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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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Richard Mah




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Mr. Mah is a principal with the Firm and possesses extensive jury trial, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution experience in construction and engineering matters. Admitted to the California Bar in 1990, Mr. Mah has successfully brought to jury verdict numerous matters in the Los Angeles Superior Court and the United States District Court, Central District, and has conducted countless arbitrations and mediations. Since the early 1990’s Mr. Mah’s legal career has been devoted to construction and business law related issues.

Prior to joining Hunt Ortmann, Mr. Mah served as a Deputy City Attorney in the Airport Division of the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, and was general counsel to the Los Angeles World Airports on all of its construction matters.

Since joining Hunt Ortmann in 1999, Mr. Mah has represented several public agencies such as the City of Los Angeles Public Works Department, the Port of Los Angeles, and the City of Oxnard in complex construction litigation. Mr. Mah has continued to represent the Los Angeles World Airports on construction transactions and litigation, including projects arising out of the LAX multi-billion dollar master plan. In addition to his public entity clients, Mr. Mah also represents several private industry clients, including developers, general contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers.

Mr. Mah has served as a consultant on several CEB government practice guides, has authored several chapters on project delivery methods and public bidding, and has lectured frequently in public works programs and seminars sponsored by the Los Angeles County Bar Construction Subsection, CMAA, APWA, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, and Lorman Education Services, among others. Beginning in 2008 to the present, Mr. Mah was named a Southern California Construction “Super Lawyer” by Law and Politics Magazine.

Mr. Mah is a past chair of the Construction Law Subsection of the Los Angeles County Bar’s Real Property Section, and currently serves on the “Greenbook” Committee for Standard Specifications for Public Works Construction.


  • University of West Los Angeles, J.D.
  • University of California, Irvine, Bachelor of Arts

Bars + Courts

  • California
  • United States District Court of California, Central
  • United States Court of Federal Claims
Practice Areas
  • Collection Actions
  • Business & Commercial Law
  • Disputes & Litigation, Commercial
  • Construction Consulting
  • Construction Contracts & Bid Documents
  • Disputes & Litigation, Construction
  • Public Entity / Government Contracts & Projects
  • Real Estate Law
  • Selected as Super Lawyer 2008 – 2020
  • Los Angeles County Bar, Construction Law Subsection Chair (2008-2010)
  • Pasadena Top Attorney sponsored by Pasadena Magazine 2011 – 2014

Representative Work
  • Defended public entity against $31 million construction delay, impact and extra work claims involving the construction of a 6 story administration building and wastewater treatment plant. The public entity asserted allegations of bid collusion and false claims. The case resolved with a dismissal of the entire claim and only a partial release of retainage.
  • Prosecuted a $12 million delay and disruption claim on behalf of a trade contractor for a high rise building resulting in a substantial mediated settlement.
  • Prosecuted several complex professional negligence matters involving engineer’s and architect’s liability, resulting in substantial recoveries on behalf of public entities.
  • Defended public entity against general contractor’s $14 million delay, disruption and differing site condition claims involving microtunneling project utilizing freeze technology. The agency brought a false claims counterclaim, which resulted in a dismissal of the general contractor’s claim and only partial release of retention.
  • Defended public entity against general contractor’s $11 million delay, disruption and differing site condition claims involving microtunneling project. The claim was successfully resolved in mediation with an 85% reduction of the contractor’s claim.
  • Defended public entity against general contractor’s $8 million wrongful default and termination claim on the construction of a community center. Prosecuted the public entity’s cross-complaint and recovered $3 million with no payment to the contractor.
  • Prosecuted $2.8 million claim on behalf of general contractor on a project involving utility installations, with a substantial recovery after mediation.
  • Defended public entity against a general contractor’s $6 million wrongful default and termination claim. Case was resolved with release of retention and dismissal of the contractor’s claim.
  • Obtained an Order on a writ of mandate on behalf of a subcontractor challenging a school district’s improper use of “or equal” provisions.
  • Successfully handled numerous bid challenges for both general contractors and public owners, including the successful reversal of a public agency’s initial decision regarding award on a $150 million project.
  • Drafted specifications and contract documents for competitive sealed proposals for public entity on the largest public works project at that time in Southern California — awarded at $695 million.
  • Drafted design-build and CM at Risk contract documents for several public works projects.
  • Drafted specifications for multiple public agencies on design-bid-build projects.
  • Successful resolution of multiple construction defect claims.
  • Represented OSHPD inspectors in a $10 million dispute involving the construction of a hospital.
News + Publications



  • Stop, Look, and… READ! Don’t Sign That Subcontract Just Yet
Speaking Engagements + Seminars

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