Biography

Adam Dawson maintains a diverse civil litigation practice emphasizing construction, real estate, hospitality, and gaming. Adam has over three decades of experience representing all sides of real estate and construction disputes involving hotels, office buildings, retail stores, warehouses, waste treatment facilities, power plants, and airports. Uniquely, his practice combines expertise in both real estate law and construction law. 

In a construction dispute, Adam will understand both the underlying documentation as well as the roles and responsibilities of all the participants. Not many lawyers can say that. In a major project, a dispute often relates to why the work took longer than it should, why the cost was higher than agreed to, or who was responsible for missteps. Adam can review the schedule, specifications, and voluminous records to determine whose responsibility the delay was. Where there were overlapping responsibilities, he can identify a shared delay or problem from a morass of project plans and technical details – for example, an owner who may have changed the project specifications, so the original plan became unworkable. If the answer is there, Adam will find it, and will be able to clearly and convincingly explain it.

He has also represented clients in every conceivable position involving real estate in his career -- both landlords and tenants in complex commercial lease and development agreement disputes; owners, managers and developers in real property disputes, including those involving easements, joint ownership and the partition of jointly owned property. Adam can evaluate lease terms governing whether/how a tenant can make changes to a building, and determine how those terms apply in a subsequent dispute over construction and tenant improvements or rent calculations. He has represented public owners, financial institutions, and private individuals and companies in trials, arbitrations, and mediations relating to real estate.

Three decades of experience have also given Adam exceptionally acute judgment regarding the degree to which to involve the client in the day-to-day operation of a matter. While some clients want information about what’s happening, and others don’t want to be bothered, Adam excels at delivering a balanced compromise. He will provide status reports that communicate “Here’s what’s come up, here are the decisions I’ve made” – keeping clients up to speed, but without burdening them with unnecessary or redundant details. He gives direct advice based on experience and deep thought about what he’d do, asks for approval and answers questions, but does not simply barrage clients with decisions for them to make.

Adam is a potent force n both negotiations and at trial. When possible, he prefers to begin by trying to gather enough information to be able to effectively negotiate early nonjudicial resolutions.  In almost all cases, early attempts at resolution through mediation or settlement negotiation make sense. Adam has the ability to communicate with people who are under pressure professionally and his deft touch can often make the difference between a successful negotiation and unnecessary conflict. When it is clear that trial or arbitration is the only way to resolve a dispute, Adam is a highly trained and experienced  trial lawyer who, along with being an advocate, is trained and acts as an arbitrator.  Step by step, Adam moves to a resolution. His opponents respect his expertise. And his clients trust his judgment.

Mr. Dawson has lectured and taught classes relating to depositions, litigation strategy and techniques and has written articles relating to ADA compliance, mediation of construction claims and lease interpretation issues.

Distinctions

  • PLC Which Lawyer? in Construction
  • The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Construction Law

Memberships and Affiliations

Firm Highlights

Event

CWA Regulation of Discharges to Groundwater: Permitting Uncertainty in Light of Circuit Court Split

Sarah Bell will speak on the Strafford live webinar, "CWA Regulation of Discharges to Groundwater: Permitting Uncertainty in Light of Circuit Court Split." This CLE webinar will discuss the "indirect discharge" theory of Clean...

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News

Prior Litigation Can Impact Coverage in Future Disputes

GlobeSt.com March 6, 2019 "Prior Litigation Can Impact Coverage in Future Disputes" Insurance Recovery Senior Associate Shanti Eagle discusses how positions taken by insureds in prior litigation can impact or foreclose coverage in subsequent disputes...

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Publication

The Uncertain Future of California’s Vehicle Emission Standards

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Event

Advancing the Careers of Women in the Environmental Practice: Obstacles & Opportunities

Sandra Edwards, Speaker, Advancing the Careers of Women in the Environmental Practice: Obstacles & Opportunities Join ELI-WELL for an inclusive conversation with women leaders in the environmental practice, exploring the unique challenges and opportunities women...

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News

Erica Villanueva Named to 2019 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellows Program

SAN FRANCISCO, February 25, 2019: Farella Braun + Martel is proud to announce that partner Erica Villanueva has been named a member of the 2019 class of Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Fellows....

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Publication

Ninth Circuit Asks the California Supreme Court to Interpret the Scope of Personal Injury Coverage

On January 15, 2019, the Ninth Circuit certified the following question to the California Supreme Court: Does a commercial liability policy that covers “personal injury,” defined as “injury… arising out of… [o]ral or written...

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Publication

CBD in Foods and Beverages? Not Quite Yet

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Publication

Emerging Contaminants: Coming to an NRD Site Near You!

What Are Emerging Contaminants? Emerging contaminants are chemicals in the environment for which the health risks—both human and ecological—remain unknown. They are also sometimes called contaminants of emerging concern, since the chemicals, or products...

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Event

Identifying and Preparing Expert Witnesses for Trial

How do you identify the key experts you need for trial? Once you have them, what are the best practices for preparing them for trial? How do these practices vary depending on your venue, and...

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News

Farella Braun + Martel Wins Benchmark Litigation 2019 San Francisco Firm of the Year Award

SAN FRANCISCO, March 15, 2019: Farella Braun + Martel announces it has been named “San Francisco Firm of the Year” by Benchmark Litigation . Farella Partner Douglas Young accepted the award on behalf of...

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