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Keith D. Koeller, Esq.
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Keith D. Koeller, Esq.

General Biography
Practice Areas
Business & Commercial
Construction Defect
Personal Injury/Torts
Real Estate & Real Property
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Keith D. Koeller, Esq., joined JAMS following a 39-year legal career and is available as a full-time mediator, arbitrator, referee and special master. As a founding partner of Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck, LLP, he litigated, tried, arbitrated and mediated a multitude of complex commercial and residential construction defect, construction claims, government liability, insurance coverage, catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases. Mr. Koeller earned a reputation for resolving complex matters by forging a consensus among divergent parties.  

In 2009, Mr. Koeller was the recipient of the prestigious Jerrold S. Oliver Award of Excellence for his outstanding contributions to the construction community, presented at the West Coast Casualty Conference. Additionally, he was recognized with the Larry Shyre Commitment to Service Award in 2003. Mr. Koeller has been a featured speaker at numerous seminars on various construction topics.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

Mr. Koeller has mediated and litigated a substantial number of cases in each of the following areas:

  • Commercial and public building construction defect cases involving hospitals, schools, university campus buildings, airports, performing arts centers, prisons, transportation complexes, medical buildings, office buildings and solar fields
  • High-rise and mixed-use condominium construction defect claims for numerous projects in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and the Bay Area
  • Residential single-family home projects, many involving hundreds or thousands of units, in California, Nevada and Arizona
  • Custom home and remodeling disputes
  • Construction claim disputes concerning payments, liquidated damages, delay, lost productivity, disruption, liens, stop notices and bond claims
  • Inverse condemnation and nuisance claims against government entities by adjacent residential and commercial property owners
  • Catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases arising from construction site accidents, vehicle accidents and public improvement projects
  • Insurance coverage disputes involving commercial general liability, professional liability, builder’s risk and “advertising injury” and personal injury coverage
  • Risk-transfer disputes concerning co-primary insurers, primary and excess insurers, “additional insured” carriers and claims for express contractual indemnity

Representative Matters

  • Construction Defect
      • Commercial and Public Buildings
        • Claims of improper installation and poor design of exterior stone cladding waterproofing system for a major performance arts center
        • Claims of defective roof, walkways, stairways and subterranean parking waterproofing at large retail and entertainment center
        • Allegations of defects in design and construction of exterior stucco system for numerous metropolitan hospitals
        • Alleged need to replace runway at one of the nation’s largest airports due to claims of alleged improper concrete placement and mix
        • Alleged defects in diesel fuel pump system for generator servicing university structure, resulting in leaks into nearby stream
        • Claims of corrosion of interior steel components at prison due to alleged defects in interior plaster wall product and application
        • Alleged deficiencies in construction of brick walls for office building, resulting in water intrusion and mold issues
        • Alleged defects in the waterproofing applied to subterranean tunnel walls for a substantial metropolitan Metrolink project
        • Claims of design and construction deficiencies in structural steel components for regional transportation center
        • Numerous cases involving claims of inverse condemnation and nuisance by residential and commercial property owners against government entities concerning adjacent public improvement projects
        • Claims of water intrusion through subterranean walls at “Fraternity Row” project
      • High-Rise and Condominium/Townhouse Project
        • Many multi-issue high-rise condominium cases involving structures over 20 stories tall in San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles and the Bay Area
        • A multitude of condominium defect claims involving issues such as roofs, stucco, windows, decks, HVAC, firewall, electrical, seismic framing, geotechnical engineering and subterranean waterproofing
        • Allegations of defective plumbing and waste water pipe systems at numerous high-rise condominium projects
        • Substantial claim for waste pipe degradation due to alleged hydrogen sulfide gas entering from public sewer system
        • Numerous cases involving concrete and podium slab issues for mid- and high-rise condominium towers
      • Single-Family and Custom Homes
        • Claim in excess of $20 million asserted by owner of a mountain compound comprised of 5 large high-end residential structures
        • Lawsuits involving hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of homes alleging broad range of construction defects concerning roofs, stucco, windows, balconies, drainage and soil movement
        • Claims for damage to homes, rear yard improvements and side yard improvements due to “slope creep” and “lateral fill extension”
        • Damage caused to homes during 1994 Northridge earthquake due to construction on cut/fill daylight line
        • Claims asserted by homeowners’ association (HOA), Water District and numerous homeowners caused by slope failure due to activation of landslide and alleged inadequate geotechnical “keys” or “buttress”
        • Numerous lawsuits alleging need to replace plumbing lines due to various pipe deficiencies such as polybutylene pipe and dezincification
        • Custom home defect claim for home allegedly valued in excess of $50 million
        • Custom homes claiming exposure to hydrogen sulfide gas due to alleged failure to properly connect waste pipelines to public sewer system
        • Claims by HOA concerning alleged deficiencies in gas-extraction system for adjacent landfill
  • Construction
      • Liquidated Damages, Delay, Loss of Productivity and Disruption
        • Litigation and settlement of delay, loss of productivity, payment, mechanic’s lien, stop notice and bond claims arising from construction of several hospitals
        • Litigation and settlement of delay, disruption and defect claims arising from construction of drainage facilities at private university
        • Litigation and settlement of liquidated damage, delay and disruption claims concerning construction of public schools
        • Numerous claims asserted by public universities and other public entities against contractor’s performance and payment bonds
      • Risk Transfer
        • A multitude of claims involving the scope of express contractual indemnity in both the commercial and residential construction contexts, including defense exposure under the Crawford decision
        • Numerous actions for “additional insured” defense and indemnification recovery under both “completed operations” and “ongoing operations” ISO and custom forms
  • Insurance
      • Many complex insurance disputes in commercial and public building construction defect and delay cases concerning the interrelationship of builder’s risk, general liability and professional liability coverage
      • Potential application and interrelationship of OCIP, CCIP and practice policies in cases involving insufficient limits under “wrap” insurance programs
      • Many disputes among primary and excess insurers concerning trigger and “occurrence” dates for progressive property damage and bodily injury claims
      • Claims for defense and indemnity reimbursement under both ISO and custom “additional insured” forms, including “completed operations” and “ongoing operations” issues
      • Disputes over policies triggered by claims of child molestation over period of many years
      • Disputes over whether defense is owed in the face of claims of purposeful and intentional misconduct
      • Bad faith claim by school district over premium charges based upon payroll figures for large OCIP program
      • Coverage disputes over intellectual property cases and potential application of “advertising injury” coverage
  • Personal Injury/Torts
      • Wrongful death claim arising from construction worker falling down 25-foot shaft covered by unmarked and unsecure plywood
      • Numerous significant personal injury cases arising from iron workers falling from structural steel with issues concerning fall protection
      • Wrongful death and numerous injury actions arising from collapse of scaffolding overloaded by brick at hospital project
      • Brain injury claim by concrete worker struck by steel ring at end of long hose used for concrete pumping operation
      • Brain injury claim asserted by bicyclist who struck incomplete manhole cover
      • Numerous significant auto and trucking accidents, many involving “course and scope” of employment issues
      • Wrongful death and substantial injury claims arising from crane accidents
      • Numerous wrongful death claims arising from apartment building collapse during 1994 Northridge earthquake
  • Professional Negligence
      • Many actions involving alleged inadequate architectural design details for waterproofing of exterior cladding systems, roofs, decks, doors and windows
      • A multitude of actions involving claims against geotechnical engineers for alleged failure to provide adequate reports and testing concerning soil compaction, soil expansion and landslide stabilization
      • Claims against land surveyor for failure to properly plot elevations for retaining wall in relation to adjacent street and walkway
      • Action against mechanical engineer for alleged failure to properly design fuel pump system for generator at university building
      • Claim against structural engineer for alleged failure to design sufficient structural support for HVAC units and ducting
      • Claim against structural engineer for alleged failure to adequately design main span bridge concrete in conformance with specifications
      • Action involving structural engineer for alleged inadequate design of “tracking” system assembly for substantial solar project impacted by high winds
  • Real Estate & Real Property
      • Many actions alleging failure to properly disclose deficiencies and/or prior remediation amongst sellers, buyers and brokers
      • Claim against HOA that failed to properly maintain common area, resulting in significant water intrusion and mold claims
      • Disputes between adjacent homeowners concerning view obstruction and destruction of trees and other property improvements
  • Solar Energy
      • Claim asserted by public entity concerning structural adequacy of “tracker” system for solar fields subjected to high winds
      • Owner claims of deficiencies in installation and attachment of solar panels at large solar field
      • Claims for reimbursement arising out of failure and fire caused by critical electrical components at solar field

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.  

  • Jerrold S. Oliver Award of Excellence (for outstanding contribution to the construction community, presented at the West Coast Casualty Construction Conference), 2009
  • Larry Shyre Commitment to Service Award (presented at the West Coast Casualty Construction Conference), 2003
  • Past Chair, Orange County Bar Association Construction Law Section
  • Southern California Super Lawyer, 2009–2022
  • Southern California Super Lawyer, Construction Litigation Section, 2022
  • AV Preeminent Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
  • United States District Court, Central and Southern Districts of California
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Supreme Court of the United States of America

Representative Seminars/Presentations

  • Speaker, “OCIPS – Who Is In, Who Is Out and What To Do When The Money Runs Out”, West Coast Casualty Construction Defect Seminar, 2023
  • Speaker, “The Intersection of Builders Risk, Commercial General Liability, Contractors Professional Liability and Subcontractor Default Coverage – What Covers What?”, CLM Construction Conference and 2022 CLM Annual Conference, 2021
  • Speaker, “Virtual Mediaiton and Arbitration – Today and In The Future”, West Coast Casualty Construction Defect Conference, 20221
  • Speaker, “Real-World Solutions to Problems Presented by Wrap-up Programs,” West Coast Casualty Annual Construction Defect Seminar, 2018
  • Speaker, “Overview of Construction Defect and Injury Claims,” XL-Catlin – Educational Seminar, 2016
  • Speaker, “Risk Transfer: Overcoming A.I. and Crawford Obstacles to Settlement,” West Coast Casualty Annual Construction Defect Seminar, 2015
  • Speaker, “The Economy’s Impact on Litigation and Claims Processing Today,” HB Litigation Conference, 2012
  • Speaker and Moderator, “Builder and Insurer Issues Concerning Construction Defect Litigation: A Search for Better Solutions,” Lima Solutions, 2012
  • Speaker, “CD Litigation: 2012 and Beyond,” ASCDC Construction Defect Claim Manager Association, 2012
  • Speaker, “Crawford: A Developer Perspective,” Construction Defect Claim Manager Association, 2008
  • Speaker, “Slip-Sliding Away: The Unique Dilemma Provided by Recent Substantial Landslide Litigation,” West Coast Casualty Annual Construction Defect Seminar, 2008
  • Speaker, “Risk-Transfer Options,” MC Consultants, Annual Colorado Springs Seminar, 2007
  • Speaker, “Not the Same Old Game: The Trend Away From Traditional Risk Transfer,” West Coast Casualty Annual Construction Defect Seminar, 2007
  • Speaker, “Overview: The Law of Construction Defect, Risk-Transfer Mechanisms,” Third Annual Judicial Symposium on Critical Issues in Construction Defect Litigation, Brookings Institute, 2007
  • Speaker, “Cutting-Edge Issues in Construction Defect Litigation,” Second Annual Judicial Symposium on Critical Issues in Construction Defect Litigation, Brookings Institute, 2006
  • Speaker, “The Economic Loss Doctrine and Concrete Sulfate Attack,” Mealey’s Sulfate Seminar, 2004
  • Speaker, “California Legislative Development: Senate Bill 800 and Beyond,” West Coast Casualty Annual Construction Defect Seminar, 2004
  • Speaker, “Overview of Additional Insured Issues Concerning Construction Defect Litigation,” Construction Law Section, Orange County Bar Association, 2002
  • Speaker, “Whose Claim Is It Anyway? The Hidden Risk of Class Claims and Assertion of Separate Interest Damages by Associations Under CCP §383,” West Coast Casualty Annual Construction Defect Seminar, 2001
  • Speaker, “What Is the Future of Construction Defect Litigation as We Enter the New Millennium?” Orange County Bar Association, 9th Annual Construction Law Symposium, 2000

Background and Education

  • Founding Partner; Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck, LLP; 1986–2021
  • Attorney; Rigg, Dean & Mower; 1981–1986
  • J.D., Loyola Law School, 1981
  • B.A., magna cum laude, Political Science, University of Southern California, 1978
    • Phi Beta Kappa


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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