James E. Hughes is a partner in the Litigation Practice. With more than 30 years of experience in construction law, Mr. Hughes is involved in negotiating and drafting design and construction agreements for public and private entities. This includes all capital procurement methods (Design Bid Build, Design Build, Construction Manager as Advisor, Construction Manager at Risk, Guaranteed Maximum Price, Integrated Project Delivery and Energy Performance Agreements). His early involvement on capital projects includes guidance on consultant selection procedures and integration of the many agreements entered into with respect to a construction project.
Mr. Hughes is experienced in successfully resolving construction defect and construction delay disputes, which often involve management of voluminous documents and complex issues. He has successfully litigated several complex construction claims. Mr. Hughes assists in construction phase problem solving to resolve issues before they get out of hand. Mr. Hughes also assists clients with ERISA compliance and litigation matters.
Mr. Hughes has served as General Counsel for several Central New York villages and towns since 1984. He represents school districts across New York State with respect to their capital construction projects.
Mr. Hughes is a frequent speaker and has presented at numerous seminars and lectures on the following construction-related topics:
- Using ConsensusDOCS Form Agreements
- Key Topics in Modern Construction Contracting
- AIA Design and Construction Contracts
- Public Construction Contracting
- Construction Contracting for Public Entities - State and Federal Contract Requirements
- Construction Scheduling
- Managing Construction Projects
- Avoiding Liability - An Overview of Key Construction Contract Language
- Energy Performance Contracting - Making the Model Work for Public Schools and Other Municipal Owners
- Procuring Design and Construction Services
- Preparation of Plans and Contract Documents
- Drafting Contract Specifications
- The Role of Construction Counsel in Large Construction Projects
These seminar and lecture presentations have been provided through the Central New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the Construction Owners Association of America, the Associated General Contractors of America, the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Lorman Education Services, Inc., and the National Business Institute, among others.
Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Hughes was employed by Hart & Hume from 1979 to 1983. While at Hart & Hume, he concentrated his practice on construction litigation and insurance coverage issues. Mr. Hughes oversaw preparation and analysis of large construction delay claims involving multi-contractor projects undertaken by the City of New York.
Mr. Hughes currently serves as Village Justice for the Village of Fayetteville, NY.
- Representation of several hospitals, municipalities and school districts on all phases of construction projects of all sizes.
- Successfully defended a village through an arbitration involving delay claims related to the construction of a new wastewater treatment facility.
- Successfully defended several central school districts against delay and disruption claims related to new construction and renovations.
- Successfully prosecuted a construction defect claim related to the construction of a new facility for an area YMCA.
- Participated in the defense of several design firms involved in construction disputes in New York City, including construction of the Battery Park City Coffer Dam System, the renovation of the Red Hook Wastewater Treatment Plant and the construction of the Woodhull Medical Center.
- Village Justice, Village of Fayetteville, NY
- Member, American Arbitration Association, Arbitration and Mediation Neutral Panel
- Volunteer Neutral, United State District Court, Northern District of New York
- Member, Construction Owners Association of America, Contract Document Committee
- Member, Association of General Contractors
- Member, Episcopal Diocese of Central New York, Finance & Investment Committee
- Member, Onondaga County Bar Association
- Member, New York State Bar Association
- Member, Madison County Bar Association
- SUNY ESF, "Construction Contracting" (March 2013)
- Lorman Education Services, "AIA Design and Construction Contract Documents" (November 2012)
- Associated General Contractors of NYS, "The Project Manager/Engineer Development Program - Contract Administration" (September 2012)
- National Business Institute (July 2012)
- "Guaranteed Maximum Price Contracting: The Basics for Owners and Their Counsel", Owners Perspective, Fall 2012
- Editorial Comment: Why Owners Should Never Let Shop Drawings and RFIs Become Contract Documents, Owners Perspective, Summer 2012
- “Design-Bid-Build v. Guaranteed Maximum Price Contracting: The Basics for Owner’s Counsel”, New York Law Journal, May 2012
- “Procurement of Design and Construction Services,” Clear Waters, Fall 2010, Vol. 40, No. 3
- University at Buffalo Law School, J.D., 1979
- State University of New York at Buffalo, B.S., magna cum laude, 1976
- New York
- United States District Court (EDNY)
- United States District Court (NDNY)
- United States District Court (SDNY)