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Finding the Best Real Estate Lawyer: An Interview with David Buono of Savrick, Schumann, Johnson, McGarr, Kaminski, & Shirley, L.L.P.

By David Buono

Tell us a little bit about your law firm and its foundation.

Savrick, Schumann, Johnson, McGarr, Kaminski & Shirley, LLP ("Savrick Schumann") is a full service law firm located in Austin, Texas. Savrick Schumann began in 2001 when it was formed four colleagues, all of whom remain at the firm. The firm continues to grow due to its main goal of providing practical legal solutions for clients. All of the partners at the firm started their careers in large Texas firms. The knowledge and skill acquired at these large firms now translates into high quality work for a broader range of clients.

What are some of the services your law firm provides?

Savrick Schumann provides a full range of legal services. Some of the major areas of legal services covered by the firm include: real estate counseling and litigation, community association counseling, construction counseling and litigation, commercial and business litigation, business transactions, financial institution counseling, insurance coverage and defense, and products liability litigation.

Finding the right real estate lawyer can seem very overwhelming for a first timer, what is any advice you have for them?

When searching for a lawyer, the first place to seek advice is from friends and relatives. Many of these people have utilized legal services in the past and seeking recommendations from people you trust is an excellent tool. If those options are not available or do not prove fruitful, there are many resources out there to assist in locating a lawyer. These include websites such as the State Bar of Texas (www.texasbar.com) and Martindale Hubble (www.martindale.com). Once options are found, I would highly recommend setting up meetings with each lawyer to see which lawyer is the best fit for you as the client.

When it comes down to it, what are the five most important things you need to know about your real estate lawyer before hiring them?

This is a difficult question because there are many different areas and issues for which a real estate lawyer may be needed. Does the matter involve a contract review and negotiation? Does the matter involve litigation between neighbors? Depending on the type of matter it is, each chosen lawyer may be different.
From a broad perspective, here are some things that should be considered:

1. Ensure that the you are comfortable with the lawyer;
2. Ensure that you are comfortable with the lawyer's fee schedule and rates;
3. Ensure that the lawyer has significant experience in the area of expertise needed (i.e. contract negotiation, litigation, community association law, etc.);
4. Ensure that the lawyer has the requisite reputation to meet your desires (i.e. problem solver if that is your goal, hard-nosed litigation lawyer if that is your goal);
5. Ensure that the lawyer will be honest with you, even when the lawyer's advice is not what you as a client may want to hear.

How does the state legislation of Texas influence real estate law as it pertains to hiring one?

Texas legislation only affects real estate law from time to time. Texas law on real estate is fairly static. However, in past years there have been major changes to some areas of the law. For example, a couple years ago Texas completely revamped laws relating to community associations. These laws changed how community associations were allowed to govern themselves and created a number of obligations that required community associations to have much more stringent governance. The key is that when hiring a lawyer, make sure the lawyer is up to date on the most recent laws. As a client, you should ask as many questions as possible to gage if the lawyer appears to have the requisite knowledge of the current law.

In your opinion, how important are testimonials and recommendations from others when choosing a real estate lawyer?

We at Savrick Schumann believe that recommendations from past and present clients are the most important marketing tool a lawyer has. A satisfied client truthfully tells others about the law firm and the lawyers that assisted in the matter.

How much experience do you think is necessary for a real estate lawyer to have?

There is no set years of experience that makes a good real estate lawyer. The key here is to ensure that the lawyer has significant experience with the particular issue that is currently facing the client. That experience will then translate into quality work and the best possible result for the client's situation.

Is it possible to consult with a real estate lawyer free of charge prior to making your decision about them?

Any real estate lawyer a client is considering on hiring should provide a free consultation or meeting. If the lawyer refuses to provide such a free consultation, I would recommend meeting with other lawyers.

What is the best way for people to contact you or your business?

I may be contacted directly by phone (512-347-1604) or by email (david@ssjmlaw.com). Additional information about my background and the Savrick Schumann law firm be found at www.ssjmlaw.com.

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About The Author

Mr. Buono is a partner at Savrick Schumann with a practice focusing on civil trial and...

Phone: (512) 347-1604

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