Richard Van Duzer

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Rick Van Duzer, chair of Farella Braun + Martel’s Construction Group, maintains a complex civil trial practice, with an emphasis on the construction, real estate, and wine industries. 

Mr. Van Duzer has represented contractors, owners, subcontractors, and design professionals in connection with disputes over delay and cost overrun claims and construction defects arising out of a variety of projects, including commercial office buildings, hospitals, mixed-use developments, underground subway stations, dams, and cogeneration power plants.  As but one example, Mr. Van Duzer was part of a team of lawyers who successfully represented Sony against Bovis Lend Lease and Millennium Partners in connection with roughly $50 million in delay and other claims arising out of the design and construction of the Metreon in San Francisco.  More recently, Mr. Van Duzer helped defend the developer of a $2.2 billion super-critical coal fired power plant in the Midwest against an international EPC contractor claim in excess of $500 million.


Mr. Van Duzer also has represented parties in a variety of real estate disputes, including commercial and residential sales disputes, partnership disagreements and dissolutions, partition actions, commercial landlord/tenant suits, easement and boundary claims, CC&R enforcement actions, and entitlement protests.  Mr. Van Duzer formerly served on the Board of Directors of Hearthstone, at the time, the largest institutional investor in residential development projects in the United States.

As head of Farella Braun + Martel’s litigation practice in its Wine Country Office, Mr. Van Duzer has represented a number of wineries, grape growers, custom crush facilities, nurseries and other wine industry businesses in a variety of matters, including grape contract disputes, defective cork and rootstock litigation, negligent wine processing claims, trademark infringement actions, and ABC/TTB negotiations and litigation.  Just this past year, Mr. Van Duzer obtained a $5.5 million judgment against Constellation Brands and its affiliate, R.H. Phillips, for breach of a long-term grape planting contract.

Mr. Van Duzer regularly speaks on construction and wine industry issues of interest.  He is a past member of Farella’s Advisory Board, which provides long-term strategic direction for the firm.  He is recognized by Northern California Super Lawyers (2011-2018), The Best Lawyers in America (2013-2019 Litigation – Construction) and in The Legal 500 United States 2016 in the Construction practice area.


  • ABA Forum on the Construction Industry and Litigation Section
  • Building Futures Council
  • Western Council of Construction Consumers