Biography

John's decades of legal service to the construction industry have cultivated a fine-tuned and practical approach. As a trial attorney and counselor serving the construction industry, John's clients include contractors, subcontractors, design professionals, material suppliers, and developers, as well as both public and private project owners. John’s clients rely on his efficiency, common sense, and results-oriented approach to solving their legal problems.

In more than twenty years representing clients in construction disputes, John has litigated, arbitrated and mediated in the state and federal courts of New England and beyond. With an engineering background, he is well-suited to deal with contractors, architects and engineers, and the complex technical issues arising in construction litigation. John has litigated complex construction disputes involving changed conditions, delay and inefficiency, force majeure, design malpractice and construction defects. He also has extensive experience counseling public and private project owners, contractors and design professionals in the area of design and construction services procurement including bid protests, and drafting and negotiation of design and construction contracts.

In addition to construction matters, John represents businesses, financial institutions and individuals in complex commercial disputes including business torts, fraudulent transfers, enforcement of security agreements, insurance coverage issues, Uniform Commercial Code matters and commercial foreclosures.

John holds a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering and is a patented inventor (Patent No. 5,248,244). John now lives in Cumberland, Maine, with his wife and two sons. When not in his office, he can be found enjoying Maine’s woods and waters with his family.

Representative Litigation Matters

  • Represented one of the nation’s largest geotechnical subcontractors in claims against a major general contractor arising from construction of pier improvements at an east coast naval facility.
  • Provided defense in a four-week jury trial of a quasi-state agency in $22 million differing site condition claim arising out of the construction of $100 million marine terminal.
  • Successfully filed a motion to dismiss a design malpractice claim arising out of alleged defective specifications on project for renovation of submarine repair facility at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, ME. Fletch’s Sandblasting & Painting, Inc. v. Fay, Spofford and Thorndike d/b/a Stantec Consulting Services, Inc., 2019 WL 847731.
  • Represented Chapter 11 trustee in connection with preference and fraudulent transfer claims, and directors and officers’ breach of fiduciary duty claims.
  • Represented major gas utility in defense of $40 million claim by steel pipeline contractor.
  • Represented major gas utility in $10 million dispute involving pipeline contractor’s differing site condition claims and counterclaims for construction defects. Engagement included successful motion to dismiss under economic loss rule of negligent misrepresentation claims brought by pipeline contractor against major gas utility. Tetra Tech Construction, Inc. v. Summit Natural Gas of Maine, Inc., 2016 WL 3881056.
  • Represented bank in defense of $2 million tort claims arising out of real estate investment partnership.
  • Represented manufacturer/distributor of industrial floor coating materials in defense of claims arising out of failed flooring system at fish processing facility.
  • Represented manufacturer/erector of modular home in defense of tort claims arising out of alleged defective manufacture and construction leading to water infiltration and mold contamination.
  • Represented owner of supermarket chain in claims against contractor, architect and subcontractor arising out of collapse of supermarket roof.
  • Obtained judgment after bench trial, including penalties and attorneys’ fees, on breach of contract and Prompt Payment Act claims behalf of site work subcontractor on school construction project seeking to recover subcontract balance following wrongful termination. R.F. Jordan & Sons Construction, Inv. v. P.M. MacKay & Sons, Inc., 2006 WL 4911366.
  • Awarded summary judgment in favor of subcontractor, including penalties and attorneys’ fees, in Miller Act and Maine Prompt Payment Act Claims. U.S.A. f/b/o Doten’s Construction, Inc. v. JMG Excavating & Construction Co., Inc., 2005 WL 26007800.
  • Successfully defended Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority from motion for preliminary injunction seeking to halt or limit operation of Red Line subway.
  • Provided successful defense in taxpayer lawsuit seeking to halt design of school construction project. Mandell v. Town of Reading, 12 Mass.L.Rptr. 1 (2000).

Services / Industries

Education

  • University of Maine School of Law  (J.D.)
  • Syracuse University  (B.S.M.E.)

Public Service

  • Cumberland Bar Association - Board of Directors (2007-present; Past President)
  • Cromwell Center for Disabilities Awareness - Board of Directors (2018-present)
  • Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, Member of Board of Directors and Building Committee Chair (2005-2014)

Bar Admissions

  • Maine
  • Massachusetts

Memberships

  • Member, Cumberland County Bar Association

Honors

  • AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© under Construction Law, Litigation - Construction
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in New England Super Lawyers© under Construction Litigation
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in New England Rising Stars© under Construction Litigation: Business, Professional Liability: Defense and General Litigation

To learn more about third-party ratings and rankings, and the selection processes used for inclusion, click here.

Court and Other Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maine
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit