John Ralls, Aaron Gruber, and Sam Niece have over 60 years of combined experience in construction litigation and each practiced at large international law firms before founding Ralls Gruber & Niece. John Ralls has been practicing Construction Litigation for over 25 years. He has tried construction cases to judges, juries, boards, and arbitrators throughout the country. During his career, John has contributed to numerous treatises and authored several articles on construction law topics. Aaron Gruber has been practicing for 15 years and worked as a licensed civil engineer before attending law school. He has tried cases to juries and arbitrators in multiple jurisdictions. Aaron also has a Master's Degree in Civil Engineering with a Construction Management emphasis. Sam Niece has been practicing construction law for 25 years after completing a decorated career in the Civil Engineer Corps of the United States Navy. Sam also has a degree in Civil Engineering and is a licensed civil engineer. John, Aaron, and Sam each speak frequently on construction law issues.

Representative Matters

  • Prosecuted a $50 million construction defect case on behalf of a public university system.
  • Litigated a multi-million dollar differing site condition and delay claim for a private contractor against
  • Tried a complex delay claim before a contract arising out of a military airport expansion.
  • Represented the general contractor on a high rise federal office building in California, prosecuting a $50 million delay and disruption claim against the government and defending multiple subcontractor lawsuits.
  • Prosecuted delay, disruption, and extra work claims on behalf of a general contractor on new convention center. Obtained imposition of evidentiary sanctions against project owner for destruction of evidence. See Clark Constr. Group v. City of Memphis, 229 F.R.D. 131 (W.D. Tenn. 2005).
  • Arbitrated design defect claims arising out of a seismic renovation of a hospital in Southern California.
  • Recovered millions of dollars on behalf of environmental contractor for hazardous materials clean-up work after Hurricane Katrina.
  • Arbitrated claims for payment for extra work and schedule and productivity bonuses on behalf EPC contractor following the renovation of an ethanol plant.
  • Obtained summary judgment for developer of Northern California office building in multi-party construction defect litigation.
  • Developed and mediated design defect claims on behalf of a wind turbine manufacturer performing as EPC contractor.
  • Prosecuted construction defect claims on behalf of a developer of a mutli-unit office complex in Northern California.
  • Represented construction manager at risk on convention center renovation and expansion project in the Southwest, including preparation and negotiation of delay and disruption claims.
  • Represented material supplier in eight figure claim against transportation district.
  • Advised client on issues related to contract interpretation, performance of work, and management of the claims process under a public private partnership agreement in California.
  • Counseled owner on disputes arising out of an $8.5 billion entertainment and hospitality development, including cost claims, delay claims and construction defects.
  • Advised University on disputes involving the seismic retrofit and abatement of an eight-story laboratory sciences building.
  • Advised University on a dispute involving the construction of a campus-wide telecommunication upgrade project.
  • Advised contractor and surety on disputes related to the design and construction of a hospital building and the design and construction of a public safety facility.
  • Advised owner in a dispute over the design and construction of a multistory elder care facility.
  • Advised contractor in a dispute over telecommunication networks, including the construction of substations and the installation of underground conduit on public property.
  • Prosecuted and defended mechanic's liens cases on commercial and residential properties.
  • Represented general contractor in a dispute over the design and construction of multiuse commercial structure housing both theaters and retail.
  • Advised large developer/contractor in a dispute over multi-plaintiff homeowner suit involving litigation of complex indemnity and additional insured claims.
  • Represented municipal utility in contract drafting and negotiation and resolution of bid protests and contractor claims on new combined-cycle electric power plant.
  • Represented contractor in litigation at United States Court of Federal Claims following adverse decision by General Services Administration contracting officer.
  • Represented contractor in bid protest to General Accountability Office.
  • Represented contractor in bid protest to School Board to obtain contract, and in subsequent claims litigation.
  • Represented contractor in bid protest and petition for writ of mandate.
  • Represented the Republic of Palau in litigation arising from the collapse of the Koror-Babeldaob Bridge.
  • Represented general contractor in perfecting a mechanic's lien in the telecom bankruptcy.
  • Represented general contractor in litigation and work-out of troubled senior housing project.

Construction Litigation