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Paul S. Sugar

Senior Counsel

Paul S. Sugar is senior counsel in Baker Donelson's Baltimore office.

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Design-Build: Is It Right for Your Campus Construction Project? October 17, 2017

Professional Biography


Mr. Sugar's practice is devoted to construction industry counseling and dispute avoidance and resolution. He represents institutional owners, including colleges and universities, hospitals and other health care providers.

He is an active member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys and its affinity group Higher Education Real Estate Lawyers. Mr. Sugar also represents other participants in the construction industry, including contractors, subcontractors and design professionals, including some of the largest contractors in the Mid-Atlantic region.

His extensive general counsel work includes drafting and negotiating design and construction contracts of all types; furnishing project advice and negotiating project disputes; and compliance with applicable law including MBE, Davis-Bacon, OSHA and related matters. Mr. Sugar's dispute resolution experience includes trials, arbitrations, administrative hearings and mediations. He has substantial experience handling government and private construction claims, mechanics' liens, construction defects, design negligence and surety disputes. Engagements have included projects for student housing, libraries, parking, research facilities, fine arts and performing arts centers, student commons and dining facilities on university campuses; construction of new and expanded hospital and other health care facilities; industrial and infrastructure construction including manufacturing, water and wastewater, power generation and transportation; commercial office and retail structures and condominiums.

Mr. Sugar has served as both a neutral and party arbitrator in domestic and international construction disputes and has acted as a mediator.

Mr. Sugar has substantial experience representing clients who provide goods and services to the State of Maryland, City of Baltimore and other public bodies in bid protests and contract claims. He has appeared frequently in procurement matters before the Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals. Mr. Sugar has represented companies in a variety of industries doing business with public agencies including construction, health care, information technology, transportation, business consulting services, accounting and durable business equipment.

Mr. Sugar also represents manufacturers of durable goods in domestic and international commercial disputes.

Mr. Sugar’s professional and civic activities include serving on the board of Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service. The organization, which solicits attorneys to provide pro bono legal services to low-income residents, awarded Mr. Sugar its Leadership Circle Award in 2008. He has served as its president. Mr. Sugar currently serves on the board of the Baltimore Museum of Industry.

Mr. Sugar was appointed by Baltimore City's Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to serve on her Transition Committee for Economic Development and Job Opportunities.

He currently serves as an elected member of the Section Council of the Section on Construction Law of the Maryland State Bar Association.

Mr. Sugar also is a frequent lecturer on topics related to the construction industry and Maryland procurement and has authored numerous papers and articles on subjects ranging from the bidding process and contracts to mechanics' liens and dispute resolution. He is a co-author of Mechanic’s Liens and the Maryland Trust Fund Law and the Maryland Prompt Pay Statute (MICPEL) and co-authored the chapter "Mechanics Liens and Statutory Remedies," in the Maryland Construction Law Deskbook, published by the Construction Law Section of the Maryland State Bar Association.

Professional Honors & Activities

Professional Memberships

  • Member – Associated Builders and Contractors, Baltimore Metropolitan Chapter (1994 – present)
    • General Contractor's Council (1994 – present)
  • Member – American Bar Association
    • Section on Litigation
    • Section on Public Contract Law
    • Forum Committee on the Construction Industry
  • Member – Baltimore City Bar Association
    • Past Member – Executive Council
  • Member – Maryland State Bar Association
    • Section on Construction Law
      • Section Council
  • Member – National Association of College and University Attorneys

Community Service


  • Fellow – American Bar Foundation
  • Fellow – Baltimore Bar Foundation
  • Fellow – Maryland Bar Foundation
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®, Construction Law Category (2015 – 2021)
  • Listed in Maryland Super Lawyers, Construction Litigation (2008 – 2013, 2015 – 2020); Construction and Real Estate (2014)
  • Selected by Smart CEO magazine as one of the Legal Elites (2009)
  • Maryland Volunteer Lawyer Service, Leadership Circle Award (2008)
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Professional Background
  • Law Clerk, the Honorable Judge W. Albert Menchine, Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
  • Assistant Solicitor, City of Baltimore
  • Assistant Attorney General and Deputy Counsel to the Maryland Department of General Services, Co-chief of State Contract Litigation Unit
Speaking Engagements
  • "2017 NACUA Annual Conference" (June 2017)
  • Presenter – "Contracting Considerations for Contractors and Consultants," Build College, BLocal (2016)
  • Presenter – "Restoring Order to Change Orders," Baltimore Chapter, Associated Builders and Contractors (2013)
  • Panelist – "Down & Dirty: Practical Advice for Successful Law Firm/Legal Services Provider Relationships," Annual Conference, Maryland Partners for Justice (2013)
  • Presenter – "Mechanics Liens," MSBA Annual Conference, Construction Law Section, Maryland State Bar Association (December 2013)
  • Presenter – "Mechanics Liens," Maryland Fifth Judicial Circuit Annual Conference (2012)
  • Presenter – "Key Provisions of the A201, 2007 Edition From the Owner's and Contractor's Perspectives," AIA Contracts, Lorman Education Services (2011, 2012)


  • University of Baltimore School of Law, J.D., 1975
  • Washington & Lee University, B.A., 1970


  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • Court of Appeals of Maryland
  • Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia
  • Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • U.S. Supreme Court

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