All right. Good evening everybody. It must be 5 o’clock here on Wednesday because this is. See you in court.
My name is Seth smiley. Coming to you live from downtown New Orleans it’s a beautiful sunny day here in New Orleans. The weather is getting warm which is which is somewhat nice but at the same time a little bit I guess nerve wracking for the coming months. And you know it’s kind of the calm before the storm we’ve had some some some nice cool weather recently and it looks like it’s about to start heating up real good. Which is which is you know very typical for this time of year it looks like we just concluded a Jazz Fest here in the city. And and it seems like it was a big success.
I think most of the days were pretty pretty solid on the weather. But you know not just fester this time my life because I have two young children. And so you know big festivals just aren’t really in our wheel house these days. So again this is this is see you in court. My name is Seth smiley and I’m a local attorney here in New Orleans and I practice construction law contractor so contractor disputes. We work with a lot of material suppliers getting paid on projects.
Homeowners developers those types of things and so we see a lot of that from day to day and in our practice and then we also do some general business litigation and we also do injury law with regards to folks who’ve been hurt not only on construction projects but on other aspects of their life auto accidents and things like that. So this again is see you in court. My name is Seth smiley. We’re listening in live on WGN So 9:00 9:30 a.m. and WGN so dot com if anybody wants to call in. This is a this is a listener show. We had a couple callers last week and a couple of weeks before that the listener line is 5 0 4 5 5 6 9 6 9 6.
If you want to give us a call and get your name heard on the radio we would love to love to hear you and your comments and give some general advice on those comments that you have this is legal a legal talk show so we can we can talk about anything but you know I always always try to talk about the legal slant on the issues at hand. Again that list certain line 5 0 4 5 5 6 9 6 9 6 and then you can text in any comments 2 5 0 4 5 7 9 8 9 8 5. And if you want any comments read on the air we’ll be happy to go in and do that when as they come through.
So on the show today we have a number of different things that we’re going to be talking about. Last week we were discussing a little bit of the Department of Justice and that Sterling thing that was happening up in Baton Rouge and their lack of prosecution and the legal ramifications of all that. Looks like we’ll be talking a little bit today.
Depends on how much time we have about President Trump and his decision to fire the FBI director James Comey yesterday and kind of some of the fallout and some of the feedback from some of that. And then there’s always a hot topic going on here.
New Orleans is the is with the monuments it seems like there’s been some some movement and some lack of movement both from the state side and from you know the different judiciary on whether or not they’re going to allow different monuments to stay up and how they’re going to be able to take them down.
So we’ll dive into that a little bit deeper a little bit later on in the show. There’s a couple of other you know hot hotline stories that are going on here in the city.
Looks like for New Orleans doctors and two others were convicted in over a $13 billion Medicare fraud scheme. NOLA adcom is reporting that a business lady businesswoman name leaser canal and Shiina Matthew is actually the mother of Tiger Matthew pled guilty to Medicare fraud for their role in a massive Medicare fraud scheme. It’s really a sad day when things like this come out. Just because you know different people who are trying to take advantage of the government in you know the the handouts I guess that are being given down from our federal government and it’s really sad day I mean to deal with Medicare Medicaid pretty regularly in our in our practice when we’re dealing with medical issues for clients who’ve been injured. And you know it’s just I know there’s a lot of red tape with those different entities. But you know it’s it’s sad that folks were you know ordering home health care services for people who had no necessity. And you’re basically making false medical claims. So again sad deal. It’s good that our government watches over those types of things and tries to figure out you know ways to catch people like this. Who are you know participating in a potential fraud. So so those are some of the news stories that we’ll be talking about a little bit here on the show. And then as always we’ll talk about the things that you know that I see on a regular basis with regards to construction law and with regard to you know various litigation issues that we see. And then you know as always personal injury.
So those are the things that we’ll be talking about and again if anybody wants to call into all three we’ll get on some topics here and a little bit or if anybody just has some some various you know questions that they have even if it’s you know hey look I have a criminal issue or I have a you know divorce issue or something like that.
I can always give you know general general knowledge and general information on those types of topics. Those those things come up all the time.
So one of the things we like to talk about a little bit as well each week we put out a new blog post on our blog and occasionally we’ll even put out videos and things like that haven’t done a video in a while.
Been pretty busy with a number of things going on in the business and then various things from time to time and actually next week the show will actually be running a repeat next week just because I’ll be traveling out of town. I’ll be on a plane at this time headed towards Phoenix Arizona. There’s a mastermind group that I’m a part of. Basically a bunch of attorneys from all over the country that get together and they you know try to figure out it’s a program that we’re part of and we and we learn about how to run our law firms better and share ideas on how to how to be better lawyers Solove doing that at the latter part of next week. So the show will be on pause for one week and so. So basically we’ll be covering a lot of ground day two weeks worth of information essentially. And so you know we’re approaching the break here in just a second. Not just yet but it will be coming up here really soon. And it’s kind of interesting I was on the phone just a few minutes before this trying to contact the New Orleans Sewage and Water Board switch an account over and then had to pay my bill over the phone which just I mean I was like 18 minute phone call waiting on hold. Going through the electronic system and it’s a good service.
But good Lord it was a lot of I almost missed the beginning of the show because I was trying to get that taken care of and once you’ve committed you know five 10 minutes of time you don’t want to give up on it because you know you’re going to have to follow up with that later. So. So yeah that that’s essentially where we are on those topics and everything. One of the one of the things I like to talk about pretty often is the fact that I have a book it retails on Amazon as well.
Or you can purchase it on Amazon but if there’s anybody wants to call or text and be happy to give them a copy of that and it’s the construction law or the survival guide for construction on how to get paid on every project here in Louisiana we were approaching the break we need to get the sponsors on. So we’ll be back here in just a few seconds or minutes.
Once again this is Seth smiley. This is due you in court. And we’ll be back here in just a second.
All right. Welcome back everybody. My name says smiley. This is. See you in court.
We were returning for the second of four segments. We are one quarter of the way through the show here today on the five to six o’clock drive time our own Debbie GSO and WGN. So dotcom. I was just reading a few things at the break we were actually talking briefly at the at the just before the break about some of the things that we do in the book that I have on Amazon about about construction law. And so I was I put an offer out there of you know people can go online and they can order the Louisiana construction law survival guide the insider secrets to getting paid on every project. All for paperback for 1795 on Amazon or if you want to call or text in to the show and you don’t even have to come on the.
You can call off the air 5 0 4 5 6 5 4 5 5 6 9 6 9 6 or you can text your your name and address to 5 0 4 5 7 9 8 9 8 5 will send you a copy of that complimentary and I won’t even pay to have it shipped to you. So just trying to get the word out to contractors on how to get you know how to get paid on projects for work that they performed. And then while we were at the break I was looking into the issue about President Trump firing the FBI director James Comey.
And so you know there’s a lot of speculation out there to why it happened how it happened the timing of it happening and in those types of things and you know there’s a varied depending on what site you read.
You know there’s a different spin or a different take just you know from the lack of leadership within the within the FBI itself and then you know how things like Hillary Clinton was handled. And then also with the Russian situation going on with President Trump most of the folks are saying you know it’s probably about Russia and trying to slow down that train even have a tweet from here from Senator John McCain who says and I’m quoting his tweet from yesterday removal of Director Comey only confirms need for a select committee to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. So that’s that’s that’s pretty serious. And I know President Trump and John McClain are not exactly best friends but it’s still one of those deals where it kind of makes you it makes you scratch your head and you got to follow follow where the where the action is and where the power is coming from on this.
And so it is going to be very interesting to watch the whole Russia thing play out with regards to President Trump and that whole situation and hopefully it doesn’t undermine things that are going on and you know such a prestigious I guess department of our government. And you know one of those that we want we want to make sure that they’re out there looking out for the real bad guys. So we want to make sure that that that’s not being thwarted just for political needs anyway. So so that’s that the the the monuments have been having lots of action here in Louisiana as well here down in New Orleans and the different the various the various protests and things that are going along with them are constantly you know sparking lots and lots and lots of different comments. You know things are going no of that calm people are out there actually protesting. And you know again we talked about it last week and talked a little bit about this week.
Why what is the invisible hand that’s really moving this is really about race is it really about politics or is it really about you know certain people’s political motivations. Or is it you know a little bit of all of that you know so it’s it’s one of those it’s one of those frustrating.
You know one of those frustrating situations that really kind of divides the populace and then we really need to be focusing on other things such as crime and you know making our schools better and those types of things where the government’s trying to essentially turn turn our heads away from that so that we can we can really get into the monument clash. So anyway that’s another topic that’s always up for for discussion. And then and then we can always circle back around to the various things that we like to talk about from the day to day basis. Again I was talking briefly before we went to the break about the smiley law form blog. This is the document that we put our Web site within our site. It’s located at w w w dot Smiley firm dot com slash blog logi and basically every week we’ll put out a different article. It varies on the topics that we talk about and we typically go between injury law and construction law. We like to talk a lot about construction liens and you know we’ve had some some various issues pop up recently about construction liens and it’s quite a it it’s a very small nuanced area of the law and even construction law.
It’s not something that you know we learned about really in law school or they teach on bar exams or things like that.
It’s not big and juicy but it can potentially have an effect on on everyone’s life from day to day after Katrina. There was you know obviously a lot of wreckage here in the city and houses and property was destroyed. And so contractors are going to work and many times they were paid and many times they were not paid. And so one of the ways they could try to secure payment was to file a construction lien and then you know various disasters after including the floods that happened up here in Baton Rouge area. There have been lots of issues that are being litigated with regards to construction liens.
And it’s one of those it’s one of those I guess tactics strategies and the law that contractor can use to insure payment. At the same time he can also use it to potentially harm a homeowner or a property owner. And so there’s there’s this strategic play in construction law where somebody needs to have worked on a house especially if it comes after a disaster where there’s insurance proceeds are involved. And then if the insurance company comes out and then you know there’s $100000 worth of coverage the contractor is going to try to you know repair the house within that realm of coverage right. And so the rub lies in when a contractor comes out and doesn’t do a great job or does the job that the car that the homeowner is not exactly satisfied with then the homeowner decides they don’t want to continue with the contractor and they fire him or you know their issues with quality work and whatever else. And so you have these these proceeds that come down from the insurance company when they finally award money they can come in progress payments and things like that and they come from the insurance company. And typically most people’s homes have a mortgage on it. So the insurance company will write a check to the homeowner and to the mortgage company. And the rub lies in many contractors try to get themselves listed on this check so that it can potentially be a three party check. A lot of times insurance companies will not put the contractor on the check.
And so many homeowners will try to keep that money for themselves and manage the money at where they they basically can use that to make the contractor pay them you know to do as much work as possible under the contract and then they’ll get with their rightfully owed. Many times this process is very seamless and no issues happen other times. There are issues that happen and that’s when construction lawyer can be helpful to come in and we represent folks on both sides of that transaction with the contractors trying to get them paid. So if if that money comes down the line and the homeowner decides they don’t want to pay the contractor one of the things the contractor can do is file a construction lien arrives and as exciting as that is we’re going to finish wrapping that up after the break and exactly what the lien does how it affects the money come in through and what the real power of it is.
This is Seth smiley. See you in court. And we’ll be back here in just a few minutes so slyly and we’re back here on the second half of.
See you in court. We were talking a little bit in the top half of the hour about Trump firing the FBI director. The little bit of the the Confederate monuments we briefly touched on the the doctors who were brought in on the Medicaid or they were convicted of the $13 million dollar Medicare fraud scheme. And then and then we’re also talking a lot about what we do as well as a law firm here is a law firm. Again my name is Seth smiley. This is WGA so dotcom and GSO 990 AM We are here on the 5:35 on Wednesday May 10th and we’re talking politics and legal news here going on in south Louisiana Louisiana and all the different areas.
And so we were talking before the break about the power of Alene with regards to filings on you know especially when there’s and there’s insurance money involved in a disaster. So homeowner gets you know or building owner he can be commercial residential doesn’t matter.
They started getting insurance proceeds in there.
They’re the mortgage company attached to the check and then they decide to terminate with the with the with the contractor who’s either doing the work good or doing the work bad or for whatever reason they don’t want that contractor to work on the job anymore.
And so the strategic thing and then the rub in whatever it is happens when that contractor properly or improperly goes out and he files a lien whenever that happens the homeowner is notified many times they’ll send notice to the mortgage company as well or the bank or whatnot. And at that point the mortgage company holds money they will not release any more money to the homeowner until the lien situation is resolved or either they will hold that amount of money aside say you know say they have $100000 of insurance proceeds. And the lien is for 20000 they will hold that amount of money aside and not let the homeowner use that until the lien issue is resolved.
So anybody with any kind of sense can determine or see that this is a very powerful tool for a contractor whether or not he is rightfully owed or not rightfully owed the money to go out and file this document and really hold up the funds. A lot of times that essentially hold the homeowner hostage until they can resolve the the payment issue with the contractor.
At my law firm we see this situation a lot you know and it can even be something like though the contractor did not do the work yet he ordered lots of materials and the materials were not paid for.
So the material supplier can file the lien and potentially the homeowner might have to pay for the materials twice and then go after the contractor for reimbursement.
So we tasked ourselves from our clients many a time to have liens removed. They’re very technical documents and they need to be filed properly and they need to have the right information on them and can be handled in a proper manner so that the lien is a valid document.
And if it’s not a valid document there are things that we can file to have it removed. It’s kind of a cumbersome process it’s expensive lien removal. Just a simple lien removal on our home on a home. It requires a you have to file a lawsuit. You have to get that people served. You have to prepare evidence. It’s an evidentiary hearing and then you have to go essentially have a trial to have the lien removed and you get to put on evidence and everything else and so on a flat fee we typically charge around it it’s gone up through the years just because of all the work that’s involved around. And you know over six thousand dollars on a flat fee for something like that and I don’t I typically don’t like the name numbers because every situation is different. But on I on a flat fee document like that I mean it just shows how much work is involved to get that document removed if it can be removed.
Many times we look at them and we say oh no this is this is going to hold up. So there aren’t any reasons technical reasons nor factual reasons of why this lien needs to be removed. And so even though that person may not be owed the money because they didn’t perform the work correctly the lien is allowed to stand. And so liens are very powerful documents. Most people don’t understand them.
Even lawyers get referrals and lawyers all the time talking about construction liens just because it’s not a it’s not a common occurrence.
And so it just one of those things that we see a lot of.
I tried to shed a lot of light on it with regards to the construction industry. Many people say that it is actually a joke and say it’s a four letter word in the construction industry just because folks just really really don’t like they don’t like Lean’s they don’t mention that there are many times they have to send a notice which is a prerequisite for lien has nothing to do with the lien. And people get weary about that. So if you go look at our Web site we have a bunch of different articles about it. That smiley firm dot com slash blog and you can go and check out the different things that you know we talk about and we see on a day to day basis. I get I get I get homeowners to come in. So you know this this contractor filed this leaning against me it’s wrong. Please help. And then I’ll also get contractors come in and say I was wrongfully fired. They just wanted to keep the insurance proceeds or didn’t want to pay me. So I need to go and file a lien. We do our research and we the lead and then we then we work to get them paid. With regard to having the lien removed one of the things the homeowners can do or one of the ways the statute is set up is they can actually if a letter is sent they don’t remove the lien within 10 days. It’s one of the few places in lien law where the homeowner is entitled to get attorney’s fees and costs for the removal of lien.
So that like $66000 $6000 plus flat fee that I talked about earlier the judge will order if we’re right and we win that the opposition has to pay that fee. The problem is many of these contractors are not very solvent and don’t have you know six eight thousand dollars because they include costs and everything in it too. They don’t have that type of money just sitting around to pay. Nor are they willing to pay. So we have to do things like turning over the judgment to the Louisiana State Board of contractors. We have to try to garnish bank accounts sees different different assets that are owned both real property personal property and really go through that the process of making that that the person who owes the money life very difficult so that they are forced at some point to pay the judgment. However there are there are some people and contractors typically are you know this type of person that not all contract there are a lot of great contractors out there but the ones who are filing frivolous liens on people’s houses. Those are the ones that can be potentially judgment proof and they’re very very difficult sometimes to actually get a judgment against them. And so it’s a frustrating deal to go out and you know run around and say hey we’ve got your lien or moved your house free and go do whatever you want. You can refinance it you can sell it you can mortgage it. You can do whatever you want with your house.
Now the lien is gone but at the same time we’re not going be able to collect that money from this contractor because he is basically doesn’t have enough money in his bank account or doesn’t have enough assets for it to be worth us you know chasing after him to keep going to get him because doing all of that cost a lot of money and just court costs and it can add up very quickly and it’s one of those things where the contractor will owe it at the end of the day. But you just got to stay on and try to get it collected. I know a lot of good collection firms out there that can take and handle these things pretty pretty well. And so it is it is it’s it’s a it’s a positive to be able to get in or move but sometimes my whole point was the the judgment that is out there that oh I’m entitled to my attorney’s fees. That could be a whole radio show in and of itself about you know whether or not somebody is entitled to attorney’s fees.
And then the. Whether they’ll actually get those attorneys fees at the end of the day. I have that money in your hand.
It’s actually a pretty rare day. So don’t don’t let an attorney you know beat his hand on his chest and say oh we’re entitled to attorney’s fees we’re going to get it get it get it.
The only time you’re ever guaranteed that you’re going to get a judgment paid is when you get a judgment against an insurance company. And by law they have a duty to pay that judgment.
Anyway that brings us to the end of our third segment here and see you in court again. My name is Seth Smiley we’re going to be wrapping up here on the fourth segment. Hopefully some folks will give us a call and we can talk about a few things again. Smiley see you in court. See you after the break.
All right. Love the break music or intro music come back into the show. Get ready fired up for this last segment.
I guess we need some fired up music after talking about construction law and filing liens in those types of things.
It’s what I enjoy talking about I do it regularly and so it is one of those things that again I like to do but not everyone else is super super jacked up about it until until the situation hits close to home and that’s when ever I mean pardon the pun but that’s whenever it gets real.
And so again we see it a lot and it just just everybody knows this is this is you in court. My name is Seth smiley. If anybody wants to call in the listener line is 5 0 4 5 5 6 9 6 9 6. And then we can also check stand at 5 0 4 5 7 9 8 9 8 5 and it looks like I got an e-mail from my answering service because after 5:00 we have an answering service here at the firm and somebody has taken me up on the on the book offer saw give them a call back here a few minutes once we get off the air put an offer out there are all I’ll ship a copy of my book to anybody who’s interested in that is the it’s the it’s the the Louisiana construction law survival guide the insiders secrets to getting paid on every project and that that’s something that I wrote last summer.
And then I’ve revised it about a couple of months ago and and sales on Amazon.
But if anybody wants to call into the show or call in to the law firm at 5 0 4 8 9 4 9 6 3 9 6 5 3 or W.W. that’s finally firm dot com and we’ll be happy to send you a copy of that book free of charge. Just because trying to spread the word on you know think different things to do with regards to construction law.
So back to the different things that we were chatting about here on the show and the things that are that are going on in the city and just you know things that are happening locally and whatever that I’m seeing in I try to keep my hand on the pulse of what’s going on in the legal world. There are some things we you know we see a lot more than others just because of the type of work that we do. But you know this deal with contractors is you know it’s definitely what we do and it’s just you know it seems like there’s it’s quite an industry. I’ve I’ve done some some work to you know properties that I haven’t dealt with contractors and dealt with issues and folks just want to be really careful. Whenever you know you’re kind of going out there on a limb it’s one of the few industries where there is oversight. You know you definitely want to go to the Louisiana State Board of contractors and see if I can look up the site real quick. It’s w w w l s l b c dot Louisiana dot gov. So and it’s kind of the they are they’re the advocacy board for the homeowner.
It says it’s Louisiana state licensing board for contractors but they’re essentially a board set up by the state Louisiana to look out for the consumer and the consumer is any body who’s you know wanting to build a house or any kind of other property and they want to make sure that contractors are properly licensed properly insured have you know enough funding to be able to do the things that they’re trying to do so that the public is protected. And if there’s any if there’s any issues you can file complaints with the contractors board they may have parts of their site for the consumers and for the contractors. And it’s very valuable I use it all the time whenever and I always joke and say if I’ve never heard of the contractor that’s probably a good thing because you know by the time it hits my desk it’s a mess. And so people always ask me Hey you know do you know this guy you know this guy you know different companies and I say no that that’s probably a good thing. The board for the contractors board they actually meet every month. They have a residential day and a commercial day. So just for example in May the residential day is on May 17th which is coming up in about a week that’s typically Wednesday and Thursday and then on the for the commercial day in May it’s actually the 18th which is next Thursday. And so the schedule is on there is on their website as well. It’s it’s a great resource.
I mean in construction law and the things that we do we typically use two Web sites when it comes to state oversight. I guess more than any and it’s the Louisiana State Board of contractors which are just talked about. And then the other is Louisiana secretary of state and the Louisiana secretary of state is has a great Web site. It handles a lot of different things. The the home page for it is w w w dot dot L.A. dot gov which is secretary of state. I just Google L.A. space S.O.S. And it pops right up. And Tom sled Schwedler is the secretary of state currently. But they deal with notaries certifications historical resources elections and boating and all that stuff is probably fantastic. I typically stay on the business services tab which talks about starting a business searching for business filings and then filing various business documents. The biggest one that we are starting the business is good if you want to start new LLC or corporation or if you’re an out-of-state contractor and you want to come in and register with the secretary of state you do so on this Web site. Under the start a business tab and I remember back in the day where you had to you know print out the documents and fax that and or mail it in today are these days you can actually do it all online and pay all your fees online. You’ll get your certificate right then and there or within 24 to 48 hours. So that’s a phenomenal resource for starting a business.
And actually they’ve tied it into the Louisiana Department of Revenue and the Louisiana Workforce Commission I believe that someone who deals with workers comp insurance and so those three of actually kind have been intertwined which is good. It’s a good it’s a good starting point because not everyone doesn’t always know where to go to make sure that they’re filing everything whenever they start a business. So I was leaving me to go there. The best part of this site that we’re you we use all the time is the section entitled search for Louisiana business filings and so you can actually search by in-city name charter number officer name or Agent name. So if you know the name of a company and I’ll just type in Smiley law firm you can you can run a search on here and it’ll pop up all the information with regards to previous previous names the chart or number of the registration date domiciled mailing address. So we typically go in here and we find mailing addresses and one of the things you have to find for a lawsuit is the registered agent. And so it will have that person or entity name and then their address city state zip code. And when they were appointed and then at the bottom it talks about all the different things that have been filed and then the chronology of all that is listed out as well. So you can print this report.
You can actually buy certified copies of everything that’s been filed for every entity. So I mean you can go on and find a lot of information on you know any company that you’re dealing with especially construction companies or any other type company that you’re you’re having dealings with. And a lot of times people are pretty sloppy about this. And so from a legal standpoint like we’ve actually had it to where people have come to us and said oh I want to file here and I want to do this on the other and I say Areva that’s great but you actually have not you’re not register with the secretary of state so technically you can’t you can’t have any legal. You can’t file a lawsuit or do anything else illegal including filing a lien until until that’s done we’ve looked at the statutes on that and sent it to the folks. And so that’s one of the things that you need to get you know done more quickly and then there are other things such as looking up you know who’s you know registered agents officers of different companies and things and you can find out a lot about people about companies on on how much is listed there. One of the good things to do if you’re not really sure the name of the company that’s affiliated with but are used to dealing with you know Bob Jones or whoever. You can go in and check click on the officer name and you can search by first name and last name and name it will pull up all of the different entities that that particular person is associated with or has ever been associated with.
And so basically it it builds on the entities that are in good good standing and then the ones that aren’t are not in there. So anyway that’s an overview.
Louisiana’s secretary of state and we are actually running out of time here. On this edition of see you in court and we’ll see you in two weeks from now. Again my name is Seth smiley and this is see you in court.
And we will be here Wednesday two weeks. You so much
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