John Bulman has more than 25 years of experience in construction and commercial trial matters in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and other states. He has served as counsel in trials, mediations and arbitrations in Massachusetts, Florida, Rhode Island, New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Ohio, Missouri, Texas, and other states. John has argued cases before the Rhode Island Supreme Court and the First and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeal.

He combines his extensive trial experience with his experience as a neutral arbitrator and court-appointed referee and brings to bear these perspectives in effective evaluation and presentation of cases. John has negotiated construction contracts on behalf of contractors, owners and  subcontractors on a nationwide basis and frequently counsels clients on effective risk and claim avoidance.

Honors & Distinctions

Martindale-Hubbell

  • AV® Preeminent Rating

National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals

  • Member, National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals

The Best Lawyers in America®

  • Providence, RI Litigation-Construction Lawyer of the Year 2011, 2014 & 2016
  • Commercial Litigation, 2015-present
  • Arbitration, Litigation-Construction, Mediation, 2011-present
  • Construction Law, 2007-present

SuperLawyers

  • Construction Litigation, 2007-2016
  • Named to Top Ten RI SuperLawyers lists, 2009, 2010 & 2012

Chambers USA

  • Recognized in General Commercial Litigation, 2006-present

American Arbitration Association

  • Outstanding Director Award 2007

Professional Activities

American College of Construction Lawyers

  • Elected Fellow 2006
  • Board of Governors 2013-2016

College of Commercial Arbitrators

  • Elected Fellow 2015

American Arbitration Association

  • National Board of Directors 2002-2014
  • Member, Executive Committee to Board of Directors 2010-2014
  • Chair, Practice Committee 2010-2014
  • Member, Budget and Finance Committee 2014-Present
  • National Commercial and Construction Arbitration Panels
  • National Mediation Panel
  • Master Mediator Panel
  • Construction Mega Project Panel

American Bar Association

  • Litigation Section, Construction Subcommittee
  • Member, Forum on Construction Law

International Mediation Institute

  • Certified Mediator 2010

National Construction Dispute Resolution Committee

  • Liaison Appointed by the American College of Construction Lawyers
  • Chair, Rules Subcommittee
  • Member, Executive Committee

Roger Williams University

  • Vice Chair, Construction Management Professional Advisory Board

International Bar Association

  • VIAC CDRC Vienna Mediation & Negotiation Competition - Expert Assessor, 2016-present

U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island

  • ADR Panel 2017

Publications

  • Author, "A View from the Middle of the Table – A Mediator’s Practical Observations and Recommendations," Under Construction, ABA Forum on Construction Law, Vol. 19 No. 3 (Spring 2018)
  • Co-author, "What's the Appeal of Arbitration?  Overturning Arbitration Awards and the New Appellate Rules of Arbitration," ABA Forum on Construction Law 2015 Fall Meeting (2015)
  • Co-author, "A Tale of Two Lawyers: How Arbitrators and Advocates Can Avoid the Dangerous Convergence of Arbitration and Litigation," 14 Cardozo J. of Conflict Resolution 683 (2013)
  • Contributing author, "State-By-State Guide to Architect, Engineer, and Contractor Licensing," Second Edition, Stephen G. Walker, Editor (2013)
  • Co-author, "Managing Exchanges of Electronically Stored Information (ESI) in Construction Arbitration," Dispute Resolution Journal (August/October 2012)
  • Author, "You Have a Friend…Or Do You: Strategic Joint Defense/Prosecution Agreements in Construction Disputes," ABA Forum on the Construction Industry (2012)
  • Co-author, "Strategic Considerations in Construction Litigation: Article 2 of the UCC," ABA Forum on the Construction Industry (2012)
  • Co-author, "Harnessing Your Client's Wind Power Rights", Rhode Island Bar Journal, Vol. 59, No. 3 (November/December 2010)
  • Co-author, "The Uniform Commercial Code and Construction Law: The Possible Applicability of Article 2," Construct!, ABA Section of Litigation, Construction Litigation Committee, Vol.19 No. 2. (Summer/Fall 2010)
  • Co-author, "Taking on Too Much Water," ABA Forum on the Construction Industry (October 2007)

Practice Areas

Representative Experience

  • Represented numerous public (including state and municipal) and private owners in the development and negotiation of construction contracts for large industrial and commercial projects.
  • Arbitrated and tried cases involving design build issues, differing site condition claims, Eichleay and measured mile claims, specific performance, change order disputes, indemnity claims, disruption claims and surety takeover issues.
  • Subject matters have included hydroelectric turbine operation and stability, structural concrete, wall-systems, metallurgy and FEA analyses, steel fabrication and design issues, pre-cast and post-tensioned concrete structures, micro-tunneling, solar power, biomass generator facilities, caisson and other pile driving issues, most commercial building trades and site work and geotechnical issues.

John Bulman has sat as an arbitrator, mediator or Dispute Review Board Member on a number of energy projects, including:

Representative Experience

  • Panel arbitrator on a dispute between owner and EPC contractor relating to performance of a biomass generation plant located in the southeast, United States. 
  • Panel arbitrator on a dispute between a contractor and battery field designer and supplier arising out of a fire on a large scale wind turbine project in the western United States. 
  • Party selected DRB member on the construction of a nuclear power plant located in the southeast United States. 
  • Party selected sole arbitrator on a dispute between several parties arising out of the development and construction of solar power fields in several municipalities in the northeast United States. 
  • Party selected mediator for a dispute relating to performance issues on a biomass project located in the northeast United States. 
  • Chair of arbitration panel on a dispute arising out of the construction of several large scale solar arrays by a state entity in the northeast United States. 
  • Sole arbitrator on dispute between general contractor and subcontractor relating to the construction of twenty seven wind turbines in the northeast of the United States.

Representative Experience

  • As a mediator, John has successfully mediated over 250 cases in the last 10 years on a variety of subjects including contract interference, construction, personal injury, discrimination, partnership, franchise disputes and municipal tax assessments. As an arbitrator, John has presided over cases with claims as large as $105,000,000.
  • John's trial and arbitration experience includes both jury and jury-waived matters relating to construction claims, declaratory actions, refinery fire, usury claim, land access claims, non-competition, trade secret, insurance coverage disputes, CERCLA matters, contract indemnity claims, personal injury defense, franchise termination, partnership fraud and other matters.