David Kurtz

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201 St. Charles Avenue
Suite 3600
New Orleans, Louisiana 70170
T: 504.566.5259
F: 504.636.3959

Kurtz, David

David Kurtz is a construction litigator and shareholder in the Firm's New Orleans office. Although his main focus is in the area of construction law, he also has experience in oil and gas and other commercial litigation.

Currently, Mr. Kurtz spends the majority of his time managing disaster-related construction issues resulting from Hurricane Katrina, including defending contractors in injury and contract disputes arising from their work. He also prosecutes claims on behalf of contractors seeking payment by owners and insurers. Other non-disaster work encompasses traditional construction law areas, such as contract disputes, water intrusion and mold and mildew cases, delay claims and EPC contractor litigation.

Mr. Kurtz represents contractors, subcontractors, architects and others, and he has appeared before numerous state and federal courts, both at the trial and appellate levels, as well as before regulatory bodies.  He has served as a special master to the court in construction litigation and also has extensive experience with alternative dispute resolution forums such as arbitration and mediation.

Recent Representative Matters

  • Appointed to serve as Liaison Counsel to contractor defendants in multi-district litigation comprising of more than 80,000 claimants who allege injury due to exposure to formaldehyde while living in travel trailers and other emergency housing provided by FEMA following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Obtained a defense verdict in a two-week "bellwether" federal jury trial, further resulting in the dismissal of the Firm's client from a second bellwether prior to trial. Defending two contractor defendants in the multi-district litigation.
  • Defending contractor in several lawsuits arising from FEMA's failure to reimburse the City of New Orleans for disaster relief work performed by our client.  Aggregate amount at issue is $10 million. Portions of these disputes have been resolved favorably.
  • Represented EPC contractor in an arbitration involving change order and delay claims relating to the construction of an ethanol plant in California.
  • Represented a hospital manager against the owner in a case involving allegations of mismanagement; amount at issue was $300 million; settled successfully.
  • Represented contractor in dispute with technology vendor affecting the construction of several process facilities around the country.
  • Successfully settled multi-million dollar litigation suit for a local university against allegations of water intrusion in a dormitory.
  • Defending contractor in several cases with damages alleged to be in the millions of dollars in which plaintiffs claim to have been injured while living in FEMA trailers.
  • Successfully defended architect's insurer in connection with litigation arising out of the construction of Denver International Airport; insurer had no liability.
  • Obtained $6 million summary judgment in favor of pipeline company in commercial litigation.
  • Obtained defense verdict in litigation over alleged redhibitory defect in an airplane.

Publications & Speaking Engagements

  • Co-Editor – Construct! (the journal of the ABA Construction Litigation Committee)
  • "Construction Contract Formation and Drafting from Fixed Price to Cost Plus," presented at the LSU Law Center's CLE on Construction Law in Louisiana, September 24, 2010
  • "The Mediation Session," presented at the New Orleans Bar Association's CLE on Construction Mediations and Arbitrations in Louisiana, June 22, 2010
  • "Can a General Contractor Get More Than It Bargained For? The Risk of Subcontractors' Wage Law Violations," presented to ABA Regional Conference, Affordable Housing Lessons from Katrina, New Orleans, February 8, 2008
  • "Res Judicata in Louisiana: A Synthesis of Competing Interests," Louisiana Bar Journal (April-May 2006); Winner of the Stephen T. Victory Memorial Award for 2006 feature article
  • "Damages in the Mold Case," Construct! (Fall 2003)
  • "Mold & Mildew," presented at "Concepts in Risk Management for Architects and Engineers," an AIA CES seminar, September 2003
  • Co-author of numerous seminar papers relating to construction law and alternative dispute resolution
  • "Managing Alaska's Coastal Development: State Review of Federal Oil & Gas Lease Sales," Alaska Law Review, December 1994

Professional Honors & Activities

  • Member – Louisiana State Bar Association
  • Member – New Orleans Bar Association
  • Member – Federal Bar Association
  • Member – American Bar Association
    • Litigation Section
    • Forum on the Construction Industry
  • Treasurer – The Green Project (a non-profit organization dedicated to the recycling of building materials and environmental education), New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Listed since 2012 in Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers in Construction 
  • Recognized as a "Top Lawyer" by New Orleans Magazine in Construction Law (2013)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers In America® in the area of Construction Litigation (2014)

Admissions

  • Louisiana, 1995

Education

  • Duke University School of Law, Durham, North Carolina, J.D., 1995
    • Articles Editor, Alaska Law Review
  • Tulane University, B.S., Mathematics, B.A., History, 1992, cum laude
    • Joseph J. Jannik Mathematics Award
    • Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honor Society
    • Dean's Honor Scholar