Carol J. Patterson, Senior Partner at Zetlin & De Chiara LLP, is a broadly experienced construction industry litigator and transactional attorney who advises clients on complex litigations, contracts and risk management strategies. Owners, developers, engineers, architects, construction managers, contractors and investors seek Ms. Patterson’s counsel on general business matters relating to construction ventures and specific project issues. Prominent national and international firms have consulted her on matters relating to the design and construction of major projects in the technology, financial, educational, justice, healthcare, pharmaceutical, hospitality, civic, infrastructure, and cultural sectors.
Ms. Patterson is known for developing comprehensive legal road maps for her clients, anticipating and addressing issues, outcomes and consequences that could affect a project or company’s desired outcome. A creative advocate with a background in international relations, she excels at structuring agreements that enable her clients to advance their key business and project goals. Her work also focuses on crafting solutions to defuse situations that could become litigious. In a career of over 25 years, she has skillfully negotiated hundreds of millions of dollars in claims, settlements and contracts throughout the United States and abroad.
In New York, she has been involved in high profile projects including the modernization of Lincoln Center, the Jacob Javits Center, the Museum of Modern Art and new buildings at Hudson Yards. She also has extensive experience consulting on residential and commercial development, design and construction.
She frequently speaks and writes on topics of interest to the Real Estate and Construction Industries and has lectured at the New York University Real Estate Institute, Columbia University School of Engineering and Polytechnic University. Ms. Patterson was an editor of Construction Law, the widely used textbook, published by the American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry, that provides a comprehensive introduction to the construction industry and the laws that govern it.
Ms. Patterson is an engaged member of the professional community who supports opportunities for women interested in the real estate and construction industry. She previously served on the Governing Committee of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Construction Law and served as Chair of the Forum’s Publications Committee and its Diversity Committee. Ms. Patterson was a Fellow of the American College of Construction and served on its Board of Governors. She is also a past president of the Associate of Real Estate Women (now the New York City Chapter of CREW). She serves as General Counsel to the Metropolitan Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers and is affiliated with the American Institute of Architects, Urban Land Institute, and New York Building Congress. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Salvadori Center, an organization that partners with public schools to provide exciting STEAM programs to allow students to explore exciting educational and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and related fields.
She has garnered recognition for her contributions to the Real Estate and Building communities. Just recently, The National Law Journal named her a Real Estate/Construction Law Trailblazer for her illustrious career and her work as the lead editor of the ABA publication, Construction Law, 2nd edition. Commercial Observer presented her with a Barrier Breaker Award for her leadership and outstanding career. She was similarly recognized by the Real Estate Forum Magazine as a Woman of Influence, by the Real Estate Weekly as a Women Real Estate Leader of the 21st Century, and as a Chambers USA Leading Lawyer. Ms. Patterson was also recognized by Super Lawyers and as an Outstanding Woman by the Women Builders Council. She received the Founder's Award by the Association of Real Estate Women and was selected as one of the Top 50 Women in Real Estate.
The following are select representative matters:
Honors & Recognitions
- Best Lawyers
- Chambers USA Leading Lawyer, New York Construction
- Founder's Award, Association of Real Estate Women
- National Law Journal, Trailblazer in Real Estate and Construction
- Outstanding Women, Women Builders Council
- Super Lawyers
- Top 50 Women in Real Estate, Association of Real Estate Women
- Who's Who Legal, Construction Law
- Women of Influence, Real Estate Forum Magazine
- Women Real Estate Leaders of the 21st Century, Real Estate Weekly
- Barrier-Breaker Award, Women in Construction, Commercial Observer
News & Events
- 06.01.2022Chambers USA
Zetlin & De Chiara LLP continued to be recognized as leaders in the Construction sector, with the firm and five of its partners receiving high rankings in the Chambers USA ranking of America’s leading business lawyers.
Leading construction law firm Zetlin & De Chiara LLP announced today that eleven of the firm’s partners were selected to Super Lawyers 2021, part of Thomson Reuters. One associate was chosen for the Rising Star list.
- 08.19.2021Best Lawyers®
Zetlin & De Chiara lawyers received wide recognition by Best Lawyers in their 2022 edition for being among the most skilled and accomplished construction lawyers in New York and New Jersey.
- 05.20.2021Chambers USA
New York, NY (May 20, 2021)– Zetlin & De Chiara LLP has been ranked as a top construction law firm in New York for the 15th consecutive year by Chambers USA in its 2021 guide to top law firms and lawyers. In addition, all four senior partners were ranked as leaders in their field.
New York, NY (November 5, 2020) - Leading construction law firm Zetlin & De Chiara LLP announced today that ten of the firm’s attorneys were selected to Super Lawyers 2020, part of Thomson Reuters. An annual attorney rating service, Super Lawyers recognizes outstanding lawyers who have attained a high level of professional achievement and are well respected by their peers and colleagues. The selection process, culling from over 70 practice areas, includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.
New York, NY, (August 20, 2020) -- Zetlin & De Chiara LLP is pleased to announce that nine lawyers have been included in the 2021 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence.
In addition, three lawyers have been included in the 2021 Edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch. Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch recognizes lawyers demonstrating outstanding professional skills early in their careers in private practice in the United States.
- 06.04.2020Zetlin & De Chiara LLP Earns Top Recognition in Chambers USA for Being “Top Caliber in Matters Arising in Construction Law”
Zetlin & De Chiara LLP Earns Top Recognition in Chambers USA for Being “Top Caliber in Matters Arising in Construction Law”
- 04.16.2020National Law Journal
Z&D Senior Partner Carol J. Patterson Named Real Estate/Construction Law Trailblazer By National Law Journal
- 09.26.2019American Bar Association
Carol J. Patterson served as the lead editor for the newly revised American Bar Association (ABA) Forum on Construction Law's updated textbook, Construction Law, Second Edition, which is now available. Timothy Hegarty is among the co-authors of the textbook.
Purchase the book here https://www.americanbar.org/products/inv/book/364203111/
Eleven Zetlin & De Chiara LLP Attorneys Recognized by Thomson Reuters’ Super Lawyers 2019
Zetlin & De Chiara LLP has been recognized as a leading construction law firm by The Legal 500 US in its annual guide.
- 08.15.2019The Best Lawyers in America 2020
Eight attorneys at Zetlin and De Chiara LLP were recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© for 2020.
Zetlin & De Chiara LLP has been ranked as a top construction law firm in New York for the 13th consecutive year by Chambers USA in its 2019 guide to top law firms and lawyers. Four partners were again ranked as leaders in their fields.
CREWNY, Commercial Real Estate Women New York, announced boutique construction law firm Zetlin & De Chiara LLP as the recipient of the 2018 Sponsor of the Year Award. For nearly 20 years, the firm has supported CREWNY’s dedication to the advancement of professional women in commercial real estate through networking, education and leadership development.
Zetlin & De Chiara LLP announced today that the firm has once again been selected for National Tier 1 in the areas of Construction Law and Construction Litigation by U.S. News for its annual “Best Law Firms” ranking.
Zetlin and De Chiara LLP, a leading construction law firm, is honored to announce that seven of the firm’s attorneys have been named “Best Lawyers in America” for 2019. Additionally, co-founding partner Michael Zetlin has been selected as a “Lawyer of the Year” within the Construction Law practice group in the New York City region by the respected, peer review guide.
Construction law firm Zetlin & De Chiara LLP announced today that for the 12th consecutive year, the firm has been ranked as a top construction law firm in New York by Chambers USA. Additionally, four partners from the firm were ranked as leaders in their fields.
New York, NY (August 15, 2016) - Zetlin and De Chiara LLP is pleased to announce that seven of the firm’s attorneys were named to the 2017 Best Lawyers in America list.
Best Lawyers is the oldest and most highly-respected peer review guide to the legal profession worldwide. Ranked attorneys reflect the high level of respect earned among other leading lawyers and clients within their communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism and their integrity.
- 03.2016Construction Dive
- 01.2015House Pushes Through TRIA AuthorizationInsuranceNewsNet
- 12.11.2012Women in Real EstateThe Commercial Observer
- 07.18.2012Real Estate Finance Intelligence
- 2012New York Building Congress Puts the Focus on Industry's Response to Hurricane Sandy at 2012 Industry Recognition DinnerNew York Building Congress
- 02.2012New York Building Congress Puts the Focus on Industry's Response to Hurricane Sandy at 2012 Industry Recognition Dinner
- 12.31.2011Super Lawyers
- 02.08.2010Michael De Chiara, Michael Zetlin, Ray Mellon and Carol Patterson were named leading construction litigators
Michael De Chiara, Michael Zetlin, Ray Mellon and Carol Patterson were named leading construction litigators in the January 26 – February 8, 2010 issue of New York Real Estate Journal.
- 02.01.2010Michael De Chiara, Michael Zetlin, Ray Mellon and Carol Patterson were named leading construction litigators in the January/February 2010 issue of Super LawyersSuper Lawyers
Michael De Chiara, Michael Zetlin, Ray Mellon and Carol Patterson were named leading construction litigators in the January/February 2010 issue of Super Lawyers.
- 07.28.2009Sustainability: Changing Values Create New Business Opportunities for Green ConstructionNew York Construction
An article titled “Sustainability: Changing Values Create New Business Opportunities for Green Construction” was published in the July 2009 issue of New York Construction with commentary by Carol J. Patterson.
- Spring 2009Construction Law: The definitive construction law text book to be used by universities throughout the United StatesABA
Carol J. Patterson co-authored Construction Law, the definitive construction law text book to be used by universities throughout the United States and published by the American Bar Association, Spring 2009.
- 11.2007Women FirstNew York Construction News
- Four New York Partners, Michael S. Zetlin, Michael K. De Chiara, Raymond T. Mellon and Carol J. Patterson, were recognized in the September 23, 2007 issue
Four New York Partners, Michael S. Zetlin, Michael K. De Chiara, Raymond T. Mellon and Carol J. Patterson, were recognized in the September 23, 2007 issue of New York Magazine as Super Lawyers in the field of construction law. Click here for details.
- Carol J. Patterson's interview with Mysore Nagaraja, President of MTA Capital Construction, originally published in the firm's Quarterly Newsletter
Carol J. Patterson's interview with Mysore Nagaraja, President of MTA Capital Construction, originally published in the firm's Quarterly Newsletter, appeared in the August 29th, 2007 issue of Real Estate Weekly.
- 08.2007Interview with Mysore Nagaraja, President of MTA Capital ConstructionReal Estate Weekly
- Real Estate Weekly, November 23, 2005, salutes the Association of Real Estate Women's efforts in naming their first "Man of the Year"
Real Estate Weekly, November 23, 2005, salutes the Association of Real Estate Women's efforts in naming their first "Man of the Year". Carol Patterson, a partner of Zetlin & De Chiara LLP, is recognized as a member of the panel responsible for making this historic decision.
- Real Estate Weekly, April 2, 2003, No. 35, Vol. 49; Pg. S6; ISSN: 1096-7214, RE industry out in force to celebrate AREW's 25th
Real Estate Weekly, April 2, 2003, No. 35, Vol. 49; Pg. S6; ISSN: 1096-7214, RE industry out in force to celebrate AREW's 25th; Association of Real Estate Women; Carol J. Patterson, Esq., partner at Zetlin & De Chiara LLP, served on the 25th Anniversary Committee.
- Real Estate Weekly, August 7, 2002, No. 1, Vol. 49; Pg. 4; ISSN: 1096-7214, "Who's News: Management Personnel; Brief Article
Real Estate Weekly, August 7, 2002, No. 1, Vol. 49; Pg. 4; ISSN: 1096-7214, "Who's News: Management Personnel; Brief Article;" Carol J. Patterson, Esq., a partner at Zetlin & De Chiara LLP, received the Association of Real Estate Women's Founders' Award for 2001-2 recognizing outstanding contributions to AREW. She served as president of AREW for the 1998-9 term.
- 06.07.2000The Top 100 Women In Real EstateReal Estate Weekly
Real Estate Weekly June 7, 2000 No. 45, Vol. 46; Pg. 2, 20166 words THE TOP 100 WOMEN IN REAL ESTATE; Carol J. Patterson, a partner in the law firm of Zetlin & De Chiara LLP, is a leading legal counselor and business advisor to clients in the construction industry and building design professionals.
Carol Patterson, Moderator
Daria Salusbury - Salusbury & Co; Frances Delgorio - Jack Resnick & Sons; Lisa Bevacqua - Silverstein Properties
- 11.04.2016Carol Patterson, Moderator
- 03.10.2016Club 101, 101 Park Avenue, NYCCarol Patterson and Michael Zetlin, Moderators
- 03.2016Transformative Projects, Transformative Risk Management, New York Build
- 12.2015New Issues in the Design Professional's Standard of Care, PLI Building Better Construction Contracts
- 09.2013Architectural Law: Architects Fast Track Leadership, AIA New York State Convention, September 2013
- 2013"Public Private Partnerships: New Opportunities for Participation," Women Build America - A National Conference on Construction Opportunities
- 2013"Construction Contracts: Why the Forms are Not Enough," ABA Real Property Trust & Estate Law
- 09.2012AIA New York State Convention: Design and Delivery Trends of the Future
- 05.2012ABA Section of Real Estate, Trust & Estate Law - Custom Tailoring for the Construction Contracts of Today and Tomorrow: Why the Forms are No Longer Enough
- 06.2011"Bridging the Public Budget Gap: The Promise of P3 Project Delivery
- 04.2011AIA Fast Track Series: Architectural Law
- 02.2011Hot Topics in Construction Law
- 02.2011Hot Topics in Construction Law
- 08.2010Protection of Intellectual Property Rights
- 06.2010Construction Phase Services: Pitfalls to Avoid
- 01.2010Is Your Firm Addressing Green Building Insurability Issues?
- 06.2009Construction Law for Leasing Lawyers: The Nuts and Bolts
- 04.2008American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry - Media Do's, Don'ts and Dangers: When Ethics, Strategies and Survival Appear to Be on a Collision Course
- 03.2007Managing Risk: Key Insurance Strategies -What Every Owner Should Know
- 03.2007Transportation Transformed: Innovations in the Tapestry of Urban Transit
- 10.2006The Future of Market-Rate Multi-Family Housing
- 04.2006Expecting the Unexpected: Anticipating and Managing Key Risks to Successful Construction Projects
- 06.2005It's Not Easy Being Green - Great for the Environment; Hard on the Pocketbook?
- 01.2003American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry: Finding the Handle: Perfecting and Proving the Contractor's Claim
Summer turned up the heat at Zetlin & De Chiara LLP where we were involved in two of the most prominent construction cases in the nation. With attorneys airborne between the East and West Coasts, the office has been busy on the ground with client matters, fielding questions from the press, speaking at industry events and supporting community and professional organizations. Even as the temperature outside cools, our high level of activity shows no signs of chilling.
- Fall 2015Real Estate Weekly
- 02.2015Construction Today
- 01.2014Mann Report
- 03.2012Diversity in the Long Run: How Forum Members Can Participate in the ACE Mentor ProgramThe Construction Lawyer
- 2010Sustainability: Changing Values Create New Business Opportunities for Green ConstructionQuarterly Review, Zetlin & De Chiara LLP
- 2009Construction LawAmerican Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry
- Fall 2005Representation of Multiple Parties in the Construction Arena: Ethical IssuesThe Construction Lawyer, American Bar Association, Forum on the Construction
- Winter 2004Contractual ADR Provisions: The House Always WinsThe Construction Lawyer, American Bar Association, Forum on the Construction Industry
- Spring 2001Joint Defense and Prosecution AgreementsThe Construction Lawyer, American Bar Association, Forum on the Construction Industry
- American Bar Association - Chair, Diversity Committee; former Governing Committee Member, Forum on the Construction Industry; former Chair, Publications Committee
- American Society of Civil Engineers, Metropolitan Section - General Counsel
- American Institute of Architects, New York City - Affiliate Member
- Association of Real Estate Women, New York - Past President
- New York Building Congress
- New York City Bar Association
- New York State Bar Association
- Urban Land Institute, New York
University of Chicago Law School, J.D.
Columbia University, M.A.
Bryn Mawr College, B.A.
- New York
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit