J. David Arkell
David's areas of practice are alternative dispute resolution and construction law. He arbitrates and mediates construction disputes as a trained and experienced neutral decision maker or facilitator. He advises owners, general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and sureties on planning and dispute avoidance, as well as dispute resolution through negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and litigation. He drafts and negotiates construction contracts and other documents for both private and public construction projects.
Construction Litigation, Arbitration and Mediation
David has more than 35 years' experience helping construction clients resolve disputes through litigation, arbitration and mediation. David's experience includes representation of:
- A public-entity owner of two major hospital projects in connection with disputes between the owner and the architect; issues included design defects, standard of care, contractual interpretation and damages.
- The public-entity owner of a major power plant conversion project; issues included design defects and other defective performance by an engineer, bankruptcy in France of a major supplier, delays and inefficiency analysis, damages, and negotiation of contract documents.
- A private owner of a power generation facility in disputes with the general contractor; issues included delays, defective performance, damages and contract interpretation.
- A municipality in disputes with a general contractor on a highway project; issues included delays and inefficiencies, differing site conditions, defective performance, damages and contract interpretation.
- A painting contractor in disputes with the owner of two large apartment complexes; issues included statute of limitations and other procedural questions,; technical analysis of coatings and other expert analysis, contract interpretation, and measure of damages.
- A major heavy-highway and paving contractor in disputes arising from construction of runways at Denver International Airport; the issues included compliance with specifications, contract interpretation, technical materials testing disputes, damages, and alleged falsification of concrete test results.
- A surety which took over a project upon default of the principal; issues involved priority of different types of claims against contract balance, propriety of payments under the payment bond, and subrogation.
- Two subcontractors in disputes arising from construction of privately owned structures on publicly owned property; issues included the validity, extent, and value of mechanics' liens, performance and breach of contract, and measure of damages.
- The operator of an oil well in a dispute with a working interest owner arising from the original mislocation of the well; issues included validity and accuracy of the original government survey, the effect of a government resurvey, interpretation of a joint operating agreement, and existence and measure of damages.
- A mining engineering firm in disputes involving several Colorado gold mines; issues included mechanics' liens, contract interpretation and performance, and damages.
- A subcontractor in connection with a road project linked to the Mike O'Callaghan/Pat Tillman bridge below Hoover Dam in Arizona and Nevada; issues included differing site conditions, performance and interpretation of contract, and entitlement to and measure of damages.
David also counsels contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, owners and sureties in all aspects of the construction process from bidding and contract issues through performance and resolution of disputes.
David drafts and negotiates contracts for various entities involved in construction projects around the nation. Representative matters include:
- Prepared a full suite of standard contract documents for a major sporting goods retailer for construction projects in all 50 states.
- Drafted and negotiated a design-build general contract, including allocation of risk arising from known expansive soils, for the developer of a major apartment project in Colorado.
- Represented a major regional hospital in connection with contracts for a major expansion program.
- Provided pro bono representation of a private school in Denver in connection with drafting and negotiating a general contract for demolition and construction of several buildings.
David has arbitrated and mediated many construction disputes as a neutral for more than 30 years; claims have included contract interpretation, breach of contract, construction defects, delays, damages, inefficiency, design defects, differing site conditions, damages, mechanics' liens, and surety and insurance issues. He is a member of the American Contractor Association National Regular, large complex arbitration panels and the American Arbitration Association’s Colorado Mediation Panel. He also serves as a neutral mediate and arbitrator in “private” engagements.
Engagement as a Dispute Resolution Neutral
Because of his extensive expertise on construction contracts and disputes, David is from time to time called on to serve in unique roles related to construction litigation. Special engagements include:
- Engaged as an expert witness on attorney's fees and mechanics' lien issues.
- Appointed by district court as a special master on disputes arising from a failed golf course project; issues included entitlement to and amount of mechanics' liens and damages.
- Denver Best Lawyers — Construction Lawyer of the Year, 2012
- The Best Lawyers in America — Construction Law, 2007-15 (Denver Construction Litigation Lawyer of the Year, 2015)
- Super Lawyers — Construction Litigation, 2006-13
- Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business — Real Estate: Construction, 2005-14
- 5280 Magazine’s Best Lawyers in Denver – Construction Lawyer, 2015
David has presented numerous seminars on construction law topics for clients, construction trade groups, and related construction organizations during his career. Topics include delays, damages, differing site conditions, contract clauses, mechanics' liens, bonds, inefficiencies, construction and design defects, scheduling, bid protests, and dispute resolution procedures.