Presenting RERA member Timothy Hannan

A graduate of the University of San Francisco in 1970, Tim joined the U.S.
Coastguard where he completed Officers Candidate School (OCS) in Virginia.
Eventually stationed in Washington DC, Tim entered law school at Georgetown
University where he attended classes at night while serving as a Coast Guard
officer in the daytime. He graduated from Georgetown University Law Center with
a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree.

Timothy Hannan has been practicing law in California for forty years, has a
“Distinguished Lawyer” rating from his peers; and is an experienced mediator and

An “Old-School Law Firm for Today’s Complex Legal Challenges

Timothy Hannan’s law practice focuses on Construction, Real Estate, and Business
Law. For the contractor yet to be licensed, Tim offers “Contractors License
Courses” to educate contractors who want to get their licenses.

As a contractor’s lawyer, what does Tim do? His practice is primarily construction
law related; which is about agreements and disagreements. On the agreement side
Tim declares “I enjoy negotiating and drafting construction contracts advising my
contractor clients about what the law requires of them depending on the project.
On the disagreement side, sometimes it’s necessary to file a lawsuit or go to
arbitration or mediation to resolve the dispute between contractor and owner or
between contractor and subcontractor”.

When I asked Tim what he finds most rewarding about his work as a construction
contractor lawyer, he answered, “The law is a thicket, and frankly I feel sorry for
anyone that has to master the law. I like the feeling I get when I take a client by the
hand, so to speak, and lead them through the thicket out to the “sunny meadow’ on
the other side. I feel good when I can help people in that way”.

With regard to what he dislikes within his profession, he said “Litigation is often a
pain in the neck and elsewhere. Disputes can get nasty, and I don’t particularly
enjoy the nasty side of litigation.”

When asked about a change he would like to see in his practice, Tim asserts “I
want less litigation and more business formation and contract making kind of stuff
where I can sit and think and read and write – the contemplative side of practice.”

I was curious what advice Tim would give RERA members. What stands out that
they need to know? “In a word, English – the contractor needs to know English
really well.”

Why? “Because every project starts with the contract, and the contract is
comprised of words in English. In my law practice representing contractors it so
often comes down to clarity of expression when describing the scope of work. You
want to be detailed and specific about what the work will consist of.”

And finally, the reasons for becoming a RERA member vary to some degree, but
Tim was clear about his; “I joined RERA for two reasons: one in order to build my
practice, and the other for the camaraderie. Most people in RERA are self-employed.
I have a lot of respect for self-employed people; not just anybody can be
self-employed. Self-employed people are especially brave and resourceful; and I
like to hang around people like that.

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