Cornelius O’Brien

Cornelius (Neil) has over 20 years experience in commercial litigation, with an emphasis on disputes relating to the construction industry. Neil represents a wide range of clients including property owners, developers, municipalities, school districts and universities, general contractors, design-build and specialty contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, engineers, architects and sureties on issues arising on federal, state, municipal and private construction projects. Neil has tried dozens of cases to verdict or award in federal and state courts and private arbitration. In addition to litigation, Neil counsels clients during construction on issues of construction management, claim preparation, claims avoidance mitigation and termination for convenience and default. Neil also has extensive experience in negotiating and drafting contracts, including conventional construction agreements, such as general contracts and subcontracts, agreements for architectural and engineering services, as well as guaranteed maximum price contracts, design-build agreements, construction manager at-risk and turnkey project agreements. Neil’s practice also encompasses a range of general commercial matters, counseling and representing manufacturers, municipalities, lenders and individuals in a variety of commercial transactions and disputes.

Education

J.D. cum laude, Duquesne University School of Law, 1997

B.A., University of Pittsburgh, 1992

Special Recognition

  • Selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as a Notable Practitioner in Construction –
    Pennsylvania
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America –Construction Law
  • Selected for inclusion as Pennsylvania Super Lawyers – Rising Star

Admissions

Pennsylvania
U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Publications

  • “Customizing Arbitration,” Construction Executive Magazine, May 2014.
  • “Customizing arbitration: Have it your way,” co-author, Eckert Seamans’ Construction Law Update, Spring 2014.
  • “Florida court finds that termination for convenience clause allows general contractor to continue shopping subcontract after
    signing it,” Eckert Seamans’ Construction Law Update, Spring 2013.
  • “United States Supreme Court Emphatically Affirms Federal Policy Favoring Arbitration,” Eckert Seamans’ Construction Law Update, Fall 2011.
  • “Contract drafting alert: A pay-if-paid clause must clearly state that the subcontractor bears the risk of an owner’s nonpayment,” Eckert Seamans’ Construction Law Update, Fall 2009.
  • “Delay Claims: Owner held responsible for construction delays,” Eckert Seamans’ Construction Law Update, Winter 2008.

Speaking Engagements

  • “Alternative Dispute Resolution,” co-presenter, Eckert Seamans’ Continuing Legal Education (CLE), August 2011.
  • “Recent Developments in Construction Law,” co-presenter, Eckert Seamans’ CLE, August 2010.
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