outside the confined space if possible.
  • Leave a confined space if you start to feel dizzy or feel like something is wrong.
  • If a confined space has failed and/or become flooded, evacuate as quickly as possible.

Electrical Hazards

Working around electrical hazards can be scary, which is why many construction workers are familiar with this type of accident. Electrical hazards can arise when wires aren’t properly installed, maintained, or isolated from other factors. Electrical power outages can also create a false sense of security, leading you to make mistakes that put you in danger. To avoid electrical hazards:

  • Know the signs of a potential electrical hazard, like loose wires or a transformer that smells like melting metal.
  • Stay clear of equipment that’s plugged in and disconnected.
  • Leave electrical work to the professionals.
  • Report faulty or wiring to your supervisor.
  • Be wary of false power outages, often called “nuisance” outages. They occur when the power company needs to turn off the electricity in order to safely access a certain part of the grid.

Fires and Explosion

Construction workers sometimes experience fires and explosions, which can result from a number of different causes. Improper storage of flammable materials is a common cause of fires, but lightning and faulty equipment can also spark combustion. Explosions can occur when substances that produce combustible gases or vapors, like gasoline, come into contact with an ignition source like a spark. To avoid fires and explosions:

  • Keep flammable materials in appropriate containers and away from sparks or flames.
  • Only use approved equipment.
  • Report faulty equipment to your supervisor or the equipment manufacturer.
  • Be cautious about gasoline-powered equipment, as gasoline fumes can ignite with little warning.

Wrongful Death and Negligence

Construction workers can be injured or killed by the negligence of others. Contractors and construction supervisors may fail to follow safety protocols, putting their employees in harm’s way. In some cases, workers may fail to follow safety protocols, putting themselves in harm’s way. In either case, this type of accident can be devastating for those involved. To protect yourself from wrongful death and negligence:

  • Follow safety protocols, checklists, and procedures diligently.
  • Report unsafe conditions and behaviors to your supervisor or another authority figure.
  • When an injury occurs, get appropriate medical attention as quickly as possible.


As you can see, many construction accidents can be prevented by following a few simple precautions. Be mindful of your surroundings, avoid distractions when you’re working, stay hydrated, use the right tools for the job, and don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it. Remember that every job has hazards, but most can be reduced or eliminated with proper training and diligence.

Fifteen Super Lawyers® Recognized at Cokinos | Young; Gregory Cokinos Named On The Top 100 Texas & Houston Super Lawyers List

We are excited to announce that fifteen Cokinos | Young attorneys are recognized as 2022 Super Lawyers® and Gregory Cokinos is named on the Top 100 Super Lawyers® list for both Texas and Houston. This distinction is held by less than five percent of Texas lawyers and selections are made on a state-by-state basis.  Independent research consisting of an evaluation of 12 varying indicators of professional achievement combined with peer nominations and evaluations are employed to determine this accolade.

The full list of Super Lawyers will be published in:
– Texas Super Lawyers Magazine, in October 2022
– Texas Monthly, in October 2022
– Gregory Cokinos will be featured in The Top 100 Texas and Top 100 Houston lists

Our Super Lawyers include:

Dana Livingston – Appellate; Featured in Super Lawyers Women’s Edition
M. Wilson Stoker – Employment & Labor
Marc A. Young – Construction Litigation

Travis M. Brown – Insurance Coverage
Patrick J. Wielinski – Insurance Coverage

Gregory M. Cokinos – Construction Litigation; Top 100 List for Texas (13th Year) and Houston (16th Year)
J. Parker Fauntleroy – PI General: Defense
John L. Grayson – Construction Litigation
Robert J. Naudin, Jr. – Construction Litigation
Craig E. Power – Bankruptcy: Business
Russell W. Smith – Construction Litigation
Roger D. Townsend – Appellate
John C. Warren – Construction Litigation

San Antonio:
Gabriel S. Head – Construction Litigation
Stephanie L. O’Rourke – Construction Litigation; Featured in Super Lawyers Women’s Edition

About Cokinos | Young

Cokinos | Young has led Texas construction and real estate law for over three decades. And today, our 100+ dedicated professionals operate coast to coast and proudly handle all aspects of construction law for owner/developers, project managers, general contractors, design professionals, subcontractors, sureties, and lenders. We provide both dispute resolution and transactional services to clients through all phases of commercial, industrial, pipeline, offshore, civil, and residential construction. Our reputation was built on relentless commitment to client service and the industries we serve, and that remains our primary driver. Dedicated. Resilient. Expertise. That’s Cokinos | Young. Learn more at

What Does a Telecommunication Lawyer Do?

telecommunication lawyer

In today’s digital world, telecommunications lawyers help clients address issues related to telecommunication services. Understanding the various legal implications of using telephones, cell phones, and other communications devices can be challenging. Additionally, laws regarding the use of these services are constantly updating and changing. To meet the needs of their clients, telecommunication lawyers may focus on specific aspects of this practice area such as antimonopoly legislation or data privacy laws. The following article explores what a telecommunications lawyer does.

What Does a Telecommunication Lawyer Do?

Telecommunication lawyers help clients address regulatory issues related to telecommunication services such as video conferencing services, internet access services, and VOIP services. They also help clients address contractual issues related to these services such as the terms of agreements related to the use of these services or issues related to resolving disputes with service providers. Telecommunications lawyers may also help clients resolve regulatory issues related to equipment used for these services such as antennas, towers, and other equipment.

Furthermore, telecommunications lawyers help clients address regulatory issues related to the licensing of radio frequencies used for wireless services including cellular and satellite services. They may also help clients address regulatory issues related to the internet such as net neutrality and data privacy laws. Telecommunications lawyers may also help clients resolve issues related to the use of telecommunication services by individuals with special needs. They may also help clients address the implications of new technologies and how these technologies may affect the use of telecommunication services. Telecommunications lawyers may also help clients address issues related to the installation, use, and maintenance of telecommunications equipment such as towers, switches, routers, and other equipment.

Why Hire a Telecommunication Lawyer?

There are many reasons why hiring a telecommunications lawyer may be beneficial to clients. Since telecommunications laws are constantly changing and evolving, telecommunications lawyers can help clients stay informed of new regulatory issues and changes to laws that may affect the use of certain communication devices or the use of the internet. A telecommunications lawyer can help clients navigate the process of obtaining critical telecommunication licenses or certifications. Telecommunications lawyers can also help clients resolve issues related to equipment installation and maintenance of critical telecommunications equipment. These are just a few reasons why hiring a telecommunications lawyer may be beneficial to clients.

Important Issues for Telecommunication Lawyers to Address

Telecommunications laws are constantly evolving and changing. Telecommunications lawyers may be responsible for staying informed of these changes. Some telecommunications laws that telecommunications lawyers should be aware of are: –

  • Antimonopoly legislation
  • Data privacy laws
  • Dispute resolution
  • Equipment installation, operation, and maintenance
  • Licensing
  • Net neutrality
  • Regulatory issues related to the use of radio frequencies


In today’s digital world, telecommunications lawyers help clients address regulatory issues related to the use of telecommunication services. Understanding the various legal implications of using telephones, cell phones, and other communications devices can be challenging. Contact Cokinos | Young today to get in touch with one of our telecommunications lawyers

Do I Need A Bankruptcy Attorney?

bankruptcy attorney

Are you unable to repay your loans, credit card debt, or mortgage installments on time? Are you avoiding phone calls from debt collectors because of the stress they are putting you through? If so, it is time that you consider bankruptcy as an option.

Bankruptcy helps people who can no longer afford to pay their debts get a fresh start. It offers individuals a way to deal with unmanageable debt and begin rebuilding their financial future. A knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney can help you understand your options when it comes to filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, discuss whether your case qualifies for either type of bankruptcy and advise you on what’s best in your situation.

What is Bankruptcy?

A bankruptcy petition initiates a process through which you can get rid of all or some of your debts. Depending on the type of bankruptcy you file (see below), you’ll either have to repay some or all of your debts or have them written off. Typically, you’ll file for bankruptcy under one of two chapters. Chapter 7 is often referred to as straight bankruptcy. It’s the most common form of insolvency in the U.S. Chapter 13 is a form of individualized bankruptcy. It’s typically used by people who aren’t eligible for Chapter 7 but have significant debt. The goal of bankruptcy is to give people a fresh start. That includes wiping out some or all of their debt, getting back on their feet financially and regaining control of their lives.

Types of Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: This is a common type of bankruptcy used to liquidate assets, pay off debts, and discharge (or wipe out) certain types of debt. This form of bankruptcy requires the filing of a petition which is usually approved by a court-appointed trustee. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common type of personal bankruptcy and often goes by the name “straight” bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: This is a type of repayment plan bankruptcy in which the debtor must submit a court-approved plan to repay creditors over a period of three to five years. Typically, individuals with a steady income, and a sizable amount of debt, but who don’t qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy should file for Chapter 13.

What Is Means to File for Bankruptcy

Before you file for bankruptcy, it is crucial that you understand exactly what the process entails. Bankruptcy filing is a complex process that involves the submission of detailed documentation, along with an attorney’s fee. The court filing process can take anywhere from three to five months, during which time you and your family will have to live with the added stress and anxiety that comes along with having to deal with creditors. Before filing for bankruptcy, you will have to make a list of all your debts, including those that are in collections.

Once you file for bankruptcy, you cannot change your mind and decide to repay the debts instead. Once you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it is permanent and cannot be reversed. You will have to pay a fee along with the costs of having your case heard in court. You will also have to fill out a lengthy questionnaire where you will have to list all your assets, debts, and income.

Why you Need a Bankruptcy Attorney

If you have a complicated case, you absolutely need a bankruptcy attorney. Filing chapter 7 bankruptcy may seem pretty straightforward; however, there are a few factors that make things difficult:

  • Home Foreclosure
  • Wage Garnishment
  • Evictions
  • Active Lawsuits

If you are struggling with any of these issues, you need to hire a bankruptcy attorney. A bankruptcy attorney has the knowledge and experience to help you navigate these issues. We also recommend always hiring a bankruptcy attorney if you plan to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A bankruptcy attorney will also help you keep as much property as possible after filing.

Bankruptcy is an extremely serious decision that can have a significant impact on your financial future. Before you file for bankruptcy, make sure to explore all of your options and consult with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney. It is important to understand exactly what the process of filing for bankruptcy entails and what you can expect once you file. If you believe bankruptcy is the only way out of a difficult financial situation, contact our team of dedicated attorneys today for a consultation.

What to Look for in a Construction Law Firm

construction law firm

Construction projects are complicated endeavors with many of the same legal considerations found in large organizations. This complexity often leads to disagreements between the parties involved, ranging from developers, owners, and investors, to general contractors, suppliers, governments, unions, and laborers, among many others. Projects need effective legal counsel for competitive bidding, contract negotiations, labor and employment matters, land use and zoning, environmental and safety regulations, insurance, government relations, and many other areas.

Choosing the right counsel can make all the difference. But what are the variables to consider in selecting a construction law firm? Experience matters, but here’s a rundown of some other factors to consider in deciding which counsel is best in a particular situation.

Full-Service Capabilities

Elements of construction law require specialized experience, but it’s smart to also consider the breadth of experience across the entire firm. Is the firm a full-service firm, with attorneys experienced in all the major areas that might come up in a project? For instance, some larger projects may qualify for local or state economic development incentives which require counsel on how to navigate that process.

Does the firm have attorneys with experience in the most relevant areas, such as labor and employment, contract negotiations, and local zoning? Look for a firm with broad-based experience in a range of matters before selecting a construction law firm.

Construction Law Experience

Explore whether the firm has experience in construction project-related legal matters by reviewing the firm’s listed representative matters. Have they done construction cases, and if so, what kind? What types of matters did those construction cases concern? Representative matters help indicate whether an attorney has the right experience for a particular claim.

Look into the facts of the individual cases to see how they compare and find out about the outcome. Remember, past performance is no guarantee of future results. The goal is to choose a firm that has familiarity with the legal issues that might arise during the dispute.

Roles and Responsibilities

Try to gain clarity on the roles and responsibilities of attorneys and staff who will provide representation in negotiations and any court proceedings. Also, ask about plans for providing status updates. The best firms welcome the opportunity to keep clients in the know so they are never wondering about what’s happening in their cases. Law firm partners typically assign work on a case to their younger associates, with the partner only getting significantly involved at later stages that require negotiations or appearances at court hearings. This approach is fairly universal, but the time to ask about those arrangements is before signing an engagement letter. Clients are justified in asking about the backgrounds of associates and staff members and when and how they will be able to speak with the supervising partner. Construction law issues can get very complicated, so the more information, the better.

The team at Cokinos|Young provides all aspects of construction law to owners/developers, general contractors, project managers, design professionals, subcontractors, material and equipment suppliers, sureties, insurance companies, lenders, and others.  Call us or contact us online for a consultation.

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