Understanding the Role of Construction Litigation Experts

Date: October 23, 2018 5:30pm
Location: New York Building Congress
Speaker(s): Nathaniel Smith Vince Cammalleri Charles Boland Keith Stevens Michael Vardaro

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

New York Building Congress
1040 Avenue of the Americas, 21st Floor
New York, New York 10018 

5:30 - 6:00 p.m. Registration & Refreshments
6:00 - 7:30 p.m. Presentation & Discussion
7:30 - 8:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception

Participants will earn 1.5 AIA/CES Learning Units (LU/HSW) and 1.5 Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits for their attendance. Attendance is free and open to all; please invite colleagues. We will serve refreshments and hors d'oeuvres. Space is limited.


In today’s fast-paced environment, issues can arise during design and construction that affect building projects, including cost overruns, delays, or errors. They can influence the project’s success and ultimately result in litigation. In these instances, expert consultants often work with attorneys and their clients to evaluate claims, provide expert testimony, and explain technical matters to triers of fact. In this discussion, our diverse team of panelists – including expert consultants and attorneys representing design professionals and contractors – will explore some of the common situations that architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) team members encounter. Panelists will also provide insight on how to mitigate these situations and examine the litigation process, focusing on the various roles attorneys and expert consultants play to achieve resolution. 

After attending this seminar, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the roles of attorneys and expert consultants in construction litigation matters.
  • Identify potential risks that may lead to delays, errors, or unsafe conditions that ultimately result in construction litigation.
  • Recognize mitigation and safety measures that may help control the risk of litigation and ensure a healthy construction environment.
  • Discuss the role of the expert consultant on construction litigation matters in determining if and how codes, regulations, life safety measures, and other criteria apply to a specific project. 



Nathaniel B. Smith, P.E. | Principal | Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
Nathaniel Smith has extensive engineering experience involving structural design, building damage and collapse investigation, repair and rehabilitation projects, and foundation installation monitoring. Nate has worked on structural design and rehabilitation projects throughout New York and New Jersey, and has given numerous presentations on the effects of adjacent construction on existing structures. A portion of Nate’s experience includes working with attorneys during litigation proceedings and he has testified at mediation proceedings and trial.





Charles F. Boland, P.E. | Principal, Chairman of the Board | GREYHAWK
Charles Boland is a Principal and Chairman of the Board of GREYHAWK, a construction management and consulting firm headquartered in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. He has earned Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in civil engineering from Villanova University. He is a licensed professional engineer with more than thirty-five years of experience in engineering and construction, project management, and cost/schedule analysis in the preparation and evaluation of contract claims on construction and industrial projects. Charles has provided expert testimony in arbitration, deposition, and court proceedings and has provided expert support in mediation sessions and negotiations for dispute resolution. He has also served as arbitrator in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) proceedings as an independent, private, and American Arbitration Association arbitrator.


Vince Cammalleri, AIA | Senior Principal | Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
Vince Cammalleri is the Building Technology region head for SGH’s East Coast operations, including offices in Boston, MA; New York City, NY; and Washington, DC. He has extensive experience in the design, investigation, and repair of walls, roofs, glass curtain walls, and windows. Vince specializes in the analysis of moisture migration and condensation issues in building enclosures caused by heat, air, and vapor flow. He has lectured as an adjunct professor at the McGill University School of Architecture and as a visiting lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Architecture and Urban Planning. He has published numerous papers related to building technology in the United States and Canada. As an expert consultant, Vince has worked closely with attorneys to help remedy technical issues and resolve disputes.


Keith J. Stevens | Of Counsel | L’Abbate, Balkan, Colavita & Contini, LLP
Keith Stevens is Of Counsel to L’Abbate, Balkan, Colavita & Contini, LLP. His practice is focused on the representation of design and construction professionals in all types of matters, including professional malpractice, design and construction defect claims, delay claims, and contractual disputes. Keith specializes in defending these professionals against high-exposure claims initiated by condominium boards, high-rise buildings, municipalities, and individuals who sustained severe personal injuries. Notably, he holds the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating AV Preeminent, the highest rating for ethics and legal ability. Keith is admitted to practice before the Courts of the State of New York, as well as the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.


Michael J. Vardaro, LEED AP | Managing Partner | Zetlin & De Chiara LLP
Michael Vardaro is the Managing Partner of Zetlin & De Chiara LLP, a construction boutique law firm headquartered in New York City. Michael worked in construction and was trained as a structural engineer before embarking on a career in construction law. His practice focuses on all aspects of construction, including business formation, licensing, contract negotiation, and construction disputes. Over the past twenty years, he has litigated, arbitrated, and mediated disputes in jurisdictions all around the country and has had the privilege to work alongside many great expert witnesses.  


  • Owners
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  • Property Managers
  • Contractors
  • Architects
  • Attorneys