Attorneys at law
16 Market Square 6th Floor
1400 16th Street
Denver CO 80202-1486
Colorado tel 303 292 2900
North Dakota tel 701 264 3005
fax 303 292 4510

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Moye White
All rights reserved.

Moye White
June 18, 2018

J. David Arkell


David’s area of practice is construction law, and particularly arbitration and mediation of construction disputes. David has practiced law for more than 40 years and has regularly dealt with disputes regarding delays, differing site conditions, damages, inefficiency, contract interpretation and breach, surety and insurance issues, construction and design defects, mechanics’ liens and bond claims, and other issues.

David is a sole arbitrator, chairman, and panel member in construction disputes involving delays, scheduling, inefficiencies and loss of productivity, changes, unforeseen conditions, construction and design defects, termination, damages, contract interpretation, and many other factual and legal issues arising from construction disputes. Size of disputes arbitrated ranges from several tens of thousands to tens of millions of dollars.

David has mediated and arbitrated a multitude of disputes throughout the Rocky Mountain region in cases involving stakes from the mid five figures to the high seven figures. He is highly trained in alternative dispute resolution, and written and spoken on the topic (and many other construction-law topics) to bar associations, trade groups, legal educational organizations, and in other seminars for clients, construction professionals, and other groups. David is a member of the American Arbitration Association’s regular panel of arbitrators and its national panel for large and complex cases and is on the AAA’s Colorado Mediation Panel. He also accepts arbitration and mediation cases as a “private” ADR neutral.


Arbitration, mediation, and construction litigation 

David has more than 40 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; 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.


Construction contracts

David drafts and negotiates contracts for various entities involved in construction projects around the nation. Representative matters include:

  • Prepared a full suite of standard construction 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 condominium 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.

Special Engagements

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.


  • The Best Lawyers in America: Construction Law and Litigation-Construction, 2007 - 2018
  • Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers in America: Construction Law Denver, 2012 and 2018; Litigation-Construction Denver, 2015
  • Super Lawyers: Construction Litigation, 2006 - 2010 and 2012 - 2017
  • Chambers USA: Colorado, Real Estate: Construction, 2005 - 2014 and 2017
  • 5280 Magazine’s Best Lawyers in Denver: Construction Lawyer, 2015 - 2017
  • Author, “Uncertainty in Arbitration Agreements for Contracts”, ENR - Contractor Business Quarterly, October 2016

David has presented numerous seminars on construction law topics for clients, construction trade groups, and related construction organizations. Topics include delays, damages, differing site conditions, contract clauses, mechanics’ liens, bonds, inefficiencies, construction and design defects, scheduling, bid protests, and dispute resolution procedures.



Areas of concentration

Arbitration and mediation
Commercial and retail
Energy construction
Food and agriculture
Health care construction
Industrial construction
Litigation and advocacy
Multifamily housing and condo
Public-private partnerships (P3)

Education and credentials

University of Colorado, J.D., 
  Law Review
Claremont McKenna
  College, B.A.
Best Lawyers in America
  Construction Law and
  Litigation, 2007 - 2018;
Lawyer of the Year, Best
  Lawyers in America:
  Construction Law Denver
  2012 and 2018,
  Denver 2015
Super Lawyers: Construction 
  Litigation, 2006 - 2010 and
  2012 - 2018
Chambers USA: Colorado, Real 
  Estate: Construction, 2005 -
  2014 and 2017
5280 Magazine
    Top Lawyer 2015-2018


American Arbitration
  Association National
  Construction Industry
  Arbitration Panels for
  Regular and Large and
  Complex Cases;
  Construction Industry
  Mediation Panel
American Bar Association
  Forum on the Construction
Associated General Contractors
  of Colorado Board of
  Directors, Former member; 
  Associates Council, Former 
  Colorado Legislative
Colorado Bar Association 
  Alternative Dispute
  Resolution Section;
  Construction Law Section, 
  Former chair

Colorado State Courts
U.S. Court of Appeals for the
  Tenth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the
  District of Colorado
U.S. District Court for the
  District of Nevada
  - pro hac vice
U.S. District Court for the
  District of Utah - pro hac vice
U.S. District Court for the
  District of Wyoming
  - pro hac vice