ACCL Membership Directory

Patrick J. O'Connor

  • POConnor ADR LLC
  • 901 Second Street South #704
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415


  • Undergraduate: Hamline University (1975)
  • Law School: The American University (1981)

Career History

Pat has advised and represented numerous clients in contract negotiations involving power plants, waste water treatment facilities, waste incineration facilities, and other heavy industrial and large commercial projects. He has also represented sureties in connection with performance and payment bond claims, including takeover agreements and financing arrangements as well as subrogation and indemnification matters. Selected reported transactions include:

  • 1325 North Van Buren, LLC v. T-3 Group, Ltd., 701 N.W.2d 13 (Wis. Ct. App. 2005) (successfully argued for insurance coverage under construction manager’s professional liability policy)
  • Auto-Owners v. NewMech Companies, Inc., 678 N.W.2d 477 (Minn. Ct. App. 2004), (successfully obtained coverage under a CGL policy for mold and water damage to a condominium project)
  • Ray & Sons Masonry Contractors, Inc. v. U.S.F.& G. Co., 114 S.W.3d 189 (Ark. 2003) (upholding $1.5 million jury verdict in favor of client)
  • U.S.F.& G. Co. v. Continental Cas. Co., 353 Ark. 834, 120 S.W.3d 556 (Ark. 2003) (agreeing with client’s position that commercial general liability policy applied to indemnity judgment due to the “insured contact” exception to the contractual liability exclusion)
  • Crane Const. Co. v. Klaus Masonry, 71 F. Supp. 2d 1125 (D. Kan. 1999) (opinion addressed proof requirements of indemnity action; this matter ultimately resulted in a jury verdict of several hundred thousand dollars against a roofing subcontractor in favor of surety client)
  • U.S.F.& G. Co. v. A&A Masonry, Inc., 991 S.W.2d 111 (Ark. 1999) (this decision reversed a trial court’s ruling dismissing surety’s indemnity action for losses incurred due to defective construction: successfully arguing for the reinstatement of client’s indemnity claim)
  • O’Shaughnessy v. Smuckler Corporation, 543 N.W.2d 99 (Minn. Ct. App. 1996) (successfully argued that contractor/insured had coverage under 1986 CGL policy for subcontractors’ defective work)
  • MNVA Railroad, Inc. v. John Alden Life Ins. Co., 507 N.W.2d 15 (Minn. Ct. App. 1993) (represented group health insurer in ERISA preemption matter)
  • Maxa v. John Alden Life Ins. Co., 972 F.2d 980 (8th Cir. 1992) (successfully represented group health insurer in dispute over coverage based upon policy language)
  • Emison v. J. Paul Stearns Co., 488 N.W.2d 336 (Minn. Ct. App. 1992) (homeowner client successfully prevailed on mechanic’s lien issue; this matter was eventually arbitrated and client successfully resisted contractor’s claim of more than $500,000.00 when arbitrators issued an award of $12,000.00 in favor of contractor)
  • Lumberman’s Underwriting Alliance v. Tifco, Inc., 465 N.W.2d 580 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991) (premium-financing company litigation)
  • Carl Bolander & Sons Co. v. City of Minneapolis, 451 N.W.2d 204 (Minn. 1990) (after trial, successfully argued on behalf of contractor that low bidder’s bid was non-responsive due to bid’s failure to comply with the invitation requirements concerning women and minority-owened business enterprise participation)
  • Subsurfco, Inc. v. Osceola Rural Water System, Inc., 914 F.2d 1072 (8th Cir. 1990) (final appellate decision in matter where firm’s surety client and contractor successfully resisted owner’s breach of contract claim of $6 million based upon allegations of poor workmanship and obtained an arbitration award against owner for retainage in excess of $300,000)
  • Goette v. Press Bar and Cafe, Inc. 413 N.W.2d 854 (Minn. 1987) (final appeal rejecting owner’s claims of defective design against architect; discovery established that contractor had failed to follow architect’s design and therefore firm’s client, the architect, was absolved of responsibility for personal injuries and economic loss resulting from structural failure)
  • Sheehan v. Morris Irrigation, 410 N.W.2d 569 (S.D. 1987)(appeal of summary judgment granted in favor of firm’s surety client; case ultimately settled under circumstances where surety made no payment and recovered significant portion of litigation costs even though the contractor/principal was insolvent)
  • Farmer’s Union Central Exchange v. Reliance Insurance Co., 626 F. Supp. 583 (D.N.D. 1985) and 675 F. Supp. 1534 (D.N.D. 1987) (obtained defense verdict on two suppliers’ payment bond claims and claims for bad faith against surety client)

Professional Activities

  • Fellow, American College of Construction Lawyers
  • Former Co-Chair, Law Division, ABA Fidelity and Surety Law Committee
  • Former Chair, Division 7-Bonds, Liens & Insurance, ABA Forum on the Construction Industry
  • Editor of ABA Forum on the Construction Industry’s newsletter, Under Construction

Professional Recognition

  • Super Lawyer, Minnesota Law & Politics
  • Burton Award–Excellence in Legal Writing, Awarded for Article entitled, “Allocating Risks of Terrorism and Pandemic Pestilence: Force Majeure for an Unfriendly World”
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America (Construction Law)

Additional Industry Experience

  • Adviser, American Law Institute’s Restatement on Suretyship and Guaranty. The American Law Institute chose 16 lawyers from private practice and academia to act as advisers in the preparation of the Restatement Third Suretyship and Guaranty (1996)

Dispute Resolution Experience

  • Member of American Arbitration Association Construction Industry Panel
    Arbitrator in numerous construction disputes
  • Mediator in numerous two-party and multi-party construction disputes

ABA Forum Committee on the Construction Industry

Representative Articles, Publications, Speeches and Seminars

  • Bruner & O’Connor on Construction Law
    West Publishing Company (eight-volume treatise, addressing all major areas of construction law)(update annually) (2002)
  • The Surety’s Rights of Restitution and Subrogation – Setoff Principles Under the Restatement of the Law Third, Suretyship and Guaranty
    The Restatement of Suretyship and Guaranty: A Translation for the Practitioner – American Bar Association, Tort & Insurance Practice Section. (2005)
  • ERISA Bond Claims Over Employer Stock Losses: The Landscape in a Post-Enron World
    Co-author, The Fidelity Law Journal (2004)
  • CGL/Builder’s Risk Monograph, Editor
    American Bar Association (2004)
  • Allocating Risks of Terrorism and Pandemic Pestilence: Force Majeure for an Unfriendly World
    The Construction Lawyer (2003)
  • BIM at the Beginning — Using Both the ConsensusDOCS BIM Addendum and the AIA Model Progression Specification to Formulate a Successful BIM Execution Plan
    Panelist, Construction Super Conference, San Francisco, December 2012
  • Synthesis and Implication
    Construction Review & Outlook 2012 Conference, Las Vegas, October 2012
  • Update: Indemnification and Liability in Construction Contracts
    Construction Review & Outlook 2012 Conference, Las Vegas, October 2012
  • AIA Integrated Project Delivery and Building Information Modeling Documents
    Lorman Education Services, August 2012
  • Building Information Modeling (BIM): Risks, Rewards and Contract Applications
    Navigating the Legal Aspects of Building Information Modeling, The Harvard Club, New York City, July 2012
  • Builder’s Risk Insurance
    Forum on the Construction Industry, American Bar Association, Santa Monica, May 2012
  • Owner Construction Risk: How a Controlled Insurance Program Can Protect Your Assets
    Construction Teleconference, Lorman Education Services, January 2012
  • Construction Defects: Insurance Coverage Issues
    Teleconference, NBI Seminars, December 2011
  • Recent Developments in the Economic Loss Rule and Right-to-Cure Laws — Insurance Coverage Implications
    National Association of Home Builders, Milwaukee, September 2011
  • Builder’s Risk Insurance
    Forum on the Construction Industry, American Bar Association, Chicago, September 2011
  • AIA Integrated Project Delivery and Building Information Modeling Documents
    Lorman Education Services, September 2011
  • Integrated Project Delivery Agreements in Construction Contracting
    Stafford Seminars, July 2011
  • Building Better Construction Contracts: Tailoring Incentives, Creating Collaboration and Developing Effective Risk Allocation
    The Practising Law Institute, April 2011
  • The Building Enclosure: Legal and Risk Management Issues
    BIM Forum, San Diego, February 2011
  • The Basics of OCIPs and CCIPs
    Co-presenter, Lorman Education Services Webinar, 2009, 2010 and 2011
  • Insurance Update and Coverage for Defective Work
    Arizona State Bar Convention, 2010
  • Legal Considerations in Sustainable Design and Construction
    Arizona State Bar Convention, 2010
  • Ten Industry Transformational Trends
    The Practising Law Institute, July 2010
  • What Every Contractor Should Know About Obtaining and Securing Its “Right to Know” Owners’ Financial Arrangements for Construction Projects
    AGC’s 91st Annual Convention, 2010
  • Bankruptcy and the Completing Surety
    Co-presenter, Pearlman Conference, 2009
  • Comparison of ConsensusDOCS 300 and AIA IPD Documents
    AGC Private/Public Industry Advisory Council, La Quinta, Calif., 2009
  • Building Information Modeling and Integrated Project Delivery
    AGC Annual Convention, San Diego, 2009
  • Half-Day Seminar on Insurance Issues
    Client site, 2009
  • Building Information Modeling
    AISC/ACCL BIM Conference, 2009
  • Building Information Modeling and Integrated Project Delivery
    Boston Society of Architects, 2009
  • Risks in Construction
    Practising Law Institute, New York City, 2009
  • Time-Element Coverages
    ABA/TIPS Annual Meeting, 2008
  • Surety’s Right to Indemnity
    Fidelity & Surety Law Committee Spring Meeting, Kansas City, 2008
  • Building Information Modeling
    UK Society of Construction, 2008
  • Integrated Project Delivery
    National Telephone Conference, Collaborative Studies Workshop, 2008
  • Building Information Modeling
    University of Minnesota School of Architecture, 2008
  • American Institute of Steel Constructors Annual BIM Conference
    Program Moderator, Nashville, 2008
  • Project Delivery Methods and New AIA Documents
    Practising Law Institute, New York City, 2008
  • Building Information Modeling
    American College of Construction Lawyers 18th Annual Meeting, San Antonio, 2008
  • Building Information Modeling
    Institute of Military Engineers (presented in conjunction with Mortenson Construction representatives), Minneapolis, 2008
  • Building Information Modeling and Integrated Project Delivery
    Joint Engineer Training Conference, Society of American Military Engineers, 2008
  • Aging Infrastructure
    Webinar, Lorman Education Services Webinar, 2008
  • Aging Infrastructure
    ABA Annual Meeting, New York City, 2008
  • Building Information Modeling and Integrated Project Delivery
    Society of Construction Law, London, England, 2008
  • ABA Forum/FSLC Meeting
    Co-Chair, ABA Forum/FSLC Mid-Winter Meeting, New York City, 2007
  • Building Information Modeling
    AIA Minnesota Annual Meeting, 2007
  • Sustainable Design and Global Warming
    Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel, 2007
  • 17th Annual Meeting of American College of Construction Lawyers
    Program Chair, Sanibel Island, Fla., 2006
  • Contractor Claims: Prevention and Effective Resolution
    Contract Solutions Group, 2006
  • Change Orders in Minnesota
    Lorman Education Services, 2006
  • Construction Lien Law in Minnesota
    Lorman Education Services, 2006
  • Numerous additional speeches presented on a variety of topics throughout the U.S. over the past 25 years

Court Admissions

Admitted To Practice (State)

  • Minnesota

Admitted To Practice (Federal)

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court of Minnesota
  • U.S. Supreme Court

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