Watt Tieder Spring 2024 Newsletter


California Law Update: Senate Bill 235 And Initial Disclosures – New Requirements and Practical Considerations


By Brent N. Mackay, Partner and Kyle S. Case, Associate
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Mediation Uncompromised: Mastering the Art of Changing Minds & Influencing Opinions

By Christopher Brasco, Senior Partner
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Handling Responsibility for AI in Construction

By Brian C. Padove, Partner and John E. Sebastian, Senior Partner
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The (Jurisdictional) Rebranding of the CDA’s Sum Certain Requirement

By Jordan A. Hutcheson and Stephanie Rolfsness, Associates
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Watt Tieder Celebrates 45th Anniversary

What began as a boutique law firm specializing in construction and surety law issues has grown significantly, with involvement over the years in major mass transit and clean water projects as well as the Boston’s “Big Dig,” the Alvin W. Vogtle 3&4 nuclear units, the levee failures in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement project. We’ve also developed an international practice with work related to projects in countries including China, Colombia, Greece, Ghana, New Zealand, Dubai, Taiwan, Singapore, Germany, Canada, and the post-conflict reconstruction of Afghanistan. Thanks to our clients, colleagues, and friends who have been a big part of our success. We look forward to continuing those relationships — and building new ones — in the years to come. Read more

Senior Partner Vivian Katsantonis Named Fellow of ACCL

We are proud to announce that Senior Partner Vivian Katsantonis was inducted into the American College of Construction Lawyers. The ACCL, an invitation-only association for construction law practitioners, recognizes attorneys who are distinguished by their excellence in skill, experience, and high standards of professional and ethical conduct in the specialized practice of construction law. Read more

Senior Partner Shelly Ewald Joins Ranks of Past Presidents of the ACCL

Congratulations to Shelly Ewald for a successful year as President of the American College of Construction Lawyers (ACCL), as she now joins the ranks of past presidents. Read more

Meet our New Attorney Paige Fasone

Paige Fasone, an Associate in our Chicago office, focuses on construction law, suretyship, and insurance coverage. Paige has extensive experience in resolving disputes through litigation, arbitration, and mediation on behalf of a wide array of construction industry clients including premises owners, general contractors, subcontractors, product manufacturers, and product distributors.
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American Bar Association TIPS Section Conference

We attended the American Bar Association TIPS Section Conference, the premier CLE conference for insurance, defense, corporate, and plaintiffs’ attorneys, where Senior Partner Rob Niesley joined a panel discussion on billing procedures, financial metrics, diversity, and inclusion. Read more

Western States Surety Conference

What is the ethical impact of AI in surety and insurance? Watt Tieder lawyer Kyle Case delved into this topic at the Western States Surety Conference in Seattle. In addition to discussing the California Commission finding that the use of AI resulted in increased discrimination, he addressed how to combat the ethical risks of using AI as well as the use of AI in underwriting, claims handling/review, and fraud detection. Read more

American Arbitration Association Construction Conference

David McPherson from our Irvine, CA office and Jonathan Burwood from our Boston, MA office, attended the American Arbitration Association Construction Conference on the intersection of emerging technologies and alternative dispute resolution. David participated in a panel discussion focusing on lawyers’ ethical obligations in light of these emerging technologies. Read more

Paris Arbitration Week

Shelly Ewald attended Paris Arbitration Week, bringing a wealth of global arbitration experience to this premiere event, which covered cutting-edge topics such as infrastructure & energy disputes, the rise of AI, sports law & the Olympics, termination of construction contracts, and more. Read more

Associated General Contractors of America Annual Convention

Watt Tieder attorneys Christopher Brasco and Matthew Baker attended the Construction Documents Forum Meeting during the Associated General Contractors of America Annual Convention. Read more


Watt Tieder Ranked as a Construction Law Leader by Chambers and Partners

Watt Tieder has been ranked for 20 years as a construction law leader by Chambers and Partners, “the definitive mark of excellence across the legal industry.” Rankings assess areas like technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, diligence, commitment, and more. Several of our attorneys across the country are also ranked individually. Congratulations to: David McPherson, Robert Niesley, Jane Kearl, Bradford Carver, Jonathan Burwood, Rob Barbour, Shelly Ewald, Carter B. Reid, Christopher Brasco, Kathleen O. Barnes, and Vivian Katsantonis. Learn more

Daniel Butler recognized by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star

Congratulations to Daniel Butler in our Irvine, CA office for recognition by Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, as a Rising Star. Daniel practices in the areas of construction law, suretyship, and commercial litigation, and this is his fourth year being recognized as a Rising Star. Read more

Community Engagement

Watt Tieder Attorneys Coach George Mason University Law School Vis Moot Team

Watt Tieder marked its 12th year coaching the George Mason University – Antonin Scalia Law School Vis Moot team. Congratulations to the students, coached by Shelly Ewald, Kathleen O. Barnes, and Robert Cimmino, for a great competition in Vienna, Austria. Learn more

Christopher Brasco Gives Talk to GWU Students on Contracts and Specifications

Senior partner Christopher Brasco gave a talk to engineering students at George Washington University on contracts and specifications, sharing his breadth of experience resolving disputes in high-profile construction projects across the globe. Read more

Fundraiser for the United Way Miami

It was an honor to be a sponsor of the 2024 VeritageMiami dinner, part of a series of events that raised more than $1 million to benefit United Way Miami in its mission to empower families with high-quality early education, resources for financial resilience, and leading emergency response and relief efforts. Watt Tieder partners Jonathan Burwood and Mariela Malfeld participated in the Interactive Dinner, where celebrity chef Jeremy Ford taught a master class in gourmet cooking. This annual food and wine series “is a testament to the enduring power of collective action, where every bite and sip serves a greater cause.” Read more