Robert C. Niesley

(949) 852-6700

Rob Niesley focuses his practice in the areas of construction and suretyship. He has successfully tried cases in state court, federal court, bankruptcy court, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and various arbitration forums.

After a recent 2013 jury trial success wherein Rob’s client recovered punitive damages against the defendant, the client commented: “Rob’s cross-examination of the defendant’s SVP/General Counsel was unrelenting. Machine gun fire would have been kinder/gentler. . . . The closing was a gem. Rob shared a great story (I could almost smell campfire smoke).”

Rob’s litigation practice focuses upon the prosecution of construction affirmative claims against private and public owners throughout the United States. Rob is an expert in handling cases involving differing site conditions, lost productivity and construction delay claims. He has handled lawsuits involving all types of construction projects including, but not limited to: bridges, hotels, resorts, high-rises and mid-rises, dams, wharfs, freeways, airports, military facilities, schools, universities, student housing, subdivisions, sewage treatment facilities, underground sewer and water, prisons, city jails, harbor and bay dredging, environmental remediation, fire safety, luxury homes, streets, gutters, sidewalks, and parking structures.


  • Chambers USA – list of Top Construction Lawyers in California – 2012-2023
  • Best Lawyers in America, Construction Law Category – 2010-2023
  • Best Lawyers, Litigation Construction – Orange County – 2019-2023
  • Southern California Super Lawyers 2007 – 2023
  • Legal 500 United States – 2009-2023


  • MEPCO Services, Inc. and Hartford Fire Insurance Company v. Opus Bank , Superior Court of California, County of Orange, Case No. 30-2012-00566177-CU-BC-CJC (2013).
  • City of Brawley v. Insurance Company of the West , Superior Court of California, County of San Diego, Case No. 37-2010-0091289-BC-CTL (2012).
  • Safeco Insurance Company of America v. County of San Bernadino , USDC – Central District of California, Case No. EDCV 05-194-VAP (OPx) (2007).
  • Ladd and Associates: Safeco Insurance Company of America v. County of Ventura , California Office of Administrative Hearings, Arbitration No. A-0025-04 (2006).
  • Amwest Surety Insurance Company v. Patriot Homes, Inc., 135 Cal. App. 4 th 82 (2005).
  • Travelers Casualty & Surety Insurance v. Dennis J. Amoroso Construction, Inc., 2004 WL 1918890 (N.D. CA) (2004).


  • American Bar Association
    • Fidelity and Surety Law Committee, Vice Chair, 2011 – 2016, 2023-present
    • Fidelity and Surety Law Committee, Construction Law Subdivision, Co-Chair, 2011
    • Forum on the Construction Industry
    • Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section
    • Public Contract Law Section
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Orange County Bar Association

Speaking Engagements & Publications

  • Program Chair, Fidelity and Surety Law Committee, Midwinter Meeting, Construction Law Program, January 2024, Austin, Texas
  • Co-Author:  Force Majeure:  “Navigating the Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Contract Performance Obligations,” March 2020
  • Program Co-Chair: “Construction Damages: An In-Depth Analysis,” American Bar Association Fidelity & Surety Law Committee Mid-Winter Meeting, January 2013.
  • Speaker: “Litigating Performance Bond Claims,” American Bar Association, Fidelity and Surety Law Committee, Midwinter Meeting, January 2012.
  • Author and Speaker: “Payment Bond Claims Handling and the Law of Bad Faith,” Chapter 14, Law of Payment Bonds , American Bar Association, June 2011.
  • Author and Speaker: “Performance Bond Options,” Chapter 3, Law of Performance Bonds, American Bar Association, 2009.
  • Speaker: “Anatomy of the Claims Process – Bonds versus Subcontractor Default Insurance,” National Association of Surety Bond Producers, Regions 1, 2 and 3 Annual Meeting, October, 5, 2007.
  • Speaker: “Fraudulent Transfers and the Surety,” Pearlman Conference, 2006.
  • Speaker: “The Contractor, the Surety and the Federal Government,” a Watt Tieder seminar, multiple locations throughout 2004.
  • Speaker: “Construction Scheduling 101: Understanding Construction Scheduling, Critical Path Analysis, Delay, Disruption and the Rights of the Surety,” a Watt Tieder seminar, multiple locations throughout 2003.
  • Author and Speaker: “Spearin 101 – Understanding the Implied Warranty of the Accuracy of Plans and Specifications,” American Bar Association Midwinter Meeting 2001.
  • Editor: Model Surety Jury Instructions, American Bar Association, 2000.
  • Contributing Editor: Shepard’s California Construction Law Reporter, 1999.

Areas of Practice

  • Construction
  • Surety


  • University of San Diego, J.D., 1987
  • University of San Diego, B.A., 1984

Bar Admissions

  • California

Court Admissions

  • All U.S. District Courts for the State of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit