Deborah Cazan is an experienced construction attorney and dedicated business counselor. Her practice focuses on representing clients in litigation, arbitration and mediation of construction, development and real estate related disputes, including claims for delay, acceleration, interference, defective construction, defective design, scope changes and other issues. On the transactional side, Deborah has extensive experience drafting and negotiating general contractor and construction management agreements, design-build agreements, program management agreements, project management agreements, architectural and engineering agreements and EPC agreements.
Deborah also focuses on advising clients in a multitude of government contracting matters, including pre-award and post-award bid protests, state and federal procurement regulations, negotiations of government contracts, and grant application and award compliance. Additionally, Deborah represents clients in civil and criminal investigations by government agencies.
She earned her J.D. in 2001 from Vanderbilt University. She received her B.A., magna cum laude, in speech communication from the University of Illinois, where she graduated with departmental distinction in 1998. Currently, Deborah is serving as a board member of the Construction Section of the Atlanta Bar Association.
- Represented IPP in dispute with EPC contractor over cost issues pertaining to the installation of wet scrubbers in three coal-fired power plants. The contract price was in excess of $1 billion, and our client argued that the EPC contractor overbilled for the work and ignored the terms of the parties’ contract regarding reimbursable costs. After several pre-trial rulings in our client’s favor, including the granting of partial summary judgment, the EPC contractor agreed to settle the matter days before a jury was selected. As a result, our client avoided over $60 million of costs assessed by the contractor.
- Counsel to a large global developer in the prosecution of a multimillion dollar construction defect claim against a general contractor in which 10 mixed-use retail and residential buildings in Atlanta were damaged by water intrusion. Repairs to the damaged property exceeded $16 million, and the client recovered in excess of $12 million in settlement.
- Extensive experience drafting and negotiating contracts for developers of high-rise condominiums and hotels, hospitals, industrial real estate developers, colleges and universities, shopping center developers, construction managers and general contractors.
- Assisted clients in managing termination of defaulting contractors, and other related issues, on troubled projects.
- Represented a national general contractor against a student housing developer in a month-long arbitration. The client asserted claims for delay, acceleration, unpaid change orders and contract balance, and defended against the developer’s claims for defective work. The Arbitration Panel awarded the client $8 million and the developer received nothing for its claims.
- Assisted large national companies in creating “form” contract documents for standardization of document management programs.
- Counsel to a large international contractor responding to a DOJ subpoena and related investigation into the procurement of construction contracts.
- Represented a design architect in connection with claims arising out of the design of a replacement international terminal at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.
- Represented the Georgia Aquarium in connection with the construction of the world’s largest aquarium facility.
Construction disputes present complex issues of causation - what caused the accident, the delay or the added costs. Third-party consultants are frequently engaged to evaluate and offer opinions on causation, performance, schedules and costs. Then, when the dispute or accident ends up in litigation, the materials prepared by the consultants are sought in discovery. Claims of work product are often asserted, raising the question of what is covered by the work-product doctrine and what is not.
Construction Cite is a bi-monthly publication by Alston & Bird’s Construction Group highlighting recent trends and developments in construction law and in the construction industry. In this issue Alston & Bird’s Construction Group discusses utilizing various strategies to effectively mediate a construction dispute, a notable 7th Circuit decision addressing the scope of liability construction managers may face depending on their actual role on a project and a recent 11th Circuit decision analyzing whether “stigma” costs resulting from of physical damage to a building constitute “direct physical loss or damage” as articulated in common insurance policies.