Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution
When a client faces a construction or commercial disputes, Zetlin & De Chiara becomes their unwavering advocate. We recognize issues quickly and advocate proficiently on technical matters because we combine our focus on the legal and business issues that are inherent to construction with previous experience in architecture, engineering, construction and real estate.
Zetlin & De Chiara successfully obtained pre-answer dismissal of numerous litigations against design professionals, including wrongful death and substantial property damage claims.
Zetlin & De Chiara brings this depth of experience to every dispute resolution forums--- courtroom trials, mediations, arbitrations, appeals and administrative proceedings. We develop strategies that mitigate potential damages and outline practical solutions in the most effective terms. We frame the issues not just in legal terms, but how will the potential outcomes impact their project, business and future livelihood. Our attorneys deliver persuasive, cost-effective presentations at both the state and federal levels in a broad range of construction claims.
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
Zetlin & De Chiara understands the taxing effects of long-term litigation, which is why the firm is dedicated to offering its clients alternative forms of dispute resolution. As a third-party mediator, Zetlin & De Chiara is ready to resolve issues fairly for all parties in a timely and professional manner. We leverage our extensive understanding of the legal landscape and recognize the importance of personal, human interactions to award all parties a swift resolution without resorting to litigation.
Representative Legal Actions
- Complex contract claims
- Scope of services
- Changed conditions
- Property damages
- Errors and omissions
- Construction defects
- Design and delay claims
- Construction safety claims
- Fee claims
- Surety claims
- Construction-related disputes between adjacent property owners
- ADA and FHA Claims (Department of Justice)
- $400 Million Convention Center Dispute in Washington, D.C.
- 14-unit Condominium Conversion
- Apartment Building Construction and Tenant Disputes
- Arbitration Award in Favor of Worldwide Residential Building Developer
- Arbitration Relating to the Construction of an Overseas Government Facility
- Brooklyn Townhouse
- California Property Litigation
- Clark Art Institute Museum Expansion
- Columbia University Science Facility Contractor Dispute
- Compensation for Extensive Damage to a Landmarked Building
- Condominium Development Litigation
- Condominium Project Dispute Resolved in Arbitration
- Condominium Project Litigation
- Delay Claim at International Airport
- Development of a New Municipal Water Supply by a Hydro-Geological Firm
- Dismissal of a Multi-Million Dollar Mechanic's Lien
- Dismissal of Claims in Bridge Litigation
- Dispute Resolution and Contract Development for Billion Dollar Project in South Florida
- Enforced Lease Obligations for a High-Profile Historic Building
- Federal Court ERISA/Alter Ego Action
- Fit-out Work Mixed-use Structure
- Five-Star Miami Hotel Arbitration
- Florida Bio Mass Fuel Plant Litigation
- Fortune 500 Company's New York City Sports Facility Construction Dispute
- Global Monetary Organization World Headquarters Litigation
- Government Facility Reconstruction Litigation
- High-Rise Contract Claims Dispute Resolution
- High-Rise Mixed Use Building Arbitration
- High-Rise Residential Tower Projects in New Jersey
- Higher Education Medical Research Facility Litigation
- Highway and Bridge Project Litigation
- Highway Transportation and Bridge Design Litigation
- Hospital-Related Entities Construction Contracts for New and Renovation Projects
- International Condominium Project Arbitration
- Large Retrofit Project Arbitration
- Large Sporting Facility Litigation
- Litigated a Series of Suits in the Construction of a High-Rise Condominium in San Francisco
- Logan Airport Expansion Project Dispute
- Long Island City Lots Litigation
- Luxury High-Rise Residential Tower Projects Across Manhattan
- Luxury Residential Project Construction Delayed by COVID-19
- Luxury Resort Hotel in Florida
- Manhattan Apartment Interior Design Dispute
- Manhattan Transportation Center Telecommunications System Construction Dispute
- Medical Institution in the Bronx
- Minnesota Data Center Lawsuit
- Mission-Critical Data Center Dispute
- Mixed-Use Building Litigation
- Mold Claims Plague a Multi-Use High-Rise Structure in South Florida
- Multi-Million Dollar Airport Terminal Design Defect Claim
- Multi-Purpose Dome Stadium Reconstruction
- Multinational Energy Firm Dispute With An European Equipment Supplier
- Music Venue Developer Dispute Resolution
- New Facilities for a Private Education Institution in New York
- Obtained Federal RICO Claims Related to NFL Football Stadium in Ohio
- Office Building in New Jersey
- Owner's Claim for Inadequate Construction
- Post Hurricane Sandy Reconstruction Litigation
- Prestigious West Coast Museum Lawsuit
- Prevailed on Behalf of an Owner/Developer in a Virtual Bench Trial
- Private School Drainage System
- Pro Bono Dispute Resolution For a Not-For-Profit Corporation
- Property Damage Claims Against a Utility Company
- Public Roadway Collapse Litigation
- Public School Building Construction Litigation
- Rebuilding of a Prominent Theatre in New York City's Famed Theatre District
- Renovation and Redesign of Correctional Facility Fee Dispute
- Represented EPC Contractor in Contractual Dispute
- Represented Federal Government in Claim Brought by Contractor
- Residential Development HVAC System Installation Arbitration
- Residential Development Litigation
- Residential Property Waterproofing and Mold Remediation Litigation
- Residential Tower Arbitration
- Residential Tower Developer Dispute With A Contractor
- Science Museum Litigation in Connecticut
- Single-Family Residential Construction Projects in New York
- Solar Power Construction Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
- Southern California Museum
- Sports/Entertainment Company Venue Renovations in New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas.
- State of the Art Industrial Production Facility Litigation
- Subpar Air and Water Quality Claims Dispute
- Summary Judgment Granted in a Residential Project Lawsuit Involving a Defective Design
- Transportation Facility Dispute
- University Laboratory Design and Delay Dispute
- Vermont Resort Litigation
- Washington D.C. Residential Condominium Litigation
- Waste-to-Energy Facility Design Litigation
- Wind Farm Dispute
- Wrongful Death Claim Defense Involving Construction of an Art Museum
News & Events
- 04.18.2022New York Real Estate Journal
Twenty years ago, the New York Law Journal published an article about a then little-used law that authorized courts to grant a license to a property owner or developer unable to make repairs or improvements to its property without entering onto a neighbor’s property (See Little-Used Law Helps Developers Held Hostage, N.Y.L.J. Aug. 14, 2002). The law in question, Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law (“RPAPL”) Section 881, authorized a judicial license where a neighbor refused permission to access its property for necessary construction and repairs. It also provided the court with flexibility to set conditions on the license upon “such terms as justice requires.”
In a major victory for real estate developers and New York City, a New York State Appellate Court has overturned a decision preventing the completion of a new 55-story condominium building at 200 Amsterdam Avenue.
- 04.28.2020Steel Institute of America
Construction sites close down for emergencies—whether or not everyone involved is ready. The COVID-19 lockdown adds new forms of operational and legal uncertainty. Yet a shutdown needn’t be a disaster: it’s time to plan, anticipate potential problems, and upgrade procedures.
Billy Joel's litigation with a former contractor over work performed in his Long Island home was featured in an article in Newsday. The rockstar is being represented by Zetlin & De Chiara LLP. The firm is quoted in the article.
- 07.14.2022NY Building Congress to Host a Panel Discussion, “ADR” Alternative Dispute Resolution: A Legal Alternative to Workers Compensation Insurance for Infrastructure and ConstructionThe Harmonie Club, 4 East 60th Street, New York
Michael Zetlin Esq. (Moderator) - Senior Partner, Zetlin and De Chiara LLP
Don Naber - EVP, Safety, Risk and Insurance, Gilbane Building Company
Jack Frasier - SVP, American Global LLC
Brian Palmer - AVP, Claims Advocate Lead, Alliant Insurance Services/Construction Services
Nadeem Mir - Clinical Director, First Care
Michael Zetlin, Senior Partner at Zetlin & De Chiara LLP, moderated a panel discussion hosted by the New York Building Congress -"ADR" Alternative Dispute Resolution: A Legal Alternative to Workers Compensation Insurance for Infrastructure and Construction on July 14th, at the Harmonie Club, 4 East 60th Street, New York.
- 11.08.2021Champion or Challenger - How the DRB Process is Viewed Through the Lens of the Designer and EngineerVirtual
Loryn Riggiola, Partner
Loryn Riggiola, Partner will speak as a member of a panel at The Dispute Resolution Board Foundation 25th Annual Connections Conference on November 8-10, 2021. The conference will address The "New" P3: Past, Present and Post-Pandemic DBs.
The panel, Champion or Challenger - How the DRB Process is Viewed Through the Lens of the Designer and Engineer will address how engineers / designers think about the DRB process.
We often hear from project owners, CMs, and contractors, but what do the engineers / designers think about the DRB process? A panel of major project designers will discuss this perspective.
Ali Chaudhry, Senior Vice President, AECOM
Ed Hunter, Technical Advisor, HNTB
Matthew Neuringer, Senior Associate, Orrick Law Firm
Loryn Riggiola, Partner,Zetlin & De Chiara LLP
David Ryan, Senior Vice President-Boston, AECOM
Loryn Riggiola, Partner
Loryn Riggiola, Partner, Zetlin & De Chiara LLP, joins a panel on June 10, 2021, 1:30-2:30 entitled Understand the Arbitral Decision-Making Model and What Advocates Can Do to Protect the Award. This panel will dicuss the differing arbitral decision-making philosophies and recent challenges to arbitral awards. The application of law, equity, fairness, and justness can serve as a means by which an arbitrator can reach a decision. Each model has its own unique characteristics, and understanding these approaches and their limits is key to avoiding improper or frustrating outcomes in arbitration. Along with the arbitrator, advocates have a role to play in the rendering of an enforceable award, and all participants should have an appreciation for the nature of recent challenges to arbitral awards. The panel will also offer practical tips for drafting arbitration agreements, conducting discovery, and the presentation of evidence to assist arbitrators in making enforceable awards.
Michael De Chiara, Senior Partner
Ted von Rosenvinge, GeoDesign Engineers
A discussion of the lessons learned, both legal and technical, arising from the Millennium Tower project in San Francisco. The Millennium Tower is a 58 story luxury rental building, home to many high-profile profile that started to skink and tile after completion. One corner of the Tower descended at least 18 inches. The speakers were instrumental in resolving the dispute that ensued.
Michael K. De Chiara, Zetlin & De Chiara; Scott Frank-JB&B; Josephine Zurica-Dagher Engineering
This program will present key aspects of ACEC New York's LL97 Reference Guide White Paper. Michael De Chiara will discuss design team liability.
Michael De Chiara-Zetlin & De Chiara LLP
Jeremy Butkovich - Shannon & Wilson, Steve DeSimone - DeSimone Consulting Engineers, Leo E. Argiris - Arup, and George Leventis - Langan. Panel in formation.
A New Paradigm for Pre-Construction Engineering Analysis
Recent events in both New York and San Francisco have highlighted a much under-appreciated but enormous risk caused by most large construction projects in dense urban environments.
The effects of major construction projects on adjoining properties are not sufficiently understood. When the unanticipated problems occur they often result in significant damages, which can equal the entire cost of the new project.
The proper analysis of these effects involve advanced geotechnical and structural analysis, often not undertaken in large complex projects.
We will cite several well-known situations which could have been avoided if this new level of pre-construction analysis was undertaken.
Jaimee L. Nardiello, Partner, Panelist
Jaimee Nardiello, Partner, will participate in a panel that will discuss Contract and Common Law Claims, Prosecution of Claims and Remedies.
Tara Mulrooney, Partner
Join Tara Mulrooney, Partner, as she participates in an interactive discussion with a panel of lawyers, architects and construction professionals as they explore ways to navigate the issues facing projects in the age of COVID-19.
James Terry, Partner and Timothy Hegarty, Partner
How to Address the Impact on Development, Construction and Design:
Answers for the Construction Community
- 08.15.2019Partner Loryn R. Riggiola Spoke at the American Arbitration Association - International Centre for Dispute ResolutionThe American Arbitration Association – International Centre for Dispute Resolution (AAA-ICDR)
Loryn Riggiola - Partner
Aisha Nadar - Consultant, Advokatfirman Runeland AB, Board Member, FIDIC; Levi W. Barrett - Senior Counsel, Peckar & Abramson, P.C.; Albert Bates, Jr. - Partner, Pepper Hamilton LLP; and Kenneth W. Cobleigh, Esq. - Managing Director and Counsel, The American Institute of Architects
Partner Loryn P. Riggiola spoke on the panel “Understanding the Dispute Management Provisions Pursuant to the FIDIC and Other Industry Form Contract Documents and their Application to Mega Projects – An International and Domestic Construction ADR Overview ” at the American Arbitration Association – International Centre for Dispute Resolution (AAA-ICDR).
- 07.26.2022Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as a Legal Alternative to Workers Compensation Insurance for Infrastructure and Construction
Zetlin & De Chiara senior partner Michael Zetlin moderated a thought-provoking panel discussion for the NY Building Congress on “Alternative Dispute Resolution as a Legal Alternative to Workers Compensation Insurance for Infrastructure and Construction” on July 14 at the Harmonie Club.
New York State has significantly expanded the requirements covering disclosure of insurance-related information in commercial litigation commenced on or after December 31, 2021.
Governor Kathy Hochul signed the Comprehensive Insurance Disclosure Act into law on December 31, 2021, and signed a remedial law on February 24, 2022, to limit some of the more onerous and worrisome aspects of the new disclosure regime (together the “Act”). The Act amends a subsection of the Civil Practice Law and Rules (“CPLR”) governing the scope of disclosure under CPLR 3101(f) and added certification requirements under CPLR 3122-b.
In recent weeks, there has been a long list of companies, from all industries spanning from construction/engineering to fashion and hospitality, that have announced that they are completely severing ties with Russia, while a host of others have announced a temporary halt. See Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld, Over 400 Companies Have Withdrawn from Russia – But Some Remain, Yale School of Management (Updated Mar. 21, 2022), https://som.yale.edu/story/2022/over-400-companies-have-withdrawn-russia-some-remain?utm_campaign=mb. For those developers, EPC contractors, and design professionals (engineers and architects) who have construction projects in Russia, the question is, “How should we proceed?”
New York City developers collectively sighed with relief when 200 Amsterdam, a mixed-use, high-rise building on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, was saved from the guillotine when a New York State intermediate appellate court reversed a lower court’s decision that retroactively revoked the developer’s building permit for an as-of-right development. The affirmance of the controversial ruling, issued by the New York County Supreme Court on February 27, 2020, would have resulted in the demolition of more than 20 top floors of the fully-constructed 668 feet high 55-story tower.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority (“MTA”) recently published and implemented revised regulations relating to “Contractor” debarment.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the way we work--whether in an office or out in the field--has changed significantly, and in some cases in an extremely short amount of time--even overnight in some cases. Without available technology, this unprecedented shift would have been impossible. The abrupt, industry-wide transition to virtual working has led to a new understanding of the practicality and possibilities inherent in many new technologies. As construction sites throughout the U.S. begin reopening after shutdowns or ramping up after slowdowns or suspensions, these technologies may play an even larger role in a project's success.
To read the article, please click here.
Following our webinar, COVID-19 Challenges to the Construction Industry, we assembled a Questions & Answers based upon questions participants posed and to issues we discussed.
- 08.22.2019Feasibility Study on Utilizing the Internet and Information Technology to Improve the Efficiency and Transparency of Litigation and Arbitration ProceedingsPFCCL
This article is written in Chinese, an English translation is forthcoming.