Douglas Oles

Douglas S. Oles, Esq.

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator, Neutral Evaluator, Referee/Special Master

Case Manager
Michele Wilson
T: 206-292-0457
F: 206-292-9082
1420 Fifth Ave., Suite 1650, Seattle, WA 98101


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 the Construction Industry, the largest association of construction industry lawyers, and he has been elected as a Fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers and an Honourary Fellow of the Canadian College of Construction Lawyers.

Representative types of projects handled include:

  • Defense: Government radar bases, military housing, military security gates
  • Casinos: Major claims involving foundations, delay, lost casino profits, 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; 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
  • Infrastructure: Bridges, freeway interchanges, highways, tunnels, light rail systems, sewer lines, and pumping facilities
  • Maritime: Piers, ship locks
  • Oil and Gas Refineries
  • Real Estate: Residential and commercial developments
  • Schools: Public and private
  • Surety cases
  • Technology: Software licensing, wireless network issues, and antibody sales

Representative Matters


  • 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)


Mr. Oles has acted as an advocate in the settlement of the following matters.


  • 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 $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
  • 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 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 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 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

Oregon, Utah, and California

  • 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)


  • 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 of claim by Canadian homeowner against Vancouver architect for defective design of residence at Point Roberts
  • Successful settlement on behalf of homeowners against claims for additional compensation by contractor on 15,000+ square foot home in Woodinville
  • 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
  • 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
  • Settlement successfully defending Japanese contractor against claims by J.H. Kelly on a Tosco refinery project in Ferndale
  • 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


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

  • President, American College of Construction Lawyers, 2018
  • Admitted to practice, Oregon, Washington and Alaska
  • Recognized as a "Super Lawyer" by Washington Super Lawyers magazine, 2003, 2006-2015
  • Recognized as a “Super Lawyer“ in the Construction/Surety area by Washington Law & Politics, 2003, 2006-2010
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America in Construction Law, since 2009
  • Board member, American College of Construction Lawyers
  • National chair, ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, 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
  • Member, International Section of the Washington State Bar Association
  • 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
  • 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




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