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Technical Excellence in Government Contracts
and Construction Matters Since 1893.
Oles Morrison
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From the early phases of a public or private procurement process and contract negotiation to deep in the midst of a crisis situation, Pete Ralston is a critical asset to have on your team. His practice focuses on representing clients in all phases and aspects of public and private procurement, including federal, state and local government contracts, involving highways, marine facilities, government military installations, dams, bridges, hospitals, and schools. Pete is respected for his ability to understand factually complicated projects and find an expedient and practical legal solution that allows his clients to get back to business. When necessary, he actively pursues alternative dispute resolution and litigation solutions.

Working with clients on projects from the Arctic Circle to the southern tip of South America and coast to coast in the United States, Pete has provided legal counsel on heavy civil projects such as roads, bridges, tunnels, wharfs and dredging, as well as on several significant commercial building projects from start to finish. Pete prides himself on the ability to effectively work with and relate to project personal at all levels. He handles claims involving large industrial projects such as power plants, refineries, chemical plants and transmission lines, and has been involved in multiple mining projects.

Representative matters


Represented national heavy civil contractor on floating bridge rehabilitation contract where bridge failed during work. Worked closely with client to resolve claims with public agency and successfully mediated resolution in multi-day, multi-party mediation, including contractors, public agency, bonding company and insurance companies resulting in no loss for contractor.

Alternative dispute resolution procedures used to reach a very favorable settlement with government for an international heavy civil contractor working on an earth and dam rehabilitation project using methods commonly used in Europe but not previously used in United States.

Represented large regional heavy civil contractor on new pier construction at major Naval facility including differing site conditions, design defects, and superior knowledge claims, as well as claims by subcontractors. Favorably resolved dispute with government by use of alternative dispute resolution procedures. Favorably resolved dispute with subcontractor after litigation filed using federal judge as mediator.

Represented national testing laboratory performing testing at a nuclear facility which had been terminated for default by the operating contractor. After a five-week trial, default termination was converted to termination for convenience and testing laboratory was reinstated and received positive recovery.

Successfully recovered in excess of 90 percent of claim after three-week arbitration for a large regional commercial contractor on claims related to site development and construction of large commercial shopping mall. Claims involved delays, changes and impacts to project.

Represented large regional fabricator on contract involving rehabilitation of dam, including numerous hazardous waste issues. Successfully defended against claims by owner and through stepped mediation, was able to resolve all claims with insurance funds, resulting in positive outcome for client.

Worked closely with national heavy civil contractor on dam rehabilitation contract with Corps of Engineers to resolve a claim involving differing site condition which made portions of the work impossible and greatly increased cost of work. Resolved through dispute process with the public agency on favorable terms to contractor and allowed for completion of the project through administrative process.

On a major pier construction for the Navy in California, represented large regional heavy civil contractor on claims involved differing site conditions, design deficiencies, and major changes during the course of the work, greatly extending time and cost. Agreed with government to utilize modified alternative dispute resolution procedures to favorably resolve dispute in mediation in Washington, DC.


Counsel to major mining contractor working for a private international company developing mining projects crossing borders of two South American countries. Prepared claims, as well as defend against claims relating to the project resulting in the client’s ability

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Favorably resolved dispute for a major mining contractor working for U.S. company involving new shaft construction in South America. Claims involved design deficiencies, differing site conditions and changed work. Resolved dispute by escalated dispute resolution processes between principles of two companies at neutral location.

Represented large regional mechanical contractor. Joint Venture was a subcontractor on a power plant rehabilitation project which was being performed by large international company. Claims involved numerous changes, delays and impact which were caused by others, and changed conditions. Joint Venture recovered 100 percent of claim after six-week arbitration.


  • Member, The Beavers
  • Member, Associated General Contractors of Washington
  • King County Bar Association
  • Alaska State Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Virginia State Bar Association

Awards & Honors

  • Best Lawyers in America, Construction Law, 2017-present
  • Best Lawyers in America, Litigation-Construction, 2018-present
  • Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, 2018-present
  • Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating, Legal Ability & Ethical Standard
  • Fellow, American Bar Association