Jocelyn Knoll

Jocelyn Knoll




She also regularly advises clients with respect to contract negotiations, procurement and dispute avoidance. Jocelyn is a member of the firm’s Policy Committee (Board of Directors).

Jocelyn has a national construction and energy law practice. She has earned a Band One ranking in Chambers USA; is a fellow in the American College of Construction Lawyers; is a recipient of the prestigious Clients Choice Awards; won the 2014 Burton Awards for Distinguished Legal Writing with her article "Force Majeure and Climate Change: What is the New Normal?"; and has been a perennial presence in Minnesota Super Lawyers since 2003. She is a frequent author and lecturer on topics related to construction and design contracts, claims, and dispute avoidance. She is the 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


  • In re: Longview Power LLC: Represented global EPC contractor in arbitration proceedings, state court, federal court and bankruptcy proceedings concerning design, delay, defect, insurance and payment claims totaling approximately $1 billion arising out of the construction of a 700-megawatt (net) super-critical coal fired power plant in West Virginia. Obtained favorable settlements with the project owner and others, and prosecuted and defended claims against the boiler OEM during a six-week arbitration hearing, recently resulting in a $74 million award in the client's favor.
  • 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. The design-builder was made whole through a combination of settlement proceeds, the jury's apportionment of fault among the parties and the design-builder's own coverage.
  • In re Mission Critical Data Center II. Represented owner in dispute with contractor regarding construction defect in a Tier III data center. The case settled on terms favorable to the owner. 

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.
  • Kvaerner North America Construction Inc. Representing EPC contractor in prosecuting coverage claims arising out of construction of a large power plant.

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 $75 billion of design and construction contracts.
  • 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


CEO of World Trade Center contractor found guilty of fraud by misstating compliance with Port Authority’s minority- and women-owned business programs
Settling Parties Beware: Failing to Provide Notice to Your Insurer Before Settling May Doom Your Chance of Recovery
House Transportation Committee P3 Panel Calls for Central P3 Office
North Dakota Supreme Court Establishes Defense to “No Damage for Delay” Clause
Minnesota Legislature Establishes New Requirements for Public Contractors
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
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
Averting a Data Center Legal Crisis-Plant Engineering
Minnesota Supreme Court Mandates Strict Compliance with Payment Bond Notice Requirements
"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

News & Press Mentions

48 Dorsey Lawyers in Minneapolis and Fargo Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2017 and 2017 Lawyers of the Year
Super Lawyers Recognizes 37 Dorsey Lawyers in Minneapolis
Chambers USA 2016 Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers and Practices in Minnesota
Chambers USA 2016 Ranks Dorsey Lawyers and Practices
Dorsey Partner Jocelyn Knoll Recognized by Corporate LiveWire – Global Awards 2016
Dorsey Congratulates Partner Jocelyn Knoll on Being Named One of Minnesota Lawyer’s Attorneys of the Year
Dorsey Partner Jocelyn Knoll Named American College of Construction Lawyers Fellow
Dorsey & Whitney Represents Kværner ASA in $74 Million Arbitration Award
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
Super Lawyers Recognizes 39 Dorsey Lawyers in Minneapolis
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
Dorsey Represents Kvaerner in Longview Chapter 11 Case
Dorsey Partner Jocelyn Knoll Featured as “Attorney of the Month” in Attorney at Law Magazine
Super Lawyers Recognizes 39 Dorsey Lawyers in Minneapolis
Chambers USA 2013 Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers and Practices in Minnesota

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
  • Fellow, American College of Construction Lawyers
  • 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


Top Ranked - USA Chambers and Partners 2016 - Leading Individual   Top Ranked - Chambers USA 2015 - Leading Individual 

Client Choice 2016

  • Named a 2015 "Attorney of the Year" by Minnesota Lawyer
  • Awarded a Client Choice Award for quality client service
  • Inducted as a fellow in the American College of Construction Lawyers, 2016
  • Named one of "America's Leading Business Lawyers" (Band 1) by Chambers USA (Construction), 2008-2016
  • Top Tier lawyer, recommended by The Legal 500   
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America©, 2016-2017
  • Named a Best Lawyers'® Lawyer of the Year, Construction, 2017   
  • Named one of the "World’s Leading Construction Lawyers" by Expert Guides
  • Rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Recognized by Corporate LiveWire Magazine's Global Awards 2016 for “Litigation & Dispute Resolution”
  • 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 (2003-2016) and One of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Minnesota
  • Dorsey & Whitney Partner of the Year, 2007
Jocelyn Knoll