Construction and Development


With more than 50 years of history in the construction and development industry, Jordan Ramis is committed to the future of the built environment and the people who build it. We offer services to the industry that address the myriad of legal issues that contractors and developers face on construction and development projects throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Contractors, developers, and design professionals turn to us to advise them on all aspects of the construction and development process, from contract negotiation, to claims, to dispute resolution. We know projects are often bound to a timeline and our familiarity with the industry’s processes and procedures helps our clients stay on track and avoid delays.

Additionally, our team assists the construction and development industry in areas in which the industry faces issues, such as employment, business, real estate, and land use. In each of these areas of the law, the construction and development industry encounters unique challenges. Our team knows the industry, its needs, and has the legal expertise to help clients in all aspects of their businesses.

Our involvement in the construction and development industry goes deeper than providing legal counsel to our clients. As members of a broad range of industry groups—such as Northwest Utility Contractors Association, Home Builders Association, Associated Builders and Contractors, and Construction Financial Management Association—our team is actively involved in and supportive of the industry. Many of our attorneys are also dedicated to serving on committees and in leadership positions within organizations like these that advocate for enriching the building industry. Our attorneys frequently present at industry group meetings and contribute articles on industry-related topics in trade publications, such as the Daily Journal of Commerce Oregon. With a deep connection to the industry, we bring the familiarity and credibility needed for effective representation of construction and development clients.

Jordan Ramis leverages its legal expertise and involvement in the construction and development industry to offer its clients efficient yet innovative legal solutions. Our team offers the industry the convenience and ease of a full-service business law firm, equipped to serve all our clients’ needs.


  • Design Professionals

    Representing architects, engineers, landscape architects, and other licensed and unlicensed design professionals, we guide our clients through every aspect of the design process from the early stages of contract drafting and negotiation, to the later steps of design defect defense. We work with our clients to make onerous certifications more palatable.

    We work with both public and private sector owners on their diverse projects spanning residential, multi-family, low income, commercial, and public infrastructure. We also frequently advise our clients on issues related to copyright and infringement.

    Our team includes experienced attorneys who understand how the law uniquely intersects with engineering, architecture, and landscape architecture, giving our team an important understanding of the business and professional difficulties that design professionals face every day. This practical background enhances our ability to focus on helping our clients achieve their professional, technical, aesthetic, and financial objectives.


Brent Carpenter Shareholder



U.S. Department of Labor issues new guidance for the ever-evolving ‘employee or independent contractor?’ determination

March 1, 2024

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM THE OREGON ASSOCIATION OF NUSERIES. FIRST PUBLISHED IN FEBRUARY-MARCH ISSUE OF DIGGER On January 10, 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor (Labor Department) published new guidance for determining whether a worker is an employee or an…


Sheetz case poised to invalidate onerous development regulations and fees

February 26, 2024

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM THE PORTLAND METROPOLITAN HOME BUILDERS ASSOCIATION. FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE HBA BUILDING NEWS, FEBRUARY-MARCH 2024 ISSUE. On January 9, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in a case that may force local governments to…


Just send the notice: an update on pre-lien notice requirements

February 22, 2024

Reprinted with permission from the Daily Journal of Commerce. Click here to read online. As most subcontractors probably know, a construction lien is an important tool to ensure payment, but the lien process is full of pitfalls for the unwary.…


LUBA hints at possible ‘maximum capacity’ development requirements

December 23, 2022

Our Jeff Kapp looks at the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) decision in Husk v. City of Bend, in which LUBA held that under the Middle Housing Statute (HB 2001) the City of Bend was required (and failed)…


“OP-ED: A look at Oregon and Washington rules for heat illness prevention”, Daily Journal of Commerce

September 6, 2022

The June 2021 Pacific Northwest heat wave resulted in hundreds of deaths across Oregon and Washington, including several in workplaces. While Oregon OSHA had already begun rulemaking to address workplace heat illness, the extreme temperatures obviously gave those activities added urgency.


Opinion: Oregon brownfield cleanup gets boost from federal infrastructure funds

May 18, 2022

As the dust settles from last year’s passage of the $1.2 trillion federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, it is becoming clear that the sweeping legislation will bring much-needed green (as in dollars) to Oregon’s brownfields.


Constructive Change: Getting Compensated for Changed Work in the Absence of a Written Change Order

May 6, 2022

Most construction contracts contain a provision requiring a written change order as a condition precedent to payment for changed work. However, even in the absence of a written change order, a contractor may be entitled to payment, as an equitable adjustment to the contract price, for changed work under the legal theory of constructive change.


Help Needed to Redevelop Portland Harbor’s Brownfields

March 1, 2022

The Superfund cleanup of Portland Harbor is still years from completion. With the project only in the remedial design phase, the full extent of the specific actions that will be required along the designated 10-mile stretch of the lower Willamette River remains to be seen.


Variations in Estimated Quantities on Construction Projects

January 25, 2022

Owners typically provide an estimate of the necessary quantities in the bid package in order to guide the contractor in bid preparation. However, many contractors have experienced situations in which the actual quantities varied from the quantity estimate provided by the owner.


Material Cost Escalations: Who Pays for Them?

December 29, 2021

If the contract does not provide for, or prohibits, contractor claims for material cost escalations, the contractor may be liable for the escalation. Further, if material delivery delays in turn delay the project, a contractor could face the assessment of liquidated damages.


Oregon’s State and Local COVID–19 Vaccine Mandates and Their Impact on Contractors

November 23, 2021

In the event that a contractor employs unvaccinated individuals, it is important to know the parameters of the vaccine mandates.


Delay, disruption and acceleration: untangling the tangled web

September 28, 2021

Delay, disruption and acceleration of construction projects are nothing new and most seasoned contractors have experienced one or all of them. However, the pandemic and environmental events, such as last year’s historic wildfires and this summer’s record heat wave, might point to a future in which contractors may be affected more frequently.


Differing Site Conditions Claims on Construction Projects

December 23, 2020

Construction contractors frequently encounter site conditions which differ from those depicted in the plans. When this occurs, the contractor can incur unanticipated costs.


“Up-the-Chain” Claims by Lower-Tier Subcontractors and Suppliers

November 23, 2020

Preserving lien and bond rights is important as they provide security to subs and suppliers in the event of nonpayment by the general contractor.


Excusable Delay on Construction Projects in the Absence of a Force Majeure Provision

September 28, 2020

In the absence of a force majeure provision, a contractor would have to rely on the defenses of impossibility, frustration of purpose, and impracticality.


When is an Estimate Not Just an Estimate?

January 15, 2016

Estimates are clearly an essential part of the construction process. They provide a framework for time, scope and financing of the project, and provide guidance to the owner and developer regarding anticipated costs and scope of work necessary to bring the project to completion. They are, however, by their very nature, inexact.


Borrowed Dirt

January 15, 2015

Oregon law provides that a contractor or subcontractor who inadvertently contaminates the owner’s property may be liable for remediation costs.


Bid Protests on Oregon and Washington Public Works Projects: Key Differences

August 30, 2021

This article discusses the significant differences between the bid protest deadlines and procedures in Oregon and Washington, of which contractors should be aware.


Allocating Risk of COVID-related Delays in Construction Contracts

February 22, 2021

Instead of merely reacting to potential liability for COVID-related delays, parties can and should negotiate allocation of that risk up front, during contract negotiation.


Construction Liens in Oregon and Washington: What is Lienable, What is Not, and How to Protect Your Lien Rights

July 28, 2021

This article originally appeared in the July 23, 2021 edition of the Daily Journal of Commerce Oregon. As most construction contractors and subcontractors know, construction liens can provide important payment security and also the ability to recover attorney fees if…


No-Damages-For-Delay Provisions in Private Construction Contracts in Oregon and Washington

June 30, 2021

Many private construction contracts contain what are known as “no-damages-for-delay” provisions. These provisions typically provide that a contractor may not recover damages (i.e., money) from the owner for owner-caused delays, or in the case of a subcontract that the subcontractor…


When Does Your Construction Lien Deadline Start To Run?

May 25, 2021

By Brent Carpenter, Shareholder This article originally published in the May 25, 2021 edition of the Daily Journal of Commerce Oregon.  Construction liens are a powerful tool to ensure payment from an owner or a general contractor on private construction…



BLRB Architects

July 3, 2021

Because the Jordan Ramis attorneys already possess architecture and construction knowledge, they are able to quickly process and respond to our needs.

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Building Industry Association of Clark County

Jordan Ramis has a community partnership mentality. This, combined with all of the knowledge and information they had on the issues surrounding local development constraints and stormwater issues in Washington, made it a natural choice to hire the firm to take on the appeal for us.

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