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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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Laurence “Larry” P. Lubka

Senior Counsel



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Mr. Lubka represents California clients throughout the world, on matters ranging from local payment disputes to drafting contracts for projects overseas. He represents public entities, general contractors, engineering firms, major subcontractors, and suppliers.

During Mr. Lubka’s over thirty-five years of legal practice, he has assisted clients on projects ranging from nuclear power plants to residential defect disputes and from reservoirs to major large scale art works.  Recently, he has worked on hospital projects, bridge underpasses, condominium projects, entertainment centers, museums, and school projects. He has represented his clients in pre-construction planning, preparing bid packages, drafting contracts, representing parties on federal, state, and local bid protests, consulting with clients on disputes during the course of performance, and contract audits . He understands both the legal and business concerns of his clients.

Mr. Lubka has experience in a wide variety of contract types, such as firm fixed price contracts (lump sum contracts), GMP contracts, Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR), design build, cost type contracts (including Federal contracts), incentive contracts, time and material contracts and contracts addressing special risk situations.

With regard to disputes, Mr. Lubka has both litigated and arbitrated many cases. Mr. Lubka has served as an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association and as a private mediator on construction disputes. He has represented his clients in many venues, including California state courts, Federal courts including the United States Court of Federal Claims, the GAO on Federal bid protests, the American Arbitration Association,  JAMS and other court and ADR venues. In addition, Mr. Lubka has also acted as an expert witness on construction related issues, such as prevailing wage law.

He continues to work with the California Contractors State License Board to amend existing statutory language and prepare new statutes.

Mr. Lubka has given several hundred construction law courses throughout the country and drafted hundreds of articles and columns.  He is available for in-house presentations.

Mr. Lubka is very active in the Association of General Contractors Legal Advisory Committee and is a former chairperson of that committee.

Bars & Courts

  • California (1982)
  • Ohio (1980, inactive)
  • United States District Court of California, Southern (1983)
  • United States District Court of California, Central (1988)
  • United States District Court of California, Northern (1994)
  • Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (1994)
  • United States Federal Court Of Claims


  • George Washington University, National Law Center, J.D., 1980, Cum Laude
  • Columbia University, Bachelor of Arts, 1976
Practice Areas

Areas of Expertise

  • Construction
  • California Public Contracts
  • Federal Government Contracts
  • Contract Drafting
  • Public Works Projects
  • Trial Attorney – California and Federal Courts
  • AAA and JAMS Arbitrations and Mediations
  • Prevailing Wage/ Davis Bacon
  • Project Bid and Proposal Requirements
  • Mechanic’s Liens
  • Stop Payment Notices
  • Bond Claims
  • Bid Protests


  • Association of General Contractors of California, Legal Advisory Committee, Chair (2010 – 2011)
  • Association of General Contractors of California, Executive Committee Member (2010 – 2011)
  • Association of General Contractors of California, Legal Advisory Committee, Vice Chair (2009 – 2015)
  • CMAA Legal Committee
  • Los Angeles County Bar, Real Estate Subsection, Construction Division American Public Works Association


  • Selected as Best Lawyer 2012 – 2015
  • Selected as Super Lawyer 2008 – 2015
  • 2011 – 2015 Pasadena Top Attorney sponsored by Pasadena Magazine
Representative Work

Representative Work

  • Represented and brought to a successful settlement the claims by a joint venture of major drywall subcontractors with regard to the UCLA Medical Center Project. The combined disputes on that project approached $1 Billion dollars and involved complex schedule / delay claims.
  • Before the United States Court of Federal Claims, defended client against Department of Justice cause of action for False Claims and recovered damages for a small business client doing business with the Corps of Engineers.
  • Represented a contractor / design studio with regard to a planned 60 foot sculpture by Claes Oldenberg which was to have been installed at Disney Hall in Los Angeles. Successfully obtained a settlement without trial.
  • Drafted and negotiated contract to provide construction materials to a Qatar subcontractor for use on the Doha Airport.
  • Represented a water district in a dispute regarding a cast-in-place reservoir and brought the dispute to a successful settlement.
  • Represented a major Los Angeles hospital in the resolution of a significant general contractor claim, without a trial.
  • Represented home owners in a jury trial against a general contractor, obtaining a substantial recovery for the home owners.
  • Represented a local hotel owner through the construction of a large hotel facility and resolved numerous claims before legal actions were filed.
  • Represented a public entity through all phases of a new city hall project, from pre-construction planning, to drafting the bid package through resolution of disputes.
  • Represented a specialty space frame contractor in a Chicago AAA hearing, obtaining a substantial award against a Chicago area contractor.
  • Represented a country club in claims against it by the general contractor and architect, obtaining a defense verdict at trial for the country club.
  • Successfully represented a client in reversing a Caltrans award to another contractor and obtaining award for my client.
  • Drafted a Construction Manager at Risk contract for one of the largest airport contracts in recent years.
  • Drafted a contract form and subcontract form for a high end residential general contractor.
  • Obtained a ruling that contractor’s claim had priority over the bank on an abandoned project.
  • Cleared title to a property where the owner’s signature was used on a fraudulent deed.
  • Defended clients against False Claims Act claims.
  • Brought and defended claims involving critical path issues.
  • Participated in the audits of contract work performed by contractors and owners on several nuclear power plants.
News + Publications


  • Lubka Prevails for Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business
  • Lubka Quoted in Marin Independent Journal
  • Lubka Appointed Chair of AGC Legal Committee
  • Lubka – Vice-Chair of AGC CA Legal Action Committee
  • Hunt Ortmann assists LAX in $1 Billion in Upgrades
  • Lubka article on AIA contracts reprinted by the Orange County Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute
  • Collar & Bow – Disney Concert Hall


  • Public Entities: No Guarantee of Full Payment
  • Give Proper Notice!
  • In Default- But Not Dead
  • SCCA Magazine- What to do About Cost Escalation?
  • 2011- A Time for Action
  • HuntLaw – Multiple articles
Speaking Engagements + Seminars

Selected Speaking Engagements & Seminars

  • Construction Claims on Public Contracts, Lorman Education Services Webinar, July 2015
  • California’s Approach to State and Local Procurement Claims, ABA State & Local Procurement Division, December 2014
  • Construction Contracting, Time and Money, Change Orders & Indemnity, The Seminar Group, September 2014
  • State Bar of California, 32nd Real Property Law Section Retreat, “The New Normal in Mechanic’s Lien Law”
  • So You Got Sued… Mediations, Arbitrations, and Trials- What Are They & What Should You Do?
  • Differing Site Conditions – How to Avoid the Pits
  • How to Make Sure You Get Paid for Your Construction Work. Liens, Stop Notices and Payment Bonds. *New Laws Effective July 1, 2012
  • Public Works Bidding and Subcontractor Listing- Navigating the Rapids
  • Terms and Conditions That Can Make the Difference Between Profit & Loss… Know the Ropes!
  • Workshop- Public Works Contracting – Pasadena
  • Mediation, Arbitration, and Trial
  • Bids, Plans, & Specifications and Key Contract Terms
  • AGC of California Legal Advisory Committee- Annual Legal Retreat-
  • The Impact of P&D v. Carlsbad Case on Public Works
  • Claims: Liens, Stop Notices, Bonds, Delay & Disruption, Termination
  • Mediation, Arbitration, and Trial
  • Bids, Plans, & Specifications and Key Contract Terms
  • Claims: Liens, Stop Notices, Bonds, Delay & Disruption, Termination
  • Mechanics Liens, Stop Notices and Bonds – CMAA Long Beach
  • Public Works Contracting – CMAA Long Beach
  • AGC of California- Legal Advisory Committee, Annual Legal Retreat
  • Survive and Thrive in 2010 – Dealing with Low Bid Disasters on Public
  • Projects (March – July 2010, several dates and locations)
  • Public Works Contracting – CMAA San Diego
  • PESI – California Construction Law (San Diego)
  • PESI – California Construction Law (Costa Mesa)
  • PESI – California Construction Law (Pasadena)
  • Contract Terminations – When to Pull the Trigger
  • AGC of California – Legal Advisory Committee, Annual Legal Retreat
  • The Nuts and Bolts of Mechanics’ Liens
  • Public Works Contracting
  • California Construction Contracting Program
  • Caltrans Training Series- California Construction Law
  • False Claims Act
  • False Claims Act – San Diego
  • Public Contracting In California
  • USC Gould School of Law – 2008 Symposium on Real Estate Law and Business
  • PESI – California Construction Law
  • BICA Construction Credit Conference- “How to Take Control of the Process”
  • Associated General Contractors of California Retreat- “Stop Notices: An Often Overlooked Powerful Tool”
  • Prevailing Wage and Labor Compliance Laws- Sponsored by CMAA
  • “Forget Eichleay” Sponsored by CMAA
  • AIA Contracts- Pasadena
  • Associated General Contractors of California Retreat- “Forget Eichleay: Extended Home Office Overhead is Recoverable in CA”
  • CELSOC- “False Claims Act”
  • PESI- “Construction Law Conference”
  • Northern California Glass Management Association- “Public Works Contracting Workshop”
  • CMAA Panel- “Estimating for Contractor Costs and Market Fluctuations”


  • Video Blog Episode 1: The Critical Path of a Construction Project

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