Construction Contractor Retainer Plan

I am the son of a contractor. My father worked with wood and did everything from finish and trim carpentry to framing. As a child and young adult, I often helped him and in doing so learned a lot about the trade. But that was in the day when a handshake formed a bond. That’s not the case today.

This firm’s motto has always been: "Helping our neighbors – old and new". For the last twenty (20) plus years, I have been licensed as an attorney and litigating construction cases. Most lawyers won’t handle construction cases either because they don’t understand the substance or they don’t bring in enough money or they find them boring. Accordingly, I have become one of only a handful of attorneys in Sussex County that will take a construction case and litigate it competently.

Time and time again I have represented contractors in Court. You may be very good at your trade, and I mean this with all due respect , but most contractors are poor businessmen or business-women. Every contractor’s business should begin with establishing the right business entity from which to do business and ensuring that the business is properly formed, insured and licensed. This protects you and your family.

Every job should begin with a well written contract. Many times I have been surprised to find a general contractor building a custom home on a one or two page contract. That’s insane. When that contractor finds themselves in litigation because of a job, they’re surprised that their contract doesn’t protect them. In most instances, the law is in favor of the homeowner unless the contract provides otherwise. I’ve heard it a million times: "I’ve been doing this for 20 years and never had a problem." Now they have a problem.

I have developed a fixed fee retainer program that allows me to help you and teach you to become better in your business. The idea is to permit you to freely practice your trade and craftsmanship but permit me to give you the legal guidance you need in today’s world.

The program includes:

  • Review of your business structure. In most instances I will recommend some type of incorporation (including limited liability company (LLC). If you are already working under a formal business entity such as an LLC, then great. If not, I’ll form that entity for you and the only additional charge will be the costs of filing documents with the Secretary of State.
  • Every job starts with a well written contract that protects you. Therefore, you will be given two (2) separate contracts. You will be given rights to use both my "Long Form Contract" and my "Short Form Contract". These contracts are written based on lessons I’ve learned over the years. Moreover, if you want them personalized to your business, there will be no extra charge for that personalization.
  • For the package price, and as a start to our relationship, you will be entitled to a one (1) hour face-to-face consultation with me to discuss using your business entity properly, other necessary filings required by the State, and understanding the contracts. Obviously, any other questions will be answered as well.
  • In the event you get into a legal entanglement, whether that dispute ends up in Court or not, I will enter as your attorney. If this happens, you will be charged at a 25% discount applied to my current rate. (My current rate is $325.00 per hour, therefore your hourly rate would be $243.00 per hour.)
  • Twice yearly, you will be invited to attend a construction business workshop/meeting. At that meeting, we will discuss current issues in construction law, specific problem areas, new laws or regulations, and any other questions you may have.

The price for this retainer package is $1200.00 for the first year and $600.00 for all subsequent years. In subsequent years, we will review your business entity status to ensure it is working for you, discuss any changes to your business, and provide you with updated contracts, if necessary. Subsequent years will also include items #3, #4, and #5 above.

To be clear, this is a lawyer retainage program. This is not, nor is it intended to be, an insurance product. Likewise, it should not be viewed as a type of insurance or replacement for insurance. You will be retaining the Law Office of Dean A. Campbell, P.A. as your attorney. Not only does that mean I will be available to you to help fight your legal battles related to your construction business, but it also means I won’t be able to represent some homeowner that wants to sue you because you did something wrong.