DRI Faculty List

2021 Construction Law Virtual Seminar

April 29 - 30, 2021

Paul J. Bennett

Paul J. Bennett is a licensed civil engineer in 18 states and a licensed general contractor who has 20 years of experience in the design and construction industry. He has experience in the design and investigation of buildings. He has a diverse background in Civil, Mechanical, and Architectural Engineering as those disciplines apply to buildings and infrastructure. Mr. Bennett has hands-on construction experience working in the construction trades including framing, excavation, concrete, adhered masonry veneer, construction of water resistive building envelopes, flooring, roofing, plumbing, mechanical, and finish carpentry. As an engineer, he has experience in the structural and architectural design of new buildings and the repair design of damaged structures. He has experience in the building code development process and has expertise in interpreting and applying building codes. Mr. Bennett is based out of Exponent's Denver, Colorado office.

Danielle Dlugosh
Hensel Phelps Corporation

Danielle Dlugosh grew up in a construction family so naturally like any stubborn youngest child, she went to college to become at teacher. During her time in college she quickly realized education was not where her passion was anymore. Upon graduation, she started a career with the same general contractor that some of her family worked for. During these early years in construction her passion for building connections and mentoring started to grow. After 8 years she decided to branch away and start her own name at Hensel Phelps Construction as an Area Superintendent. During the last 3 year at Hensel Phelps she has gained a new outlook on diversity and inclusion and how that effects the growth and success of our construction industry. The employee ownership mindset of Hensel Phelps Construction really changes the aspect of how they select, precure & execute work. Danielle has had the privilege of worked on multiple types of projects during her 11 years in the industry from healthcare, student housing, high rise residential & hospitality. She enjoys the challenges of new industries and hope to build an even more diverse resume over the course of her career. While seeking growth to her professional network she joined the National Association of Women in Construction in Austin, TX. As the current Austin Chapter President of NAWIC she hopes to continue the growth of women in construction primarily on the operations side.

Derek Fennell

Derek Fennell is an Assistant Vice President within AXA XL's Subcontractor Default Insurance Claims Group. Derek has eight years of experience handling and managing Subcontractor Default Insurance Claims, and also has prior experience handling and managing construction defect claims. Derek has a Bachelor of Science degree from Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois where he majored in Criminal Justice and Political Science. Derek also earned his Juris Doctorate degree from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois.

Andrew R. Ferguson
Coughlin Betke LLP

Andrew R. Ferguson is a partner at Coughlin Betke LLP in Boston, Massachusetts. Andy has over 20 years of trial practice and litigation experience and concentrates in the defense of matters involving professional liability, construction defect, construction work site accidents, products liability, premises liability, personal injury, employment and contract disputes. Andy is the Past-President of the Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association. Andy is a trained mediator and holds a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) designation from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). He is admitted to practice before the State and Federal Courts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island. Andrew is the Program Chair for the DRI 2021 Construction Law Seminar.

Eileen R. Fullerton
Fullerton Beck LLP

Eileen R. Fullerton is a founding member of Fullerton Beck, LLP, a boutique insurance defense firm located in Westchester County, New York. Eileen has 17 years of experience in general liability and insurance defense, specializing in construction accident and New York Labor Law litigation, negligent security claims, premises liability, municipal liability and long-term care litigation. Some of Eileen's clients include well-known property owners, contractors, subcontractors, construction managers, design professionals and private security companies. Eileen routinely handles high profile and significant exposure actions from pre-suit investigation through trial. She defends clients through New York City's five boroughs, Long Island, Westchester, Rockland, Orange and Dutchess Counties. She has her OSHA-10 certification, and has lectured on the implication of OSHA training and Labor Laws. Eileen is admitted to practice in New York and Connecticut State Courts and New York Eastern, Southern and Northern district Federal Courts of New York. Eileen is the DRI 2021 Construction Law Seminar Co-Vice Program Chair.

Rosary A. Hernandez
Tiffany & Bosco PA

Rosary A. Hernandez, a Shareholder at Tiffany & Bosco, PA, is first generation Cuban American. Her areas of practice include commercial and business litigation, professional liability defense, construction law, and tort defense including tortious interference and related claims. Since 1993 she has represented clients in litigation and arbitration in Texas, Arizona, and California. Ms. Hernandez's professional affiliations include DRI, Executive Board of Diversity Committee, Co-Chair of Construction Seminar 2015, State Bar of AZ – Past Board of Directors for Construction Section, Past Chair of MCBA Construction Section and Past Board of Directors for Arizona Association of Defense Counsel. Ms. Hernandez is on the DRI Board of Directors as a National Director.

Sonny Ingram
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Sonny Ingram is Managing Director & Counsel at Travelers Canada. He is responsible for the Surety Claim team that handles all bond claims across Canada. Prior to joining Travelers, Sonny was in private practice at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Canada's largest law firm, where he worked in the firm's Construction Law Group. His legal practice involved providing advice regarding complex bond and insurance claims; recovery proceedings arising out of bonded projects; construction contracts; and liens and procurement matters. Sonny was previously the instructor for the Construction and Surety Law course offered as part of the Surety Association of Canada's Associateship in Canadian Surety Bonding Designation Program, in partnership with the University of Toronto and McMaster University's respective Schools of Continuing Education. Sonny was also a regular guest lecturer at the University of Toronto's Daniels School of Architecture for the professional responsibility course, lecturing on surety bonds and construction liens.

Robert N. Johnson
Quintairos Prieto Wood & Boyer PA

Robert N. Johnson is a Partner in the Orlando office of Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. His practice focuses in the areas of construction defect litigation, sinkhole claims, professional liability and property and casualty claims. Mr. Johnson routinely represents various contractors, subcontractors, engineers, inspectors, and other entities who perform work in the construction industry in a variety of construction related matters.

David L. Jones
Wright Lindsey & Jennings LLP

David L. Jones is a partner in Wright, Lindsey & Jennings LLP, and practices from the firm's Little Arkansas office. David represents clients in diverse industries, including transportation, construction, manufacturing and distribution, municipal, insurance, banking, education, healthcare, and real estate on issues related in actions involving personal injury, products and premises liability, property damage, and contract disputes. As part of his practice David advises clients on risk management, pre-litigation and alternative dispute resolution, and all aspects of civil litigation. From 2012 to 2016, Mid-South SuperLawyers recognized David as a Rising Star in General Litigation and in 2013 Arkansas Business recognized David in the publication's annual list of "40 Under 40" business and political leaders. In 2019, David was recognized in the 26th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. David has also garnered recognition from various local and state-wide publications. David currently serves as Chair of the DRI Construction Committee, and also serves DRI in various other capacities.

Melissa Lin
Righi Fitch Law Group

Melissa Lin is a partner at Righi Fitch Law Group in Phoenix, Arizona. Her practice includes the representation of individuals, contractors, businesses, and governmental entities in the areas of general liability, construction defects, personal injury, insurance coverage, and product liability. She is an AV rated litigation attorney, and a 2012 through 2017 Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Star. She was the 2016 DRI Diversity for Success Seminar Chair, 2016-2017 DRI Construction Law Membership Chair, and 2016-2017 DRI Women in the Law Diversity Subcommittee Vice-Chair.

Annie K. Lo, AIA, LEED AP
Walter P Moore and Associates, Inc.

Annie K. Lo, AIA, LEED AP is a Principal and Managing Director of the Diagnostics Group of Walter P Moore in San Francisco, California. She is a licensed Architect, as well as a building enclosure consultant and waterproofing expert. Annie specializes in the design and evaluation of exterior enclosure systems, including plaza and podium assemblies, below-grade waterproofing, exterior facades, and roofing systems. She is the President for the Western Chapter of the Association for Preservation Technology (APT) and is on the Board of Directors for the International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI), Northern California Chapter Annie is a LEED Accredited Professional and graduated from the Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design program at Columbia University in New York.

Rocco P. Matra
Kaufman Borgeest & Ryan LLP

Rocco P. Matra is a partner at Kaufman, Borgeest & Ryan, LLP and practices out of its New York City office. Rocco practices in the fields of Medical Malpractice, Premises Liability, General Liability, Products Liability and Professional Liability. Rocco has extensive experience representing property owners, management companies, construction companies and business owners in premises/general liability cases and construction cases, often involving catastrophic injuries and complex Labor Law issues. Rocco has lectured on numerous topics in the fields of Medical Malpractice and General Liability. He has lectured on the defense of Fire and Explosion Claims and has presented in-house lectures on Risk Reduction for General Liability Claims. He is also the author of several articles and advisories on risk reduction for professionals and business owners.

Joshua W. Mermis
West Mermis PLLC

Joshua W. Mermis is a founding partner of West Mermis, PLLC. He has broad experience in litigation, construction, energy and business matters. Joshua has extensive trial experience having conducted jury and bench trials, as well as arbitrations involving significant multi-million-dollar commercial projects throughout Texas. He represents operators, general contractors, subcontractors, developers, suppliers, product manufacturers, businesses and individuals in a variety of disputes. Joshua is licensed in Texas. Joshua has been selected as a Texas Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters, which is an honor conferred upon only on 5% of the total lawyers in Texas and named a BestLawyer. He was also selected by his peers for inclusion in H Texas Magazine Top Lawyer and Houstonian Top Lawyer Joshua is the past Chair of the Houston Bar Association Construction Law Section. West Mermis, PLLC has been rated a Best Law Firm by US News & World Report.

Denise M. Montgomery
Sweeney & Sheehan PC

Denise M. Montgomery is a Senior Associate at Sweeney & Sheehan, P.C. and focuses her practice in the area of construction defect, representing prime contractors and sub-contractors in complex construction defect claims throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. She also has extensive expertise in the areas of employment law, professional liability, and general liability. Ms. Montgomery is experienced in all aspects of litigation, including discovery, mediation contractual and non-binding arbitration, and trial.

Rodney Moss
Hunt Companies, Inc

Rodney Moss has served as Sr. Vice President of Hunt Companies leading the U.S. P3 business since April 2017. Rodney is leading the progressive development team and strategy within the Hunt/Amber infrastructure business with geographic teams in Florida, Texas, and Maryland/DC. Prior to joining Hunt, Rodney was a Regional Managing Director for Aon's Construction Services Group and P3 risk advisor on some of the most complex P3 projects in the U.S., including Texas Central High Speed Rail, Maryland Purple Line, UC Merced, Kentucky Wired Broadband, and I-66. Prior to Aon, Rodney was Regional Chief Legal Officer and national P3 lead for Balfour Beatty Construction for 12 years. Prior to joining Balfour Beatty, Rodney was a partner in the construction practice group at the Bradley law firm in Birmingham, Alabama. Rodney currently serves on the board of the Association for the Improvement of American Infrastructure (AIAI) and is the chair of the law and legislative committee. He has drafted P3 legislation and enabling guidelines in eight states.

Moheeb H. Murray
Bush Seyferth PLLC

Moheeb H. Murray leads the insurance coverage practice team at Bush Seyferth & Paige PLLC in Troy, Michigan. He represents leading national insurers in life, disability, ERISA, and other insurance matters at stages of litigation. Moheeb is a past co-chair of the Insurance Practice Area Committee for the National Association of Women and Minority Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF). Moheeb graduated cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School and with high distinction from the University of Michigan's Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

Steve Nelson

Steve Nelson is the Executive Vice President, and Senior Director, Surety Claims of Markel Surety and President of its risk consulting/dispute resolution provider sister company, SureTec Information Systems, Inc. Prior to joining Markel in 2001, Steve practiced construction law for twenty years in Dallas, Texas, and was CEO of a large commercial construction company in Central Texas for six years. He oversees Markel's Surety Claims, Funds Disbursement, and Subcontractor Prequalification operations, mediates construction industry disputes, primarily construction and multi-party construction defect claims, for others, and teaches construction and procurement law and dispute resolution at the University of Texas, where he is an adjunct faculty member in its Graduate School of Engineering. Steve is a Fellow of the Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution, a Distinguished Credentialed Mediator by the Texas Mediator Credentialing Association Steve is a graduate of Southern Methodist University and its School of Law. He is a Fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers, a Distinguished Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators, and a past Chairman of the Construction Law Sections of the State Bar of Texas, the Austin Bar Association, and the Dallas Bar Association. He is active in the ABA Fidelity & Surety Committee, the ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, and the Pearlman Association. He is in his third year as President of the Surety Claims Institute.

Toni Osberry

Toni Osberry is the Director of Membership Services with the Austin Chapter AGC and has worked for AGC for the past 20 years Toni is responsible for maintaining the membership database, AGC website, networking events, and backing up the Executive Director. Toni is a current member of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) for the past 10 years and has served on the local, regional, and national level.

Anne Pfleger, CIT
Charles Construction Services, Inc

Anne Pfleger, CIT has been working in the construction and transportation industries for over 25 years. Currently working the estimating, safety, HR and IT departments for Charles Construction Services in Findlay, OH and National President of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) she strives to continually enhance women's success in the construction industry. She volunteers countless hours reaching out to potential members and employers encouraging them to support women in construction. Her aspirations and belief in NAWIC's mission have carried her to Regional Director and to the National Board as an inspiring voice for all. She embraces NAWIC values by living them daily, and in doing so, empowers, elevates and challenges others to do the same.

Brian Roundtree
The Haskell Companies

Brian Roundtree serves as Director – Corporate Safety for the Haskell Companies. He is responsible for driving safety excellence throughout the Haskell organization. During his tenure Haskell has experienced significant growth and acquisitions while experiencing exceptional safety performance. Brian has been both a craft and safety professional in his career. He has been a safety professional for the past 30 years and holds several certifications including Certified Safety Professional(CSP) and Construction Health and Safety Professional(CHST). Brian currently serves on several industry organizations including ANSI z359, NCCER, SkillsUSA and American Contractors Insurance Group Safety Committee.

Roy Shelley
Rogers Townsend LLC

Roy Shelley is Head of the Litigation Department at Rogers Townsend and handles litigation involving construction, products liability (most frequently defending claims related to construction materials), commercial claims, trucking accidents, personal injury, property and casualty, environmental damage, insurance coverage and criminal law.

Lee Shidlofsky
Shidlofsky Law Firm Pllc

Lee Shidlofsky is a founding member of Shidlofsky Law Firm PLLC in Austin, Texas where he heads up the Insurance Law Practice Group. The Insurance Law Practice Group represents corporate policyholders that are in disputes with their insurance companies, provides advice to plaintiffs in complex litigation on how to best maximize an insurance recovery, and provides risk-management consultation in connection with contractual risk transfer issues. Lee has handled a wide variety of first-party and third-party insurance claims (e.g., D&O, E&O, "personal and advertising injury liability," construction defect, commercial property, business interruption, pollution, and commercial auto) in state and federal courts at both the trial and appellate court levels. Lee is a Fellow to the American College of Construction Lawyers and also currently serves on the AGC-TBB Legal Affairs Committee. He is a Past Chair of the Insurance Law Section and formerly held a council position and Insurance Liaison position with the Construction Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. In 2019, Chambers ranked Lee as a Star Individual for Insurance Coverage. He also has been named a "Super Lawyer" by Texas Monthly Magazine since 2004, including a ranking as a Top 50 attorney in the Central and West Texas Region since 2007 and a Top 100 attorney statewide since 2016. Lee's practice includes mediation of multi-party construction defect and design cases as well as insurance coverage matters. In addition, Lee serves as an independent neutral arbitrator in insurance-related matters.

Mark D. Shifton
Seiger Gfeller Laurie LLP

Mark D. Shifton is a Senior Partner in the Princeton, New Jersey and New York City offices of Gfeller Laurie LLP. Mark focuses his practice in the areas of complex civil and commercial litigation in the state and federal courts in New Jersey and New York, and has extensive experience representing clients in catastrophic property loss and injury claims and litigation, as well as representing design professionals and contractors in construction disputes. Mark serves as the Co-Vice Program Chair for the DRI's 2021 Construction Law Seminar, and recently completed a two-year term as the Product Liability Committee's Building Products Specialized Litigation Group.

Alexandra Sued
Fullerton Beck LLP

Alexandra Sued attended the Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra in the Dominican Republican where she earned her J.D. equivalent. She also obtained her LLM from the University of Manchester, U.K. and an LLM from the University of Miami with a specialty in U.S. and Transnational Law Alexandra work on high exposure New York Labor Law litigation, as well as the firms commercial litigation group. She represents owners, contractors, engineers and subcontractors in all aspects of construction litigation. Prior to joining Fullerton Beck LLP, Alexandra worked at two prior firms in Florida and New York City, where she gained knowledge in litigating personal injury cases. Alexandra is an invaluable part of the Firm's Litigation practice as she approaches each case and trial with a comprehensive view of what each side will present and argue to a trier of facts. Alexandra is OSHA certified and is also fluent in Spanish, Italian, and French.

John D. Surma
Jackson Lewis

John D. Surma is Special Counsel in Adams and Reese LLP's Houston office. Mr. Surma counsels and represents clients before a variety of regulatory agencies including OSHA, MSHA, the United States Chemical Safety Board, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Railroad Administration/American Association of Railroads, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and the Texas Department of Public Safety. Mr. Surma has served an expert in the interpretation and application of OSHA standards and counsels clients in reviewing and developing compliance programs. Mr. Surma also assists clients in regulatory inspections arising out of catastrophic incidents and provides clients with advice related to risk management and workplace safety and security. He has investigated a wide-range of catastrophes including: plant and refinery explosions and fires; construction accidents; trucking accidents; pipeline accidents; mechanical equipment failures; safety program failures; equipment operation errors; electrical safety failures; chemical releases; and structural failures.

George R. Truitt, Jr.
Cole Scott & Kissane

George R. Truitt, Jr. is the Managing Partner of the Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A.'s Construction Group, which is dedicated exclusively to the counseling and litigation of construction-related matters. Mr. Truitt is a Board Certified Specialist in Florida Construction Law. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1992 and has been A-V Rated by Martindale Hubbell since 1998. In 2017, Mr. Truitt was ranked by Chambers and Associates as a leading Florida construction attorney. Mr Truitt is recipient of the 2020 Best Lawyers Award, The Best Lawyers in America®. For the past twenty-six years, he has devoted his practice to construction litigation and risk management counseling, including the representation of design professionals in professional liability claims, developers, contractors, and subcontractors in construction defect, contract, inland marine (builder's risk coverage and litigation) and lien enforcement claims, payment and performance bond sureties in public and private bond and subrogation claims and commercial general liability and professional liability insurers in coverage counseling and litigation. He is admitted to The Florida Bar and the United States District Courts for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida. Mr. Truitt is a member of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar, the Construction Association of South Florida, the Latin Builders Association, the Professional Liability Attorneys Network (PLAN), the American Institute of Architects, and the Miami-Dade County Bar Association.

Danielle M. Waltz
Jackson Kelly PLLC

Danielle M. Waltz is a member in Jackson Kelly PLLC office in Charleston, West Virginia, focusing primarily on litigation, handling complex multi-party construction matters, and government relations. Waltz has published and lectured on construction matters, including authoring the West Virginia portion of the 2009 DRI Desk Reference. She has been extensively involved in the DRI Construction Law Group, and currently serves as the Vice Chair of DRI Construction Committee.

Felicia Watson
Staff Attorney
National Association of Home Builders

Felicia Watson serves as Assistant Vice President, Construction Liability & Research, with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB's) Office of Legal Affairs. Her practice focuses on construction liability, labor, safety and health, building materials, privacy, and international trade She also works on compliance and litigation related to the Americans with Disabilities Act and has written amicus curiae briefs in support of the Association and members concerning the Clean Water Act, construction liability and economic loss claims, standing in Fair Housing Act litigation, and transfer to the Multidistrict Litigation for Chinese drywall insurance coverage. Felicia has written comments on behalf of NAHB in several federal rulemakings including softwood lumber, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an investigation on imports from China, and labor, safety and health issues. She is a co-author of "Warranties for Builders and Remodelers" published by BuilderBooks. Most recently, she worked with colleagues in developing a free mobile application "pocket guide" to the Fair Housing Act.

William "Ben" Wescott

William "Ben" Wescott is the co-managing shareholder of Andrews Myers in Houston, Texas. He is Board Certified in Construction Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He currently serves as chair of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Texas Policy Taskforce during the Texas legislative session to advance limiting design defect liability for contractors. In his practice, he represents general contractors, subcontractors and owners on large and complex construction projects in both prosecuting and defending a variety of construction-related issues. He also maintains an active ADR practicing and is a member of AAA's panel of arbitrators. He has been recognized the past eleven years as a leading construction lawyer by Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business.

Glenn M. Zakaib
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Glenn M. Zakaib is a partner with BLG's Toronto office as National Co-chair of the Class Actions Group, providing strategic direction and coordination of the group across Canada. He has an extensive background in precedent-setting class actions matters, bringing astute insights forward to defend public and private sector clients against all manner of claims. Mr. Zakaib's expertise extends across industry sectors. He has a strong track record of successfully defending class action proceedings and product liability claims related to medical, consumer, industrial, pharmaceutical, automotive, aviation, and electrical products, as well as life insurance, misrepresentation, and Competition Act Claims.