Experience

Mr. Guirguis is a Shareholder with the Firm. He is also an engineer. He has been involved in the construction industry in various capacities for over 18 years. Prior to practicing law, he worked as a construction engineer with large general engineering contractors on multi-million dollar projects such as the MTA Gateway Center and the Ontario International Airport expansion. During that time, he coordinated and oversaw work of subcontractors. He also directed contractor forces performing concrete construction. His duties also included scheduling of the work and sequencing of construction activities.

Mr. Guirguis also worked as an engineer and project manager with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works. During his tenure there, he worked in the Water Resources Division where he oversaw 32 dams in the County under the jurisdiction of the Division of Safety of Dams ("DSOD"), within California's Department of Water Resources. Mr. Guirguis periodically inspected those dams and drafted engineering reports on their performance to the DSOD. Mr. Guirguis also worked with the General Projects Group in the Project Management Division where he managed several capital construction projects for the County.

For the last 11 years at Hunt Ortmann, Mr. Guirguis has represented owners, general contractors, public entities, subcontractors, material suppliers, and engineers/architects in all aspects of private and public works. He has also advised clients during contract drafting and negotiations. He has also litigated real estate and general business disputes. He appeared and argued cases before the California Court of Appeal.

Mr. Guirguis also regularly lectures and presents Seminars on various topics in construction law. Additionally, he currently serves on the "Greenbook" Committee for Standard Specifications for Public Works Construction.

Mr. Guirguis' practice also focuses on business disputes, real estate disputes, and collection matters.

Education

Western State University College of Law, Fullerton, J.D., 2000, Graduated 2nd in Class

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Civil Engineering, 1994, Cum Laude

Bars and Courts

California (2000)

United States District Court, Central District of California (2000)

California Court of Appeal

Personal Information

Fluent in Arabic and conversant in French. Enjoys playing sports, especially soccer and volleyball, reading, and traveling.

 

Representative Work

Public Entity

  • Representation of a large metropolitan water agency defending contract termination claims of approximately $30 million. Approximately one-half of the claims were resolved at mediation; the remaining claims proceeded to trial in which the contractor recovered approximately 10% of the amount claimed. The contractor’s claim was further reduced by substantial costs and expert witness fees recovered by the agency as a result of a statutory settlement offer which the contractor failed to accept. The litigation included issues regarding tunneling, alleged differing site conditions, propriety of contract termination, notice and waiver, and disputed methodology for damages.
  • Successful defense of a Water District against claims exceeding $2 million for breach of contract, delays, and labor inefficiency by a general contractor on a treatment plant expansion project. General contractor settled for mostly retention due following a strategic demurrer (objections to the complaint) filed at the outset of litigation.
  • Reviewed administrative procedure of a public entity relating to contractor debarment for compliance with applicable laws.
  • Successful representation of an engineering contractor against a public entity and private developer. The contractor sought additional compensation for alleged differing site conditions, defective plans and specifications, and resulting delay and loss of productivity costs. The contractor recovered in settlement shortly before trial.

Construction Disputes And Litigation

  • Defended a concrete subcontractor against delay claims in excess of $15 million on a condominium/resort project.  Settled only one month before trial with the subcontractor receiving its retention back and without contributing a single dollar towards the delay damages.
  • Representation of the developer of a 300-unit condominium and mixed use construction project in San Diego, California. The claims resolved in an early mediation included design errors and omissions, resulting project delay and disruption, contractual indemnity and professional liability insurance coverage disputes.
  • Represented several home owners against contractor for delays and construction defects; obtained settlement funds from contractor.
  • Represented condominium owners and their Homeowners Association in construction defect litigation against developer and general contractor. Reached a substantial settlement for the homeowners.
  • Participated in arbitration of cross-claims by contractor and subcontractor against each other. Successfully overturned the arbitrator's award in court in favor of client general contractor. Obtained a judgment of close to $1 million in favor of client general contractor. Participated in successfully defeating a petition for the issuance of a writ by the subcontractor.
  • Defended a home builder against multiple lien claimants on a development in Riverside County. Lien claimants settled for a fraction of their claims.
  • Defended a shoring subcontractor against claims of subsidence by the owner.
  • Successfully defended a large HVAC subcontractor against alleged construction defects. Subcontractor was ultimately dismissed without having to contribute any funds to settlement.
  • Successful representation of general contractor against homeowner for failure to pay balance due on the contract. Following an arbitration spanning over 8 months, client general contractor recovered the balance due, interest, and penalties on the outstanding balance at 2% per month, after successfully proving homeowner violated the California prompt payment statutes.


Construction Contracts And Bid Documents

  • Advised a Church during a $5M construction project regarding claims of disruption by contractor. Reached an agreement with contractor to complete project.
  • Drafted contracts and general conditions for construction projects of various sizes.
  • Developed form contracts, subcontracts, and General Conditions for a General Contractor. 

Commercial Disputes

  • Successfully defeated an anti-SLAPP motion in trial court brought by attorneys in defense of a malicious prosecution claim.

Business Disputes

  • Recovered full amount of claim plus attorneys fees following arbitration of a dispute surrounding the sale of a drywall subcontractor corporation.


Real Estate

  • Defended homeowners against a Constructive Trust action seeking to take their home and caused Claimants to dismiss their action.

Memberships

California State Bar Association

Los Angeles County Bar Association

American Public Works Association

Greenbook Committee of Public Works Standards, Inc., Specifications Subcommittee

Associated Builders and Contractors

 

Civic Activities

Former Member, St. John Coptic Orthodox Church Board of Deacons

 

Honors

Selected as Super Lawyers Rising Star 2012

2011, 2012 Pasadena Top Attorney sponsored by Pasadena Magazine

Lorman Distinguished Faculty Member

20th Anniversary 20th Anniversary