Jose A. Aquino practices in the area of commercial litigation with a concentration in construction law, mechanics' lien law and government procurement law. Mr. Aquino has more than twenty years of experience in litigation, dispute resolution and avoidance, and counseling. He is also member of the firm's Cuba Business Group, providing assistance to companies seeking to understand and enter the emerging Cuban market.
Mr. Aquino regularly advises owners, developers, construction managers, general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and sureties during all phases of the development and construction process. He represents clients in construction disputes, mechanics' lien foreclosures, delay claims, change order negotiation and disputes, trust fund claims, surety and insurance issues and bankruptcy proceedings. In addition, his government contract experience includes advising clients on bid submissions, bid disputes, contractor qualification disputes, prevailing wage disputes and change order negotiation and disputes. He has appeared in federal, bankruptcy and state courts at the trial and appellate levels, in arbitration and mediation proceedings, and in quasi-judicial proceedings before state and municipal agencies. Mr. Aquino also advises clients on project planning, management and control strategies.
Mr. Aquino has been directly involved in some of the most visible private and public construction projects in the New York metropolitan area, including: Queensboro Bridge, George Washington Bridge, Marine Parkway Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge, World Trade Center Memorial and Museum, Battery Park City, American Museum of Natural History, Red Hook Water Pollution Control Plant, Riker's Island, Grand Central Terminal, Bronx Terminal Market Retail Center, East River Plaza, Scandinavia House, Atlantic Terminal Office Tower, The Eventi Hotel, Trump Soho Hotel Condominium, The Beatrice, The Mercedes House, 1271 Avenue of the Americas, The Seville and 425 Fifth Avenue.
Mr. Aquino is a 1993 graduate of Brooklyn Law School and a graduate of New York University. He is fluent in Spanish.
- Represented subcontractor in litigation seeking to recover compensatory and punitive damages under the trust fund provisions of Article 3-A of the New York State Lien Law from general contractor, which refused to pay for work performed on an office renovation project in New York City.
- Represented developer and contractor in litigation with subcontractor claiming in excess of $2 million from alleged differing site conditions, extra work and delays in connection with the conversion of commercial building into residential condominiums.
- Represented general contractor in negotiations and administrative proceedings against the City of New York wherein contractor was awarded in excess of $2 million in change orders associated with the rehabilitation and painting of NYC Bridge.
- Represented contractor on $12 million litigation with subcontractor alleging extra work, conversion and delay claims in connection with public improvement construction project.
- Represented developer and construction manager in $4 million litigation with trade contractor and subcontractors alleging breach of contract, violations of the Lien Law and diversion of trust funds in connection the construction of a hotel and residential condominium project.
- Represented developer in litigation by foundation contractor and subcontractors claiming in excess of $2 million in connection with the construction of a multi-level retail project with an attached parking facility located on approximately 6 acres spanning 3 New York City blocks.
- Represented public owner in litigation against a mechanical contractor concerning the construction of a Water Pollution Control Plant in Brooklyn, New York.
- Represented contractor in quasi-judicial proceedings to successfully challenge the City of New York's finding that contractor was a non-responsible bidder.
- Represented water and sewer contractor in litigation by former employee alleging non-payment of prevailing wages on public construction project.
- Represented contractor in administrative proceeding commenced by the Comptroller of the City of New York against contractor and subcontractor alleging prevailing wage violations by the subcontractor.
Areas of Practice
- Commercial Litigation
- Construction Law
- Mechanics' Lien Law
- Government Procurement Law
- New York
- New Jersey
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
- Brooklyn Law School, J.D., 1993
- New York University, B.A., 1983
- Duane Morris LLP
- Special Counsel, 2011-present
- Associate, 2008-2011
- Thelen LLP (formerly Brown Raysman Milstein Felder & Steiner, LLP; formerly Ross & Cohen, LLP)
- Associate, 1998-2008
- New York City Law Department
- Assistant Corporation Counsel, Commercial and Real Estate Litigation Division, 1993-1998
Author, "Trump’s Cuba Policy Likely to Reverse Trends," Hotels Magazine, November 22, 2017
Quoted, "3 Takeaways From Trump's Cuba Restrictions," Law 360, November 9, 2017
- Author, "Trump's Cuba Policy May Have A Chilling Effect On Travel," Law360, August 16, 2017
- Co-author, "U.S. Commerce and Treasury Departments Announce Wide-Ranging Changes to Further Ease Travel, Commerce and Investment Restrictions on Cuba," Duane Morris Alert, September 18, 2015
- Contributor, Duane Morris Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Caribbean Blog
- Contributor, Duane Morris Construction Law Blog
- Author, "A Closer Look at the Newly Discovered Cuban Food Market," Law360, November 18, 2015
- Author, "US Embassies in Cuba Not Just a Symbol," Law360, July 14, 2015
- Co-author, "Ten Things to Consider When Drafting Construction Contracts Under New York Law," Building & Bonding: The Construction Group Newsletter, Fall 2010
- Co-author, "New York Amends Public Authorities Law for Subcontractors Filing Liens on NYC School Construction Authority Projects," Duane Morris Alert, September 27, 2010
- Co-author, "Amendments to New York Prompt Payment Act Broaden Enforcement," Duane Morris Alert, March 5, 2010
- Co-author, "New York Requires Employer-Written Notifications and Additional Recordkeeping for New Hires," Duane Morris Alert, November 10, 2009
- Featured in "Building on Trust: Forest City Ratner Companies and Duane Morris LLP, Counsel to Counsel, March 2009
Selected Speaking Engagements
- Speaker, "Emerging Opportunities in Cuba - What Businesses Need to Know Now," Duane Morris & Lupicinio Roundtable, New York, April 27, 2015
- Speaker, "Construction Lien Law," Lorman Education Services Seminar, February 21, 2008