Jacob A. Zahniser
For nearly 15 years, Jacob Zahniser has represented owners, contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers and design professionals in connection with public and private projects involving schools, infrastructure, industrial, commercial, and residential projects. Jacob’s practice focuses on two areas: construction law and litigation and commercial landlord/tenant disputes. Jacob advises clients on any number of issues that arise during a construction project, from drafting the construction contract, through project close-out, payment, and defect claims.
Jacob frequently advises clients on claim prosecution and avoidance, including change orders, delay/acceleration claims, liens, and liquidated damages. Jacob has considerable experience prosecuting and defending multi-million dollar extra work, delay/acceleration, design defect, differing site conditions, disruption and workmanship claims in state and federal courts and arbitrations.
Construction Law and Litigation
Jacob uses his experience representing owners, contractors, subcontractors, designers, and material suppliers in a wide range of risk management counseling and construction disputes. On behalf of his clients, Jacob effectively and efficiently negotiates construction agreements for a variety of applications ranging from single-family home construction to master agreements covering public and private projects. Jacob is deeply knowledgeable and experienced with handling construction defect claims, delay/acceleration claims, and lien disputes in Oregon and Washington. He is well-versed in working with today’s construction professionals throughout the claim process and in identifying the key issues at the first opportunity to drive to resolution as quickly as possible.
Commercial Landlord/Tenant Disputes
Jacob co-authored Chapter 35 of the Oregon State Bar’s 2015 Real Estate Deskbook entitled “Commercial Lease Disputes and Remedies.” He uses his superior knowledge of commercial landlord/tenant law to negotiate prompt resolution of commercial landlord-tenant disputes. When negotiation fails, Jacob uses his deep understanding of civil practice and the tools of litigation to represent his commercial landlord-tenant clients in federal and state courts.
Construction Disputes Plus
Lead attorney representing subcontractor in a dispute with an out-of-state material supplier on a public project. Material supplier declared bankruptcy in its home state and claim resolved out of bankruptcy.
Represented general contractor in close-out dispute with subcontractor over warranty terms in light of known design errors. Negotiated a settlement involving use of subcontractor’s retention over life of warranty period.
Represented general contractor involving subcontractor’s violation of Davis-Bacon Act. Counseled client through Department of Labor process and had the subcontractor’s lien for retention dismissed after administrative law judge found subcontractor violated Davis-Bacon Act.
Landlord/Tenant Disputes Plus
Represent numerous property owners and tenants resolving breach of lease claims arising out of COVID-19.
Represented owner of shopping center in dispute with tenant over unpaid common area maintenance charges (CAMs). Negotiated resolution wherein tenant would pay all back CAMs for prior 6 years and structured new CAM reconciliation process to avoid issue in the future.
- Associated General Contractors (AGC), Oregon-Columbia Chapter
- Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland
- Oregon State Bar
- Construction Law Section, Executive Committee, 2017-present
- Construction Law Section, Annual CLE Committee Chair, 2020
- Member-At-Large, 2016-2017
- American Bar Association, Construction Law Forum
- Selected for inclusion as an Oregon Super Lawyer—Rising Stars, 2014-2016
- Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in Construction Law and Litigation—Construction, 2019-present
Outside the Office
Jacob enjoys surfing, gardening, and playing the guitar.