Childhood challenges led to legal success
Published: July 26, 2010
Tags: Construction Law 2010
“My background has assisted me invaluably in my law practice as I am able to deal with the adversity and uncertainties inherent in practicing law, especially in the construction context,” Hinkston, 47, said. “It helped me to be empathetic and understanding to people of all backgrounds and walks of life.”
He uses those qualities at Dye, Foley, Krohn & Shannon in Racine to represent contractors and homeowners.
Many of his cases involve interpreting and applying the Home Improvement Practices Act, he said.
“Most small contractors have not heard of the home improvement code,” he said. “There are a lot of disputes over money, which often brings up the question of what did the contractor do with the money?”
Construction law is also the focus of many articles he writes for the Wisconsin Bar Association and his “Ask Mark” page (download-construction-forms.com/ask-mark-hinkston.html) that answers homeowners’ legal questions.
“I definitely enjoy (writing). People ask me why I do it. I don’t get paid,” he said. “I get referrals from the articles and it helps me get a grasp on different aspects of construction law.”
Hinkston’s legal career started in Kansas City, Mo., after law school at Creighton School of Law. He came back to Wisconsin after numerous calls from his mother asking him when he planned to return. He initially focused on general practice, but after working with smaller construction companies, he saw a void.
“A lot of attorneys were not focusing on that area,” he said. “I saw a need for attorneys to represent both the owners of properties and construction companies.”
For his hobby, he found another area with few attorneys: bench pressing. He started 15 years ago and now does it every weekend. Five times a year, he participates in powerlifting competitions.
“It’s not your ESPN kind of stuff,” he said. His maximum weight is 525 pounds, though he now sticks to about 400 pounds.
When he’s not in the office or gym, he spends his time planning the annual Fourth of July fireworks celebration in Racine in his role as president of the Fourth Fest of Greater Racine.
— Rosland Gammon