Pat O'Connor partners with clients to complete major construction projects, with an emphasis on mitigating risk and maximizing efficiency. He is particularly adept at negotiating and drafting construction contracts — both standard industry contract forms and specialized contracts, such as design-build and joint venture agreements— that protect his clients’ rights and help them to avoid and resolve disputes. When disputes do emerge, Pat relies on his experience in arbitration and mediation to pursue resolutions that align to client goals.
Pat represents clients on all sides of the construction industry, including contractors, owners, suppliers, sureties, insurers and finance companies, and design professionals. He is the co-author of the 12-volume construction law treatise entitled Bruner & O'Connor on Construction Law, published by Thomson Reuters. He also serves as an expert witness in connection with various construction disputes.

Additional Industry Experience

  • Served as outside counsel to AIA Documents Committee.
  • Served as adviser for the American Law Institute's Restatement on Suretyship and Guaranty. The American Law Institute in 1996 chose 16 lawyers from private practice and academia to act as advisers in the preparation of the Restatement Third Suretyship and Guaranty.
  • Holds LEED AP (new construction) certification from U.S. Green Building Council.

Dispute Resolution Experience

  • Arbitrator in numerous construction disputes.
  • Mediator in numerous two-party and multi-party construction disputes.


Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota


U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, Hon. Miles W. Lord, 1981-1982


American University Washington College of Law
J.D. Law Review (editor) (1981)

Hamline University
B.A. (1975)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives
  • Bruner & O'Connor on Construction Law
    West Publishing Company (12-volume treatise, addressing all major areas of construction law), updated annually since 2002 
  • AIA’s New Approach to Insurance: The 2017 Insurance Exhibit
  • Practising Law Institute, Building Better Construction Contracts, New York, December 15, 2017
  • The Most Important Changes to the AIA Construction Documents – With Special Focus on the New Insurance Provisions
    2017 Minnesota Real Estate Institute, Minneapolis, November 2-3, 2017
  • Transferring the Risk: Working with the New Insurance and Bonds Exhibit
    ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, Fall Program, Boston, October 5-6, 2017
  • AIA’s New Approach to Insurance – The 2017 Insurance Exhibit
    WPL Seminar, June 27, 2017 
  • American Institute of Architects New Approach to Insurance – The 2017 Insurance Exhibit
    American College of Construction Lawyers Annual Meeting, March 16-19, 2017
  • Practising Law Institute Building Better Construction Contracts
    Co-chair and presenter on Cyber Liability Concerns for Design and Construction Professionals, December 16, 2016
  • Cyber Security and Cyber Insurance for the Design and Construction Industry
    Annual Meeting of Invited Attorneys (55th), Miami, May 26, 2016
  • Managing the Risks of Model Sharing: What You Should Know
    American Institute of Architects National Convention, Philadelphia, May 19, 2016
  • Enabling BIM Collaboration: The AIA Digital Practice Documents
    BIM Forum (Spring), Minneapolis, April 20-21, 2016
  • Building Better Construction Contracts
    Co-chair and presenter on Cyber Security and Cyber Insurance for the Design and Construction Industry, December 11, 2015
  • What Contractors Need to Know about Cyber Risk
    Lorman Education Services, July 27, 2015
  • The Legal Aspects of BIM: Contract Documents, Intellectual Property and Other Concerns – Real or Imagined
    Lorman Education Services, May 6, 2015
  • Deconstructing the Insurance Coverage Issues in a Construction Case:  Recent Developments and Important Trends
    American Bar Association, Forum on the Construction Industry, Boca Raton, Florida, April 16, 2015
  • Duties Owed by Design Professionals: Standard of Care and Other Mysteries
    Presented at the Society of Construction Law's Construction Law International Conference, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, September 18, 2014
  • Practising Law Institute, Building Better Construction Contracts
    Co-Chair and presenter on arbitration and the unauthorized practice of law, New York, July 25, 2014
  • Bruner & O'Connor on Construction Law
    With co-author, Philip L. Bruner, presenting a series of semi-annual, two-day live seminars promoted by Thomson-Reuters: April 2012 (Washington, D.C.); October 2012 (Long Beach, California); April 2013 (Washington, D.C.); October 2013 (Las Vegas, Nevada); April 2014 (Washington, D.C.)
  • Electronic Discovery in America: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
    ICLR, V. 30, Part 4, October 2013
  • Recent Developments in Insurance Law
    J. ACCL, 7:1, 2013
  • Construction Defect Damages: Measurement Standards, Calculation, Timing, and Recovery Litigators
    Co-author, American Bar Association, 2013

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • American College of Construction Lawyers — Executive Committee, past President
  • BIM Forum Legal Subforum — former Co-Chair
  • The International Construction Law Review — Editorial Advisory Board
  • American Bar Association — Fidelity and Surety Law Committee Law Division (Former Vice-Chair)
  • American Bar Association — Forum on the Construction Industry (Former Chair of Division 7-Bonds, Liens & Insurance, and former Governing Committee member)
  • Under Construction (American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry Newsletter) — Past Editor


  • Chambers USA — Minnesota, Construction, 2008-22
  • Chambers USA  Minnesota, Construction: Mediators, “Spotlight Table,” 2020
  • The International Law Office and Lexology — Client Choice Award, Construction, 2013
  • BTI Consulting Group — BTI Client Service All-Star, 2012
  • Best Lawyers® — Construction Litigation, 2003-22 (Lawyer of the Year, 2021)
  • Minneapolis Best Lawyers — Litigation Construction Lawyer of the Year, 2012, 2019
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal — Best of the Bar, 2012
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers — Construction/Surety, 2004-18
  • Burton Award for Excellence in Legal Writing
  • International Who's Who of Construction Lawyers
  • Guide to the World's Leading Construction Lawyers
  • Martindale-Hubbell — Bar and Judiciary Rating: AV® Preeminent™

Awards Methodology

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