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Hunt Ortmann Palffy Nieves Darling & Mah, INC.


the cornerstone of construction law

Hunt Ortmann is one of the foremost authorities on California construction law, contracts, dispute resolution and litigation offering additional legal services in the areas of business and commercial law, employment matters and labor law compliance, real estate, insurance and suretyship.

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John D. Darling




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John Darling is an effective senior commercial litigator with a nationwide practice focused on the resolution of construction and commercial real estate conflicts and on complex business litigation across numerous industry groups and business sectors. Mr. Darling has successfully represented large and small business entities, business owners and operators, construction companies and independent contractors and sub-contractors, financial institutions, real estate investors and their affiliates. He serves as lead counsel on every case and efficiently manages a talented and well-respected team of attorneys who tirelessly support his clients’ efforts. A seasoned courtroom veteran, Mr. Darling has tried more than 100 cases throughout California and the United States.  Clients benefit from his keen understanding of what it takes to win at trial, whether in front of a judge or an impaneled jury. Mr. Darling is equally adept at alternative dispute resolution, with a significant portion of his client’s success coming from either mandatory or elective arbitration proceedings. Whether in court or out, Mr. Darling has adeptly handled everything from incidental matters to ones where the amount in controversy exceeded $70M. Mr. Darling has steadfastly partnered with clients to weather the unprecedented losses that the commercial real estate and construction industries experienced throughout the country, and particularly in Southern California. Prior to his legal career, Mr. Darling owned a construction business giving him unique and valuable industry savvy and an intuitive business sense, all of which inform his counsel as he guides clients through damage and risk assessment while crafting a successful path forward. Mr. Darling regularly keynotes seminars and lectures on construction law topics for the Western Council of Construction Consumers, Associated General Contractors of California and the Los Angeles County Bar. He has served as chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Subsection on Construction Law.


  • University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, J.D.
  • University of New Mexico, Bachelor of Arts

Bars + Courts

  • California
  • United States District Court of California, Northern
  • United States District Court of California, Southern
  • United States District Court of California, Western
  • United States District Court of California, Eastern
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Practice Areas
  • Collection Actions
  • Business & Commercial Law
  • Disputes & Litigation, Commercial
  • Construction Consulting
  • Construction Contracts & Bid Documents
  • Disputes & Litigation, Construction
  • Insurance & Suretyship
  • Real Estate Law
  • Class Action Program (CAP)
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association- Real Property Section and Construction Subsection Chair (2002-2004)
  • Southern California Contactors Association- Legislative Advisory Committee (2006-Present)
  • Santa Anita Soccer Club- Board of Directors (2010-Present)
  • Named Top Litigator by the Los Angeles Business Journal
  • Selected as Best Lawyer 2010 – 2019
  • Selected as Super Lawyer 2007 – 2019
  • AV Preeminent Rating 5.0 out of 5 – Martindale – Hubbell
  • Pasadena Top Attorney sponsored by Pasadena Magazine 2010 – 2014
  • Lorman Education Services Distinguished Faculty

Lorman Distinguished Faculty Member

News + Publications
Speaking Engagements + Seminars


  • Construction Law Update
  • Best Practices in Bidding Construction Contracts
  • Drafting Airtight AIA Contracts: Proven Strategies for Complex Projects
  • AIA Contracts Crash Course: Understand the Key Provisions Before You Sign the Contract
  • Stay Ahead of the Game: Mechanic’s Liens, Stop Payment Notices, and Payment Bond Claims in California
  • Changes in California Mechanics Lien Laws, Including SB 474 Indemnity Provisions- Pacific Southwest Chapter
  • Changes in California Mechanics Lien Laws, Including SB 474 Indemnity Provisions- Golden Gate Chapter
  • Fundamentals of Construction Contracts: Understanding the Issues in California
  • Joint Association Insurance Risk Transfer & Lien Law Seminar- Ontario
  • AIA Contracts: How to Negotiate Provisions and Mitigate Risk
  • Bids, Plans, & Specifications and Key Contract Terms
  • Claims: Liens, Stop Notices, Bonds, Delay & Disruption, Termination
  • AIA Contracts- Santa Ana
  • Bids, Plans, & Specifications and Key Contract Terms
  • Protect Your Lien Rights Under the New Law! Sponsored by the Southern CA Contractors Association
  • Bid Protests: A Legal Seminar
  • AGC of California- Legal Advisory Committee, Annual Legal Retreat
  • What Construction Lawyers Need to Know About the International Green Construction Code (IGCC) and What It Will Mean for Clients (Webinar)
  • Construction / insurance: The Instant Impact of Fortney & Weygandt, Inc. v. Am. Mfrs. Mutual Insurance Co. On Construction Lawyers and the Scope of Defective-Workmanship Exclusions in General Contractor CGL Policies (webinar)
  • Construction Contracts: The 10 Most Important Terms (Long Beach)
  • Construction Contracts: The 10 Most Important Terms (webinar)
  • AIA Contracts- Santa Ana
  • Effective Project Management – Addressing Risk Head On
  • AIA Contracts- Pasadena
  • Evaluation and Resolution of Delay and Extra Work Claims in California
  • Public Contracts and Procurement Regulations in California
  • Public Construction Contracts & The Bonding Process for Contract Bonds in California
  • California Public Works Construction: New and Dramatic Legal Changes
  • Construction Project Management
  • Continuing Education of the Bar- Construction Law and Disputes
  • AIA Contracts- Pasadena

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