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Douglas S. Oles
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Douglas S. Oles Esq., FCIArb

Latest Insights
Upcoming Events
General Biography
Practice Areas
Business Commercial
Engineering & Construction
International & Cross-Border
Real Property
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Douglas S. Oles, Esq. is recognized as a national leader in the practice of construction law and in various areas of public and private commercial contracts, with extensive experience in both litigation and transactional work. He has served as national chair of the American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law, the largest association of construction industry lawyers, and he is a recent President of the American College of Construction Lawyers. He is also an Honourary Fellow of the Canadian College of Construction Lawyers and an officer of the International Academy of Construction Lawyers.  He is a member of the JAMS Global Engineering & Construction Panel.

Mr. Oles has experience in matters in both civil law and common law jurisdictions, is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and has been listed in the International Who’s Who of Construction Lawyers from 2007 to present. He is a founding member of JAMS Global Construction and Engineering Group (GEC), a co-author of “The International Comparative Legal Guide To: Construction & Engineering Law" since 2019, and regularly speaks on international and cross-border construction contract drafting, negotiation, and dispute resolution matters. Mr. Oles is also comfortable handling matters involving written materials in German.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

Representative types of projects handled include:

  • Defense: Government radar bases, military housing, military security gates
  • Casinos: Major claims involving foundations, delay, lost casino profits, casino software, and contract termination
  • Contract Delay & Disruption Issues: Many projects involving CPM schedules, critical path analysis, lost productivity, force majeure, and delay impact issues
  • Energy: Coal-, gas-, and wood-fired power plants; hydroelectric plants; landfill gas generation facilities; power converter stations; battery storage facilities; power transmission lines
  • Forest industry contracts
  • Geotechnical Engineering: Large diameter drilled piers, deep soil mixing, tiebacks and shoring systems, Type I & Type II differing site conditions
  • Government: Federal Cost Principles, Contract Disputes Act, and a wide variety of federal, state, and local contracts; museums, aquariums
  • Hospitals
  • International matters: Cross-border mediations and arbitrations, matters involving parties from the United States, Canada, China, Brazil, Guam and Italy
  • Infrastructure: Bridges, freeway interchanges, highways, tunnels, light rail systems, sewer lines, wastewater plants, and pumping facilities
  • Maritime: Piers, ship locks
  • Oil and Gas Refineries
  • Real Estate: Various residential and commercial developments
  • Schools: Public and private
  • Surety cases
  • Technology: Software licensing, wireless network issues, and antibody sales

Representative Matters

  • Business Commercial
      • Dispute arising from technical performance of a large battery storage facility in Illinois (mediator)
  • Engineering & Construction
      • Claim for damages by architect against project owner (sole arbitrator)
      • Claims alleging breach of royalty agreement and a related mining permit, and issues relating to site restoration (member of arbitration panel)
      • Claim for additional compensation by earthwork contractor against a public owner (sole arbitrator)
      • Claim for contract balance and additional compensation on contract to deliver Heat Recovery Steam Generator in New Jersey (member of arbitration panel)
      • Claim for differing site conditions, extra work, and delay on a public works pile driving project (sole arbitrator)
      • Contractor claim of wrongful disqualification of bid on a public project (sole arbitrator)
      • Claims for acceleration, delay, lost efficiency on a public contract (sole arbitrator)
      • Action to clarify and enforce a mediated settlement of claims involving a commercial condominium in Lewiston, Idaho (member of arbitration panel)
      • Dispute between Italian project owner and California construction contractor regarding delays and termination pricing in West Virginia (chair of arbitration panel)
      • Dispute involving extra work and warranty issues on multi-unit residential development (sole arbitrator) 
      • Dispute arising from distribution agreement for products of a Wyoming craft brewery (one of three arbitrators)
      • Dispute over reclamation charges under a coal supply agreement.  Involved utility companies and mine-mouth coal-fired generating facilities in Montana (mediator)
      • Mediated $100 million+ dispute between general contractor and owner regarding construction contract to build coal power plant 
      • Claims between owner and terminated contractor on large apartment complex in Utah (sole arbitrator)
      • Dispute between construction company and home owner involving a remodel (mediator)
      • Construction malpractice claim involving the solar panel installation and resulting asbestos issues (mediator)
      • Dispute between general contractor and subcontractor on historic commercial building renovation (mediator)
      • Mediated settlement of large claims against a foundation contractor in connection with a tilting concrete highrise in San Francisco, CA
      • Successful settlement of $10 million+ claim by Washington developer against U.S. government based on convenience termination of a power purchase agreement that called for construction of a new coal-fired energy plant at Gulkana, AK
      • Successful settlement of claims by electrical and mechanical contractors against U.S. government in connection with construction and retrofitting of Minimally Attended Radar (MAR) sites at Tin City and Cape Romanzof
      • Successful settlement of claim by transmission line contractor on Terror Lake Dam, Kodiak Island
      • Successful settlement of claim by Alaska contractor against Chugach Electric Association regarding withheld superior knowledge on Susitna River transmission tower project
      • Successful mediation of claim by foundation contractor against City of Folsom in connection with construction of American River Bridge
      • Successful settlement of claims by foundation contractor for Type II differing site conditions against private retirement home developer at Dana Point
      • Successful mediation of claims by shoring contractor against New York developer on high end commercial building in West Hollywood
      • Successful mediation of multi-party case involving insurance indemnity claims arising from differing site conditions encountered on high-rise commercial building in downtown San Francisco
      • Successful mediation of claims by mechanical contractor arising from delays and changes affecting construction of Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel facility at the Laurel refinery
      • Successful settlement of claims by Texas foundation contractor on major interceptor sewer project for City of Portland
      • Mediated settlement of claims by prime contractor for delays and extra work on construction of new elementary school in White Center
      • Successful DRB-facilitated settlement of claims by electrical contractor based on delay and changes affecting work on new Tacoma campus for the University of Washington
      • Successful settlement defending Missouri-based paint supplier against claims by Pierce County Recycling, Composting & Disposal, LLC, based on failure of paint system in a waste composting facility
      • Successful mediation of $2 million+ claim on behalf of a Seattle condominium homeowner association against contractor/developer and its insurer
      • Successful settlement on behalf of homeowners against claims for additional compensation by contractor on 15,000+ square foot home in Woodinville
      • Successful mediated settlement of claims by foundation subcontractor against soil mixing subcontractor on a railroad undercrossing project in City of Kent
      • Successful DRB-facilitated settlement of claims by a drilled shaft subcontractor against Washington State Department of Transportation, alleging defects in State-specified concrete design mix on Intermodal structure near Safeco Field, Seattle
      • Successful mediated settlement of claims by native owned contractor against Equity Office Properties in connection with Columbia Center remodel in Seattle
      • Successful settlement of claims by Texas refinery contractor arising from convenience termination of oil refinery by Doyon, Ltd.
      • Successful settlement for the Town of McCleary against claims asserted by an earthwork trade contractor on a sewer project
      • Mediated settlement of $700,000 lien claim against title insurer on 98-unit residential condominium development
  • International & Cross-Border
      • Successful settlement of $15 million+ claim by Canadian contractor and U.S. government regarding changes and delays on Alaska Native Health Hospital in Anchorage
      • Successful settlement of claim by U.S./U.K. joint venture contractor against U.S. government on claims involving Type I differing site conditions and extra work on construction of Over-the-Horizon Radar Facilities on Amchitka Island
      • Successful mediation of dispute between Swedish design-build contractor adverse to a major U.S. engineering firm and the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power involving design, estimating, and construction on HVDC energy facilities in Intermountain, Utah and Sylmar, California, with claims in excess of $100 million (U.S. Dist. Court for Oregon)
      • Successful settlement of claim by Canadian homeowner against Vancouver architect for defective design of high end residence at Point Roberts
      • Successful mediated settlements of multiple claims by Canadian prime contractor in connection with construction of the Chemistry and Electrical Engineering buildings on the University of Washington Seattle campus
      • Settlement successfully defending Japanese contractor against claims by J.H. Kelly on a Tosco refinery project in Ferndale
      • Successful settlement of claims alleging breach of an agreement to develop a wireless network for Brazilian owners headquartered in Sao Paolo
      • Successful settlement of claims by Washington contractor against U.S. Navy involving work on power generation station in Guam
      • Successful settlement of disputes arising between U.S. wireless developer and licensee in Europe

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

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

  • Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) 
  • Officer in Int’l Construction Projects Committee, International Bar Association, since 2019
  • President, American College of Construction Lawyers, 2018
  • Admitted to practice, Oregon, Washington and Alaska
  • Recognized as a Washington “Super Lawyer”, since 2006
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America in Construction Law, since 2009
  • National chair, ABA Forum on Construction Law, 2005-2006
  • Chair, ABA Forum Division on International Contracts, 1993-1997
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Listed in Who’s Who in America since 2008
  • Listed in The International Who’s Who of Construction Lawyers since 2007
  • Martindale Hubbell AV rating for over 20 years
  • President, The Rainer Club, 2007-2008
  • Member, British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara
  • Editor, International Construction Law – A Guide for Cross-Border Transactions and Legal Disputes, American Bar Association, October 2009

Background and Education

  • Mediator and Arbitrator, JAMS, 2009-present
  • Partner, Oles Morrison Rinker & Baker LLP, 1987-present
  • J.D., University of Washington, with honors
  • A.B., History, Stanford University (with distinction and department honors), 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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