Chris Hersey has more than 18 years of civil litigation and trial experience, focusing on construction, contract, business, and commercial disputes. He represents general contractors, subcontractors, project owners, homeowners, and developers in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout California in complex construction cases on both private and public works of improvement, including breach of contract claims, schedule delays cases, change order disputes, acceleration and disruption claims, commercial and residential construction defect claims, bid protests, mechanics’ lien actions, stop payment notices, and surety bond claims. Chris has extensive experience representing clients in California state and federal courts, in arbitration proceedings before the American Arbitration Association and the Contractor’s State License Board, and in private mediations.
In addition to assisting clients in litigation and alternative dispute resolution proceedings, Chris regularly drafts and negotiates construction and design contracts and subcontracts. Maintaining his commitment to providing comprehensive legal services to his clients, Chris also counsels clients on issues of risk management and avoidance.
- J.D., University of California at Davis School of Law, 1998
- B.A., Economics, University of California at Berkeley, 1993
- Georg-August Universitaet, Goettingen, Germany 1991-1992
- California State Courts
- United States District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Central, and Southern Districts of California
- 2013 Northern California Super Lawyers List for Construction Litigation
- Order of the Barristers—Awarded for Excellence in Courtroom Advocacy
Professional Activities & Memberships
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, Santa Clara County Bar Association
- Associated General Contractors of California—Legal Advisory Committee
- Friends of Cal Forensics Board of Trustees
- Served as lead trial counsel for a large general contractor in a three-week jury trial, successfully obtaining a verdict against a commercial project owner who refused to pay for change order work. In addition to awarding the entire amount of the contractor’s claim, the jury’s verdict including special findings regarding the owner’s violation of California’s prompt payment statues and a complete defense of the owner’s cross-complaint against the client for construction defect claims.
- On behalf of a large commercial contractor, litigated and ultimately resolved through negotiation a $20 million mechanics’ lien claim against multiple construction lenders who claimed that the contractor had subordinated its lien rights to the bank’s deeds of trust.
- Following a four-hour cross-examination in state court of plaintiff’s primary witness, successfully obtained a walk-away settlement and dismissal from a former member of an LLC alleging that the remaining members of the LLC had defrauded plaintiff out of more than $2 million in LLC assets.
- Successfully represented a general contractor in federal court on competing delay and inefficiency claims totaling more than $30 million in a case involving construction of one of the world’s largest dairy processing facilities.
- Obtained summary judgment and dismissal of claims in excess of $16 million against a general contractor in federal court.
- Secured dismissal on summary judgment of a $10 million construction delay claim in California state court.
- Obtained an affirmative recovery as lead counsel on behalf of a large general contractor in a four-week binding arbitration against a hotel developer that alleged millions of dollars of damages in delay and construction defect claims.
- Successfully mediated and settled numerous construction and commercial disputes, including claims in excess of $1 million against a client arising from a failed software implementation.
Seminars and Courses
- Instructor, California Construction Law, San Jose State University Extension Program, 2003 to 2009
- Lecturer, California Construction Delay Claims, Lorman Education Services, 2005
- Lecturer, The Tricks, Traps & Ploys of Construction Scheduling, Lorman Education Services, 2004
- Lecturer, Delay Claims—The Most Expensive Construction Disputes, Lorman Education Services, 2004
- Lecturer, Risk Allocation and Dispute Minimization on Complex Construction Jobs, Lorman Education Services, 2003
160 W. Santa Clara St
San Jose, CA 95113