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Listener Questions!, What is a Condo? Contractor Walks Out on a Job, Can I sue for Breach of Contract? What Estate Planning is needed for your College Bound Son Or Daughter?

Outlaw Lawyer / Josh Whitaker & Joe Hamer
The Truth Network Radio
August 5, 2022 5:00 pm

Listener Questions!, What is a Condo? Contractor Walks Out on a Job, Can I sue for Breach of Contract? What Estate Planning is needed for your College Bound Son Or Daughter?

Outlaw Lawyer / Josh Whitaker & Joe Hamer

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August 5, 2022 5:00 pm

On this edition of the Outlaw Lawyer Josh, Joe, and Cassandra tackle listener questions. What is a Condo? How do I sue for Breach of Contract when a contractor Walks out after receiving a retainer to do the work? Your son or daughter is off to college soon, What kind of legal documentation should they have in place before going? 

If you are facing a legal situation and have questions call Whitaker and Hamer Law Firm 800-659-1186.

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This week on The Outlaw Lawyer, Josh, Joe, and Cassandra discuss the law and how it affects everything around us. We do this each and every weekend. As always, The Outlaw Lawyers tackle burning legal questions such as, can you say shart on the radio?

Well, I think we just did. How are condos made? And what kind of estate planning does my soon to be college freshmen really need? That's all coming up this week on The Outlaw Lawyers. Welcome in to this edition of The Outlaw Lawyers. We have Josh Whitaker, Joe Hamer, and Cassandra Nicholas, attorneys at Whitaker and Hamer Law Firm. They have offices in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay-Verita, and Gastonia. They are practicing attorneys here in North Carolina.

And of course, Josh and Joe, managing partners at the firm. If you have a legal situation you are facing, we can always get you in touch with the firm. Call 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186. And leave your contact information briefly what that call is about. An attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. And you can always email your questions to the program questions at

I'm Morgan Patrick, consumer advocate. We are about to get into, I love, I love these shows, listener questions. That's coming up.

But Josh, I'm going to hand it over to you. You've got some more stuff you want to get into first. Yeah, so we kind of build up and we try to dedicate a whole show to take in three, four, five listener questions. And, and again, when we do this, when we do this here on The Outlaw Lawyer, we're doing this very in a very general nature. So we're taking a very general question and just kind of talking about it as North Carolina attorneys, speaking to folks who live and work and play in North Carolina. So we kind of put a North Carolina spin on these listener questions, but I'm always happy when we're talking about it. Yeah, so we're taking a very general question and just kind of talking about it.

So we kind of put a North Carolina spin on these listener questions, but I'm always happy when we get a chance to do this. It always works out to when it's kind of quiet on the legal news front, the Supreme Court, it's not in session. There's a lot of other stuff going on. So Cassandra, I didn't see a lot of legal news items that we would highlight, but maybe, maybe one or two were kind of interesting.

Yeah, absolutely. There is an update on a previous story we have done on this show. We've previously talked about the FART license plate in North Carolina. And the woman who had it was very excited. Her six year old daughter was very excited to have it. But somebody put in a complaint, and there was a lot of back and forth between her and the DMV. And eventually in March, she was required to remove it from her vehicle. She was allowed to keep it.

She's allowed to do whatever she wants with it. In her quest to keep her license plate, she founded a group, the Friends of Asheville Recreational Trails, FART. So this represented the license plate, therefore represented the group that she was the founder of. Even after she's had to remove the license plate, they have still been meeting up for hikes and whatnot. So something good came out of it. But there is another license plate in North Carolina that has not been objected to or removed so far.

It is the SHART license plate on a vehicle currently of Volvo. They've met up the SHART girl and the FART girl. So that's our legal update. I wasn't sure you could, when we were looking at this, I wasn't sure you could say SHART on the radio. Well, you're pushing it now. It's too late if we can't.

We've come too far. I know my kid will say that every night. One of my kids will say that, and it feels like they should be getting in trouble for saying that.

But I guess it's a perfectly acceptable word. But anyway, so with that, that was good. That was good to see that happen. Joseph, me and you, we got to go to the Rage concert this weekend, the Rage Against the Machine. They heard it was really good.

It was really good. I've been wanting to see them in concert. I don't know how many times, I was going to look back and see how many times they've even been close to North Carolina when they used to tour. Because the last time I remember them coming is for Lollapalooza when I was in high school. That's the last time I remember seeing Rage was going to be anywhere in North Carolina. And maybe they've been back since then, and I'm just not aware.

Joe, I don't know if you know, did you look at that? I know my dad who was with us said he saw him in 91 at Lollapalooza. And I couldn't tell you when they've been since then, but man, such a low energy, such a low energy show. I remember everyone falling asleep in the crowd, barely staying awake. You juxtaposed that crowd and that concert. What was the last one we went to that you were a big fan of? Well, we went to New Kids on the Block, but if you go before that with James Taylor, yeah, you could not have a more stark contrast between two things. Look, man, it was one of the best things I've ever seen in my life.

And I say that without hesitation. And I think everybody else that was there, there was people that were there that weren't really big fans that knew who they were, had some appreciation for them. But you can't go to that show and not just be completely blown away. What venue did they hold it at? It was at the PNC.

Okay. Yeah. It was at the PNC and they did a cool thing. I hadn't seen them do this, you know, where the hockey rink and the basketball court usually is, was wide open.

They just had a kind of standing room only down there. And so they had a lot. And it got wild. It got wild down there, man.

I'm interested. I didn't look back to see how many people attended. You know, the Metallica show a couple years back was really good and they kind of opened up that bottom area. And that was like the most attended event ever at PNC. But I got to think this raid show was close to that. It was fantastic.

Again, like it was good enough to where I would, I'd like travel to see them again on this tour. It was that good. The energy, ridiculous, man. Did you see, who's, who's the guy, who's the chef guy, Guy Fieri?

Guy Fieri? Yeah. He goes everywhere. He's been, he's been all over the place with him. Yeah.

So he was in Raleigh. It was like, he's seen every, he's in every show they played so far on the reunion tour. But I get it, man. Like you go and you see it and it's like, you get it, like it's on the energy level, man. And the level of like passion they bring and the level of just everything, man, was just a, it was, it was great, man.

It was great. Wait, you're telling me that if I walk into Whitaker and Hamer, I'm not going to get that same kind of passion when I come in the door if I need some help. If you're at the, if you're at the closing table with me, cause there's going to be a mosh pit. There's going to be a lot of head banging. It's going to get out of control. He's going to be in the corner.

No brisket. No, but that was a good show. I doubt we see a show like that anytime soon. I hope they, I hope this reunion tour is like, they just start touring, you know, like a lot of the bands I grew up with. They're kind of coming back and touring now, you know, and, and I hope it's not like a, all right, we'll do it again in another 10 years.

You know, I hope maybe it gets like a regular, a regular rotation. Cause you can only go to so many, you know, I like James Taylor. I'm not saying I don't like James Taylor, but I'm also, I'm also, I know you're not a fan, Joe.

I mean, he's okay. He's not a, it's not, there's, there's things you go to see live in concert. And then there's things that like, I can listen to James Taylor, but like traveling to a concert to like, it just, you know, it doesn't really add anything to his music for me. The last show I was at was the Chicks a couple of weeks ago, formerly the Dixie Chicks. They're still making music. So this was a new tour with their new music, but thankfully they played a lot of the older stuff too. I was really, it was packed and mostly with young women, it was like 23 year old women and they knew all the words to the songs I grew up with.

So I was very impressed. Yeah, we got a, we got a little good concert run here and we're, we're going to me and me and my wife were going to Nashville. And so we got tickets to see Vince Gill. I guess I got a feeling, although I'm very excited for that show over at the Ryman Auditorium, I got a feeling it's not going to match the Rage Against the Machine experience. Like I've been to a lot of concerts in my life, a lot of concerts of a similar genre to the Rage Against the Machine show.

And yeah, it's going to be, I don't know that that'll ever be topped, honestly. And the amazing thing about it is like, we're sitting here talking about how much energy there was, like everybody's out of their seats. Like it was a crazy amount of energy. And we haven't even mentioned the fact that the literal lead singer, Zach De La Rocha, he's got one leg, he was seated the entire time, seated and seated. He put forth more energy, more effort, more just like crazy vibe than I've seen anybody standing do, man. It was like, I can't even describe it. He really did put a lot of energy from, you know, we saw Genesis this year and Phil Collins is, you know, he's not up walking around and he can't move that well, but he was in a chair and it was, it was a lot different experience. But yeah, he, this guy, he gave it, he gave it his all, man. You definitely felt like you got your money's worth.

Well, I want a good night. Two and a half years in the making, people waited for that concert. And I guarantee you that nobody, nobody was sad about it. Well, you're probably right. They're going to have people follow them around on tour, but I tell you, seeing Vince Gill at the Ryman, that's going to be, that'll almost be like a religious experience for you. I, I can't wait to hear about that.

Yeah, I think it'll be good. Just get rage, man. You'd appreciate it more.

Rage ruined all of their concerts for me. All right. So we got a whole show today, dedicated, just listener questions. We're actually going to talk about legal things.

That's why we started, uh, the Outlaw Lawyer. You know, we started this show because we wanted to talk about, uh, you know, when, when things were in the news and we didn't think they were getting covered, uh, from a legal perspective, you know, we talk about cases and case law and statutes. So we do that a lot of weeks. And in some weeks we really just try to talk about questions our listeners have specifically asked us. And so all these questions have come up in the past week or so when I, when I've been in consults or when I've been talking to, uh, listeners, these are questions that got asked to me. And of course, we don't give names on this show.

We don't, we don't give away any, uh, any facts. These are all been sanitized and, and boiled down to their, their essence. And so a few of these I think are, uh, you know, interesting. Um, uh, the first listener question we're going to tackle is what is a condo? We talk about condos, condominiums, uh, they're getting more and more popular here in Raleigh, uh, where we, we have a lot of, uh, where we have one of our offices and we spend a lot of time. So condos, uh, keep coming up and, and the, and it's interesting how this question came up.

This question came up, uh, when I was talking to someone about, uh, something else, and this was kind of a side thing. And, and they asked this question as an attorney. I know how condos are created. Um, but that's something probably a lot of people who aren't in real estate law don't ever think of. So our first listener question we're going to tackle is what is a condo and how is it created? Uh, we've got our next listener question after that listener question number two today is going to be the example where someone has, has a contract with a contractor, has hired a contractor to do work, has paid a deposit and the contractor never came back, won't return calls.

Um, so we're going to talk about that kind of a breach of contract situation. And I know we've got a lot of folks who have kids going off to college, graduated from high school, moving on to that next stage in their life. And so we're getting a lot of calls and a lot of questions about what kind of estate planning, what kind of documentation, uh, would a new college freshmen, uh, really need to have. And so that's coming up a lot for us. So I figured those three questions will, will be interesting. And, uh, Morgan, that's, uh, that's what we're going to tackle today.

All right. Once again, we'll get into what is a condo, how it was created, uh, hired a contractor, maybe paid a deposit, and then there's a breach of contract. How do you handle that? And then we'll also try to get to that college freshmen headed off to school.

Uh, what kind of legal documentation should she or he have in place before moving? That's all coming up on the Outlaw Lawyer. And I'm looking at the notes as we come out of our first segment and there's one here we didn't get to.

Josh apparently has always wanted to wear a cowboy hat every day. Okay. I just, I see the note and I'm like, how do you do that? Uh, that's called you don't. No, no, this is the big thing for me.

How hard is it? And my whole life, I wanted to be better in a trucker hat, man, my whole life. I wanted to be that guy who wears a cowboy hat, right?

But I'm from Raleigh, North Carolina. I didn't really have a lot of cowboy hats, but every so often, and it going to Nashville this week and made me think about cowboy. So I have cowboy hats, but I never wear a cowboy boots. I do have cowboy. I wear those.

I wear those. Okay. But how hard is it just to become the guy in a professional setting who wears a cowboy hat every day? You got to be good at what you do. Like you just have to start one day.

Like I'm what 40, I don't know how old I am, 45, 46. But if I just started wearing a cowboy hat every day in the office, out of the office, kids games, like I just wore a cowboy hat all the time. I feel like there'd be a lot of questions. I feel like that would be hard to do. I feel like people would ask me like, Hey, what's up with the, you know, what's up with the cowboy hat?

Have you been watching? I think, I think you get less questions when you have the cowboy hat on. I think no one's going to ask you anything. They're just going to, they're going to be like, it's going to make sense. I think the minute you walk in, like if I moved to, like I say, I decided to move to, uh, I was like, you know what, North Carolina, I've been here my whole life. I'm going to, I'm moving to Montana.

No, no, no. Montana would makes too much sense. It's gotta be somewhere like New York. So let's say I just moved to Western New York and I just show up and I got a cowboy hat on and everybody just would accept it because you're new. You came in with a cowboy hat. I think people just accept it.

But if you're here where you've always been, where you grew up, where you know people and you just start wearing a cowboy hat, I feel like that's a difficult transition to, to make, but it made me think about it because we're going to Nashville. I think we all should. I think all of the attorneys in the office should start. It should be our thing. It's gotta be mandatory. Well, you got to watch the full seasons of Yellowstone. Watch the TikToks of the guys that start and they're just watching it and they're normal. And as they get to season three, they're fully dressed like rip.

I mean, that'd be the way to go. All right. The outlaw lawyers, Josh Whitaker, Joe Hamer, and Cassandra Nicholas. We have listener questions coming up on the program. If you've got a legal situation you're facing yourself and you've got some questions, I've got a phone number for you. 800-659-1186.

That's 800-659-1186. Leave your contact information briefly what the call is about and an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. And again, you can always email your questions to the show and that's questions at the And just remember the outlaw lawyer and we have Whitaker and Hamer law firm, the power behind it.

They have offices in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina, and Gastonia. I'm Morgan Patrick, consumer advocate. We're back with more outlaw coming up next. Welcome back to the outlaw lawyers, Josh Whitaker, Joe Hamer, and Cassandra Nicholas, Whitaker and Hamer law firm, where you can find them. Josh and Joe managing partners of the firm. They're practicing attorneys here in North Carolina, as is Cassandra Nicholas. It's always about the legalese.

We talk the topics. You're going to have questions about your own situation. You can always get in touch with the firm. 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186. And leave your contact information briefly what the call is about and an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer.

We'll be in touch. And again, conveniently located offices, Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina, and Gastonia. Check out the website, the So listener questions. First one up, Josh, is what is a condo?

How is it created? So I was having a conversation with a client, and it was a consult about some legal issues with renting out portions of a piece of real property. So, you know, we got land, we got a house, big house. And so we were talking about how to make the best use of it, how to minimize liability from his perspective. And we got to the point where we were talking about how to make the best use of it.

How to minimize liability from his perspective. And we got into the situation. And the question that he asked is, well, what if I turn this into what if I turn this house into condos? And so that was an interesting question.

I don't think it's the right fit for the gentleman who was asking me. But so condos are relatively new. And, you know, in Raleigh, if you're from New York, if you're from Chicago, you know, if you're from a bigger city, condos have been around for a long time because you don't have a lot of space, you got to maximize space, people want to own things. But I thought before we even get to that question, we kind of have to think about how we view real property. And so the example that I was going to use in my mind here, and Cassandra and Joe might have a better example, but I was gonna say, okay, you let's say you have a 10 acre track of land, you say you've inherited it, or you came across it, but you got a 10 acre track of land. And that's where your principal residence, you build your house on it. And let's just say over the years, like, you know, you have maybe you have some relatives who put a trailer on there, affixed it to the property made it real property, maybe someone built a house in the in the backside of the 10 acres, you've got some barns, you've got some out parcels. And so now you got this 10 acre track with all these different buildings on them, possibly different principal residents as well, according to the way the law looks at it.

That's all that together. Maybe there's three houses, maybe there's a trailer, maybe there's a barn. That's all one piece of property, right? So if you decide you want to go sell the house on the backside, you can't just sell the house on the backside because as it stands now, you haven't separated the property into parcels, you haven't done anything to it's it's just a 10 acre.

And so we've seen that before, where someone's trying to sell maybe one one house or one, you know, something like that. And we were like, Well, you can't do that you need, you'd have to get a surveyor out there to drop plat and kind of separate the 10 acres, maybe you're separating it into, you know, a couple of two acre lots, and then you can sell once you've once you've separated it, have the had the county approve it. Now you've created where there was one big 10 acre parcel. Now you've created, let's say, five, two acre parcels. And so you can then sell off those two acre parcels. But, but, you know, real property is everything on that real property, everything affixed, everything built.

So, so that's this guy will say that that's our that's our guy we're creating here for this question. Let's say that's his problem. He's got three houses on this 110 acre parcel. You know, his tax bill is for the one parcel.

He's never had it split up, he's never had it surveyed. And he wants to rent out some of the houses on here, but he wants to shield himself from liability. And you know, so a condo is not land, right? A condo is when you decide and you you there's a statute that tells you how to do it, you have to get approval, you know, there's things you have to do. But a condo is where you you make one room, right, you make it's like it's think of an apartment building, that apartment building with like 20 apartments in it, that's one piece of real property that there's one tax bill, that's one thing, even though there may be 20 units with 40 people living in all 20 units, that's one piece of real property. But if you decide to make that condos, then what you're doing is you're selling that this is what I always say here, right? That's the best way to condo just air.

It's just it's just the air. Let's say joint interest in the common areas. That's right. So when you create a condo, you would say, you know, the the driveway, getting to the building, the parking lot, the pool, you know, whatever you got, you've got a 120th interest in the common area. And then you own unit one a, but you only own from like the drywall and the flooring in right. So when you buy a condo, that's what you're doing. You're buying that air, the right to get to that air, the right to be in that air. And then the condo, if it's put together, right, you know, there's provisions there where if something happens and it burns down, the condo association should have insurance and reserves and they should build it back. But you don't own the bricks and the and the roof and the real property underneath. In theory, the condo association does. And so I think for a lot of North Carolinians who were born and raised here, that that is a new concept.

I mean, we know what it is, but it's just not something until the past 10, 15 years we dealt with a lot. This is helpful. I did. I went to law school in D.C. and lived there for like seven years. So there are a lot of buildings like this where the units are individually owned. But then frequently those folks that own an individual unit rent it out. So I'd have classmates that would say, like, oh, come to my condo that I rent. No, you live in an apartment.

You're trying to sound fancy, and it's not fancy. You're paying rent like the rest of us. Well, I was also going to I was also going to say, so that's that's the that's the general condo. And then sometimes in North Carolina, you see a land lease condo where the condo association doesn't even own the real property.

It's built on it. It's got like 100 year lease with options for 25 year renewals. And so that's like even another step removed from owning actual land. It's still real property.

It still has value. I'm not trying to mean it. I'm just trying to define it. It's not you just don't own dirt, you know, so you can have you can own a land lease condo. And so you own the air in unit one a in a building that you don't technically own on land that you don't technically own. And so you can get really, really far removed from just owning your 10 acres, you know, out in the country. But condos, of course, are extremely valuable and they're usually condos. They usually are condos because that's the best use of the land. So you got an acre in downtown Raleigh, so you put a 20 acre building on it. So a lot of different people can live there and be close to work.

And and that's that's what makes them valuable. But I don't think a lot of people actually stop and think, you know, that how it's created, what you're actually, you know, what you're actually buying. But if you're in if you're a dirt lawyer, if you practice real property, especially in North Carolina, where this is kind of a newer thing that we've seen in the past 15, 25 years, I guess I don't know. I just I just thought it was interesting. What interests me that dirt law dirt laws the way it's all about air law.

It's it's just it's it's different. But man, those things are popular and they're always in very popular areas, you know, so people who build and create condos, they don't usually have a problem moving those things. Outlaw Lawyer, we are getting into listener questions. And again, this one interesting. What is a condo?

How is it created? We have an opportunity for you to get in touch with Whitaker and Hamer. If you have any legal questions you are facing and you haven't been able to get answers, you can always call eight hundred six five nine eleven eighty six.

That's eight hundred six five nine one one eight six and leave your contact information briefly what that call is about. And an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. Also, you can email your questions to the program questions at the outlaw lawyer dot com. We also want you to check out the website Outlaw Lawyer. That's the outlaw lawyer dot com. We're going to take a short break and be back on the other side.

Our next listener question. I hired a contractor and I paid a deposit and I want to go ahead and sue them for breach of contract because they didn't show back up. That's all coming up next on the outlaw lawyer. Welcome back into the outlaw lawyers, Josh Whitaker, Joe Hamer, Cassandra Nicholas. You can find them at Whitaker and Hamer law firm managing partners.

Josh and Joe, of course, and of course, won that attorney roster. We have Cassandra Nicholas. She is a frequent guest.

We're really calling her a tri host now. Josh and Joe practicing attorneys here in North Carolina again, managing partners of the firm. They have offices in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina and Gastonia. We joke, but maybe we don't when we say they're kind of like Starbucks.

You throw a rock and you can hit a firm office. That's Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina and Gastonia. If you're up against the legal situation and you've got questions, I've got a phone number for you. Eight hundred six five nine eleven eighty six.

That's eight hundred six five nine one one eight six. Leave your contact info briefly what that calls about. And an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch and you can always send your questions to the program. Questions at the outlaw lawyer dot com. And we're doing those today. Again, it is a listener question day. And the next one up, Josh, is I hired a contractor.

I paid them the deposit and they did not show back up. So breach of contract. Let's get into it. Yeah, I think we've all we I think every attorney at our office gets this consult once a week. Maybe that's maybe maybe that's an overestimate, Cassandra, but I think we get this all the time.

I get this all the time. I definitely do a lot of consults related to contractors not fulfilling their contracts. And that can happen in a lot of different ways. So they sometimes they don't ever even start the work.

They just disappear with your money and never come back. Sometimes they do the work and it's really bad. That's definitely a breach of their contract because you're hiring them to do a job that they don't successfully do. Sometimes they do part of the job and then start just taking a long time to do it.

Is that a breach or not? Does your contract have time limits as to when they can complete the work? So there is some nuance to it, but there are a lot of similarities between these consults where contractors are likely in breach of their contracts.

Yeah, I tried to when we do these listener question shows, I really try to pull them out of the prior week because I think that's a good way to get these. And the listener that I was talking to, I think the contractor, I don't know what the total contract was. And we're saying contract.

I don't think this this situation. That's one of our first questions. Is there an actual contract? Like, I think he had talked to a contractor. I think maybe there had been a signed maybe invoice or proposal and two thousand dollars is what the contractor required to get started. And and then the contractor was that was, you know, a couple of weeks have gone by.

I haven't heard anything. And then people start doing their research and kind of figure out that maybe this contractor has done this before. That's kind of what happened here. And so his, you know, two thousand dollars is a lot of money. I don't want to I don't want to downplay two thousand dollars. But, you know, attorneys don't work for free usually. And most attorneys don't work on collection matters or breach of contract matters for free. So two thousand dollars is a lot of money. But if you want an attorney to help you out, that's that's more money. Right. So you're already out your your two thousand dollars.

This contractor has gone AWOL. And so one of the things I usually try to talk to people about because we're we're attorneys, but we're not salesmen. When you come in to consult with us, we're not trying to sell you the most expensive legal fee that I can think of for your situation. We're going to try to we're not going to give you we're not going to get better or worse service, depending on how much you pay us, basically.

Yeah. So when you come in for a consult, we're going to kind of look at the facts. We're going to look at how likely you are to to recover. You know, we're going to be honest with you. This is what we would charge to do this. And so there does become an amount of money that if you you know, you lose it, it may not be worth attorney fees.

It may not be worth the trouble and the time for you to try to try to collect this back. Joe, you see this a lot. Yeah, man, we see I think we all see it a lot. And the alarming thing is. How many bad contractors and bad people are there out there? There's some great ones, there's some good people, too.

But just based on the sheer volume of the the amount of times we get this same question or some variation of it, it's alarming, man. And, you know, you made the comment we don't you know, a lot of no attorney is going to do this for free. But even beyond that, I think there's a distinction there. This isn't the type of thing that an attorney, at least in my experience, is generally going to do on a contingent fee basis either. You know, it's not going to be one of those situations like a personal injury case where they're going to say, hey, if you recover, I'll get paid at that point. This is something like you said, you're going to have to you're going to be putting some money up front on and there's going to be some time spent. So I mean, like you said, there's it's hard to get a guarantee on collection there.

Yeah, and I'd love to talk about collections. But one other thing that you're touching on, Joe, is the amount of bad contractors. I hope that people listening to this, what they really get out of it is that you need to do your homework at the outset before you put money out for a contractor.

There are definitely some things you can look for. Make sure that they're actually a licensed contractor, that they have some skin in the game, that there is kind of a licensing board that you could go to if they take your money and run so that there are some consequences available against these contractors in in lieu of actually suing them. So make sure that they're licensed contractors, make sure they've got good reviews for good communication, timely work, good quality work. Now that being said, the reviews, this is just as an aside, but I just get frustrated myself with reviews. Like if you've got a company that has overwhelmingly positive reviews and they got the one one star review from the crazy person.

Let's not let that crazy person detract from the numerous sane people. We're attorneys. I deal with a lot of electricians and we represent a lot of electricians, a lot of plumbers, a lot of general contractors, a lot of builders.

So we definitely know there are good ones out there because the ones we represent are really above board and try very hard and the bad ones out there. You need something in writing. You know, I'm an attorney. I'm not going to hire somebody to do work for 2000 and draft up a 15 page contract that lays out every possibility and what happens. But you do need something in writing, you know, something that shows what they were going to do, the scope of work, what you're going to pay them, when you're going to pay them. I mean, it can be a page, it can be two pages, but you got to give when you go to the attorney to say, I hired a contractor, gave him a two thousand dollar deposit. We need to know he's actually in breach. OK, what did he say he was going to do?

When when did she say she was going to have it done by? You know, you need to be able to prove the contractor has has as it has, in fact, breach. And if there's no written agreement, it's, you know, your word against the contractor's word. So there needs to be some some bare bones writing. It doesn't have to be drafted by, you know, a Supreme Court justice.

It just has to lay out what's being done and what everybody expects. And it's always really easy not to do that, especially if you have a you know, you've met with a contractor, you had a good feeling about the contractor. I'm a big handshake guy, even though that goes against my attorney instincts, you know, my my being raised in the case. Make sure you're shaking your contractor's hand.

That's right. It's got to be real firm and there's got to be a lot of eye contact. Well, you're telling me if it's a fish handshake, you're not going to you're not going to hire that guy?

No, that's not good fish handshake. You're definitely losing your two grand that you've paid this person. But so if somebody comes to me, which they do with this two grand, I'm like, look, we charge, you know, and every time everything's different.

So I'm not avoiding giving giving our fees. But again, we talked in a prior show about what an attorney usually will take on a contingency fee. Like Joe said, that's kind of personal injury auto accidents. And there's an insurance company when an attorney knows reasonably there should be some kind of somewhat way to collect that money. You know, a contractor who's going to take your two grand and run, we have a term we you'll hear an attorney throw around judgment proof, right? So, you know, if you pay an attorney, you win in court and you get a two thousand dollar judgment. How are you going to get that two thousand dollars?

You know, what does this guy own? Because usually when you get a judgment against someone, you're going to go try to collect with things that they own. You know, send the sheriff out to their house to try to sell some personal property. Maybe you have a lien on some real property they own. But the kind of person that would run away with your two thousand dollars is also the kind of person that probably doesn't have a lot of stuff to collect a judgment on. And so we have this console where our client is very mad. They're out two grand. We get it.

We wouldn't want that to happen to us. A lot of money. There's all these reasons why maybe throwing more money after that two thousand is not, you know, what would you say? Not just not the wisest use of your funds. Not prudent.

Yeah, that's the right word, Joe. And the two thousand dollars. So there are different courts, different levels of courts in North Carolina. Two thousand dollars is in the small claims range. That's up to ten thousand dollars.

And you could. There are many people that do go to small claims court on their own. So it's many people are able to figure out the small claims system on their own. It's slightly less formal than Superior Court or District Court. The judges are very understanding of folks that don't know all of civil procedure.

But a lot of times those judgments are also a little bit more on the side of splitting the baby as well. If both parties are there, it's frequently kind of a compromised solution to what's going on, because not all of the proof is available frequently for small claims matters. There are still some expenses that you would pay going to small claims on your own. It's one hundred twenty dollars right off the bat just to file an action. And then you do need to have them served.

So if they really did disappear, you might not have an address where you can actually serve them to get them to court. So there are a lot of hurdles in the way between having someone who breached a contract and you're in the right. But the journey to getting that money back is is a long one. And I think that's hard for people. I think it's hard for people to be out two thousand dollars in this example, but also to be I don't want I don't want this guy to get away with it. And and I get that.

But how how much more are you willing to pay to make them pay is, you know, so that's that throwing that good money after bad, as my grandma would have would have put it back in the day. But, you know, when you go to consult with an attorney, an attorney should advise you. And so there's the legal advice.

Sure. You know, you can you can sue this guy in small claims. You can sue in district court.

You can write a demand letter. You know, you can do you can do all these things. But there's also the part of the vice where, well, this is what it'll cost you collecting. You know, I don't see where the guy owns anything that you're going after. And maybe this isn't the best use of your funds.

You know, we're we're we're always happy to help. But we sometimes we tell you maybe your best option is not doing anything. And that's just kind of from a more practical standpoint.

So let me ask you this, guys, and I'm just going to throw this in. So is this something like from, I guess, a shoddy contractor's perspective, is it learned behavior? I mean, the fact that they know they can get away with it, they're kind of running this game. I mean, it just kind of it's concerning that, you know, it's almost like, is it worth it? They know that. And so it's almost like they're playing the game.

They keep it around a certain amount of money and then they run. I think when you have folks, when you have bad actors like this that are trying to take advantage of people, they're absolutely they are absolutely trying to do that. And that's why it comes back to what Cassandra said, you know, do your homework on the front end to this point. They've got you.

Yeah. So it's it's a matter of being intelligent on the front end of the process and not giving them the advantage. And I'm sure there are some that are taking advantage to that level. But I'd like to believe that most of these contractors are entering these contracts with the intention of following through. And then something happens, they lose their like prime crew member or there's a supply shortage that they're not able to remedy or find another way to get the supplies or something happens in their personal life. Whatever the case may be, I think the ones that are doing it repeatedly, it's a house of cards.

And even if individuals that they're doing it to aren't able to stop them, I think the overall scheme is not going to work long term for anyone. Good point. Yeah. Yeah.

No, I'm with you, Cassandra. I don't I don't know that we we have a broad paintbrush and paint these folks as as, you know, just bad actors, but things happen. Well, I think the person in our fact pattern is a bad actor, you know, someone who's ghosting contact and not showing back up completely. But yeah, you're right. There's definitely nuance to it.

And there's definitely folks that aren't bad people that, you know, have unfortunate circumstances that that come up. And that's why a lot of the times in these consults, I try to give some alternative options to at least attempt to get back in communication with their contractors. Just telling them, you know, that that honey is better than vinegar in this situation, like reach out with like, hey, I'd really like to work this out. I don't want to pursue any action.

I don't want to contact the licensing board. I don't want to leave you a bad review. Let's just work this out. I think instead of giving people legal advice, we should just dispense folksy one liners. Or we could just learn how to do general construction work and go around and help folks that have been ghosted by their contractors. Well, I tell you, I will say this.

It's nice to have Cassandra Nicholas on the on the program because she is glass half full. You know, let's do this smoothly. Let's be nice. And then Josh and Joe are like, let's go get them. De-escalate.

All right. The Outlaw lawyers, Josh Whitaker, Joe Hamer and Cassandra Nicholas, we have more listener questions to get to. Next up is going to be your college freshman is headed to college out of state very soon.

What kind of legal documentation should he or she have in place before they actually move out of state? That's coming up next on the Outlaw Lawyer. Now, remember, if you've got a legal situation you're facing, you can always get in touch with the firm. Eight hundred six five nine eleven eighty six.

That's eight hundred six five nine one one eighty six. Leave your contact information briefly what the calls about an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. And again, you can email the questions to the show. We'll answer them on a future program. Questions at the outlaw lawyer dot com.

We're back right after this. You're listening to the outlaw lawyers, Josh Whitaker, Joe Hamer and Cassandra Nicholas, Whitaker and Hamer law firm, where you can find him. Josh and Joe are the managing partners. They are practicing attorneys here in North Carolina, as is Cassandra Nicholas, also a practicing attorney here in the great state of North Carolina.

They've got offices in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina and Gastonia. We talk the legalese each and every week and we're right in the middle of a listener question program. We'll get to the next question in a second. But if you've got a situation you're facing and you need some answers, I've got a phone number for you. Eight hundred six five nine eleven eighty six.

That's eight hundred six five nine one one eight six. And then leave your contact information briefly what that calls about. An attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch with you to help you answer those questions. And also, you can always send those questions to the show questions at the outlaw lawyer dot com. That's questions at the outlaw lawyer dot com. And we'll answer them on a future program. Check out the website to the outlaw lawyer dot com. Next question up is college freshmen headed off to college out of state very, very soon.

What kind of legal documentation should he or she have in place before they actually move out of state, Josh? Well, I'll tell you more. You know, I went to college in the mid 90s and I don't know that I or you know, I don't think then there was a lot of thought put into, you know, you're you're over 18. You're you're you're an adult for most legal situations.

I never thought about estate planning. I didn't know I had a really good CD player. I had like one of those CD players that you put like 100 CDs in. Besides that, in my car, I don't know that I really owned very much. I don't think that, you know, and when you're 18, you're not thinking about getting hurt, getting maimed, getting God forbid.

You know, something happened to you getting killed. So you're not really thinking about estate planning. It's hard to make 40, 50 year old people think about estate planning, let alone an 18 year old Cassandra.

When you when you left home and went to school, do you have any kind of estate planning kind of powers of attorney? Do you have any of that in place? Absolutely not. No idea. That was the thing.

You could have told. Yeah. Yeah.

You'd have to tell me what it is first for me to even know that I needed. Yeah. And then I'm not sure as an 18 year old, I would have agreed the you know, but you've got a lot of folks now and this has become really popular over the past five to 10 years. We get this call a lot, you know, in this time of year, in the July, August, late summer time when people are, you know, I think I think I don't know this. I don't have any scientific data, but I get the feeling, you know, at least in our area, maybe kids stay home a little longer. You know, I know I moved out as soon as I can move out, you know, and my parents are great folks and help me through college. But I get the feeling now that parents maybe help a little longer than than parents did 10, 15, 25 years ago. I do think that's becoming much more the norm in the US.

I'm not sure about North Carolina specifically. Yeah. Yeah.

I think as a society, that's just what we're this is what we're seeing. And I just base that on, you know, the people that I talk to and things like that. But we're getting a lot of calls like, hey, what documentation do I need to have in place? Because, you know, a lot of times parents at that age are still involved with doctors and dentists and a lot. Maybe still help you schedule appointments and kind of keep up with your medical records. And you're probably still on their insurance plan. A lot of times you're someone to do that now. I need some appointments.

The. But anyway, so the first thing that I usually talk to about is it's probably a good idea. If if if if you're 18, 19, 20 year old is on board, like Cassandra said, some might not be on board. But, you know, a health care power of attorney is something that always makes sense to me.

Cassandra, what's a we've talked about on the show before. What's a health care power of attorney? So that is allowing the parent a little more oversight of the health care to their children. They'll have more rights if the child does end up, you know, hurt, maimed, sick, something like that in the hospital. They can show the doctor their health care power of attorney and have a little bit more access to what's going on with their child and a little bit more decision making power.

Yeah. So a health care power of attorney does a lot of things. It could be as specific and broad as you need it to be. But I think the average health care power of attorney, so your your college freshman freshman is going to be over 18 is going to be an adult. You know, their doctors may not talk to you anymore, let you schedule appointments, won't let you see medical records because they're dealing with a with an adult and they don't have to. You're not the guardian anymore.

You're not in the same position you are. If your college freshman or sophomore, what have you, is on board, they can sign a health care power of attorney basically telling doctors and folks that they can talk to you. They can discuss health care issues with you. And of course, it will do things like if if your college freshman becomes incapacitated, can't make their own medical decisions, then this health care POA, if the treating physician has it on file, they'll know to reach out to you. They'll have your cell phone number.

They'll have your address. So you can you can help participate in health care decisions if your your your college age son or daughter can't can't do that. So health care POA is not very expensive to draft and I think can come in handy. I think we see that most times if you're you know, if you're a parent that's still helping your son or daughter in college with financial decisions and you're helping them on that side, then maybe even what I would call a business, a real power of attorney would be handy. And that'll allow the parents to, you know, if business wise or anything else, sign contracts on behalf of their child. They can so sign documents for them in basically any context in which that would come up. Right. Checks, you know, if if, you know, and then that gets us into the next step.

You know, I don't know what kids today own when they get into college. I ain't known anything besides, like I said, my sweet, sweet CD player. And I was very proud of. But, you know, if you're. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

Define sweet, sweet. So my my CD player had it was like one of those ones where you put one hundred CDs in and hit shuffle. Wow. It was something I was very proud of. I worked very hard to obtain it.

I don't have it anymore. It didn't it didn't make your dates impressed with the size of that CD changer. That's incredible. I think everybody was.

I think it's hard. I think if I saw that today somewhere, I would still be impressed. I'd be like, oh, that's a. The fact that you've got one hundred CDs that you can put in it and that it had to physically move the CDs to switch. Yes. So you had to wait between the songs if you were switching between songs on different CDs.

It right now, if my like if my iPhone decides that it's going to like pause my Spotify for seconds, I'm annoyed. So, Josh, go to CDs. If you had to name a couple that were in there that you just wore out. Oh, that's a good question, Morgan. I wasn't prepared for that question.

All right. You got one hundred of them. I mean, pick two. I think, you know, I some rage. Yeah, I think I think I think the first rage against the machine would be in there. I think master puppets would have been in there. Well, I think we would have had back. So back then, I think we would have had some some Fugees or some loonies in there. It would have been a and I was I was I think right at college time was when I was going back to my classic rock phase. So there have been some Black Sabbath in there.

It had been a nice, healthy mix, Morgan. I'll tell you, it's always interesting to kind of peel back that curtain just a little bit on Josh, Joe and Cassandra. So outlaw lawyers, we've got one more segment to go. We'll leave that open to.

Well, you know, you're going to be able to figure out exactly where we're going next. The outlaw lawyers, Josh Whitaker, Joe Hamer and again, Cassandra Nicholas. They are practicing attorneys here in North Carolina. Josh and Joe, the managing partners of Whitaker and Hamer law firm.

They have offices conveniently located in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina and Gastonia. If you're facing a legal situation, you've got questions. I've got a phone number for you. Eight hundred six five nine eleven eighty six.

That's eight hundred six five nine one one eight six. Leave your contact information briefly what that call is about. An attorney will be in touch with you to help you answer those questions. You can always send those questions to the show questions at the outlaw lawyer dot com. And we will answer those on future programs.

We'll be right back right after this. You're listening to the outlaw lawyers, Josh Whitaker, Joe Hamer, managing partners at Whitaker and Hamer law firm. We also have Cassandra Nicholas, one of the attorneys, talented attorneys at Whitaker and Hamer. They are practicing attorneys here in North Carolina.

They have a office location in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina and Gastonia. So convenient to you if you've got a legal situation you are facing, you can always contact the firm. Call eight hundred six five nine eleven eighty six.

That's eight hundred six five nine one one eight six. Leave your contact info briefly what that call is about. An attorney will reach out to you. You can always email your questions to the show questions at the outlaw lawyer dot com. Josh, take it away. Well, I want to encourage people, if you're listening, you know, we have the phone number set up so you can call. And Morgan, what's that phone number? Eight hundred six five nine eleven eighty six.

That's eight hundred six five nine one one eight six. So that is set up so you can call us here at the outlaw lawyer and you can leave us a message. You can leave us a question if you need legal representation. One of our paralegals, one of our attorneys can reach back out to you and see if that's something that the firm can help you with.

See if me or Joe or Cassandra can set up a phone consult, an in-person consult, a Zoom consult. However, we can get to you to talk to you. We would like to be your attorneys. We would like to help you. So if we can, we'll be glad to. But you can also call that number and just leave a general question like some of the ones that we tackled on today's show.

So if you have something you've just been thinking about or something that's just come up in your personal life or with someone you know, just just give us a general question. We'll bring the attorney here that knows about that. You know, attorneys don't know about every little piece of every little area of law. You know, for example, me and Cassandra, we don't spend much time in bankruptcy or family law. And I'm not a condo expert.

I found out. So most attorneys have their general areas of practice where they feel comfortable. They may be experts in, you know, if they've taken the bar. North Carolina Bar allow you to take a test and become a expert in in a certain area. So every attorney is kind of got where they where they where they like to practice their sweet spot. But, you know, we've got many, many attorneys at the law firm of Whitaker and Hamer. And if you ask a question that I can't answer and that Joe can't answer and that Cassandra can't answer, well, Taylor probably can or Kim probably can or Jordan probably can. Or, you know, we have attorneys in different practice areas.

So anyway, call that number. We'll be glad to talk to you about your personal matter. Give us a question.

Give us something that we can talk about. That's really our goal here. When we come to do this show where we're really hoping to provide some sort of service, you know, where we're kind of answering basic questions or giving people just general general directions.

That's always our goal. You can visit us at our Web site. You know, we have a Web site here for the show, the outlaw lawyer dot com.

We also the firm has a Web site w h dot lawyer. And so on that Web site, we have a big video library. We have a video.

I always call it a video podcast. I don't even know what that really means. I think you made that up.

I think I did. We call it Judica County. And so we have a big video library where we do this. We kind of take questions or general topics and at least try to get people moving in the right direction.

And most of those to note are pretty short and to the point they've got specific topics laid out. So you don't have to listen to us for a full hour. Like you also get to see our faces so you can browse by topic and look for the specific thing that you want to know about.

And we've been doing those for, I don't know, five, six, seven years now. So we really have a good database there. And so that's that's free. That's just there. That's something you can use it anytime you want to. We our Web site has a couple other cool features.

If you're a client, there's a way to log in and kind of keep track with your with your civil case or your your criminal case. And so that's there. And if again, you go to w h dot lawyer, that's where our we do a lot of real estate transactional. Our firm does a lot of real estate closings where people are buying residential commercial property refinancing residential commercial property. And so we have Jarvis is our our A.I. assistant there. And so if you go to our Web site, Jarvis, that's where he lives.

He can answer a lot of real estate law questions for you, keep you updated on your your closing. And so a lot of things at the Web site, we've been working on that Web site, trying to get some stuff on there, trying to get some content. It's got our bios on there. You can learn more about us. I had someone yesterday in a consult that had already read my bio and they went to a college in the same conference as mine in Minnesota. So maybe you can find out we have a connection for your consult if you check out our Web site. But the firm and then we have our office locations. And so like Morgan always tells you, you know, we're we're in Raleigh or we've got an office in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Fiquay, Goldsboro and Gastonia. And we have a couple more offices slated to open before the end of the year. So we really do try to cover North Carolina, try to be close to where our our clients need us to be.

And there's there's something to be said. Our law firm really tries to have, again, attorneys that can practice in multiple areas and attorneys that can cover our clients who may be statewide. You know, we represent a lot of businesses that are regional and things like that. So just a little bit more about the law firm there for folks. We do really value your input on the show. Anything you can think of that we can do better. We'd love to hear from you.

All right. Another edition of the Outlaw Lawyer's in the books. Again, you can get in touch if you have a legal situation you're facing by calling 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186 or you can email your questions to the show. Again, that's questions at

Just leave your contact information briefly what that call is about or that email is about. And an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. And again, conveniently located offices in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Kew Kwey Marina and Gastonia. For Josh Whitaker, Joe Hamer and Cassandra Nicholas, I'm Morgan Patrick.

We'll see you on the radio next week. Outlaw Lawyer is hosted by an attorney licensed to practice law in North Carolina. Some of the guests appearing on the show may be licensed North Carolina attorneys. Discussion of the show is meant to be general in nature and in no way should the discussion be interpreted as legal advice. Legal advice can only be rendered once an attorney, licensed in the state in which you live, had the opportunity to discuss the facts of your case with you. The attorneys appearing on the show are speaking in generalities about the law in North Carolina and how these laws affect the average North Carolinian. If you have any questions about the content of the show, contact us directly.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-15 13:27:44 / 2023-03-15 13:52:28 / 25

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