Phone: (402) 437-8507
301 South 13th Street, Suite 500
Lincoln, NE 68508-2578
Attorney, Arbitrator, Mediator, Adjunct Professor of Construction Law, Practice concentrated in Construction and Government Contracts
Woods & Aitken LLP
Areas of Expertise:
✔ Construction ✔ Contract Disputes
✔ Energy including oil and gas
CONSTRUCTION EXPERIENCE: Since 1959, has specialized in construction industry legal matters. As an attorney practicing construction law, represented numerous clients involved in construction projects and construction disputes. These clients included general contractors, subcontractors, specialty contractors, owners, sureties, developers and design professionals. Experience involved a wide variety of public and private construction projects including industrial plants, commercial, residential and institutional facilities, pipelines, power plants, refineries, environmental remediation projects, bridges, dams, highways, waterways, electrical generation and transmission projects. Particular interest is the analysis of disputes resulting from the performance of large complex construction projects involving issues of schedule delays, accounting for costs and damages, the impact and effect of changes in design and construction conditions, and similar problems. Practice is limited to construction matters and focuses on domestic and international complex construction cases involving substantial issues and claims. CONSTRUCTION NEUTRAL EXPERIENCE: Currently actively engaged in work as a construction neutral rather than as an advocate. He acts as an arbitrator and mediator as a member of American Arbitration Association panels. Currently actively engaged in that work for the American Arbitration Association as a mediator (since 2004) and as an arbitrator (since 1994). Member of the AAA Construction Arbitration Master Panel for Large and Complex Cases and the Mega Project Panel, as well as the ICDR Panel of Arbitrators. Experience as a construction neutral includes the resolution of disputes on a number of large projects of different character and nature . Allen has helped resolve disputes on over 60 cases involving both national and international project of major sizes and scopes. As an arbitrator, work includes experience on a number of larger projects: mines, bridges, light rail, restaurants, highways, airport facilities, commercial buildings, hotels, high rise structures, educational projects, restaurants, office buildings, amphitheater, recreational facilities, and other commercial and governmental facilities. Process energy experience includes work on refineries, cogeneration, gas handling facilities, pipelines, and waste water treatment plants. Mediator experience includes: road projects, underground utilities, residence manufacturing facilities, commercial buildings, hospitals, power plants, environmental work, and a convention complex. Experience as an ADR professional includes both international and domestic projects and projects ranging in size from 500 thousand to over 100 million dollars.
Attorney, Woods & Aitken LLP, 1959-present, Adjunct Professor of Construction Law at the University of Nebraska Law College. Resolution of construction disputes. For many years Allen has handled construction problems as a representative of parties involved in construction. He now functions as a neutral advisor and decider of construction disputes. Currently practices serving as an arbitrator, mediator or neutral advisor in the construction industry. Further, he actively teaches construction law at a major university.
ABA 15th Annual Section of Dispute Resolution Spring Conference, 2013; AAA ICDR ICC ICSID Joint Colloquium, The Frontiers of Arbitration, 2012; AAA Managing the Arbitration Process for Efficiency & Economy Following the Preliminary Hearing, 2012; The College of Commercial Arbitrators Annual Meeting, 2011; Faculty, AAA Managing Your First Arbitration, 2010; Faculty, AAA Fall Construction Conference, 2010; Faculty, AAA Webinar, Five Steps to Fast-Track the Large, Complex Construction Case, 2010; AAA Advanced Mediator Training, 2010; ABA Advanced Mediation & Advocacy Institute, 2009; AAA/ICDR International Arbitration Symposium, 2006; AAA Dealing With Delay Tactics in Arbitration (ACE004), 2005; AAA Arbitrator Ethics and Disclosure (ACE003), 2003; AAA Construction Arbitrator II Training: Advanced Case Management Issues, 2002; AAA Arbitrator Update, 2001; ICC Arbitrator at Work, 2000; AAA Construction Industry Arbitrator Training, 1997; ABA/AAA Mediator Skills Training Program
U.S. District Court for District of Nebraska, 1959-present; U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Federal Circuit and Eighth Circuit; Nebraska State Bar, 1959-present; Colorado State Bar, 2009-present
Recognition: Recipient of the Cornerstone Award in recognition of distinguished service to the ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, 2002-2003; The Best Lawyers in America 2015; Leed Green Associate; Who's Who Legal: Construction 2015.
American Arbitration Association, Large & Complex Case Construction Panel; American Arbitration Association, International Centre for Dispute Resolution Panel; American Arbitration Association Panel of Mediators
Member, College of Commercial Arbitrators; Member and past member of Board of Governors, American College of Construction Lawyers; Member and past member of Governing Committee, American Bar Association Forum on Construction Industry; past chair of Division 1 Dispute Avoidance and Resolution; Member, U.S. Green Building Council Colorado; Past Member, American Arbitration Association National Construction Dispute Resolution Committee (NCDRC); Original Member, Steering Committee of Construction Industry Dispute Avoidance & Resolution Task Force (DART)
B.S, B.A., University of Nebraska, 1956; LL.B., Harvard University, 1959; Member of Phi Beta Kappa, Beta Gamma Sigma and Delta Sigma Rho
AUTHORED THE FOLLOWING PUBLICATIONS ON CONSTRUCTION LAW: "The Case for Construction Law Education," The Construction Lawyer, Summer 2009; "Will the New Contract Forms for Integrated Project Delivery Make Conflict Obsolete? (Or Are We Still Lost in Our Contract Obsession?)," Journal of the American college of Construction Lawyers, vol. 3, no. 1, Winter 2009; Co-editor and chapter author, Construction Law Textbook, ABA, 2009:"Project Delivery Methods: Modern Construction Problems," American Bar Association, October 2005; co-author, "Measuring the Contractor's Damages by Actual Costs - Can It Be Done?", The Construction Lawyer, Winter 2005; co-author, "Subcontractor Pass Through Claims and Sponsorship Litigation," Construction Briefings, no.03-9, September 2003; "Negotiating the Construction Contract: When the Project Design Is Incomplete and Evolving," The Construction Lawyer, Summer 2002; co-author, "Termination For Convenience and Constructive Termination For Convenience In Private Contracts," Construction Contracts Law Report, vol. 25, no. 21,October 2001; "The Truth About Partnering," Punch List, August 1998; "Toward the New Construction Philosophy," The Construction Lawyer, 1991. AUTHORED THE FOLLOWING PUBLICATIONS ON ARBITRATION AND ADR ADMINISTRATION: "Introducing a Novel ADR Technique for Handling Construction Disputes: Arbitration" The Construction Lawyer, winter 2015; "What Is Wrong with Construction Arbitration - We Do Not Know the Issues!" Journal of the American College of Construction Lawyers, vol. 6, no. 1, Winter 2012; Chapter author: ADR Construction; ABA 2013;"Fast Tracking Construction Arbitration, The Colorado Lawyer, vol. 40, no. 8, August 2011; co-author, "Five Steps to Fast-Track the Large, Complex Construction Case," Dispute Resolution Journal, AAA, May-July, 2009; "A Proposal to Increase Efficiency of Arbitration in Large, Complex Cases Using an Early Disclosure Case-Management Order," Punch List, Feb/Apr 2002; "Now Is the Time to Control the Big Case," Punch List, Fall 1996; "Efficient Document Handling: The Key to Effective Case Preparation," American Bar Association, November 1989; "Proving Construction Damages - An Overview - Proving Damages Through Alternative Dispute Resolution," American Bar Association, August 1987.
GOALS AS A CONSTRUCTION NEUTRAL: I intend to work toward the fairest and most economical solution to the disputes affecting construction parties. I expect to do this by actively approaching any dispute with the object of reaching the earliest and least costly resolution. POLICIES AS A CONSTRUCTION NEUTRAL: 1. Construction disputes can be very destructive to the interests of the parties. Parties can suffer extraordinary expense and, as important, substantial delay pending the definition of their rights and responsibilities. The solution is a fair assessment and early definition of the position of the parties in as little cost and time as possible. 2. An early analysis of all sides of the dispute this enables me to organize the major issues in a way they can be practically approached and decided is essential to the success of the resolution process. The costs of any proceeding need to be restricted to a discussion of its essential elements. Costs and fees of the resolution process should be carefully forecast and limited. 3. I charge for my hours spent in the dispute resolution process at the rate of $375.00 per hour for the actual time spent in study or hearing of a dispute. I do not charge for travel time but only charge for the actual expense of travel. I do not charge for the cancellation of a pending dispute – in fact within the bounds of ethics I do my best to encourage the parties to settle. 4. Except for any conflict with clients of my law firm, I would be pleased to visit informally about the possibility of my assistance in the resolution of any potential dispute. The time of such a visit would be without any charge.