My name is Don Saddler of Bethel out here in the real world of Alaska. I am a building contractor and investor. A few years ago I came across a small 3-bedroom house in Bethel that was located on a nice lot, but was depreciated to the point of not being habitable. (See Above) I thought I could made the house very nice and rocket the value of the home by much more than what I spent on the improvements with my people doing most of the labor. When I looked into the present owner of the house I discovered it had belonged to a longtime resident, one who had passed away a couple of years earlier. The owner's family in Bethel told me the man's Last Will and Testament passed the home's ownership to his grandson. His grandson, a young man, had been unable to obtain title to the house though. A probate of his grandfather's estate in court was needed to gain a good title. The young man was not in a position to obtain the lawyer needed for that probate work.He was not in a position actually to take care of himself even. Someone else would need to run the show in selling the house to me and for me to pay for it. I thought I would give it a try. Then, I could not find a lawyer willing to do the work at a price that made a deal possible. I was told I probably need two lawyers, not just one. No one near Bethel was very much familiar with probate work, it seemed. Months passed. It looked like that old house was never going to be remodeled. Literally no one owned it now. Very sad. Then one day online, I hooked up with Attorney Stephen Merrill from faraway Anchorage. So long as we had a signed sales agreement and both parties were willing to work in full cooperation with each other, Mr. Merrill was willing to work closely with both seller and buyer, so long as there were no big differences arising between me and the young man who was selling. Having one lawyer to do the entire transaction was the first big hurdle to overcome. The price set by Mr. Merrill for the entire case made a good profit possible from my end of the bargain.So work began.
It took a long time. Mr. Merrill had to put up with much craziness from the young man who was being parceled out the sales price as things went along. It was not an easy process or easy people to deal with. But Mr. Merrill filed his paperwork promptly and correctly and kept things together on a personal level successfully when issues arose. It ended up working out for everyone.
A young man had been paid an inheritance it looked like he was unlikely to ever see. I received a property that I refashioned into a modern home that I rented successfully and have now sold at a handsome profit. And the City of Bethel received a home that looks like this, to replace a property in the city that had become a nuisance instead of a benefit to the community. That property would have remained ugly and unusable for decades or longer, but for what we accomplished. Stephen Merrill of Anchorage is the business lawyer you want on your side, for more reasons than one, no matter where you might live in Alaska.
Hello, I am Richard Root, the owner of Hired Hands, a flooring installation firm in Anchorage. Our company presently has 200 workers on the job and three people who man the office. Hired Hands has not always been so large and care-free though. When I first began my Anchorage contracting business in 2006 I trusted a couple of local business owners I should never have trusted. I was nearly put out of business, getting paid only half of what I was rightfully owed. With one general-contractor I had a written agreement that violated the federal Davis-Bacon Act for the hourly wage rate. For that mistake not of my doing Hired Hands was actually kicked off the construction site for a period of time and then forced to double worker wages. With a second general contractor, my largest by far, I was being cheated on my handshake agreement on just about every job we did for him, hundreds and hundreds of jobs.
But, attorney Stephen Merrill of Anchorage believed in me and in my two cases. He saw a way to win, but with no guarantees. He made both cases possible to bring in the first place. It was not easy. It was not without risk. Both cases had ups-and-downs big time. But I won both of my cases in court the hard way, at a trial. The law worked for me. At the first trial heard before a judge, the mistaken numbers concerning Davis-Bacon wage rates were placed back on the general contractor and off of my company. A trial verdict of $24,000 was entered in a case where the pretrial offer to me was $5,000. At the second trial, this one decided by a jury, my account of events and the figuring of my losses were largely accepted in the trial verdict. I was awarded $112,000 in a case where the pretrial offer was $14,000. Mr. Merrill gave an incredible presentation at both trials and in two completely different ways. He is always well-prepared for court, including preparing me, his client. He is even funny and very humble at times, so unlike the stereotype for his profession. Those court recoveries allowed Hired Hands to grow into the large company it is now. It also made me a much better businessperson when it comes to paperwork and people. It sure help to have expertise behind you when trying to grow a business and a young family too.
Stephen Merrill of Anchorage is the Alaska lawyer you want on your side, for more reasons than one.
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