Patrick J. Kearney has a diverse national construction law and real estate litigation practice, handling a broad range of matters in federal and state courts across the United States and before arbitrators for international and domestic clients. He serves as a team lead for the Duane Morris Construction and Engineering industry group. Mr. Kearney has counseled clients, including owners/developers, contractors, banks, design professionals and public entities on all aspects of construction law. During his career, Mr. Kearney has represented clients on construction projects and/or litigated construction cases in at least 18 different states involving differing site conditions, termination, equitable adjustments, surety law, mechanic's liens, claims for delay and inefficiency, design errors and omissions, construction defects, and all types of other contract disputes. Mr. Kearney has also been involved in some of the largest and most visible construction projects of the last decade in the Philadelphia/New Jersey area, including casinos, skyscrapers and sports stadiums. Nationally, he has assisted clients in projects involving the construction of a tunnel in Seattle, Washington; a ski resort in Vail, Colorado; and a break in a ten-foot-wide water main in Weston, Massachusetts, among others.
Mr. Kearney also has extensive experience with jury trials and jury research. In addition to obtaining a multimillion-dollar verdict following a four-week trial for a developer, he also led several mock jury trial exercises and worked side-by-side with jury consultants in order to develop effective trial themes and jury instructions.
He has also served as special construction counsel for certain bridge and transportation projects, and has assisted school districts complete major capital improvement projects. Mr. Kearney also counsels his clients on how to respond to day-to-day scope and payment disputes, notice provisions, minority participation requirements, licensing questions, bonding problems and other business issues.
Mr. Kearney devotes a substantial portion of his practice to litigating shareholder, partnership and other business disputes. In addition to his litigation practice, he counsels his clients on litigation avoidance practices, risk management, and project planning and management. Known as a "problem solver," Mr. Kearney routinely helps his clients navigate through legal mine fields so they can focus on their business.
Mr. Kearney is a 2003 graduate of Rutgers School of Law-Camden and a cum laude graduate of Temple University. He is also an alumnus of the University of Virginia Law School, Trial Advocacy College.
Areas of Practice
- Construction Litigation
- Commercial Litigation
- Real Estate Litigation
- Obtained judgment after a four day bench trial in Chester County, Pennsylvania on behalf of three real estate investment partnerships in a lawsuit filed against them by two limited partners who claimed that partnership property had been improperly sold below fair value as part of a fraudulent scheme.
- Filed, prosecuted, and/or defended over one hundred mechanics' lien claims in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
- Obtained a $7.6 million jury verdict following a four-week trial for a national developer against an architectural engineering firm in a suit arising from the delayed construction and opening of a major retail center in Atlantic City, N.J.
- Obtained a favorable outcome for a client on a high-profile construction litigation matter in Boston, Massachusetts involving a water main break that affected more than two million residents in the Boston area.
- Represented a national contractor in pursuing a claim in state court for changed conditions, labor inefficiency and extra work on a project involving the construction of a casino, with an outcome the client found favorable.
- Represented a large mechanical contractor in a mediation of a delay and inefficiency claim on a project involving the construction of an NFL football stadium, with an outcome the client found favorable.
- Successfully enforced a "pay-if-paid" provision against several subcontractors that asserted multi-million dollar claims against a general contractor.
- Obtained a favorable outcome for a client involving the interpretation of a termination-for-convenience and a termination-for-cause provision.
- Obtained a favorable outcome for a developer defending claims brought by a contractor for unforeseen site conditions.
- Obtained the dismissal of claims brought by an electrical contractor who was seeking to recover millions in delay costs, inefficiency and extra work.
- Resolved to the client's satisfaction a multimillion-dollar suit in Connecticut federal court on behalf of a national electrical contractor on claims brought on a project involving the construction of a high-rise building in Hartford.
- Appeared before the Institute for Christian Conciliation and obtained a judgment on behalf of an architect for unpaid design services.
- Obtained injunctions in federal court enjoining ex-employees from unlawfully using proprietary information for the benefit of their new employer.
- Drafted and negotiated construction contracts for owner/developers, contractors, design professionals, school districts, condominium associations, and various public entities.
- Supported contractors through state and local licensing and registration requirements.
- Created and implemented a strategy with detailed processes and protocols that allowed a bank to substantially change the overall construction schedule and delete major items of work while protecting the bank and owner from claims and additional exposure from contractors and subcontractors.
- Assisted a contractor in complying with state and federal M/W/DBE subcontracting requirements by creating policies and procedures that could be implemented within the company.
Project and Business Management
- New Jersey
- Rutgers School of Law - Camden, J.D., 2003
- Temple University, B.A., cum laude, 2000
- Duane Morris LLP, 2008-present
- Cohen, Seglias, Pallas, Greenhall & Furman, P.C., 2003-2008
- Philadelphia Bar Association
- New Jersey Bar Association
- Construction Section
- Brehon Law Society
- South Jersey Mechanical Contractor Association
- New Jersey Green Building Council
- Building Contractor Association of South Jersey
- Southern New Jersey Development Council
Honors and Awards
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 2022
Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, 2021
- Listed in Super Lawyers, Rising Stars Edition, 2008, 2010-2017
- Contributor, Duane Morris Construction Law Blog
- Co-author, "Delay and Disruption Claims," Pennsylvania Construction Law: Getting Started, Getting Covered, Getting Paid, PBI Press, 2013
- Co-author, "Public Construction in Pennsylvania," Pennsylvania Construction Law: Project Delivery Methods, PBI Press, 2012
- Co-author, "Getting Paid on Private and Limited Public Contracts: Pennsylvania Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act," Pennsylvania Construction Law: Getting Started, Getting Covered, Getting Paid, PBI Press, 2011
- "Pennsylvania Provides Stiff Criteria for Classifying Employees and Independent Contractors," Duane Morris Alert, October 15, 2010
Selected Speaking Engagements
- "Pennsylvania Construction Law: Project Delivery Methods, Execution & Completion," Pennsylvania Procurement Code/Public Construction in Pennsylvania, PBI, 2013
- "Construction Lien Law and Payment in Pennsylvania: Getting Paid Through the Dispute Resolution Process," Lorman Education Services, 2011
- "How to Handle Unexpected Material Escalations in your Contract," Building Contractors Association of South Jersey, 2008