Robert C. Field has extensive experience in resolving construction disputes as a litigator in court, as an advocate in arbitration and mediation and as an arbitrator and mediator. Before becoming a full-time neutral in 2001, he was an AV-rated construction lawyer and civil litigator who represented owners, construction managers, architects & engineers, contractors and material suppliers in both public and private works. Construction projects included residential, high rise structures, shopping centers, research facilities, as well as power plants, dams, bridges and highways. Trained by the American Arbitration Association and the Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution, he has served as an arbitrator since1969 and as a mediator since 1984. Mr Field also taught collegiate level courses on construction law for 25 years and has given many seminars on construction law and alternative dispute resolution to professional groups, such as A.G.C., A.B.C, A.I.A, A.A.A , N.B.I. and Credit Managers Association. He also is a published author on construction law and ADR. This combination of experience, training and knowledge uniquely qualifies him to resolve your construction disputes.
EDUCATION AND HONORS
Graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, B.A. 1957; and University of California Hastings College of Law, J.D. 1960, where he was a member of Order of the Coif, Thurston Honor Society, and Hastings Law Journal, and was awarded the Harrison Scholarship.
Admitted to practice California Supreme Court, 1961; other admissions include U. S. District Courts for the Central, Northern, and Eastern Districts of California; U.S. Claims Court, 1969; and U.S. Supreme Court, 1971.
WORK HISTORY AND LEGAL EXPERIENCE
Commenced his legal career as Assistant Counsel to the Regents of the University of California responsible for legal aspects of construction, A & E, planning on nine campuses (1961-63); private practice with Stark, Wells, Rahl, Field & Schwartz and predecessor firms (1964-89) and Field, Richardson & Wilhelmy (1990-2000) as a civil litigator and advisor primarily in construction, professional liability of architects and engineers, property damage and real estate disputes. Eighty percent of practice was in construction law, with representation of owners, design professionals, general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers in both public and private works. Handled mechanics’ liens and bond claims, design and construction defects and contract disputes, such as claims for delays, extra or changed work, changed or unknown conditions and termination for convenience or cause. Building projects varied from single family residences to high- rise apartments and from commercial buildings to shopping centers, office buildings and prisons. Engineering projects varied from highways, bridges and dams to research labs and high- tech facilities.
DISPUTE RESOLUTION TRAINING
Arbitration Training included: completion of AAA Basic and Advanced Arbitrator Training and specialized courses in dealing with delay tactics, drafting awards, case management and control of the hearing, and acting as panel chair; served as faculty on sixteen AAA arbitrator training courses and two National Institutes on Arbitration Advocacy; named AAA Northern California Commercial Arbitrator of the Year in 1988.
Mediation Training included: completion of AAA Mediator Training course and several mediation seminars; completion of Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution courses on Advanced Mediation Skills and Negotiation and Settlement Advocacy; attended ten mediation seminars and served as faculty on three other mediation seminars.
DISPUTE RESOLUTION EXPERIENCE
Served as a member of the AAA California Advisory Counsel for Large Complex Case Program, Northern California Advisory Council and Construction Advisory Committee; AAA Commercial and Construction Arbitrator since 1969 and Mediator since 1984. Served as arbitrator or panel chair or as mediator in over 100 cases. Appointed as Special Master/Referee in construction disputes by Alameda and Contra Costa County Superior Courts and by U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California; served as counsel in arbitration or mediation in a variety of cases , including contracts, leases, partnerships, construction, professional liability, bond and lien claims and public claims on construction of dam and water treatment facilities. Representative cases as a neutral include claims for additional compensation for extra work, delay and disruption of construction; design and construction defects in a sports stadium; defective design and fraud in construction of a power plant; breach of contract and warranty in construction of co-generation facility; construction defects & life safety code violations in high-rise condominium; bankrupt contractor and completing surety claims for breach of contract & warranty and abandonment of contract by excessive changes and counter claim by owner of research lab for delay, defective work and fraud in the inducement.
PUBLICATIONS AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
Author of “The Decision to Arbitrate” and “The Hearing,” Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Guide, Thomson-West, 2003; “Arbitration,” California Construction Contracts and Disputes, California Continuing Education of the Bar, 2001; American Commercial Law and American Business Law, Communications Actives, France, 1986 & 1990; and “Mechanics’ Liens, Stop Notices and Payment Bonds, and Waiver of Claim Clauses, Construction Law Manual, AGC of California, 1978.
Instructor in business, commercial and construction law at University of California Extension, 1961-1995; visiting professor of business law at American University of Paris, France, 1978-79; and instructor in construction law at San Francisco State University, 1980-81 and California State University East Bay, 1989-90. Speaker at over fifty seminars on construction law, mechanics’ liens & bond claims, real property law, arbitration and mediation for professional groups, such as Associated General Contractors, Associated Builders and Contractors, Credit Managers Association, National Business Institute and local bar associations.
Member of the American Bar Association (Public Contracts, Forum on Construction Industry and Dispute Resolution Sections); California State Bar (Real Property and Public Law Sections); Contra Costa County Bar Association (Court ADR Committee, Real Estate and ADR Sections); Alameda County Bar Association (ADR and Real Estate Sections); College of Commercial Arbitrators; California Dispute Resolution Council; and AGC of California Legal Advisory Committee.