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Ernest Brown

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United States - CA
Mediation Profile
Mr. Brown is a highly effective Mediator, Arbitrator, and Special Master with more than 30 years of litigation and alternative dispute resolution experience. He has resolved more than 3,000 disputes in construction, public works, real estate, business and partnership disputes, Uniform Commercial Code, toxic torts, technology, insurance coverage, aviation, and manufacturing. Mr. Brown has been a Mediator, Arbitrator and Special Master for the American Arbitration Association and Office of Administrative Hearings for over 20 years. He regularly serves in that capacity in construction and environmental cases ranging up to $100 million. Mr. Brown is well respected for his ability to quickly and tactfully guide parties to successful resolution. Mr. Brown is on the American Arbitration Association’s National Roster of Arbitrators and Mediators and acts as an Arbitrator for the Office of Administrative Hearings. He is also a Hearing Office for the California State Contractor’s License Board and a Judicial Referee and Judicial Arbitrator for the California Superior Courts. Mr. Brown has been a panelist on the National Construction Panel for the American Arbitration Association since 1982 and an American Arbitration Association Large Complex Case panelist since 1993. As a panelist for the National Construction Panel, he has mediated more than 600 construction cases on matters ranging up to $100 Million. His underlying philosophy is to protect the interests of his clients through the ethical, knowledgeable and skilled mediation and practice of the law. He is known as an energetic and responsive leader capable of resolving even the most complex construction dispute matters. REPRESENTATIVE PARTIES  Kiewit Corp.  Fluor Corp.  Flatiron Construction Corp.  Department of Water Resources  PCL Construction Enterprises, Inc.  DPR Construction  Swinerton, Inc.  Webcor Builders  ECC  Teichert Construction  Solano Beach  Alaska Air National Guard  Sukut  Chromolloy Corporation  Clark Group  Balfour Beatty US  CB&I  CH2M Hill  Lend Lease  California Department of Transportation  City of Loyalton  Mountain States Steel  RM Harris  Diversified Concrete Cutting, Inc.  Security Paving Company, Inc.  El Camino Community College District  Federal Mogul Asbestos Settlement Trust  Granite Construction PROJECT COUNSEL & LITIGATION EXPERIENCE • Project Counsel, Presidio Parkway, Doyle Drive P3 Project. Advised design-build joint venture on the $1.2B project that serves as the new gateway to San Francisco. (Completion 2015). • Project Counsel, Oakland Airport Connector (BART), a $450M design-build transit system. (Completion 2014). • Project Counsel, John Wayne Airport. Counsel included design and construction of the $340 million airport expansion. (1985-1998). • Lead Trial Counsel in litigation and settlement in Central Arizona Siphons, a $147M public agency pipeline lawsuit in Arizona- the largest construction defect case in Arizona history. • Lead Counsel for $43 Million Pipeline Failure Case (Crystal Springs Pipeline, San Francisco). • Project Counsel for the design-bid-construction of the Anaheim Ducks Arena. Year. • Legal Counsel for the Carquinez Suspension Bridge Project ($300 Million - I-80) representing the construction joint venture. This Project is one of the largest Caltrans Projects and the first suspension bridge in 35 years in California. • Lead Counsel for $250 million in claims associated with the SCE Laughlin, Nevada Powerplant Explosion, including six worker deaths and numerous injuries, business interruption and loss of generation capacity. • Legal Counsel obtaining a $2.4 million recovery from bonding companies on behalf of the City of Orange; numerous personal injury and wrongful death cases and Special Counsel for a Utility District on a $40 million construction claim. • Arbitrator, Utilities Relocation Claim in Nevada. Served as Chairman and Arbitrator on a public utilities claim for costs associated with a coal gasification power plant flare relocation claim against various engineering firms. • Arbitrator, Casino Construction Claims Action. Served as chairman and arbitrator for a casino's claim against designers and builders of the facility for project delay, code violations, and project abandonment. • Corporate Counsel for Fluor Daniel, one of the world's largest engineering and project management companies. (1980-1984). Publications: • California Infrastructure Projects: Successful Contracting and Dispute Resolution, Recorder Books, (2015). • A Practical Guide to Public-Private Partnerships, Publisher Design Group, Inc., (2015). • California Public Works: Contracts & Litigation (1999). • Architect/Engineer Malpractice, Federal Publications, (1980). • "What Lawyers Must Know About Asbestos," ABA Journal, Nov. (1987). • "Architect/Engineer Liability Under California Law", Cambridge Institute (1992). • CEB's California Public Contract Law handbook, 2014. • Editor, Construction Contracts and Disputes Continuing Education of the Bar. • Co-author, Federal Publications and Cambridge Institute course manuals on architect-engineer malpractice. Honors & Awards: • Honorary President, Chi Epsilon Engineering Fraternity • Karl Taylor Compton Prize for Scholarship & Outstanding Contributions to the MIT Community (1975) Bar Admissions: • California, 1978 • U.S. Federal Court, 1978 Background and Education: • Founder, Ernest Brown & Company, a West Coast construction law firm, 1989. • Joined national construction law firm, Smith, Currie & Hancock as • J.D., Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley (1978). Honors: Harmon Prize, Top Environmental Law Article • Master of Science degree, Construction Management (M.S.C.E.), University of California, Berkeley (1978). • Graduate work at Harvard Law School. • Bachelor of Science degree, Civil/ Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1975). Honors: Karl Compton Prize Scholarship, Citizenship
Ernest Brown’s background as a Civil Engineer, Real Estate Counsel at Fluor, starting his own construction law firm, and eventually acing as San Francisco Managing Partner at Smith Currie & Hancock before founding Ernest Brown ADR, makes him uniquely qualified to quickly understand, analyze, and act to resolve project disputes. He has a remarkable breadth and depth to serve large construction and real estate clients and advise ongoing global projects. Mr. Brown has successfully resolved more than 3,000 disputes through complex mediations, jury trials, court trials, Dispute Resolution Boards, and arbitrations. For more than 30 years, Ernest Brown has developed a nationally recognized practice focused on the construction, government contracts and public infrastructure, aviation, insurance coverage, engineering and manufacturing, and real estate industries and the variety of legal issues facing those in that industry. He has extensive experience and in- depth knowledge of personal injury, wrongful death, energy and environmental, and international law. Mr. Brown acts as a Mediator, Arbitrator, and Special Master for private and public clients working or located across the US, as well as Mexico, Canada, Central and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Mr. Brown offers exceptional conflict resolution services across a full range of topic areas. Early on in his career, Mr. Brown earned an AV* Rating as a pre-eminent construction law attorney, based on a national peer review system that reflects a lawyer's ability and integrity. He has been selected as a Super Lawyer since 2014. There are few lawyers nationwide whose combined training, experience and skill set encompass such a wide range of subject matter. Mr. Brown has advised more than $10 billion in US and International Construction Projects. He has also been chief trial counsel in global construction disputes such as the Central Arizona Project Pipeline failure ($146 million, Defense Verdict) and the June 9, 1985 Southern California Edison Powerplant Disaster ($250 million in property damage and six deaths; minimal settlement for his client). Mr. Brown has thirty years of experience advising Owners, Builders and Architect/Engineers in major United States and International construction projects, including "megaproject" contract drafting and negotiation, claim development and analysis, crisis management, dispute resolution, environmental and OSHA compliance, project audits and ADR resolution of major claims ranging from $250,000 to $250 million. Mr. Brown has acted as lead trial counsel representing major clients such as airport, casinos, sports arena, power plants, pipelines, transit systems, refinery, roadways and bridges, schools and universities, high technology, industrial, and treatment plants. He has also created and contributed to legal resource for various construction and environmental law committees of the California State Bar and County Bar Associations, American Arbitration Association, Associated General Contractors, American Society of Civil Engineers and National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). While at Fluor Corporation, one of the world's largest engineering and project management companies he advised large and complex international projects. These included the Saudi Petrochemical Project ($3.4 billion), the PERTAMINA Oil Refinery in Chilachap, Indonesia, the Kemya Project in Saudi Arabia, and several projects in Alaska, Chile, Canada, the UAE and Indonesia.
Successful parties and their legal counsel employ mediation as an effective line of attack in resolving construction disputes. There are two basic rules regarding construction mediation: It is completely voluntary and the mediator’s discussions are absolutely confidential. It is also a huge money-saving tool. It offers great savings over the discovery and trial process. It satisfies our desire to end disputes with a handshake, not a fist fight. It turns adversaries into future friends, colleagues and allies. And, when practiced well, it is an art. There is a MAJOR flaw in many parties’ approach to mediation. They often assume that the necessary people, knowledge and documents will be readily available during the mediation proceeding. Unfortunately, during the course of many mediations, the parties and/or their legal counsel realize that an essential party, document, or other piece of key information is not available. It can leave a gaping hole in the settlement process and keep the parties from reaching an otherwise acceptable agreement. In that case, a great deal of time and effort can be wasted. If a postponement occurs, the parties may discover another missing party, document or item of information. Mediation is an art and a terrific innovation for the construction industry. But counsel and the parties must fully understand its underlying philosophy and purpose, carefully prepare their mediation case, and then wholeheartedly engage in the settlement process. Mr. Brown uses traditional mediation format of group meeting and breakout sessions. He is respectful and listens to the parties carefully. His extensive background in large scale construction as well as extensive trial work is a powerful combination for reaching settlement based upon likely outcomes. However, when impasse is reached, he is highly effective in identifying the parties deep interests and motivations, as well as business reasons for accepting settlements that may elude other mediators.
Aviation Business & Commercial Construction Energy & Environmental Engineering & Manufacturing Government Contracts & Public Works Insurance Coverage International Law Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Real Estate Science & Technology Toxic Torts

Mediation: $8,000/day throughout the Western United States. Fee includes 8 hours of preparation/ travel and a full day of mediation (9 a.m.-12 a.m.). $1,500 travel/lodging fee per day for travel assignments beyond the Western US. Mediation Fees are due upon booking. The first day of mediation is charged upon the parties agreeing to a mediation date. Parties wishing to cancel or re-schedule mediation must do so at least seven (7) calendar days in advance. Postponements or cancellations within seven (7) days of the first day of mediation are subject to a cancellation/postponement fee equal to one day of mediation, $8,000. The mediation fee is a flat rate of $8,000, divided equally between the parties. The fee includes administrative costs, preparation, one full day of mediation and travel expenses for mediations taking place in the western United States. Arbitration: $6,000/day worldwide plus travel and lodging expenses at cost. $600/hour for preparation. Estimated arbitration fees are charged in advance. A fee (“cancellation fee”) will be imposed for any arbitration hearing days postponed or canceled (collectively “cancelled”) for any reason, including by stipulation/order, settlement or dismissal. The cancellation fee will be 25% of the rates applicable to the scheduled arbitration hearing dates in the following circumstances: The cancellation fee will be one daily arbitration hearing rate amount for each week or partial week of scheduled arbitration hearing dates in the following circumstances: - Arbitration hearings scheduled for one to five days in duration that are cancelled thirty (30) days or less prior to the scheduled commencement of the arbitration hearing; - Arbitration hearings scheduled for six to ten days in duration that are cancelled forty-five (45) days or less prior to the scheduled commencement of the arbitration hearing; - Arbitration hearings scheduled for eleven to fifteen days in duration that are cancelled sixty (60) days or less prior to the scheduled commencement of the arbitration; and - Arbitration hearings scheduled for sixteen to twenty days in duration that are cancelled seventy-five (75) days or less before the scheduled arbitration hearing.

Member, American Arbitration Association Member, State Bar of California (1978-Present). Member, California Board of Professional Engineers. Member, National Panel of Construction Arbitrators for the American Arbitrators Association. Chair, Working Group for ConsensusDocs (Present). Member, ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, (1980 – Present). Chairman, Associated General Contractors of California Legal Advisory Committee, (Present). Founder and Chair, Orange County Bar Association, Construction Section, (1987 – 1992). Chair, Orange County Bar Association, Desert Shield Committee, (1990-1991). Board Member, YMCA of Orange County, (1990-1992). Chair of Building Committee, Chair, & Secretary, Saint Margaret’s Episcopal School, (1995-1998). Co-Chairman, Construction Law Section of the California State Bar. Volunteer Deputy District Attorney- Orange County, (1995-1996). Member, San Francisco Bar Association. Member, National Society of Professional Engineers. Member, Environmental Professionals Organization.
Training and Education
American Arbitration Association - Mediator Training Courses American Arbitration Association - Annual CLE Trainer - AAA Construction Arbitration & Mediation
1. University of California - Berkeley (School of Architecture) - Construction Law 2. University of California - Irvine (Graduate Business School) - Business Law 3. University of California - Irvine (Extension) - Construction Law 4. Cal Poly Pomona - Graduate Program - Construction Law The foregoing were University level, full semester or quarter courses taught by Ernest C. Brown, Esq., PE. Course 1 was co-taught by Joseph McQuillian, Esq. PE Mr Brown has also given approximately 400 speeches and lectures on Construction Law. His online construction law courses are available for free at www.constructionlawyers.com/videos
California Infrastructure Projects: Successful Contracting and Dispute Resolution, Recorder Books, (2015). A Practical Guide to Public-Private Partnerships, Publisher Design Group, Inc., (2015). California Public Works: Contracts & Litigation (1999). Architect/Engineer Malpractice, Federal Publications, (1980). "What Lawyers Must Know About Asbestos," ABA Journal, Nov. (1987). "Architect/Engineer Liability Under California Law", Cambridge Institute (1992). CEB's California Public Contract Law handbook. Editor, Construction Contracts and Disputes Continuing Education of the Bar. Co-author, Federal Publications and Cambridge Institute course manuals on architect-engineer malpractice.

IMI Code of Professional Conduct American Arbitration Association Code of Conduct Court Rules for Mediators and Arbitrators in California

IMI Professional Conduct Assessment Process American Arbitration Association Administrative Process State Bar of California

Arch Insurance Company (Marsh), $1 Million Per Claim, $2 Million Aggregate

Ernest Brown
(800) 832-6946
(415) 317-1708
(415) 523-0302
San Francisco
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