Peter C. Sheridan
Peter C. Sheridan, the Chair of Glaser Weil’s Construction Law Practice Group, heads a team of Firm attorneys who focus on construction law primarily and also handle complex real estate, eminent domain and inverse condemnation cases. He represents owners, developers and architects in California, Nevada and internationally.
Mr. Sheridan litigates and tries cases in all courts and before JAMS and AAA on a variety of issues, including construction close-out and defects, design error, delay, and related construction disputes. He has negotiated and renegotiated scores of construction and design contracts for U.S.-based and international clients and has litigated and negotiated all-risk, commercial and project-specific CCIP and OCIP insurance for multi-billion dollar projects. Mr. Sheridan also focuses on complex real estate disputes, including those involving half-billion dollar real estate partnerships and large commercial landlord tenant cases. Mr. Sheridan also represents government as well as landowners in eminent domain and inverse condemnation litigation, including the Los Angeles MTA and a landowner in a dispute with the Freeport Regional Water Authority. Additionally, he has handled multi-district fraud litigation, securities class actions and business interference and defamation in Washington D.C., New York, California and Belgian courts.
Mr. Sheridan’s focus on construction has also allowed him to develop a specialty in construction disputes involving very large hotels, casinos and resorts, such as the Bacara Resort and Spa in Santa Barbara; Diamond Resorts in Kaanapali, Maui and Poipu, Kauai; City Center in Las Vegas; Baha Mar in Nassau, Bahamas; and La Quinta Resort in La Quinta, California.
Mr. Sheridan received bachelor’s degrees in both political science and speech communication from California State University, Northridge, and his law degree, cum laude, from Willamette University College of Law. He is licensed to practice in California and Nevada. As a much honored collegiate debater, collegiate debate scholarship recipient, adjunct professor coaching debate teams at both CSUN and Willamette, and a Law School Moot Court and Mock Trial Champion, Mr. Sheridan developed early the oral advocacy skills he puts to use litigating for his clients.
Mr. Sheridan formerly headed the Firm’s Pro Bono Program and Recruiting Committee. Additionally, he has served on several boards for his law school, church and elsewhere and has actively supported numerous charities and outreach programs. Mr. Sheridan was on the Development Committee at Loyola High School of Los Angeles for six years and has supported educational institutions throughout his professional life.
Mr. Sheridan has been recognized five years in a row (2013-2017) as one of the top 100 Irish lawyers in the United States by the Irish Legal 100 (created by the Irish Voice newspaper) and is proud of his Irish heritage.
Mr. Sheridan resides in Pacific Palisades, with his wife, Megan, and their two grown sons.
Construction and Eminent Domain/Inverse Condemnation
Represented the owner of a $3.5 billion resort in Nassau, Bahamas, in all aspects of its disputes with the world’s largest contractor, based in China (CSCEC), and oversaw preparation of litigation against the contractor in the Bahamas, New York and the UK. In particular, successfully tried an extended “Dispute Resolution Board” hearing against the Chinese contractor, with a unanimous opinion in favor of the owner on all grounds presented. Negotiated and renegotiated numerous self-perform contracts and design-related services contracts. Guided UK counsel regarding all of the underlying facts while preparing a $250 million lawsuit against the contractor in the UK.
Achieved a notable resolution of a high-stakes construction defect lawsuit involving a client’s resort in Northern California. After 12 months of investigation and seven months of intense discovery in federal court, Mr. Sheridan secured a $25 million settlement of all claims from Perini, its subcontractors, and the architect, where 24 months before when the Firm took over the then four-year-old case the best offer from the defendants had been $2 million. Over 20 other law firms represented over thirty subcontractors and design professionals joined in the action.
Represented before JAMS the owner/developer of a major retail space in a case against the general contractor, involving complex close-out claims brought by the general contractor as well as significant construction defects, resulting in a damage claim made by the client in excess of $15 million. Architectural, waterproofing, structural, geo-technical, and complex diminution issues were involved, and over 80 days of depositions were taken. As a result of Mr. Sheridan's and his team's work, the general contractor’s claims against the client were resolved for significantly less than the claims made and below the client's 998 pre-trial offer. Thereafter, 20 days into a 30 day arbitration before JAMS, the general contractor settled the construction defect claims with the firm's client on terms very favorable to the client.
Represented a luxury California resort that was improperly constructed and suffered systemic water damage. On behalf of the client, Glaser Weil first pursued the general contractor and its subcontractors and defended against over $40 million in change order and delay claims. Mr. Sheridan was able to achieve a very favorable settlement with the general contractor. The litigation then proceeded against the client’s first party "all-risk" insurers. After intense and aggressive litigation against the insurers, on the eve of trial and during trial additional settlements for the client with three separate first-party "all-risk" insurers were entered into that eclipsed even the prior settlement with the general contractor.
Successfully obtained a multi-million dollar settlement for one of the largest vacation ownership companies in the world in a matter litigated in federal court in Hawaii involving three large and improperly constructed steel "Space Frames", or atria covers, sitting approximately one hundred and fifty (150) feet atop the open-air towers of the client’s luxury resort located on Maui, Hawaii. On behalf of the client, Mr. Sheridan pursued the entities that designed the Space Frames, supervised the installation of the Space Frames’ component parts, and fabricated the key components of the structures. In achieving a favorable result for the client, Mr. Sheridan worked closely with experts in the fields of structural engineering, metallurgical engineering, failure analysis and cost estimating.
Represented one of the largest vacation ownership companies in the world and the resort HOA regarding a resort located in Kauai, Hawaii. That representation included investigating all defects at the resort. Thereafter, Mr. Sheridan negotiated over $50 million in contracts with the contractor and supporting consultants, and negotiated the multi-tier CCIP project-specific insurance policy. That project remains underway, and Mr. Sheridan has represented the HOA in disputes with the contractor.
Represented a resort owner and management company regarding certain flood-related issues, including overseeing numerous consultants involved in remediation and construction management as well as engineering.
Litigated in Sacramento Superior Court (assigned via a reference to JAMS for trial) a complex dispute about the costs of relocating an 84 inch underground water pipeline and the valuation of property to be taken by a water agency in a hybrid contract/condemnation case. Trial went forward in December 2012 and January 2013. Judgment was entered in favor of the Firm’s client, and the government agency appealed, which appeal is pending.
Litigated in State Court and in arbitration certain delay and defect claims on behalf of the owner with respect to work done by the defendant on two residences, one in Malibu and one in Bel-Air. The matter was settled in mediation on terms very favorable to the client.
Litigated in State Court with a general contractor and framing subcontractor over their defective work on a warehouse-to-office conversion project in West Los Angeles. The case settled on terms very favorable to the client.
Litigated complex railroad engineering and design issues in a high-stakes inverse condemnation and eminent domain case on behalf of the owner of a large retail center in Fullerton against a local transportation agency. The case settled on terms very favorable to the client.
Litigated on behalf of the owner against a general contractor and subcontractors for defects in the construction of a large, high-profile automobile dealership in Southern California. Architectural, waterproofing, structural, geo-technical, and complex diminution issues were involved. The case settled on terms very favorable to the client.
Litigated an action on behalf of a resort owner against a "time and materials" general contractor for falsified records, fraudulent billing, and other claims revealed by an audit. Mechanic’s Lien claims by the subcontractors were consolidated with the main claim against the general contractor, and the case was settled on terms very favorable to the client.
Negotiated architect, contractor and consultant contracts for a cutting-edge-design automobile dealership in Los Angeles.
Representing the Los Angeles MTA in a series of eminent domain cases paving the way for the Purple Line subway extension through West Los Angeles and Beverly Hills.
Helped a client avoid a long and costly construction defect dispute by bringing together all potentially responsible parties and (1) compelling them to come up with a fix that would meet city approval, and (2) funding it from their own pockets. The client’s project has been repaired without the client coming out of pocket for any of the fix. Mr. Sheridan recovered the client's consequential financial losses associated with failure of the responsible parties to deliver the project, settling those claims favorably for the client.
Begun as inverse condemnation cases, the firm litigated twenty to thirty separate cases involving the MTA subway. Mr. Sheridan litigated the claims of the Wiltern Theater and Koreana Hotel, related to the construction of two of the subway system’s underground stations. These cases evolved in to construction cases involving the costs of repair, diminution in value, and consequential losses associated with damage done to adjoining properties during construction of the underground subway stations. Claims for business interruption, resulting property loss, land subsidence, and the like totaled in the hundreds of millions of dollars. All cases were settled or litigated through to verdict, and several matters went to the Court of Appeal. Complex issues of subjacent and lateral support, business financial analysis in light of business interruption claims, temporary and permanent shoring issues, and structural integrity of the allegedly damaged neighboring structures dominated the litigation over the many years these cases were pending. The Wiltern case went to the Court of Appeal and Mr. Sheridan argued there on behalf of the MTA.
Successfully defended the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works in a series of cases brought by the Girardi Law Firm on behalf of more than 400 allegedly damaged neighbors of the improvements the City was constructing to the storm drain that runs from the Beverly Center to Ballona Creek. Mr. Sheridan and his colleagues formulated a strategy to pursue individualized discovery from each of the 400 or so separately joined plaintiffs, and such resulted in dismissal for failure to answer discovery against well over 300 of the plaintiffs. The case subsequently was resolved as to the remaining plaintiffs on terms favorable to the client. Mr. Sheridan also represented the County in high-profile subsidence cases in Calabasas and elsewhere.
Successfully reversed two adverse district court decisions, resulting in the reinstatement of the client's defamation claims against a think-tank/N.G.O. backed by George Soros.
Won summary judgment in federal court for a private equity firm against a claim of interference with contract. The private equity firm client had backed one part owner of a software company against the other part owner who initiated an attempt at a buy-out under a "buy-out/shoot-out" provision in a shareholder agreement.
Established new law under the UCC regarding assignees of security interests in this multi-year proceeding.
Won in the California Court of Appeal a rule that, when insurance policies owned by a corporation are, along with the other assets, transferred to a limited partnership via a "de-facto" merger, those same insurance policies are transferred to the limited partnership by operation of law, notwithstanding an "anti-assignment" clause in those policies.
Won a summary judgment in the trial court, affirmed by the Court of Appeal, on a claim by the plaintiff of violations of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act and the "lemon laws" of California. The plaintiff had threatened class claims, and the summary judgment thwarted any such claims from being brought.
Secured a substantial six-figure settlement for the firm's client in an inverse condemnation claim against the City of Newport Beach for flooding of the client's home during the El Nino rains of 1997-1998.
In a two-week bench trial, Mr. Sheridan won a more than $4 million judgment for his client, an asset-based lender standing in the shoes of a borrower, which constituted the entire damage claim presented by his client to the court.
On behalf of an insured of a title insurer client, Mr. Sheridan won seriatim summary judgments and dismissals at trial and cleared title on property after fraudulent liens were placed on record title by a collection of defendants.
After 18 months of litigation, Mr. Sheridan was part of a team of lawyers that resolved 80-year-old disputes over the title to, and zoning for, the valuable median strip of property between "big" and "little" Santa Monica Boulevard on the Westside of Los Angeles. The result negotiated helped create the transportation corridor that now is found between the 405 Freeway on the west and the City of Beverly Hills on the east.
In a partial nationwide consumer class action with claims based on Business and Professions Code sections 17200 and 17500 and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), included in the class were Californians renting cars from the client in all 50 states and non-California residents renting in California. The case involved extensive motions to dismiss, focusing on, among other things, the retroactive effect of California’s Proposition 64, and the inconsistencies between California’s consumer statutes and those of other states. There were also six rounds of document discovery, a class certification motion, three summary judgment motions, and four mediation sessions all with briefing on the key issues for three of the four sessions. Mr. Sheridan was able to settle the case for significantly less than the client’s expectation, and the documentation for the settlement involved complex funding and claw-back agreements, escrow and court governance requirements, trust administration agreements, and stipulated modifications to rental agreements entered into by the client in the future.
California and Nevada State Bar Litigation and Construction Law sections
Loyola High School of Los Angeles, Development Committee of the Board of Regents
Willamette University College of Law Board of Visitors and Leadership Council
Honors & Awards
"Managing the Battlefield, Part 2: The Uniform Construction Arbitration Agreement," American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, Commercial and Business Litigation, August 30, 2017.
"Managing the Battlefield, Part 1: Appreciating the Value of Consolidated Arbitration," American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, Commercial and Business Litigation, August 30, 2017.
"Managing the Battlefield: Using a Uniform Multi-Party Construction Arbitration Agreement," Journal of the American College of Construction Lawyers, Winter 2017.
Presenter and Author, HB/Mealey’s Litigation Conferences, Construction Law/Arbitration, March 2013.
Seminar on Uniform Construction Arbitration Agreements, to be presented at the Construction Lawyers Society of America Annual Convention, September 2017.
“Emerging Issues in Construction Law: What You Need to Know in 2017 and Beyond,” Knowledge Group Webinar, June 2017.