Stanley B. Edelstein

For more than 35 years, Stan Edelstein has been helping contractors (prime, CM and specialty trades) owners, developers, design professionals and suppliers minimize the chances of a dispute on a project, resolve disputes before they evolve into litigation, and win disputes when they do. With a practice concentrated in construction litigation and construction law, he approaches every matter as a problem to be solved so that the client can put the dispute behind it and get back to its business. Understanding that construction is to a large extent a relationship business, where the client wishes to preserve a relationship, he works with that in mind while still working to obtain the best result possible.

Although primarily a construction lawyer, he has significant experience in business and real estate litigation, and in employment law.

As a construction lawyer, most of his experience is in commercial, industrial, institutional, infrastructure and government construction, in a diversity of projects including hospitals, pharmaceutical research and manufacturing facilities, airports, railroads and mass transit, bridges, office buildings, schools, water and sewer plants, sitework and heavy highway, and in disputes over scope, delay, acceleration and impact, defective work and deficient performance. He also defends large construction-related personal injury, wrongful death and property damage cases for self-insured and high deductible parties, and where GL coverage may have been denied. His litigation practice is divided among state courts, federal courts and the arbitration tribunals of the American Arbitration Association.

In addition to helping clients resolve disputes, either by settlement or trial, he draws on his experience untangling troubled construction projects to counsel clients to avoid problems, and helps with contract review and negotiation, preparation of contract forms, and risk analysis.

He serves as an arbitrator on the American Arbitration Association’s Construction Industry Panel of Neutrals, and mediates construction disputes. In addition, Mr. Edelstein writes and lectures on construction and employment law issues, and has written and taught for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s programs on mechanics liens since 2001, for which he has served as course planner since 2012.

Mr. Edelstein has been rated AV® by Martindale-Hubbell for more than 25 years, has been named to “Best Lawyers in America” for construction law since 2014, and has been named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for Construction Litigation every year since the award’s inception in Pennsylvania.

Since 2004, he has served as a Judge Pro Tem to mediate business disputes as assigned from time-to-time by the Commerce Program judges of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County.

Mr. Edelstein earned a B.S. in Economics from Carnegie Mellon University and his J.D., with honors, from George Washington University, where he was a member of the George Washington Law Review. Immediately after law school he served as a law clerk to The Honorable Joseph F. Weis, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Representative Matters

  • Since 2001 has prepared course materials for and spoken about current developments for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s biennial continuing legal education program on Mechanics liens, presented in Pittsburgh, Mechanicsburg and Philadelphia; Since 2012 has also served as Course Planner for that program2001 through 2012
  • Representation of construction manager in dispute over sufficiency of performance of exterior wall panel subcontractor on two projects. After 25 days of hearing, arbitration panel found against subcontractor on its seven million dollar claim, and awarded construction manager $1.58 million on its counterclaim. Representation also involved proceedings in state court in Alabama and federal court in Philadelphia on arbitrabilty issues, as well as proceedings to defeat subcontractor’s motion to vacate arbitration award, and successful confirmation of arbitration award in its entirety.
  • Representation of Construction Manager in arbitration by subcontractor on new hospital project alleging multiple claims for extra costs arising from alleged delays, scope changes and design deficiencies, including use and implementation of Building Information Modeling (BIM), and in separate arbitration by another subcontractor on that project. Reached settlements in each matter with two separate mediations spanning seven days.
  • Led defense team for Design Engineer defending against $43 million indemnity claim by public agency for settlements it made on 15-year infrastructure project, resulting in resolution after mediation and including contributions from third-party subconsultants.
  • Defense of Construction Manager against claim by developer arising out of settlement of front third of manufacturing facility.  After 18 days of arbitration, arbitrators ruled in favor of Construction Manager in entirety, and awarded attorneys’ fees and costs to  Construction Manager.
  • Representation of mechanical and electrical prime contractors asserting impact claims for acceleration and delay against a county arising out of construction of a prison facility. At the conclusion of 64 days of arbitration hearings, arbitrators awarded damages in favor of contractors in an amount sufficiently high to require the County to float a bond issue to pay the award.
  • Representation of general contractor handling numerous issues involving construction of a mental health crisis stabilization center in Florida. Representation included persuading owner’s Board of Trustees of Center to rescind what had been an attempt by the Architect to improperly terminate Contractor, and representation in subsequent litigation involving claims for extra work and delay damages, leading to favorable settlement for Contractor.
  • Defense of general contractor against claim by joint venture alleging that general contractor had breached an oral agreement to award a subcontract to the joint venture for work on what at the time, was one of the largest public works projects in the City of Philadelphia. After five days of trial, negotiated settlement of joint venture’s claim (which had been for an amount in excess of $1,000,000) for payment by general contractor of $45,000.
  • Representation of mechanical contractor in multifaceted, multi-jurisdictional litigation involving construction of research facility for pharmaceutical company. Although lawsuit commenced with claim against a single defendant for constructive acceleration and failure to pay for extra work, case eventually involved seven parties in parallel actions in federal and state courts based on owner’s counterclaim for alleged design deficiencies and installation deficiencies. Litigation resolved with settlement in excess of $900,000 paid to client.
  • Representation of general contractor in arbitration prosecuting client’s claims for final payment and defending against owner’s claims of defective workmanship. Project at issue was a truck maintenance facility, and primary deficiency alleged by owner involved sinking conditions of access roadways and parking lot under weight of trucks. Contractor’s defense was it had built according to design furnished by owner’s design professionals. After six days of hearing, panel denied owner’s claim and awarded contractor payment in full, plus interest.
  • Representation of general contractor for work at Philadelphia International Airport defending claim in which subcontractor alleged contractor had settled a claim with Owner for extra work for an insufficient amount. After four and one-half days of trial and submission of post-trial briefs, court entered judgment in favor of client.
  • Representation of electrical subcontractor prosecuting claim against construction manager for acceleration and extra work on project involving phased renovation and new construction for hospital. Successfully settled for an amount more than $100,000 in excess of amount settlement judge advised was the highest amount that construction manager would pay.
  • Representation of sheet metal subcontractor on large office tower complex project where Owner ran out of funds. Structured satisfactory settlement for client, which resulted in immediate payment and avoided entanglement in protracted litigation with numerous other parties.
  • Represented owner at trial and on appeal in case of first impression involving service of mechanic’s lien claim, and won order vacating lien against client’s property.
  • Over a four-year period represented mechanical contractor on large, multiphase project involving construction of new hospital building and renovation of existing hospital buildings where client incurred significant extra costs because of deficiencies in design documents and lack of coordination of other contractors. Representation included establishing and monitoring record-keeping system to capture information needed to prosecute claim, preparation of claim and federal court Complaint and negotiation of favorable settlement. Lawsuit was filed on day contractor removed job trailer, and case was settled within eight weeks.
  • Representation of general contractor for construction of palace in Saudi Arabia defending against action by terminated supplier in the United States. After trial court dismissed subcontractor’s claims, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed dismissal and issued what, for several years, was the leading case in the Third Circuit regarding discovery sanctions.
  • Representation of contractor for water treatment plant in connection with allegations by municipal water authority concerning pump failures. Reached favorable settlement after a two-day mediation.
  • Representation of architect in nineteen-party case brought by condominium association alleging defects in design and construction. Settlement for architect was significantly less than contributions by construction and permanent lenders, which had taken over construction from developer.
  • Representation of general contractor in seven-party case involving allegations by owner of parking garage that parking decks had been constructed with defective concrete.
  • Representation of ductwork contractor in obtaining dismissal of federal court action alleging interference with contract and related claims on multi-prime school construction.
  • Representation of general construction contractor in dispute involving roof over large high school building. After sixty-nine depositions case was settled for approximately one million dollars, involving a payment by client towards settlement of only $5,000.
  • Representation of Developer of condominium complex successfully defeating injunction actions by terminated contractor.
  • Numerous filings of mechanic’s liens and construction lien claims.
  • Numerous prosecutions and defenses of bid protests involving public construction at municipal, state and federal level.
  • Representation of construction manager in claims arising out of construction of manufacturing facility. Construction manager alleged that owner improperly withheld approximately $950,000 for “deficiencies” which were either nonexistent or grossly exaggerated. There were three major phases of representation. The first phase involved negotiation of release of payment by owner to resolve numerous construction lien claims that had resulted from owner’s withholding of payment. The second phase included a mediation in which the parties negotiated a settlement of the largest component of claimed deficiencies, which resulted in a framework under which corrective work was performed subject to review by parties’ designated experts. The final stage involved arbitration of various issues involving contractor’s claim for early completion bonus and owner’s claim for late completion. After seven days of arbitration, arbitrators rendered award in favor of client, including denial of owner’s late completion claim and award of early completion bonus to client.
  • Successful defense of manufacturer against lawsuit alleging misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition and tortuous interference with contract. Defeated motion by plaintiff-competitor for preliminary injunction which would have effectively closed client’s business, and after initial discovery, settled claim for monetary damages for payment of nominal amount.
  • Representation owner of 240 acre parcel in suburban Philadelphia in action by defaulted purchaser to compel specific performance. Successfully defeated purchaser’s claims at trial and appellate levels, through denial of allocatur by Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
  • Successfully prosecuted preliminary injunction action requiring software vendor to provide source code to institutional customer after vendor was unable to properly implement specially designed software.
  • Defense of contractor in lawsuit by competitor alleging violation of Lanham Act by misappropriation of trade name and logo, and misappropriation of confidential customer information.
  • Successfully represented contractor’s association in obtaining dismissal of lawsuit by another contractor’s association alleging “diversion” of approximately $900,000 in employer contributions. Obtained dismissal at trial level, and obtained affirmance on appeal.
  • Representation of shareholder of professional practice in dispute concerning transfer of that practice, involving action in equity, mediation and settlement.
  • Represented action of landlord defending against claim by commercial tenant concerning rent overcharges for office space; after several depositions, client voluntarily dismissed lawsuit.
  • Representations of buyers and sellers in various actions involving breaches of contracts to sell goods and real estate.
  • Counseling of numerous contractors and subcontractors concerning establishment and proper implementation of reserved gates in response to secondary picketing on construction jobsites.
  • Numerous representations of contractors and subcontractors in obtaining injunctions against mass picketing involving construction jobsites.
  • Numerous representations of clients in the construction industry involving counseling on and dealing with OSHA inspections and in handling OSHA citations, involving “informal” conferences and, where necessary, handling contested proceedings.
  • Representation of mechanical contractor in contested OSHA matter in which Secretary of Labor alleged seven Serious Violations and four Willful Violations with proposed penalties totaling $168,000. After trial, Administrative Law Judge held that none of the violations were Willful, vacated several of the Serious Violations and reduced penalties to approximately $13,000.
  • Representation of contractor in OSHA proceeding defense of alleged Willful Violation resulting from fatal trench cave in. Negotiated reduction to Serious Violation and reduced penalty.
  • Representation of various contractors’ associations as Intervenors in proceedings commenced by the State Building Trades Council of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO. Successfully challenging modifications by Secretary of Labor of mechanism for determining prevailing wages under Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Law. Proceedings included two en banc hearings before the Commonwealth Court, and nine days of hearings before the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Appeals Board and a hearing officer for that Board.
  • Representation of contractor in NLRB action pursuant to Section 10(k) of the National Labor Relations Act arising out of jurisdictional dispute.
  • Representation of contractors in numerous NLRB actions under Section 10(j) of National Labor Relations Act where pickets refused to honor reserved gates.
  • Representation of employer in action by terminated corporate officer alleging age discrimination. Successfully resolved at mediation.
  • Representation of multi-employer pension fund in several lawsuits alleging improper denial of benefits based on application of “break-in service” rules.
  • Representation of multi-employer pension fund defending against ERISA claim by participant after Trustees refused to grant a disability pension to participant. Successfully prepared and prosecuted motion for summary judgment, resulting in dismissal of participant’s lawsuit.
  • Representation of apprenticeship training program in defense of investigation by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission concerning alleged disparate impact of apprentice selection procedures.
  • Representation of employers in numerous proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and various state and municipal EEO agencies.
  • Representation of various employers in connection with audits by Office of Federal Contract Compliance Policies.
  • Regular and ongoing counseling of employers regarding compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act, Family Medical Leave Act and Title VII.
  • Representation of former asbestos distributor in action against insurance carrier seeking payment into settlement fund of all available insurance. Negotiated settlement resulting in payment by carrier of approximately 92% of available coverage, a result which would not be obtainable today given subsequent appellate court rulings.
  • Representation of contractors’ association in obtaining declaratory judgment from Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, sitting en banc, that Pennsylvania’s Education Empowerment Act does not allow Secretary of Education to waive the requirements of Pennsylvania statutory requirements of multiple prime contracts for public construction work.
  • Representation of Design Engineer on redecking project of a major suspension bridge in wrongful death action by construction worker. Obtained summary judgment dismissing engineer from case.
  • Representation of contractors’ association challenging use by SEPTA of design/build procurement in manner which would violate Pennsylvania’s public contracting requirements concerning issuance of multi-prime contracts. Obtained ruling from and en banc panel of the Commonwealth Court ruling that design build was in violation of those requirements, and requiring SEPTA to seek bids for multi-prime contracts.
  • Defense of various actions involving property damage, personal injury and wrongful death where client is either uninsured or where claims are below a self-insured retention of the client.
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Education

  • J.D., George Washington University, 1977
    With Honors
  • B.S. Economics, Carnegie-Mellon University, 1974

Bar and Court Admissions

  • Pennsylvania

Memberships

  • Philadelphia Bar AssociationState Civil Committee, Chair (1993)
  • Motion Court Subcommittee, Chair (1987-1992)
  • Federal Courts Committee
  • Construction Law Committee
  • Real Property Section
  • Business Law Section(Business Litigation Subcommittee)
  • American Bar Association Forum Committee on the Construction Industry Litigation Section
  • Construction Litigation Committee
  • Section of Employment and Labor Law
  • Section on Dispute Resolution
  • Judge Pro Tempore Commerce Program, Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County

speaking engagementsClick to read more about Stanley B Edelstein’s publications, presentations and news.

Publications

  • Since 2001 has prepared course materials for and spoken about current developments for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s biennial continuing legal education program on Mechanics liens, presented in Pittsburgh, Mechanicsburg and Philadelphia; Since 2012 has also served as Course Planner for that program2001 through 2012
  • “Pennsylvania Supreme Court Allows Action for Negligent Misrepresentation by Contractor Against Design Professional”The Legal Intelligencer, April 2005
  • Stanley B. Edelstein contributed to the January 2005 edition of The Philadelphia Business Journal on the topic of contract documentsJanuary 2005
  • Stanley B. Edelstein contributed to the September 2004 edition of The Philadelphia Business Journal on the topic of requests for change orders relating to price increases for materials during the course of a construction projectSeptember 2004
  • Stanley B. Edelstein contributed to the April 2004 edition of The Philadelphia Business Journal on the topic of project risk analysis and how experienced construction counsel can helpApril 2004
  • Stanley B. Edelstein contributed to the November 2003 edition of The Philadelphia Business Journal on the topic of chief causes of construction disputesNovember 2003
  • “Superior Court Enforces Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing in Contract Implementation”The Legal Intelligencer, November 2003
  • Stanley B. Edelstein contributed to the June 2003 edition of The The Philadelphia Business Journal on the topic of standard construction form contractsJune 2003
  • The Enforceability of “No Damages for Delay” Clauses in Pennsylvania, Fifty State Monograph on the Enforceability of “No Damages for Delay Clauses,” American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, Committee on Construction Litigation1998
  • “The New Pennsylvania Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act”The Legal Intelligencer, May 1994
  • Beyond Liens and Bond Claims–Some Non-Statutory Remedies for Non-Payment to SubcontractorsShepard’s/McGraw-Hill Construction Litigation Reporter, August 1987
  • “Navigating the Wilderness—Some proposals for the New World of Mechanics Liens”The Legal Intelligencer — Construction Law Supplement, August 2009
  • How to Survive a Federal Compliance AuditMechanical Contractors Association of Eastern Pennsylvania1989Philadelphia, PA
  • Critical Subcontract ClausesMechanical Contractors Association of Eastern Pennsylvania1984Philadelphia, PA
  • Avoiding Legal EntanglementsGeorge Washington University Alumni, Philadelphia Chapter1982Philadelphia, PA
  • Remedies for Nonpayment in the Construction IndustryPhiladelphia Bar Association, Real Property Section1982Philadelphia, PA
  • Pennsylvania Mechanics’ LiensPennsylvania Bar InstituteCourse Planner2012, 2014 and 2016Philadelphia, Mechanicsburg and Pittsburgh, PA
  • Update on Pennsylvania Mechanics LiensPennsylvania Bar Institute Real Estate InstituteDecember 2014Philadelphia, PA
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Presentations

  • Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Liens
    Pennsylvania Bar Institute
    Course Planner
    2012, 2014 and 2016
    Philadelphia, Mechanicsburg and Pittsburgh, PA
  • Update on Pennsylvania Mechanics Liens
    Pennsylvania Bar Institute Real Estate Institute
    December 2014
    Philadelphia, PA
  • Building Information Modeling in Litigation
    AGC-AIA BIM Forum
    October 2014
    Dallas, TX
  • Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Liens
    Pennsylvania Bar Institute
    Speaker
    2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2014
    Philadelphia, Mechanicsburg and Pittsburgh, PA
  • A Walk Through the Surety Claim Process
    Construction Management Financial Association, Penn-Del-Jersey Chapter
    January 2014
    King of Prussia, PA
  • Getting Paid, General Building Contractors Association
    November 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
  • The “New” AIA Documents and The Consensus Docs
    Seminar for the Construction Management Association of America, Mid-Atlantic Region
    Course Planner and Presenter
    June 2009
  • A First Look at the New AIA Documents and Consensus Documents
    Construction Financial Management Association, Penn-Del-Jersey Chapter
    Speaker
    March 2008
    Philadelphia, PA
  • The 2007 Revisions to the AIA Contract Forms — A Further Look
    Jacoby Donner Breakfast Briefing conducted jointly with the construction insurance specialists of The Graham Company
    Speaker, with B. Christopher Lee
    February 28, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA
  • A First Look at the New AIA Documents and Consensus Documents
    November Full Membership Meeting of the Building Contractors Association of South Jersey
    November 2007
  • Avoiding Lawyers – Ten tips for reducing legal entanglements on construction projects… What you can do now!
    Jacoby Donner Breakfast Briefing
    Speaker
    September 2006
    Philadelphia, PA
  • Pennsylvania Construction Law Start to Finish–Creative Strategies for Project Completion and Litigation Avoidance
    Lorman Education Services
    Course Planner and Speaker
    2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004
    Philadelphia, PA
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act
    Lorman Education Services
    Speaker
    2002
    Philadelphia, PA
  • Public Construction Contracting in Pennsylvania
    Lorman Education Service
    Course Planner and Speaker
    1998 and 1999
    Philadelphia, PA
  • The 1997 Revisions to the Standard Forms of the American Institute of Architects
    Construction Financial Management Association, Philadelphia Chapter
    Speaker
    1998
    Philadelphia, PA
  • Construction Financial Management Association, Philadelphia Chapter
    National Business Institute, Inc.
    Course Planner and Speaker
    1996
    Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Allentown, PA
  • Mediation of Construction Disputes
    Construction Financial Management Association, Philadelphia Chapter
    Panel Member
    1995
    Philadelphia, PA
  • Ethical Quandaries Facing the Trial Lawyer Some Nuts-and-Bolts Guidance for Some Real World Situations
    Plenary Session, Philadelphia Bar Association Annual Conference and Exposition
    Course Planner and Panel Moderator
    1992
    Washington, D.C.
  • Extraordinary Collection Remedies in the Construction Industry as part of seminar entitled “Extraordinary Collection Remedies in Pennsylvania”
    National Business Institute, Inc.
    Speaker
    1991
    Philadelphia, PA
  • Various custom-tailored presentations to clients’ staff involving administration of construction contracts and minimizing potential for litigation on construction projects
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