James M. Doerfler



  • University of Notre Dame, 1989, B.A., magna cum laude, Economics
  • The Ohio State University Moritz School of Law, 1992, J.D., Elected to the Order of the Coif; Managing Editor of the Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution; 1990 Moot Court Competition Oral Finalist and member of the Winning Moot Court Team

Professional Admissions / Qualifications

  • Pennsylvania
  • Ohio

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Court - Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court - Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court - Western District of Pennsylvania

Since joining Reed Smith, Jim has developed a diverse practice involving a broad range of commercial litigation matters. He has complemented this litigation experience with transactional and drafting work specific to construction industry projects. His experience at the firm has involved him in private and public commercial construction projects with subcontractors, general contractors, corporations and institutions, commercial contract disputes and securities related litigation. Representative cases in the construction sector have involved construction payment, defect and/or delay claims involving school buildings, power plants, steel mills, pharmaceutical plants, wastewater treatment facilities, courthouses and commercial office buildings. His work has also increasingly involved litigation and transactional work for energy and alternative industry clients related to construction projects, frac water treatment plants, leasing disputes, injunction proceedings and landowner complaints related to drilling operations.

In addition to Jim's litigation representative matters listed below, he has handled various transactional matters such as drafting:

  • Owner-Contractor agreements for alternative energy client for American Headquarters facility and template agreements for production facilities
  • Integrated set of Design-Build documents for public authority for construction of frac water treatment plant in Eastern Pennsylvania to handle Marcellus Shale flowback waters
  • Owner-Contractor agreement for modifications to and maintenance at a major pharmaceutical plant in Humacao, Puerto Rico
  • Owner-Contractor agreements for design-build project involving renovations and expansion to corporate headquarters in for a major U.S. consumer health care products company
  • Owner-Architect agreement for renovation of corporate headquarters for U.S. consumer services corporation
  • Numerous Owner-Contractor Agreements, including Supplemental Conditions of Contract for the municipal Parking Authority on various projects at parking facilities
  • Documents and negotiations related to a planned coal-fired power plant on behalf of Design-Build Contractor
  • Owner-Architect, Owner-Engineer and Owner-Contractor documents for a new manufacturing facility for a U.S. consumer medical device manufacturer
  • Documents for solar reflector replacement/upgrade to world's largest solar generating facility


Employment History

  • 1998 - Reed Smith
  • 1995 - Experience in the local construction industry having served as project manager, estimator and corporate secretary for a commercial electrical contractor
    • Responsibilities included overseeing numerous commercial construction projects in which the company served as subcontractors to general contractors or worked for corporate and institutional organizations directly
  • 1994 - Zeiger & Carpenter (Columbus, Ohio)
    • Litigation Associate
    • Defended class action lawsuits against major automobile manufacturers in various jurisdictions

Professional Affiliations

  • Allegheny County Bar Association
  • Allegheny County Bar Association, Construction Law Section – Council Member (elected three year term)
  • American Inns of Court
  • Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera – Board Member/Corporate Counsel


Jim and his wife, Theresa, reside in the West View area of Pittsburgh with their four daughters. Jim is a competitive distance runner who has completed several marathons in recent years, including the Boston Marathon in 2008, and a sub-1:30 half-marathon in 2009.