John 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, and other states.  John has argued cases before the Rhode Island Supreme Court and the First and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeal. John is repeatedly ranked by industry publications as among the top construction and alternative dispute resolution practitioners in New England.


“John Bulman is a widely admired litigation attorney with a focus on construction issues.  Sources say he is 'an excellent and highly skilled lawyer, arbitrator and mediator.'” (Chambers USA 2015)

“John Bulman is an experienced litigator who garners particular praise for his experience in construction-related disputes. His practice also encompasses commercial litigation, and he is an experienced mediator.” (Chambers USA 2014)

“John Bulman is a respected trial lawyer whose practice spans construction and complex commercial disputes.” (Chambers USA 2013)

"As a mediator, “John is able to resolve incredibly difficult cases by virtue of his preparation, his tenacity, his extensive knowledge of applicable law, and his ability to manage many different (and difficult) personality types.” (International Mediation Institute 2010)

“His clients value his ‘great deal of experience’ in construction arbitration and ‘fantastic insight’ into contract-related issues.” (Chambers USA 2009)

"John Bulman is the firm’s authority on construction matters and he uses his experience throughout the whole of the USA.  Admirers confide that he is ‘one of the luminaries of the firm.’” (Chambers USA 2008)

“Smart, aggressive and respected, John Bulman is ‘a master of construction law’” who “has patience to do thorough research, is very calm and collected and is quick to respond.” (Chambers USA 2006)

As a mediator, John has successfully mediated over 250 cases in the last ten 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. In the construction industry, John has 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.

The 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.

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.

Recent Presentations


Faculty, ABA Forum on Construction Law 2015 Fall Meeting, What's the Appeal of Arbitration?  Overturning Arbitration Awards and the New Appellate Rules of Arbitration

Faculty, ABA Section of Litigation Annual Conference, A Litigator's Guide to Arbitration: Best Practices to Maximize the Benefits of Your Next Arbitration


Faculty, MSU and Montana State Bar 10th Annual Construction Law Institute, Point-Counterpoint: Litigation or Arbitration

Faculty, AAA Mediation Week, Stories Mediators Tell: The Bad (and Ugly)


Faculty, AAA Arbitrator Continuing Education (ACE), Maximizing Efficiency & Economy in Arbitration: Challenges at the Preliminary Hearing

Faculty, AAA Arbitrator Continuing Education (ACE), Managing the Arbitration Process for Efficiency & Economy Following the Preliminary Hearing


Faculty, AAA Construction Conference, Optimizing Your Client’s Construction Arbitration Hearing

Faculty, Fourth International Construction Law Conference in Melbourne, Australia, Comparative Evolution of Arbitration in the United States and Australia

Faculty, ABA Forum on the Construction Industry Annual Meeting, You’ve Got a Friend, or Do You? How Do the Delivery Systems and Party Postures Impact Litigation Strategy and Procedures in Multi-Party Construction Claims?


Panelist, 26th Annual Construction Superconference, Building the Construction Arbitration Process to Optimize its Advantages

Faculty, MSU and Montana State Bar 7th Annual Construction Law Institute, Practical and Procedural Considerations in Mediation, Arbitration, and Litigation (Including Getting the Right People to the Party)

Faculty, Associated General Contractors of America 92 Annual Convention, AIA A201 vs ConsensusDOCS: A 10 Round Bout to Determine which is the Fairest Contract of Them All?

Honors & Distinctions


  • AV® Preeminent Rating

Best Lawyers

  • Providence Litigation-Construction Lawyer of the Year 2011, 2014 & 2016
  • Arbitration, Commercial Litigation, Litigation-Construction, Mediation, 2012-2016
  • Construction & Alternative Dispute Resolution, 2007-2011


  • Construction Litigation, 2007-2015
  • Named to Top Ten RI SuperLawyers lists, 2009, 2010 & 2012

Chambers USA

  • Recognized in General Commercial Litigation, 2006-2015

American Arbitration Association

  • Outstanding Director Award 2007
  • Master Mediator Panel
  • Construction Mega Project Panel
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
  • Forum Committee on the Construction Industry

International Mediation Institute

  • Certified Mediator 2010

National Construction Dispute Resolution Committee

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

Roger Williams University

  • Construction Management Professional Advisory Board

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