Industries & Practices


“I wholeheartedly recommend the law firm of Coats Rose. As the Chief Legal Officer of the University Health System, I have had extensive experience working with Richard Reed, Adam Richie and other attorneys in both their San Antonio and other offices. Perhaps the greatest demonstration of the success of Coats Rose's work on the CIP relates to a construction failure. A portion of a 10 story garage under construction at the Medical Center site collapsed. Thankfully there were no fatalities or serious injuries; however, that portion of the work was a multi-million dollar loss. Coats Rose was immediately available to assist us as we employed a forensic engineer and undertook an extensive investigation into the collapse. Due to the structure of the insurance program, and the strength of the protections built into our contracts, no litigation ensued over the collapse."
-Michael Hernandez,
Chief Legal Officer
University Health System
- San Antonio

"The attorneys at Coats Rose possess a unique understanding of complex construction law combined with rare deep understanding of how commercial construction goes together in the real world. Those skills taken in combination have deftly served Dyad to avoid many common pitfalls of our competitors."
- Rick Trask Owner Dyad Construction, L.P

"Coats Rose attorneys have always handled our account as if we were their only client; and their wisdom, candor and availability makes the Coats Rose team our first choice when legal matters arise."
- Gregory Smith, PE Executive Vice President, Partner Jamail & Smith Construction

"Coats Rose and I have worked together on many matters, and they have always been very thorough, efficient and readily available to provide legal services… I appreciate the expertise Coats Rose provides in construction and business related matters, and their ability to provide and convey that knowledge quickly and efficiently."
- Donald R. Boehm

"Thank you (Timothy Green, Director, Public Finance Law) for all your hard work to help us bring together two municipalities that were long overdue in becoming one. We are blessed as a commUNITY to embark on a "new journey" as one political subdivision serving its citizens and business owners." -Carrie F. Gordon, Ph.D.
Mayor of Balch Springs, TX

Construction/Surety Law

In the construction business, thorough planning is a key component of success. But even the best plans can be delayed by unforeseen obstacles, thereby putting your schedule, profit and reputation on the line. Sometimes the only way forward is through legal action. The attorneys of Coats Rose understand the realities of construction and surety law. It’s been a cornerstone of our practice for more than 25 years, and our attorneys are the best in the business – because they know the business of construction.

Construction law is such an important part of the firm, Coats Rose has over twenty attorneys with experience representing a variety of public and private sector clients.

Our construction/surety law attorneys are experienced in matters ranging from arbitration of international disputes, single family developments, large vertical commercial construction and renovation to road and bridge building, industrial facilities, public works and professional sports venues.

blf-constructionCoats Rose construction attorneys frequently represent the surety industry, providing underwriting and claim advice for a wide range of surety products. In fact, our Firm’s attorneys represented the surety industry in several cases of first impression in Texas. They played a major part in the elimination of so called “bad faith” causes of action against sureties from each perspective: the claimant, the principal, and the indemnitor.

From its inception, Coats Rose has acted as counsel for the Houston Chapter of Associated General Contractors, the nation’s largest and oldest construction trade association.

Our firm’s lawyers are members and leaders of almost every major construction and surety industry organization:

  • Co-founders and executives of Construction Section of The State Bar of Texas and Construction Section of the Houston Bar Association
  • ABA Forum on the Construction Industry
  • Surety Claims Institute
  • National Bond Claims Association
  • Associated General Contractors of America
  • Association Of Builders and Contractors
  • Greater Houston Builders Association,
  • Texas Association Of Builders,
  • Fidelity and Surety Law Committee of the Tort and Insurance Practice Section of the ABA (past program chairs for two Mid Winter Meeting Programs)
  • Southern Surety Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Texas and Houston Bar Construction Law Sections
  • San Antonio Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)
  • San Antonio Chapter of Associated General Contractors (AGC)
  • San Antonio Chapter of Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA)
  • Greater San Antonio Builders Association
  • Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce

Coats Rose construction law attorneys have been instrumental in developing the Texas Residential Construction Liability Act and the Texas Residential Construction Commission Act, participating actively within both to administer claims in residential construction.

When legal action stands between you and a successful project completion, our attorneys will find a successful resolution and get your business moving again. We’ve done the same for clients in all Texas courts and 25 other states.

Areas of Practice:

  • Litigation in construction defect, general liability, tort and mass tort defense
  • Preparation, arbitration and litigation of contract claims and bid protests
  • Defense of construction defect claims
  • Development of construction contracts, purchase and sale agreements, master subcontract agreements, warranty documents and disclosure forms.
  • Enforcement of mechanics’ and materialmen’s lien rights, in addition to the defense of owners and general contractors.
  • Representation of construction payment and performance bond sureties
  • Preparation of specialized underwriting documents (collateral receipts, indemnity agreement riders, bond riders, specialized LOC forms, etc.).
  • Representation of fidelity carriers and sureties related to contract, court and miscellaneous bonds, and fidelity policies.
  • Administration of construction claims other than contract bonds, such as probate and court bonds.
  • Evaluation, negotiation and documentation of construction financing.

Recent Accomplishments:


  • Reliant Stadium-Houston: Arranged contract procurement, claims avoidance and claims analysis


  • University Tower- San Antonio: Created all the contract documents for the new hospital tower and also the new downtown campus hospital. The construction program spanned over 4 years and will total nearly $900 million dollars.


  • Minute Maid Stadium- Houston: Arranged contract procurement. Worked on disputes involving construction and management services, and construction litigation.


  • George R. Brown Convention Center- Houston: Handled construction litigation and defense of prime contractor’s acceleration claims, and subcontractors’ pass through claims.


  • Toyota Center- Houston: Handled parking facility procurement and litigation.


  • Represented a government owner in the resolution of a major scope dispute for the delivery of professional services for the procurement a major health care facility. By using a dispute review board process and developing expert testimony to provide an in-depth explanation of the standard of care in the industry, Rick helped the public owner quickly reach a settlement that enabled the project to get back on track without ever having to mediate, file suit or engage in costly discovery.


  • Represented a general contractor whose subcontractor installed a defective light pole that collapsed across the owner’s building. The clear cause: a manufacturing defect, not installation. The manufacturer went into bankruptcy. The owner’s property insurer still sued the general contractor (the client) and subcontractor, alleging they were “sellers of a defective product” and strictly liable under Texas law. Rick got the subcontractor’s insurer to assume the cost of defense for the client, and he persuaded all parties to agree to non-suit of the case to allow early mediation to resolve all claims. Rick then established the general contractor, as construction manager for the project, could not be a seller, and was not liable as a matter of law. The general contractor client successfully avoided all liability and cost of defense.


  • Represented a large mechanical contractor in recovering most of its contract balance for completed work on a remodeling project for a major internet servicing and data center facility, including a retrofit of the facility’s air conditioning system. The private owner claimed the system, as designed by a third party, failed to operate properly. In fact, the owner had obstructed progress of the work and expanding the scope and schedule far beyond the work originally required. After filing suit on behalf of the contractor, arranging key interview of a key former employee of the owner, and developing a multi-million dollar claim against the owner to demonstrate the bulk of the claimed defects were largely extra work, a settlement was finalized resulting in the client recovering more than 90% of its contract balance, all without taking a single deposition or even having to go to mediation.


  • Arbitration Counsel for EPC Contractor in International Arbitration (Helsinki, Finland) with Subcontractor arising out of the design and construction of two peat fired electrical power plants located in Ireland – amount in controversy approximately 20,000,000 Euros; length of arbitration hearing – approximately 50 days. Successfully defeated the petitioner’s claim in its entirety, and prevailed on our client’s counterclaim for approximately 7,000,000 Euros.


  • Trial Counsel for non-destructive examination contractor in lawsuit with pipeline operator arising out of the remediation of a 31 mile natural gas pipeline in Ohio and Indiana – amount in controversy approximately $60,000,000; case was settled favorably following 5 weeks of jury trial.


  • Successfully represented EPC contractor in International Arbitration (London, England) with owner regarding delay and extra work claims regarding two power plants located in former Soviet Union. Amount in controversy approximately 100,000,000 Euros; length of arbitration hearing – approximately 6 weeks.


  • Successfully handled transactional work for a forty million dollar fast Track Design-Build Minor League Baseball Stadium, involving several private/public partnerships. Design and construction was completed within the 18 months “play ball” deadline. Coats|Rose handled the development requirements and all design and construction related contracts, including FF&E, Scoreboards, Seating and other specialized procurements.


  • Drafted and negotiated the project procurement and execution documents for the Construction of a $75,000,000 Performing Arts Center, including CMAR agreement, project consultant agreements and FF&E procurement documents. Provided advice concerning delivery method and RFP provisions for statutory compliance.


  • Advising Texas’ largest school district on construction procurement contracts and issues in relation to a $1.9 billion bond issue for construction and renovation of Houston Area Schools and Facilities.


  • Representing international chemical company in defense of contractor’s delay, productivity and other claims arising out of construction of air separation plant.


  • Representing EPC contractor in a contract dispute involving basic engineering design and front end engineering design services for all process and auxiliary units, utilities, interconnecting pipe and all other facilities and associated integration, including technical assistance services for two premium refineries in Brazil, with capacities of 600,000 BPD and 300,000 BPD, respectively.


  • Representing EPC contractor in a dispute involving alleged defects in the fabrication of refractory for furnaces of a delayed coking unit, and arising from conduct as a procurement agent for owner and as the project manager for the Delayed Coking Facility portion of a Modernization Project.


  • Representing international chemical company in International Arbitration (Monterrey, Mexico) in defense of contractor’s delay, productivity and other claims arising out of construction of air separation plant.


  • Represented an EPC contractor in providing advice and document review of Front End Engineering and Design and Engineering Procurement and Construction contracts, together with the related third party financing documents required of the contractor, for construction of an industrial plant facility incorporating two (2) C3 Oleflex Process units and one (1) UOP Huels Selective Hydrogenation Process unit with a combined production capacity of 1,020,000 metric tons per annum of polymer grade propylene and chemical grade propylene. The transaction value