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David Buoncristiani

David Buoncristiani

(415) 995-5030


Dave has more than 40 years of commercial litigation experience with primary emphasis on construction industry disputes. He is proficient in all facets of public and private construction, including contract negotiation and the review of and preparation of contracts. He has represented contractors in connection with bid protests arising under competitively bid contracts, claim evaluations and preparations, and prosecution and defense of contractor claims. Dave has represented clients before state and federal courts, as well as arbitration tribunals and governmental administrative panels such as the Board of Contract Appeals, and has extensive experience involving international construction disputes. He has been involved in numerous mediations that resolved extremely complicated construction disputes. Dave has spoken extensively on construction law-related issues in seminars and client presentations.

Dave has been recognized as one of the leading construction attorneys in the United States by Chambers USA and has been continuously rated in Band 1 or Band 2 since the 2003 edition. His construction teams were recipients of "Chambers' Award for Excellence in Construction" in 2008 and 2010.

Dave has been named a "Northern California Super Lawyer" by San Francisco Magazine from 2004 through 2022 and also has been recognized by Who's Who Legal, as among the very best of the USA's highest ranking attorneys and was selected for the inclusion in the first edition of "Thought Leaders: USA 2023". Best Lawyers included Dave on the list of "Best Lawyers in America" for 2023 and he has been a recipient of that honor for more than ten years. He is also recognized by The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers and The Legal 500. Finally, he has been annually awarded an "AV" rating by Martindale Hubbell since 1984.

Dave is a Fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers and is currently a member of the Board of Governors. He is also a member of the American Bar Association (Forum on the Construction Industry, Public Contracts and Litigation Sections), The Bar Association of San Francisco, and The Olympic Club.


J.D. UC Law San Francisco (Formerly UC Hastings) ( 1971 )
B.A. University of San Francisco ( 1968 )

Admissions and Courts

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
U.S. Court of Federal Claims
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Pro Haec Vice Admissions:
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Presidio Parkway Project. Actively involved in a Public Private Partnership project for the replacement of the southern access to the Golden Gate Bridge. He represented the Design Build contractor who, along with the Concessionaire, had to sue the Owner to recover costs resulting from delays and interferences beyond the control of the Design Build Contractor. The matter was resolved through an elaborate negotiation and resulted in the contractor recovering more than $125 million.

Earthen Dam Dispute. Favorable arbitration ruling confirming the legitimacy of a termination for default of a contractor constructing an expansion of an earthen dam with full recovery of the costs of completion following the default.

Condominium Project. Successful arbitration ruling overturning a contractor's termination for default with recovery of all costs of performance, together with overhead and profit, followed by recovery of damages against the architect, who had improperly certified the default.

Complex Mechanical Controversy. Favorable settlement through mediation of a claim for additional compensation arising out the construction of a state-of-the-art pharmaceutical facility involving a major dispute over the mechanical installation.

Defense Verdict in Commercial Jury Trial. Verdict for a fraction of plaintiff's claims arising out of a real estate transaction. A mediator had proposed a settlement of 10% of the claim. The ultimate jury verdict was only a fraction of the amount the mediator proposed for resolution.

Major Petrochemical Project. Resolution through negotiation of a claim for engineering and design fees for the largest grass roots petrochemical facility in the world, located in India.

International Arbitration Award. Part of a legal team and responsible for the presentation of expert testimony and cross-examination of financial experts in an action to recover engineering and design fees for a theme park, and the defense of a larger counterclaim by the owner that resulted in an international arbitration award of full recovery for the contractor. The case also involved enforcement of the arbitration award in a foreign court despite the invalidation of the award by the local party on questionable grounds.

Fossil Fueled Power Plants. Resolution through mediation of contractor's claim for additional compensation arising out of the construction of a gas-fired power plant in the middle of a fully operational pharmaceutical facility.

Suspension Bridge. Resolution of multiple claims on the construction of a new concrete and steel bridge in the Pacific Northwest, including claims by a subcontractor and by the steel fabrication sub-subcontractor.

Superfund Site Dispute. Successful resolution, after trial on liability issues, of a claim on a government contract for the construction of a cleanup facility on a Superfund site to deal with the contamination resulting from undocumented waste used as fill in a former quarry.

Government Contract Claims. Successful pursuit of a variety of claims against the U.S. government on projects for the Bureau of Reclamation, Corps of Engineers, Department of Defense, and Voice of America.

Chambers and Partners USA, Construction

The Legal 500, Recommended Lawyer (2019)

Best Lawyers (2006-2024)

Super Lawyers, Construction Litigation; International (2004-2022)