Jeff practices in construction, commercial, and public procurement litigation. He advocates for and advises clients in all phases of a dispute, from pre-litigation claim and risk analysis through resolution of the case at trial, arbitration, mediation, or appeal. He also advises clients on how to avoid litigation, which often involves drafting and reviewing contracts and negotiating agreements and settlements.

Jeff's engineering and project management background gives him a perspective unusual among construction lawyers. Having experienced firsthand many of the difficulties that his clients face – notably, delivering projects on budget, on schedule, and within specifications – Jeff can ably navigate both sides of the table.

Experience

  • Represented the Taxpayers League of Minnesota in its lawsuit seeking to enjoin the city of St. Paul from awarding the design-build contract for the new St. Paul Saints stadium without engaging in competitive bidding. See Taxpayers League of Minnesota v. City of St. Paul, 62-CV-12-7982. The city reversed its position and engaged in competitive bidding after the filing of a temporary restraining order motion.
  • Represented the disappointed bidder on an $8 million public construction contract in an administrative protest, district court lawsuit, and appeal. See Rochon Corp. v. City of St. Paul, 814 N.W.2d 365 (Minn. Ct. App. 2012).
  • Represented the taxpayers challenging the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s implementation of the MnDOT best-value design-build statute on the 35W replacement bridge procurement. See Sayer v. Minn. Dept. of Transportation, 790 N.W.2d 151 (Minn. 2010).
  • Represented the owner of a North Dakota ethanol plant in a dispute with the plant’s design builder.
  • Represented a Nebraska steel erection company in an arbitration against a Japanese design builder in a dispute arising from an Iowa coal-fired power plant construction project.
  • Represented the general contractor that built the Microsoft campus in Fargo in a dispute with a subcontractor. This case involved litigation in the federal district court (see Fergus Drywall, Inc. v. J.E. Dunn Construction Co., 3:11-CV-11) and an arbitration in North Dakota.
  • Represented the owners of a car dealership in an arbitration and a separate mechanic’s lien foreclosure lawsuit with the project’s design builder.
  • Represented a national lumberyard company in over a dozen breach of contract and mechanic’s lien lawsuits. All cases were either settled or prosecuted to judgment.
  • Represented a North Dakota and Minnesota contractor in contract and payment disputes with the North Dakota Department of Transportation.
  • Represented a real estate developer in a commercial lease dispute with a tenant.
  • Represented a general contractor in a baseball arbitration and subsequent Prompt Payment Act lawsuit against the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
  • Represented contractors in bid protests in various jurisdictions including Arizona, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota.

Credentials

Education

William Mitchell College of Law, J.D.; cum laude

University of Texas at Arlington, M.Eng., Mechanical Engineering

University of Colorado at Boulder, B.S., Engineering Physics

Admissions

  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Honors & Recognitions

Minnesota Rising Stars (2010, 2015, 2016)

News & Insights

Publications

  • The 1-35 Bridge Construction Project: A Case Study in Minnesota Bid Protests
    Minnesota Continuing Legal Education (2011 and 2012), 2012
  • Arbitrating Mechanic’s Lien Claims
    Minnesota State Bar Association Continuing Legal Education (2009), 2009
  • A Critique of Best Value Contracting in Minnesota
    34 William Mitchell Law Review 25 (2007), 2007

Affiliations

Professional Associations

  • Member, Minnesota State Bar Association – Construction Law Section Governing Council (2012-2018)

Community Involvement

  • Parent volunteer, The Blake School
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