ACCL Membership Directory

Richard Greenleaf

  • Construction Alternative Dispute Resolution Professional
  • Construction Dispute Resolution, LLC
  • 7169 Waterford Court
  • Niwot, Colorado 80503


  • Undergraduate: BA Univariate of South Florida 1976
  • Law School: JD South Texas College of Law Houston 1982

Honors and Activities

Recognized by Lawyer Monthly as the 2016 USA Lawyer of the Year in the areas of Arbitration and Mediation, consistently recognized by Best Lawyers in America in the area of Construction Law, recipient of the AAA’s designation of Construction Master Arbitrator, named to the Top 100 Construction Arbitrators in the United States, and formerly served as Co-Chair of the College of Commercial Arbitrators Construction Arbitration Section. Serves on the American Arbitration Association’s Large Complex Case Panel for Construction Cases and on the American Arbitration Association’s National Energy Panel.

Career History


He has represented all parties in the construction process and participated on complex case panels as arbitrator before the AAA, ICDR, CPR and ICC Courts involving: office and commercial buildings, apartments, & multifamily buildings, retirement facilities, industrial projects, steel and direct reduction plants, solar projects, water and sewer treatment plants, hospitals, municipal projects, prisons, hotels, civil and heavy highway, rail projects, roads and bridges, sports stadiums, airports, restaurants, “big box” stores, steel buildings, breweries and distilleries, museums, strip centers and luxury high, mid and low-rise residential structures, as well as high-end residential construction projects. 

Energy/EPC Construction Projects:

Extensive experience representing owners, contractors and equipment suppliers and has participated on complex case panels as arbitrator before the AAA, ICDR, CPR and ICC Courts for energy disputes. He has been a member of the AAA’s National Energy Panel for many years. Experience includes: gas and coal fired power plants, gas processing plants, fertilizer plants (Urea, Ammonia Nitric Acid), wind generation projects, solar projects and plants, oil field infrastructure matters, salt water storage and disposal, energy infrastructure, pipeline, petrochemical, refinery projects, power and treatment plants, electric generation, cogeneration, oil refining, and gas and salt water storage, transport, pipeline and storage facilities.


Extensive experience as a lawyer for owners and contractors as well as an arbitrator before the AAA, ICDR and CPR on large scale mining projects and disputes involving mining construction and operation, engineering, and production on mines producing gold, zinc, copper, silver, lead and molybdenum both nationally and internationally.

Typical issues handled both as a lawyer and an arbitrator include:

  • Scheduling claims including delay, disruption, acceleration, productivity, sequencing and inefficiency as well as in-depth experience in critical path scheduling and damages analysis;
  • Large scale EPC project and mega project disputes;
  • Construction defect cases and multi party claims (has arbitrated cases involving more than 60 parties);
  • Large scale engineering, procurement & procurement (EPC) construction and disputes;
  • Design build projects;
  • Contract document interpretation;
  • Soils, expansive soils and shifting soils, underground obstructions, differing site conditions;
  • Concrete and paving issues;
  • Claims involving design, engineering, errors and omissions;
  • Metal and lightweight building design and construction;
  • Thermal and moisture intrusion/protection, and building envelope issues, including paint/coatings;
  • Termination cases and damage analysis;
  • Glass, glazing window wall issues and disputes;
  • Mechanical, plumbing and HVAC issues and disputes;
  • Electrical issues and disputes;
  • Roofing and waterproofing issues;
  • Building code and plans, and specifications compliance.


Richard Greenleaf has practiced construction law for over 35 years and arbitrated over 200 construction cases through award with claims amounts in excess of $600 million and projects with values exceeding $6 billion. He also mediates select cases and serves as project neutral/early neutral evaluator and dispute review  board member on mega construction projects.  He started his practice as a trial lawyer litigating large scale commercial and energy cases on the Texas gulf coast. His practice grew from a regional to a national practice, and he has been involved in projects in 42 states and internationally. Rick has represented owners, contractors, developers, sureties, subcontractors, homeowners associations, architects, engineers, suppliers, fabricators, and specialty contractors. He now devotes his practice to serving as a neutral in complex and high dollar disputes. He was the founding co-chair of the College of Commercial Arbitrators Construction Arbitration Section. Rick’s previous legal and current ADR practice focuses largely on scheduling, critical path analysis and evaluation, changes in work scope and delays and disruptions to the construction process. He has extensive expertise in all areas of construction, energy and mining. Rick has served as a sole arbitrator as well as on arbitration panels for the American Arbitration Association, the Centre for Dispute Resolution, International Chamber of Commerce International Court of Arbitration, and the International Center for Conflict Prevention and Resolution.  Rick is honored to be a member of the AAA’s Mega-Project Construction Panel comprised of the top construction arbitrators in the U.S. as rated by counsel on construction mega projects based on their credentials and experience.

Experienced in all areas of dispute resolution, including mediation, arbitration, med-arb hybrids, and dispute review boards. Has been an American Arbitration Association Construction Panelist since 1989, arbitrating and serving as chair on numerous construction disputes on both national and international cases. International arbitrator experience includes cases for the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), International Chamber of Commerce International Court of Arbitration (ICC), and the International Center for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR). Has extensive construction mediation experience and is a member of the American Arbitration Association National Panel of Mediators as well as a member of their Master Panel. Has served as an AAA Faculty program facilitator and presenter for many years. Serves as a “Rule 7” arbitrator regarding issues of consolidation and joinder as well as a Special Master on disputes involving Electronically Stored Information (ESI).

Professional Activities

Colorado Bar Association (Construction Law Section); Houston Bar Association (Construction Law Section, Past Chair); Center for International Legal Studies (Congress of Fellows, Charter Member); State Bar of Texas (Construction Law Section, Past Council Member; Construction Law Newsletter, Past Editor); American Bar Association (Construction Industry Forum Committee; Public Contracts Law Section; Tort and Insurance Practice Section; Advisory Panel); American Subcontractors Association of Colorado (Attorneys Counsel); AAA Construction Advisory Committee; Fellow of College of Commercial Arbitrators (Former Co-Chair of the Construction Arbitration Committee); The Roster of International Arbitrators; CPR’s Panel of Distinguished Neutrals (Construction Panel); CPR’s Energy, Oil & Gas Panel; Dispute Review Board Foundation; American College of e-Neutrals; Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb); Fellow of American College of Construction Lawyers; Member of the AAA Construction Mega Project Panel of Arbitrators.

Representative Articles, Publications, Speeches and Seminars

PUBLICATIONS AND LIASONS: Served as a liaison to the American Institute of Architects in the development of the A201 General Conditions and is a contributing author to the ABA Deskbook on the 2017 version of the A201 General Conditions; “Contracting, Drafting and Understanding the Differences Between Litigation, Arbitration, and Mediation”, January 2010. Has authored “Preserving Rights and Minimizing Risk, Part III: Project Management and Prudent Lien Waivers,” USGLASS MAGAZINE, July 2006; co-authored, “Claims: Preserving Rights and Minimizing Risk, Part II: Claims Mitigation and Killer Contract Clauses,” USGLASS MAGAZINE, June 2006; co-authored, “Claims: Preserving Rights and Minimizing Risk, Part I: Developing A Contracting Policy,” USGLASS MAGAZINE, April 2006; authored “Preserving Construction Defect Claims,” BOULDER COUNTY BUSINESS REPORT, July 2005; and authored “Legislative Changes Affecting Construction,” Construction Law Newsletter, Texas State Bar, Fall 1995.

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS: April 2019, Speaker “Don’t Forget The Damages” American Arbitration Association 2019 Construction Conference; March 2019, Co-Speaker “Consolidation of Arbitrations & Joining Additional Parties: The Arbitrator’s Authority” American Arbitration Association; May 2016, “Alternative Dispute Resolution” University of Colorado School of Law Annual Construction Law Conference; April 2012, Facilitator for AAA ACE course “Maximizing Efficiency & Economy in Arbitration”; Judge, 2011 ABA National Mediation Competition; “What’s In and Not In a Contract”, May 2010, American Subcontractor Association; Co-presenter at the Glass Association of North America Annual Conference “Claims Preservation and Mitigation,” February 2006; Faculty, “Dealing with Delay Tactics,” Denver, April 2005, August 2006 and February 2010; faculty, “AAA Annual Arbitrator Update,” Denver, December 2002; presenter, “Ethics in ADR,” Denver, September 2002; presenter, “Prehearing Techniques for Expediting Arbitration Hearings,” Salzburg, Austria, June 2002; presenter, “Drafting Arbitration Clauses,” Denver, May 2002; presenter, “What Do You Do When…?,” Colorado Construction Law, Denver, January 2001; presenter, Texas State Bar Arbitration Law Course, 1998; presenter, “What Do You Do When…?,” Texas Construction Law Seminar, Houston, March 1996; presenter, “Litigation and Enforcement” and “Defenses to Liens and Bond Claims,” Construction Liens and Bond Claims in Texas seminar, Houston, February 1996.


Court Admissions

State of Texas (1982)

State of Colorado (1999)

State of Wyoming (2013)

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