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 in 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.

Adam 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

Firm Highlights

News

Cyber Insurance Demand Heats Up As COVID-19 Hacks Rise

Tyler Gerking spoke to Law360 for the article "Cyber Insurance Demand Heats Up As COVID-19 Hacks Rise." As far as insurance coverage being available for fines and penalties that arise out of privacy and data security laws such as...

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News

Coronavirus: Can tech allay the dangers of the Bay Area office of the future?

Rebecca Stephens spoke to the San Francisco Chronicle about legal considerations that could potentially hinder a return to physical work as much as technological ones. Link to the article: https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Coronavirus-Can-tech-allay-the-dangers-of-the-15246378.php

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Publication

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Insights and Resources

The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing disruption throughout the US that we have not seen in generations. Governmental entities, academia, and the private sector are working diligently to contain COVID-19 while it...

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News

Dan Cohn Named to American Friends of Tel Aviv University Board of Directors

SAN FRANCISCO, May 26, 2020: Farella Braun + Martel Partner Daniel E. Cohn was elected to the American Friends of Tel Aviv University (AFTAU) Board of Directors. AFTAU is a nonprofit organization that raises...

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Publication

What Retailers Need to Know About California’s Price-Gouging Laws

Pandemic-related price spikes in consumer goods have attracted the attention of both government enforcers and private plaintiff. In California, Attorney General Xavier Becerra has issued two admonitions against price gouging – one focused on online retail platforms...

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Event

Hot Topics Facing Nonprofit Organizations and Their Advisors in 2020 (Webinar)

Join speakers, Cynthia Rowland and Matt Lewis, for a discussion of current issues nonprofit organizations and their advisors are facing this year. Cynthia and Matt will cover: About that nest egg—when nonprofits can, and can’t...

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Publication

Zoom Successfully Addresses New York’s Privacy and Security Concerns

A few weeks ago on this blog, we addressed some of the legal issues that have arisen for Zoom , as it becomes a significant part of American daily life during the COVID-19 pandemic. ...

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Event

7th Annual Partner Compensation One-Day Workshop

Brian Donnelly is presenting the case study session, "Managing Partner Performance" at Fairfax Associates' 7th Annual Partner Compensation One-Day Workshop. Click here for more information.

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Publication

Permitting Utility-Scale Battery Energy Storage Projects: Lessons From California

The increasing mandates and incentives for the rapid deployment of energy storage are resulting in a boom in the deployment of utility-scale battery energy storage systems (BESS). In the first installment of our series...

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Event

Employment Laws and the New Normal: New Workplace Obligations and a New Look at Prior Obligations (Webinar)

Holly Sutton and Rebecca Stephens present the program "Employment Laws and the New Normal: New Workplace Obligations and a New Look at Prior Obligations" to the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. ...

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