I'm unfortunately seeking advice, and referrals for an attorney specializing in construction defects.
I hired a contractor for emergency repairs to my septic system - my rental property, a duplex, is in a remote location 2 hours from Portland, so the contractor suggested coming out to trouble shoot and do the repairs in 2-3 days on a T&M basis in order to get it fixed ASAP. In that time they racked up nearly $18K in charges, and the work is defective. They installed a "French Drain" that is basically a trench they filled with styrofoam peanuts wrapped in mesh... the mesh is broken in many places and the yard is just a swampy mess with styrofoam everywhere, and 10" of standing water behind the house. They also broke a sewage pipe which was leaking onto the property (they did fix this pipe...) I paid a partial payment of $5K with a verbal agreement from the superintendant would reduce the bill, and come back in April to correct the french drain, when the ground dries up a bit. Meanwhile, his the "contracts manager" steps in and tells me the former superintendant and foreman are no longer on the job, and refuses to answer any questions. He put a lien on my property, which incorrectly lists my neighbors down the street as owners.
I regret I was not on-site to observe the work and relied on text and phone call communication, and I'm usually able to negotiate with contractors but the contracts manager has closed the door on communication, only will respond with things like "we can put you on a payment plan..."
I need legal help, but it's an awkward size job... bigger than small claims, smaller than most real estate attorneys are interested in. I spoke to one earlier who wanted a $5K retainer to write a letter.... I'd appreciate any referrals or advice.