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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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Kathlynn E. Smith




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Kathlynn Smith specializes in construction and general business litigation. She has successfully represented owners, developers, contractors, and subcontractors in a wide variety of matters relating to contract administration and construction claims. Ms. Smith places a particular emphasis on construction claims involving payment disputes, delay and disruption, false claims, construction defects, and actions on payment and performance bonds. Ms. Smith has successfully litigated and resolved complex construction disputes involving multi-million dollar claims.

Ms. Smith is the co-author of the “Smart Girls’ Guide To Construction Law” and architect of the “Smart Girls’” initiative directed at women-owned and/or operated companies in the construction industry. The Smart Girls’ mission is to advance and support the success of women in the construction industry. The “Smart Girls’ Guide” is a practical tool for the construction professional with legal tips and understandable breakdowns of legal principles. Learn more about the Smart Girls and the “Smart Girls’ Guide” at

Prior to joining Hunt Ortmann, Ms. Smith represented public agencies and property owners in connection with direct and inverse condemnations of commercial and residential properties. Ms. Smith also represented lenders in litigation involving real property, including breach of contract, judicial foreclosure, forfeiture, quiet title, and fraud actions.


  • University of San Diego School of Law, J.D., cum laude
  • University of Michigan, Bachelor of Arts

Bars + Courts

  • California
  • United States District Court of California, Southern
  • United States District Court of California, Central
  • United States District Court of California, Northern
  • United States District Court of California, Eastern
Practice Areas
  • Construction Disputes and Litigation
  • Public Works Claims
  • Construction Agreements
  • Public Entity Representation
  • Real Estate Law
  • Business and Commercial Disputes
  • Engineering Contractors Association- Board of Directors (2012-2014)
  • Women Construction Owners and Executives
  • National Association of Women in Construction- Legislative Awareness Committee Chair (2010-2011)
  • Certified Plumbers and Mechanical Contractors Association
  • United States Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Advocate Member (2011-2012)
  • Design Build Institute of America
  • Los Angeles County Parks Association- Board of Directors
  • University of Michigan Alumni Association
  • California State Bar Association
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • Selected as Super Lawyer 2019
  • Selected as Super Lawyers Rising Star 2014
  • Women Construction Owners and Executives Member of the Year 2013
  • Los Angeles Business Journal Women Making a Difference Nominee 2012
  • Pasadena Top Attorney sponsored by Pasadena Magazine 2011 – 2014

Kathlynn E. Smith

Rated by Super Lawyers

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