John concentrates his practice in the area of construction law, regularly representing contractors and subcontractors nationwide. John negotiates construction contracts, advises clients in risk mitigation and dispute resolution strategies, and represents clients in all phases of litigation in state and federal court, as well as before other various dispute resolution panels. In addition to his construction practice, John regularly represents his clients in a wide range of other business disputes, including contract disputes, supply chain litigation, and other commercial disputes that arise during the course of his clients’ day-to-day businesses. He strives to effectively advocate on behalf of his clients and favorably resolve disputes as effectively as possible so that his clients can focus on their day-to-day operations instead of legal issues.
John believes that early involvement with clients helps effectively manage disputes, mitigate risks, and increases the likelihood of achieving successful project outcomes. That is why John regularly engages with clients early on in disputes so that he can help the client achieve the best possible outcome in the most cost-effective manner, all while counseling his clients on the risks and benefits at each stage of the process. The subject matters of these disputes cover a wide range of issues that arise during the course of construction, including project delays, construction defects, change order disputes, differing site conditions, labor productivity losses and inefficiencies, failure to pay, contract interpretation, insurance coverage, design errors and omissions, mechanics liens, payment and performance bonds, and statutory violations including prompt pay issues.
When not representing his clients in court, mediation, or arbitration, John is frequently called upon to draft, review, and negotiate construction contracts including general contracts, subcontracts, supply purchase orders, and sub-consultant agreements. He uses his litigation experience to assist his clients in anticipating potential legal issues, pinpointing contract provisions that are ripe for dispute, identifying risks, and appropriately allocating identified risks. These negotiations include both public and private owners on projects such as capital improvements and new construction of medical facilities, schools, mixed-use developments, various commercial structures, and heavy highway construction.
John’s government contracting practice focuses on representing contractors in contract negotiations and claims related to state and local construction projects. This part of John’s practice includes helping his clients throughout the RFP process when reviewing bid documents and responding to RFPs, including proposing modifications to the Contract Documents. John also regularly represents his clients throughout the dispute resolution processes established and facilitated by the various state and local public authorities in the State of Ohio, as well as qualifying for and maintaining certain certifications with state and local agencies in Ohio, including advising clients related to the various programs facilitated by the Equal Opportunity Division of the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, such as Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Veteran-Friendly Business Enterprise Program (VBE), Women Business Enterprise Program (WBE), and Encouraging Diversity, Growth, and Equity Programs (EDGE).
John is active in construction-related organizations, which allows him to stay abreast of the current issues and developments in the industry that affect contractors on a daily basis. He is a member of the Builders Exchange of Central Ohio (“BX”), the Associated General Contractors of Ohio, the Ohio Contractor’s Association, the Columbus Bar Association’s Construction Law Committee, and the American Bar Association’s Forum on Construction Law.
Honoree, Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation (2024)
CALI Awards – Contracts
All Service Areas
- Cleveland State University College of Law (2012)
- Muskingum College (2009)
B.A. in Business, Economics
- State - Ohio
- Federal - Northern District of Ohio
- Federal - Southern District of Ohio
- First chair for general contractor in appeal against municipality challenging a liquidated damages provision of a public works project in the Fourth District Court of Appeals and Ohio Supreme Court, including oral argument before the Ohio Supreme Court. See Boone Coleman Constr., Inc. v. Village of Piketon, 2014-Ohio-2377, reversed by Ohio Supreme Court, 2016-Ohio-628, 2014-0978, Oral Argument 06/09/2015 available here.
- Second chair trial counsel in jury trial for construction manager against developer regarding unsigned $500,000 change order for tenant improvement work in retail shopping center not shown on base building drawings. Obtained summary judgment as to liability on theory of unjust enrichment and ultimately obtained approximately $500,000 jury verdict after jury trial on damages.
- Second chair trial counsel for general contractor in litigation matter against Ohio Department of Transportation in the Ohio Court of Claims concerning bid protest dispute and claims for additional work performed on public improvement project.
- Represented Tier-1 Supplier in contract dispute with Tier-2 supplier regarding price and quantity of materials to be shipped and incorporated into product for OEM, including obtaining a preliminary injunction requiring Tier-2 supplier to continue shipping parts at previously-agreed price pending resolution of dispute.
- Member of litigation team for mechanical contractor with eight figure claims against a Fortune 100 engineering and manufacturing company involving a $60 million design build natural gas conversion project.
- Represented general contractor against Ohio Department of Transportation arising out of significant additional costs arising out of changed conditions discovered during the course of the construction of two non-buried bridges.
- Represented general contractor against developer related to contract dispute and claim for unpaid balance of contract.
- Member of the litigation team representing material supplier in dispute related to major solar farm construction projects spanning 13 states in $7M claim against German manufacturer’s U.S. subsidiary in the U.S. District Court of North Carolina, Western District. The litigation involved claims of breach of contract, fraud, prompt payment claims, unfair and deceptive trade practices claims, and other extraordinary relief.
Speeches and Publications
- Presenter, “Bidding on Public Projects,” Managing Ohio Public Construction Projects Webinar, December 15, 2022.
- Presenter, “Contracting for Public Projects,” Managing Ohio Public Construction Projects Webinar, December 15, 2022.
- Presenter, “COVID-19 Contractors Playbook: Employment, Loans and Construction Contract Issues,” NARI Greater Cleveland Webinar, May 13, 2020.
- Presenter, “Improve Your Contracts to Improve Your Bottom Line: Contract Provisions that Contractors Need,” NARI Greater Cleveland General Membership Meeting & Educational Conference, February 21, 2018.
- Ohio State Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- Columbus Bar Association
Construction Law Committee, Chair
- Builders Exchange of Central Ohio
- Associated General Contractors (ACG)
- Ohio Contractors Association