Overview

Peter C. Sheridan leads the Firm’s Construction Practice Group. Peter focuses his practice primarily on construction law and also handles complex real estate, land use, eminent domain and inverse condemnation cases. He represents owners, developers, architects and government entities in California, Nevada and internationally, with a particular focus on construction issues in the hospitality industry. Peter is the 2023 president of the Construction Lawyers Society of America.

Peter litigates and tries cases in all courts and before JAMS and the American Arbitration Association on a variety of issues, including construction closeouts and defects, design errors, delays 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 Contractor-Controlled Insurance Program (CCIP) and Owner-Controlled Insurance Program insurance policies for multibillion-dollar projects. Peter also focuses on complex real estate disputes. He has represented government as well as landowners in land use, eminent domain and inverse condemnation litigation, including the cities of La Cañada Flintridge and Laguna Hills, California, and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA).

Peter is highly sought after for:

  • Construction litigation
  • Land use, eminent domain and inverse condemnation litigation
  • Disputes involving large resorts and hotels
  • Real estate partnership and complex landlord-tenant disputes
  • Multidistrict environmental contamination litigation

Peter’s focus on construction has allowed him to develop a specialty in construction disputes involving mega resorts and large hotels and casinos, including the Baha Mar Resort in Nassau, Bahamas; City Center in Las Vegas; the 52-story Element Philadelphia Downtown by Westin (Marriott); the Bacara Resort and Spa in Santa Barbara, California; Hilton Vacation Club Resorts (f/k/a Diamond Resorts) in Kaanapali, Maui, and Poipu, Kauai, Hawaii; and the La Quinta Resort in La Quinta, California, among others.

In addition to construction litigation, he has handled complex multidistrict cases, in particular a group of consolidated environmental contamination cases representing a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency remediation contractor (In re Gold King Mine, D.N.M.).

As a much-honored collegiate debater, collegiate debate scholarship recipient, adjunct professor coaching debate teams at both Cal State Northridge and Willamette, and a law school moot court and mock trial champion, Peter developed early the oral advocacy skills he puts to use litigating for his clients. Proud of his Irish heritage, Peter has been recognized 10 years in a row (2013-2023) as one of the top 100 Irish lawyers in the United States by the Irish Legal 100 (created by the Irish Voice newspaper).

Results

Highlights of Peter’s experience include his representation of:

  • The San Francisco 49ers football club and its affiliates in a lawsuit against the architect of Levi’s Stadium for breach of contract, indemnity and other claims regarding Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-related design work, which settled two weeks before trial on terms mutually agreeable to all parties.
  • Environmental Restoration, LLC, an environmental remediation contractor, in dismissing 250 of the 265 total plaintiff claims (totaling over $1 billion) and settling the remainder in high-profile (covered by The New York Times) multidistrict litigation lasting more than six years in which over 200 depositions were taken and more than 25 experts were designated concerning a three-million-gallon release of acid mine drainage near Silverton, Colorado, referred to generally as the Gold King Mine spill.
  • Chestlen Development, a real estate investment and development firm and owner of the 750-room, 52-story Element Philadelphia Downtown by Westin (Marriott), in pursuing claims for damages from and defending against the general contractor’s and other parties’ claims, seeking over $150 million in damages. The trial is expected to begin in 2024. 
  • The cities of La Cañada Flintridge and Laguna Hills regarding lawsuits filed and threatened invoking so-called "Builder’s Remedy" provisions of California’s Housing Accountability Act.
  • Hilton Resorts and its related foreign wealth fund owner operating the La Quinta Resort in defending against two different cases involving over 100 owner-claimants where the owners alleged improper design of a flood control system adjacent to their homes that led, during a 500-year storm, to damage to their homes. The cases involved overseeing numerous consultants involved in remediation and construction management as well as engineering. Both cases were settled on terms favorable to the clients.
  • The owner of a $3.5 billion resort in Nassau, Bahamas, in successfully trying an extended Dispute Resolution Board hearing against China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC), the world’s largest contractor, and receiving a unanimous opinion in favor of the client on all grounds presented. Oversaw the handling of ongoing disputes with CSCEC for two years and the preparation of litigation against it in the Bahamas and New York, while preparing a $250 million lawsuit against CSCEC in the UK.
  • The Homeowners Association (HOA) of the Point at Poipu, Kauai, Hawaii (and its managing entities Diamond Resorts and Hilton), in settling advantageously for our client (after four years of litigation) against the general contractor, Layton Construction Co. LLC, three subcontractors and two material providers for window and building envelope installation-related defects and resulting damages.

Peter’s notable matters categorized by service type include his representations of:

Construction Litigation
  • The San Francisco 49ers football club and its affiliates in a lawsuit against the architect of Levi’s Stadium for breach of contract, indemnity and other claims regarding ADA-related design work, which settled two weeks before trial on terms mutually agreeable to all sides.
  • Environmental Restoration, LLC, an environmental remediation contractor, in dismissing 250 of the 265 total plaintiff claims (totaling over $1 billion) and settling the remainder in high-profile (covered in The New York Times) multidistrict litigation lasting more than six years in which over 200 depositions were taken and more than 25 experts were designated concerning a three-million-gallon release of acid mine drainage near Silverton, Colorado, referred to generally as the Gold King Mine spill.
  • The owner/developer of a major retail space in a case against the general contractor, involving complex closeout 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, geotechnical and complex diminution issues were involved and over 80 days’ worth of depositions were taken. The general contractor’s claims against the client were resolved for significantly less than the claims made and below the client’s Section 998 pretrial offer. Thereafter, 20 days into a 30-day arbitration before JAMS, the general contractor settled the construction defect claims on terms very favorable to the client.
  • The owner of a large, high-profile automobile dealership in Southern California in settling on terms very favorable to the client regarding the litigation against a general contractor and subcontractors for construction defects related to architectural, waterproofing, structural, geotechnical and complex diminution issues.
  • The Skirball Cultural Center in settling claims favorable to the client and avoiding a long and costly construction defect dispute by bringing together all potentially responsible parties and successfully compelling them to come up with a fix that would meet city approval and fund it from their own pockets. The project was repaired without the client paying out of pocket, and consequential financial losses were recovered.
  • Complete Property Services, the plaintiff/cross-defendant general contractor, against Champion Development and Victory at 30th, the owner of student housing, arising out of the owner’s failure to pay $750,000 to the contractor. Also defended the client in a cross-complaint filed by the owner.
  • An owner pursuing a general contractor and framing subcontractor over their defective work on a warehouse-to-office conversion project in West Los Angeles. The Superior Court case settled on terms very favorable to the client.
  • An owner in negotiating architect, contractor and consultant contracts for a cutting-edge-design automobile dealership in Los Angeles.
Hospitality
  • Chestlen Development, a real estate investment and development firm and the owner of the 750-room, 52-story Element Philadelphia Downtown by Westin (Marriott), in pursuing claims for damages from and defending against the general contractor’s and other parties’ claims seeking over $150 million in damages. The trial is expected to begin in 2024. 
  • The HOA of the Point at Poipu, Kauai, Hawaii (and its managing entities Diamond Resorts and Hilton), in settling advantageously for our client (after four years of litigation) against the general contractor, Layton Construction Co. LLC, three subcontractors and two material providers for window and building envelope installation-related defects and resulting damages.
  • The owner of a $3.5 billion resort in Nassau, Bahamas, in successfully trying an extended Dispute Resolution Board hearing against CSCEC, the world’s largest contractor, and receiving a unanimous opinion in favor of the client on all grounds presented. Oversaw the handling of ongoing disputes with the contractor for two years and the preparation of litigation against the contractor in the Bahamas and New York, while preparing a $250 million lawsuit against the contractor in the UK.
  • BML Properties Ltd., the former owner of the Baha Mar Resort, along with other counsel in seeking over $2.5 billion in damages against China Construction America, Inc., and its subsidiary in a fraud and breach of contract action regarding a $3.5 billion resort project in Nassau, Bahamas.
  • Next Century Partners, a leading real estate company that owns and develops notable resort and hotel properties, in negotiating and litigating multiple disputes with Webcor and several of its subcontractors concerning the $1.5 billion retrofit of the Century Plaza Hotel and the construction of two new 40-story condo towers.
  • Diamond Resorts and its HOA at a Kauai, Hawaii, resort focused on investigating all defects at the resort and negotiating over $50 million in repair contracts with the contractor and supporting consultants, also and negotiating the multitier CCIP project-specific insurance policy.
  • A Northern California resort owner in achieving a notable resolution of a high-stakes construction defect. After 12 months of investigation and seven months of intense discovery in federal court, secured a $25 million settlement of all claims from Tutor 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 representing more than 30 subcontractors and design professionals joined in the action.
  • The owner of the luxury Bacara Resort in achieving a very favorable settlement against the general contractor and three separate first-party all-risk insurers related to improper construction and systemic water damage suffered. Glaser Weil first pursued the general contractor and its subcontractors and defended against over $40 million in change order and delay claims. 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 insurers were entered into that eclipsed the prior settlement with the general contractor.
  • One of the world’s largest vacation ownership companies in successfully obtaining a favorable multimillion-dollar settlement pursuing entities that designed three large and improperly constructed steel space frames, or atria covers, sitting approximately 150 feet atop the open-air towers of the client’s luxury resort located on Maui, Hawaii, in a matter litigated in a Hawaiian federal court. Advised the client regarding the repair of the space frames’ component parts and fabrication of the key components of the structures while working closely with experts in the fields of structural engineering, metallurgical engineering, failure analysis and cost estimation.
  • Hilton Resorts and its related foreign wealth fund owner operating the La Quinta Resort in defending against two different cases involving over 100 owner-claimants where the owners alleged improper design of a flood control system adjacent to their homes that led, during a 500-year storm, to damage to their homes. The cases involved overseeing numerous consultants involved in remediation and construction management as well as engineering. Both cases were settled on terms favorable to the clients.
  • A resort owner in settling on terms very favorable to the client regarding the litigation 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.
Land Use, Inverse Condemnation and Eminent Domain
  • The cities of La Cañada Flintridge and Laguna Hills regarding lawsuits filed and threatened invoking so-called "Builder’s Remedy" provisions of California’s Housing Accountability Act.
  • The city of Rancho Santa Margarita, California, in securing a summary judgment against a landowner who sued on three claims – for “arbitrary” application of an auto center zoning ordinance (matching historical uses on the property) and the loss of a citywide referendum to change the zoning to “general commercial,” for violations of the Permit Streamlining Act and for inverse condemnation.
  • A large real estate investment trust (REIT) client in achieving judgment in favor of the client in Sacramento Superior Court (assigned via a reference to JAMS for trial) regarding 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.
  • The owner of a large retail center in Fullerton, California, in settling on terms very favorable to the client regarding the litigation of complex railroad engineering and design issues in a high-stakes inverse condemnation and eminent domain case against a local transportation agency.
  • The LACMTA in a series of eminent domain cases paving the way for the Purple Line subway extension through West Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. Peter continues to represent the LACMTA in negotiating extensions to the “temporary construction easements” necessary to complete the subway.
  • The LACMTA in settling or litigating through to verdict and in the Court of Appeal numerous cases with claims totaling hundreds of millions of dollars related to the construction of the LACMTA Red Line subway and its underground stations. The cases involved costs of repair, diminution in value and consequential losses associated with damage done to adjoining properties (business interruption, resulting property loss, land subsidence) during construction. 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 Los Angeles County Department of Public Works in the successful defense of a series of cases related to the construction of the storm drain running from the Beverly Center to Ballona Creek. Of the total cases from over 400 allegedly damaged neighbors from the improvements, 300 were dismissed and the remaining were resolved on terms favorable to the client.
  • A confidential client in securing a substantial six-figure settlement from an inverse condemnation claim against the city of Newport Beach for flooding the client’s home during the El Niño rains of 1997 and 1998.
  • The city of Los Angeles in resolving, after 18 months of litigation, 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.
Lease Disputes
  • Merlone Geier Partners, a leading West Coast REIT, in a substantial recovery from a settlement during the third day of trial against Macy’s, using the COVID-19 moratorium resolutions as a defense to having failed to pay past due rent and property taxes under its lease agreement on a 254,000-square-foot shopping center.
  • Merlone Geier Partners in a lease dispute regarding the cost of and liability for building restoration after heavy snow collapsed the roof of a Safeway store in a shopping center owned by the client in Oregon, requiring $5 million in repairs.
General Litigation
  • A high-profile foreign industrialist in successfully reversing two adverse district court decisions, resulting in the reinstatement of the client’s defamation claims against a think tank/non-governmental organization (NGO) backed by George Soros.
  • A private equity firm in winning summary judgment in federal court (and prevailing on appeal by the opposing party in the Ninth Circuit) against a claim of interference with contract. The client had backed one part owner of a software company against the other part owner who initiated an attempt at a buyout under a buyout/shootout provision in a shareholder agreement.
  • An asset-based lender standing in the shoes of a borrower in a two-week bench trial, winning a more than $4 million judgment that constituted the entire damage claim presented by the client.
  • An insured of a title insurer client in winning seriatim summary judgments and dismissals at trial and a cleared title on property after fraudulent liens were placed on a record title by a collection of defendants.
  • A nationwide car rental company 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. Peter was able to settle the case for significantly less than the client’s expectation, and the documentation for the settlement involved complex funding and clawback agreements, escrow and court governance requirements, trust administration agreements, and stipulated modifications to rental agreements entered into by the client in the future.
  • An asset-based lender in an action in federal court in Ohio that established new law under the Uniform Commercial Code regarding assignees of security interests in this multiyear proceeding.
  • An owner of a petroleum and chemical storage facility where, in reversing the trial court, the client won in the California Court of Appeal and established 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.
  • A nationwide car rental company in winning a summary judgment in the trial court, affirmed by the Court of Appeal, on a claim by the plaintiff of violations of the CLRA and the “lemon” laws of California. The plaintiff had threatened class claims and the summary judgment thwarted any such claims from being brought.

Insights

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, "Take 15 Minutes to Save $5 Million," New York City Construction Law Symposium, November 29, 2023
  • Speaker, “Robots on the Job: Expansion of Their Use and Resulting Legal Issues,” 2023 East Coast Construction Law Symposium, Miami, Florida, May 19, 2023; 2023 International Conference, Construction Lawyers Society of America, Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina, November 3, 2023
  • Speaker, “Forewarned Is Forearmed: The Scope and Protections of the So-called Mediation Privilege,” 2022 West Coast Construction Law Symposium, Construction Lawyers Society of America, Los Angeles, California, May 20, 2022
  • Speaker, “Lessons Learned in the City Center Litigation,” North American Construction Law Symposium I, November 2017
  • Speaker, “Uniform Construction Arbitration Agreements” Seminar, Construction Lawyers Society of America Annual Convention, September 2017
  • Speaker, “Emerging Issues in Construction Law: What You Need to Know in 2017 and Beyond,” Knowledge Group Webinar, June 2017
  • Author and presenter, “Construction Law/Arbitration,” HB/Mealey’s Litigation Conferences, March 2013

Hot Topics

Awards and Recognition

Awards and Recognition

“500 Leading Litigators in America,” Lawdragon, 2023-24

Construction, California, Chambers USA, 2023-24

“The Irish Legal 100,” Irish Voice, 2013-2023

“Distinguished Speaker Award,” Construction Lawyers Society of America, 2017

“CLSA Law Firm Award” (accepted on behalf of Glaser Weil’s Construction Practice Group), Construction Lawyers Society of America, 2017

Southern California Super Lawyers, multiple years

Peer Rated, Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent®, multiple years

Richard B. Aronstam Award and Scholarship Recipient, California State University, Northridge, 1983

Leadership and Community

President (2023) and Charter Fellow, Construction Lawyers Society of America

Member, Diversity Law Institute

Member, Trial Law Institute

Member, California and Nevada State Bar Litigation and Construction Law Sections

Member, Development Committee, Loyola High School of Los Angeles, 2010-2015

Member, Board of Visitors and Leadership Council, Willamette University College of Law

Adjunct Professor, Speech and Debate, Willamette University, 1985-1987

Adjunct Professor, Speech and Debate, California State University, Northridge, 1983-1985

Editor-in-Chief (1987-1990) and Contributor (1986-1987), Willamette Law Review

In addition to these memberships, Peter has served on several boards for his law school, his church and elsewhere. He actively supports numerous charities and outreach programs.

Services

Industries

Education

Willamette University College of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1988

California State University, Northridge, B.A., Speech Communication, and B.A., Political Science, 1983

Admissions

  • California
  • Nevada
Jump to Page

Necessary Cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytical Cookies

Analytical cookies help us improve our website by collecting and reporting information on its usage. We access and process information from these cookies at an aggregate level.