Harold E. Hamersmith is a partner in the firm's Los Angeles office specializing in design and construction contracts, claims, and defects litigation, and public contract law.
Areas of Practice
Construction Contracts, Claims, and Construction Defect Litigation:
Mr. Hamersmith represents public and private owners, contractors, architects, and engineers, in a wide range of contexts: He regularly negotiates, drafts, and advises on contracts (design-build, EPC, construction, architectural and engineering services, construction management services, project control services, procurement of materials and systems, etc.) for commercial, industrial, residential, hospital, school, highway/bridge, airport, railway, transit, hospitality and leisure, including hotels and casinos, power plant and other projects, including Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects. He provides advice on public contract bidding laws and disputes, including issues of bidder responsiveness, and on stop notice and lien laws, contract obligations and remedies, performance and payment bonds, issues concerning termination of contracts, etc. as well as advice on Contractors’s tate License Law issues. His areas of expertise include litigation, arbitration, and mediation of disputes on public and private works involving construction defects, professional liability of architects and engineers, latent and patent defects in real property, strict products liability, extra work claims, changed conditions claims, delay claims, defective work claims, mechanic’s liens and stop notice claims, prompt payment penalties, surety bond claims, bid protests, equipment failures, Uniform Commercial Code rights and remedies, and issues regarding state and federal false claim laws.
Public Contract Law:
Mr. Hamersmith has substantial experience advising contractors, designers, and public agencies on a variety of public law matters, in addition to those summarized above. Advice regarding California Public Records Act and issues related to same. Advice regarding application of state and local building codes and ordinances. Advice regarding RFP’s for engineering and related services, and state laws pertaining to competitive procurement for same. Advice on conflict of interest laws and policies applicable to officials and employees. Advice on various dispute resolution alternatives including arbitration, mediation, required meetings of principals, dispute review boards, etc. Advice on California local-agency dispute resolution statutes. Advice regarding insurance programs and coverages including professional errors and omissions, builder’s risk, owner-controlled insurance programs, etc. Advice regarding DBE/MBE/WBE and equal employment opportunity laws, regulations, issues, and contract provisions. Advice regarding federal laws and regulations applicable to grantees of federal funding, including FTA third-party contracting guidelines, Buy America laws and regulations, Davis-Bacon, F.A.R. requirements on cost and pricing data, etc.
Real Estate Litigation:
Mr. Hamersmith has handled a variety of real estate-related litigation, including lease disputes, purchase-sale agreement disputes, including issues regarding required disclosures, and broker/realtor issues.
•Real Estate and Construction, Legal 500, 2011-2014
•Top leading construction lawyer, Chambers & Partners', 2011-2014
•Best Lawyer in America, Best Lawyers, 2008-2015
•Construction & Projects Handbook (1st, 2nd and 3rd editions), Leading Construction Lawyer
•Southern California's Best Lawyers, 2008-2013
•Recommended lawyer, Construction Law, PLC Which Lawyer? 2009-2012
Publications & News
Mr. Hamersmith has authored or co-authored numerous publications, including the following.
•New Prevailing-Wage Risks For Calif. Public Works Projects, Law360, January 24, 2014
•The Year 2012 in Review: Developments in California Design and Construction Law, Los Angeles County Bar Association, February 2013
•The Year 2011 in Review: Developments in California Design and Construction Law, Los Angeles County Bar Association, February 2012
•The Year 2010 in Review: Developments in California Design and Construction Law, Los Angeles County Bar Association, February 2011
•Best of CLE Seminar -- Construction Law: Construction Contracts, Claims and Recent Decisions of Interest, The Seminar Group, January 2011
•The Year 2009 in Review: Developments in California Design and Construction Law, Los Angeles County Bar Association, February 2010
•The Year 2008 in Review: Developments in California Design and Construction Law, Los Angeles County Bar Association, February 2009
•Lost Productivity Claims: New Developments on an Expensive and Tricky Issue, WPL Publishing Company, February 2009
•Can the Spearin Doctrine Survive in a Design-Build World: Who Bears Responsibility for Hybrid Specifications?, Journal of the American College of Construction Lawyers, Winter 2008
•The Year 2007 in Review: Developments in California Design and Construction Law, Los Angeles County Bar Association, February 2008
•The Year 2006 in Review: Developments in Design and Construction Law, Los Angeles County Bar Association, February 2007
•The Year 2005 in Review: Developments in Design and Construction Law, Los Angeles County Bar Association, February 2006
•The Year 2002 in Review: Annual Construction Law Update, Los Angeles County Bar Association, February 2003
•The Year 2001 in Review: Annual Construction Law Update, Los Angeles County Bar Association, February 2002
•New Construction Defect Litigation, manual for conference on Avoiding and Resolving Construction Claims, Pepperdine University School of Law, Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution; American Arbitration Association, et al., December 7, 2002
•2002 Construction Law Update (Waiver of Consequential Damages in AIA Standard Form Agreements), Aspen Law Business, 2002
•The Year 2000 in Review: Annual Construction Law Update, Los Angeles County Bar Association, October 2000
•Effective Use of Discovery in Construction Litigation, Conference on California Construction Law, CLE International, 1997
•Public Works: Contracts and Litigation, Continuing Education of the Bar, California, 1995
•Update on Mechanics' Lien Issues, Los Angeles County Bar Association, 1995
•Recent Developments in WBE/MBE/DBE Issues, Los Angeles County Bar Association
•Effective Discovery in Construction Disputes, Los Angeles County Bar Association
•Manual, Architect-Engineer Liability Under California Law, Cambridge Institute