John E. Bulman

John has more than 25 years of experience in construction and commercial trial matters in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and other states. He has represented both private and public clients in jury and non-jury trials and in arbitration and mediation proceedings in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, 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 Appeals.

John has represented numerous public (including state and municipal) and private owners in the development and negotiation of construction contracts for large industrial and commercial projects, including the power industry.  Most recently, he represented a regional sewer commission in contract negotations for the procurement and construction of a series of wind turbines.  He has also served as an advocate or arbitrator in several disputes involving power projects. These include his representation of an EPC contractor in a dispute over the construction of two HRSG units at a Florida Power & Light facility, of a process piping subcontractor which sued and recovered several millions of dollars for its unpaid work on an environmental retrofit project at the Brayton Point Power Plant in Somerset, Massachusetts, and his service as an arbitrator over a dispute involving a large wind farm project in New England.

As a mediator, John has successfully mediated over 250 cases on a variety of subjects including contract interference, construction, 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 experience includes both jury and jury-waived matters relating to construction claims, declaratory actions, 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, 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, metallurgy and FEA analyses, steel fabrication and design issues, pre-cast and post-tensioned concrete structures, caisson and other pile driving issues, most commercial building trades and site work and geotechnical issues. He combines his extensive trial experience with equally extensive 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

John is rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell. He has been elected to the American College of Construction Lawyers and serves on its Board of Governors. John has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America including being named Providence's Litigation-Construction Lawyer of the Year in 2011, 2014 & 2016. He is also recommended by Chambers USA for General Commercial Litigation and honored by Super Lawyers for Construction Litigation.

Professional Activities

Board of Governors, American College of Construction Lawyers

Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators

Executive Committee, Board of Directors, American Arbitration Association

Member, American Bar 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)

Member of Construction Management Advisory Board, Roger Williams University

Certified Mediator, International Mediation Institute (2010)

Frequent Faculty Member, American Arbitration Association and other ADR and ABA groups


Co-Author, "What's the Appeal of Arbitration? Overturning Arbitration Awards and the New Appellate Rules," 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)

Practice Areas