Jocelyn Knoll

Jocelyn Knoll

Minneapolis P +1 (612) 492-6622 F +1 (952) 516-5613



She also regularly advises clients with respect to contract negotiations, procurement and dispute avoidance.

She is a member of the firm’s Policy Committee (Board of Directors). She previously served as head of the firm’s Professional Personnel Committee, the committee that reviews all non-partner professionals.

Jocelyn is a frequent author and lecturer on topics related to construction and design contracts, claims, and dispute avoidance. She is a 2014 Distinguished Legal Writing Award winner (The Burton Awards) and author of the Minnesota chapter of a multi-volume construction and design law treatise titled: A State-by-State Analysis of current Legal Issues Affecting Architects, Engineers, Contractors, and Owners (From a Contracting and Claims Perspective).

Education & Admissions

William Mitchell College of Law (J.D., 1992), magna cum laude

University of New Hampshire (B.S., 1986)


  • Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth and Federal Circuits

Dual Citizenship

  • U.S. and Canada


Representative Matters


  • Currently representing EPC contractor in arbitration against owner regarding a 700-megawatt (net) supercritical coal fired electric generation plant.
  • In re: Arbitration Between Knutson, Harris/HiMec Hunt, LLC and Olmsted County. Represented the project owner in a multi-week arbitration proceeding arising out of the design and construction and expansion of a waste-to-energy plant. As part of its award, the arbitration panel awarded the owner more than 100 days of delays and liquidated damages against the construction manager at risk and denied the construction manager at risk’s fraud claims.
  • Envirotech, Inc. v. Brandenburg Construction and NSP, et al. Represented the utility owner in a dispute arising out of the demolition of a coal-fired power plant. Settled the multimillion dollar case for a small fraction of the plaintiff's demand.

Mission Critical Facilities

  • In re Mission Critical Data Center I. Served as lead trial counsel for national design-builder in a jury trial arising out of the design, construction and expansion of a Tier III data center for a Fortune 50 company. Through a combination of settlement proceeds, the jury's apportionment of fault among the parties and the design-builder's own coverage, the design-builder successfully fulfilled its obligations to the Owner.
  • In re Mission Critical Data Center II. Currently representing owner in dispute with contractor regarding construction defect in a Tier III data center.

Construction Defects

  • In re 35W Bridge Litigation. Served as lead counsel for global engineering company in 120 lawsuits arising from the collapse of a major interstate bridge. Successfully negotiated resolution of claims that had a potential exposure of $1billion in damages for a fraction of the plaintiffs’ pre-suit demands.
  • Vlahos v. R&T Constr. of Bloomington, Inc. (Minn. Ct. App.), reversed on other grounds (Minn). Represented subcontractor in a construction defect case. The Court of Appeals held that Minnesota's two-year limitations period begins to run when real property owners have or should have had knowledge of injury to their property, and the sale of realty does not revive for subsequent purchasers an already time-barred claim.
  • Twinco Romax Automotive Warehouse, Inc. v. Olson (Minn. Ct. App.). Represented material manufacturer in a construction defect case. The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that Minnesota's two-year limitations' period for construction materials barred the owner's claims.

General Construction

  • Jeurissen v. NDI LLC (Minn. Ct. App.). Represented national developers in construction and real estate dispute. Successfully defended clients' interpretation of purchase agreement.
  • Stiglich Construction, Inc. v. Larson (Minn. Ct. App.). Represented general contractor in a payment dispute. The Minnesota Court of Appeals interpreted for the first time how arbitration affects mechanics' lien rights.


  • Westfield Insurance Company v. Weis Builders, Inc. (D. Minn.). Represented general contractor in a large construction defect case involving water intrusion. Obtained over $15 million in insurance coverage for diminution in property value and repair costs.
  • Frerichs Constr. Co. v. Minnesota Counties Insurance Trust (Minn. Ct. App.). Represented contractor in a construction scheduling and contaminated soils case. The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the owner was responsible for all project delays and clean-up costs caused by discovery of asbestos-containing soils at the project site.

Real Estate and Government Contracting

  • Hersh Properties, LLC v. McDonald's Corp. (Minn.). Represented owner in a real estate dispute involving easement and right-of-way rights. The Minnesota Supreme Court, interpreting the Marketable Title Act, held the owner's easement and right-of-way rights were enforceable.
  • Lovering Johnson, Inc. v. City of Prior Lake (Minn. Ct. App.). Represented disappointed bidder in a public procurement award protest. The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the public authority violated public procurement laws and illegally awarded the contract to a non-responsive bidder.

Summary of Representative Work

  • Energy. Counseled energy clients on a broad range of issues, including contract negotiation, design/build procurement, dispute avoidance, and dispute resolution. Successfully defended in arbitration multimillion dollar fraud claims against owner arising out of expansion of $100 million waste-to-energy facility.
  • Construction Defect and Design. Handled hundreds of construction defect and design claims, including collapse, failure, water intrusion, mold and product liability claims on projects ranging from $1 million to $2 billion.
  • Construction and Design Contract Claims. Handled more than 100 delay, disruption, acceleration, differing site conditions, work scope, breach of warranty, payment, mechanics' liens, and surety claim on projects ranging from $5 million to $2 billion.
  • Contract Negotiation. Negotiated over $50 billion of design and construction contracts. Currently assisting global EPC entity with the Denver FasTracks P3 projects.
  • Transportation. Successfully resolved multimillion claims against MnDOT arising out of bridge and highway construction projects. Represented parties in various disputes arising out of the Hiawatha Light Rail project. Successfully represented contractors in disputes arising out of federal contracts with the Army Corps of Engineers.
  • Insurance. Obtained over $200 million in coverage for construction and design defects, loss of use, and diminution in property value arising out of collapse, water intrusion, mold, fire, and improper construction and design.
  • Procurement and Bid Protests. Drafted RFPs for over $1 billion of public procurement contracts, including the NorthStar Commuter Rail and the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit projects. Represented clients in more than 30 bid protests.
  • Environment. Obtained complete defense verdict for highway contractor on contaminated soils, MERLA (CERCLA) claims.

News & Resources


45 Dorsey Lawyers in Minneapolis and Fargo Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2016 and Best Lawyers of the Year
Super Lawyers Recognizes 39 Dorsey Lawyers in Minneapolis
Legal 500 United States Recommends Three Dorsey Practices
Chambers USA 2015 Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers and Practices in Minnesota
House Transportation Committee P3 Panel Calls for Central P3 Office
North Dakota Supreme Court Establishes Defense to “No Damage for Delay” Clause
Super Lawyers Recognizes 39 Dorsey Lawyers in Minneapolis
Minnesota Legislature Establishes New Requirements for Public Contractors
Chambers USA 2014 Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers and Practices in Minnesota
Chambers USA 2014 Ranks Dorsey Lawyers and Practices
Jocelyn Knoll Discusses the Legal Doctrines of Impossibility, Impracticability, and Frustration of Purpose
Minnesota Court of Appeals Applies Common Law Procurement Principles to Best Value Contracting
"It Must Be Done!!??: Impossibility Or Impracticability As An Excuse to Performance...Or Not, presenter to ABA Construction Forum
Minnesota Supreme Court Tolls Payment Bond Deadlines for Fraudulent Concealment
Dorsey Represents Kvaerner in Longview Chapter 11 Case
Minnesota Court of Appeals Defines Substantial Completion Under Statute of Repose
EPA Requiring Best Practices at Construction Sites to Control Erosion
Force Majeure and Climate Change: What is the New Normal? (2014 Burton Award Winner for Distinguished Legal Writing)
Averting a Data Center Legal Crisis-Control Engineering
Dorsey Partner Jocelyn Knoll Featured as “Attorney of the Month” in Attorney at Law Magazine
Averting a Data Center Legal Crisis-Plant Engineering
Minnesota Supreme Court Mandates Strict Compliance with Payment Bond Notice Requirements
Super Lawyers Recognizes 39 Dorsey Lawyers in Minneapolis
Chambers USA 2013 Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers and Practices in Minnesota
Dorsey Lawyers and Practices in Minnesota Highly Ranked By Chambers & Partners
"Defending and Asserting Daubert Challenges in Construction Disputes," Construction Lawyer
"Builders Risk Insurance,” Construction Insurance (ABA)
“Daubert. Use It To Your Advantage When Presenting Your Case,” presented to ABA Construction Forum
The Economic Recovery Act: Now the Hard Work Begins
"Commercial Construction Law," (chair/author/lecturer) Minnesota Institute of Legal Education
"A State-by-State Analysis of Current Legal Issues Affecting Architects, Engineers, Contractors and Owners (From a Contracting and Claims Perspective)," (co-author) Minnesota Chapter, Aspen Publications
"Bid Protests: Why Bother?," (author/lecturer) presented to Construction Law Institute (Minnesota Institute of Legal Education)
"Construction Contracting for Public Entities in Minnesota," (chair/author/lecturer) Lorman Education Services
"Constructing Coverage One Brick At a Time," (author/lecturer) presented to Construction Institute (Minnesota Institute of Legal Education)
"The Liability Insurance Program in the Construction Industry," (co-author) CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS LAW REPORT (West Group)
"Bonds, Liens & Insurance," (co-author/lecturer) Federal Publications, Inc.
"Overview of Mechanic's Liens Under Minnesota Law, and Public Bonds Under Both Minnesota and Federal Law," (chair/author/lecturer) presented to Mechanic's Liens and Payment Bonds Seminar (Minnesota Institute of Legal Education)
"Keeping Pace With the Design/Build Delivery Method," (author/lecturer) presented to Construction Institute (Minnesota Institute of Legal Education)

Industries & Practices

Government Contracts Counseling & Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Construction & Design
  • Construction Litigation
  • Energy
  • Food & Agribusiness
  • Government Contracts Counseling & Litigation
  • Health Care
  • Insurance Law
  • Mining & Natural Resources
  • Products Liability
  • Public-Private Project Development
  • Real Estate & Land Use

Professional & Civic

Professional Achievements

  • Board member, Children’s Home Society of Minnesota
  • Member, Minnesota State Bar Association, Past Chair, Construction Law Section (2001-2002)
  • Member, American Bar Association, Forum on the Construction Industry and Public Law Sections, Committee Member
  • Member, American Arbitration Association, Commercial Panel of Arbitration



  • Named one of "America's Leading Business Lawyers" (Band 1) by Chambers USA (Construction), 2008-2015
  • Top Tier lawyer, recommended by The Legal 500
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America©, 2016
  • Named one of the "World’s Leading Construction Lawyers" by Expert Guides
  • Rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • 2014 Burton Award Distinguished Legal Writing Winner: "Force Majeure and Climate Change: What is the New Normal?"
  • Selected by Minneapolis Business Journal as one of the “25 Women to Watch”
  • Listed as a Minnesota Super Lawyer (2003-2015) and One of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Minnesota
  • Dorsey & Whitney Partner of the Year, 2007
Jocelyn Knoll