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Practice Areas


Expertise in Construction Law

Construction Law is one of California's most dynamic legal arenas, and Burnham Brown offers one of the leading Construction Law Practice Groups in Northern California. We are experienced in all aspects of construction law, including litigation, business transactions, construction management and project development. As active participants in California's thriving construction industry, we are well positioned to promptly serve construction businesses of all sizes and fields of expertise. Our approach is to assess each assignment in conjunction with our client's objectives to ensure the matter is properly staffed with experienced attorneys, and, if appropriate, paralegals. Once the scope of the assignment is known, we work closely with our client to develop a cost-effective budget and the strategies needed for an efficient, timely resolution.

Areas of Expertise

Construction Litigation

  • Administrative hearings - Cal - OSHA and CSLB
  • Breach of contract claims
  • Construction defect claims
  • Building code violations
  • Indemnity disputes
  • Delay and business interruption claims
  • Job-site injuries
  • Mold bodily injury claims
  • Unfair business practice claims
  • Warranty claims

Construction Business and Transactional Matters

  • Contract negotiation
  • Project development and management
  • Insurance coverage and indemnity issues
  • Labor and employment matters
  • Loss control and risk management services
  • Government regulation and compliance
  • Risk management audits and training seminars
  • Analysis of federal and state laws and building codes

Professional Liability

  • Architects and landscape architects
  • Design-build project management
  • Property managers
  • Civil, structural and geotechnical engineers
  • Mold remediation professionals

Based on our decades of experience litigating construction cases, Burnham Brown is well qualified to assist clients in achieving their business goals and avoiding serious disputes, injuries, project delays, and litigation. In many instances, we have effectively served our clients' interests by integrating the expertise of our other related practice areas, including transportation, environmental, mold, employment, product liability, professional liability, and insurance. Our clients include architects, owners, developers, engineers, construction managers, contractors and lenders. Our network of expert witnesses and consultants provides assistance on short notice and compliments our legal services. By combining our community presence with state-of-the-art computer and information systems, we are well equipped to resolve construction disputes of all varieties, in a timely fashion.

Burnham Brown attorneys are active in nationally recognized professional associations, including the Defense Research Institute, the American Bar Association's Public Contract Section, Business and Utility Contractors Association, American Society of Safety Engineering, and the Associated General Contractors of America. Burnham Brown attorneys regularly appear before Superior Courts, U.S. District Courts, and Courts of Appeal throughout California.

Representative Engagements in Construction Law


  • Obtained defense verdict in jury trial regarding landslide damage to adjacent property and orange trees. Sumpter v. Clark
  • Defended developer and general contractor in landslide trial resulting in non-suit against plaintiffs. Plummer v. Far West
  • Obtained defense verdict for waterproofing subcontractor after three-month trial. Washington/Montgomery Towers HOA v. Crow Spieker
  • Obtained defense verdict in jury trial alleging property damage from water drainage device. Buchbinder v. Fefer
  • Successfully defended homebuilder and recovered attorneys' fees in six-month jury trial involving alleged defective construction, grading, subsidence, and foundation design issues. Rancho Solano v. Amos & Andrews
  • Served as coordinating counsel in national class action (ABS Pipe Cases II) alleging installation of defective residential plumbing pipe
  • Defended hundreds of personal injury and wrongful death accident cases involving job site conditions, and owner liability property management

Advice and Counsel

  • Advise contractors and subcontractors on construction projects regarding licensing, contracts, labor, insurance, liability, and environmental issues
  • Prepare joint venture agreements, general contractor and sub-contractor agreements for developers
  • Counsel clients through training and continuing education seminars presented in formal or informal settings
  • Prepare contracts for architects, engineers, and other design professionals
  • Coordinate multi-party construction defect litigation for mediation proceedings with special masters
  • Counsel clients regarding access requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act

To speak with a Burnham Brown attorney specializing in Construction Law, please call 510-444-6800 and ask to speak with a member of the Construction Law Practice Group.