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.


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)


Representative Matters

News & Events



  • event

    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

  • event

    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.

  • event

    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. 

  • event

    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.

  • event

    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.

  • event

    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. 

  • event

    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.

  • event

    James Terry, Partner and Timothy Hegarty, Partner

    How to Address the Impact on Development, Construction and Design: 

    Answers for the Construction Community

  • event
    The 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).


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