Jocelyn also regularly advises clients with respect to contract negotiations, procurement, and dispute avoidance.
Jocelyn Knoll is the leader of Dorsey’s public private partnership (P3) claims practice, and a prominent member of the Construction, Development & Infrastructure, Energy & Natural Resources, and Litigation groups. She is a former Dorsey Policy Committee (Board) member, recently stepping away from numerous formal firm leadership positions to focus on what matters most, client work. Using her deep legal experience and disciplined nature, honed as a former Division I athlete, Jocelyn has led and first-chaired some of the most important recent construction matters in the US, including in February 2023 securing the largest defense decision in a P3 construction-related trial, Denver Transit Partners v. Regional Transportation District [of Denver], venued in Denver County District Court, Colorado and arising out of the $2.2 billion Eagle P3 Commuter Rail Project. Jocelyn offers strategic and pragmatic advice to her clients to reduce legal risk during project procurement, construction, and post-completion. She works with her clients to avoid disputes; during project construction Jocelyn works with clients and other project participants to solve problems. When unresolved disputes arise, Jocelyn negotiates resolutions that make sense for her clients, serving as experienced and tested counsel in mediation, arbitration, before dispute resolutions boards and panels, and litigation of construction claims, including on P3, mining, energy, transportation, healthcare, education, commercial, and industrial sector projects.
Jocelyn’s well-rounded experience as counsel to public and private owners, contractors, design professionals, manufacturers, and others on large construction trials and projects in the last three decades allows her to quickly digest the technical aspects of any construction claim and offer creative and pragmatic solutions to efficiently resolve disputes. Jocelyn has significant experience in disputes involving procurement and contract tenders, RFPs, construction and EPC contracts, liens, bonds, and insurance claims, and negligence claims involving architects, engineers, and other design professionals.
In addition to zeroing out the plaintiff’s $112 million claim in the DTP v. RTD trial, Jocelyn has secured a $74 million arbitration award in favor of her global EPC client, a unanimous jury award of $2.4 million and rejection of Concessionaire’s $50 million claim on a P3 mixed-use project, a $7 million award in favor of her contract manufacturing client, and a $3.9 million award in favor of her mining client. She has defeated other trial/arbitration claims in the amounts of $25 million, $20 million, $10 million, and $7 million, respectively.
Jocelyn has earned a Band One ranking in Chambers USA; is a fellow in the American College of Construction Lawyers; is a repeat recipient of the prestigious Clients Choice Awards; won the 2014 Burton Awards for Distinguished Legal Writing with her “Force Majeure and Climate Change: What is the New Normal?” article; was recognized as a 2015 “Attorney of the Year” by Minnesota Lawyer; has been a perennial presence in Minnesota Super Lawyers since 2003, ranked among the top 50 women lawyers and the top 100 lawyers in Minnesota; and was honored with Dorsey’s Partner of the Year Award.
Public Private Partnership (P3), Transportation, and Government Contracting
- Representing a large public authority in the Western United States on a $2.2 billion P3 commuter rail project, defending that client in a lawsuit brought by the Concessionaire in Denver County District Court, Denver Transit Partners v. Regional Transportation District; on February 10, 2023, the trial court issued its final trial decision zeroing out DTP’s $112 million force majeure claim and change-of-law claims.
- Secured a $2.4 million unanimous jury award and rejection of the Concessionaire's $50 million claim in North Dakota State Court.
- Currently advising a state university system in the Pacific Northwest in connection with its construction and design contracts and projects.
- Assisted the Metropolitan Council with the development of its procurement documents and vendor contracts in connection with light and heavy rail projects, specifically, the Hiawatha and Northstar rail projects.
- 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.
- Represented international engineering firm in a responsibility review by a large public authority.
- Representing a large public authority that is tasked with the design, construction, and operation of U.S. Bank Stadium.
Construction and Design 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.
- 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.
- In re Large University. Advised public university client in connection with claims arising out of cross-laminated timber (CLT).
- Jeurissen v. NDI LLC (Minn. Ct. App.). Represented national developers in construction and real estate dispute. Successfully defended clients' interpretation of purchase agreement.
- 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.
- 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.
- In re: Longview Power LLC. Represented and served as lead trial counsel for global EPC contractor in arbitration proceedings, state court, federal court, and bankruptcy proceedings concerning design, schedule delay, force majeure, defect, scope change, insurance, and payment claims totaling approximately $1 billion, arising out of the construction of a 700-megawatt (net) power plant. Obtained favorable settlements with the project owner and others, and prosecuted and defended claims against the boiler OEM during a six-week arbitration hearing, resulting in a $74 million award in the client's favor and a complete denial of the boiler OEM's sizable counterclaim. Resolved the largest mechanics' lien claim in West Virginia history.
- Advised general contractor during design and construction of a LNG plant, including resolving claims between the owner and general contractor; represented general contractor during post-completion claims caused by subcontractor's delay in completing its work, and subcontractor's claim of entitlement to additional time and money due to a purported change-in-law and force majeure events. Case resolved favorably.
- In re: Arbitration Between Knutson, Harris/HiMec Hunt, LLC and Olmsted County. Represented and served as lead trial counsel to 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.
- In re Royalty Dispute. Served as lead arbitration counsel for international royalty-holder; successfully obtained $3.9 million award.
- Currently representing international mining operators concerning construction procurement, contract terms and claims.
- The Cincinnati Insurance Company v. J. Berd Mechanical Contractors, Inc., Security Fire Sprinkler, LLC, Doran Construction Company, LLC, et al. (D. Minn.). Representing policyholder in a large, alleged construction defect case arising out of CPVC fire sprinkler pipes installed in large luxury apartment community.
- Kvaerner North America Construction Inc. Secured defense and indemnity payments of more than $30 million for global EPC contractor.
- 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.
- In re Mission Critical Data Center I. Secured more than $2 million in insurance coverage for claims arising out of design defects on a Tier III data center.
- In re Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) I. Served as lead arbitration counsel for international contract manufacturer in a "bet the company" dispute arising out of a terminated supply contract, securing a multi-million dollar award in favor of client.
- In re EMS II. Served as lead arbitration counsel for international contract manufacturer in a multi-million dollar dispute arising out of alleged design and manufacturing defects. Successfully defeated claimant's $20 million claim for lost profits.
- Currently representing a large Minnesota based developer in connection with its construction and design contracts.
- 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.
- Regularly advise Fortune 500 clients in connection with claims arising out of their construction and design contracts and real estate leases.
- Currently advising hospital owners in connection with claims arising out of the design and construction of new hospitals and medical campuses.
- Advised pork processing plant owner in connection with claims arising out of design and construction of a $240 million plant.
Summary of Representative Work
- 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. Lead Counsel for a global engineering company that was named in 120 lawsuits arising out of the 35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis.
- 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.
- Energy. Counseled energy clients on a broad range of issues, including contract negotiation, design/build procurement, dispute avoidance, and dispute resolution. Successfully prosecuted and defended against claims exceeding $1 billion arising out of the construction and design of a $2 billion 700-megawatt super-critical coal fired power plant in West Virginia. Successfully defended in arbitration multimillion dollar fraud claims against owner arising out of expansion of $100 million waste-to-energy facility.
- Public Private Partnerships (P3). Currently representing public authorities in design and construction-related disputes arising out of P3 transportation and mixed-use projects; complete defense verdict in the largest construction-related P3 claims to go to trial in the U.S.; secured a unanimous jury verdict in favor of public authority in one of the first P3-related jury trials in the U.S.
- Transportation. Currently representing public authority in a $2.2 billion rail project. 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.
- Mining. Obtained $3.9 million award in favor of royalty-holder. Currently representing mining operators regarding procurement and construction contracts and claims.
- Insurance. Obtained over $300 million in coverage for construction and design defects, loss of use, and diminution in property value arising out of collapse, water intrusion, mold, improper construction, inadequate design, loss of use design and hazardous perils. Currently representing policyholder in a $35 million coverage dispute arising out of a large apartment complex development project.
- 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.
- Manufacturing. Currently representing international EMS contract manufacturer in claims arising out of design and manufacture of components and assemblies for OEMs.
- Contract Negotiation. Negotiated over $100 billion of design and construction contracts.
- Environment. Obtained complete defense verdict for highway contractor on contaminated soils in re Shafer Contracting, Inc. (Minn. State Dist. Ct.), MERLA (CERCLA) claims.
News & Resources
News & Press Mentions
Events & Speaking Engagements
Industries & Practices
- Commercial Litigation
- Construction & Design
- Construction Litigation
- Development & Infrastructure
- Electric Power
- Energy & Natural Resources
- Food, Beverage & Agribusiness
- Government Contracts Counseling & Litigation
- Healthcare & Life Sciences
- Insurance Law
- Oil & Gas
- Products Liability
- Public-Private Partnerships
- Real Estate & Land Use
- Real Estate Litigation
Professional & Civic
- 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 Forum, Commercial and Construction Panels
- Former Board member, Children's Home Society of Minnesota
- Former Board member, Children’s Theatre Company (Minneapolis)
- Named Minnesota Lawyer’s Top Women in Law honoree, 2023.
- Listed in The POWER 30: Construction Law by Minnesota Lawyer, 2023
- Listed in Minnesota Super Lawyers® (2003-2023); One of the Top 100 Minnesota Super Lawyers (2019) and One of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Minnesota (2017-2023)
- Named one of "America's Leading Business Lawyers" (Band 1) by Chambers USA (Construction), 2008-2023
- Listed in Best Lawyers in America©, 2016-2024; named a Best Lawyer of the Year, Construction (Minnesota), 2017-2018, 2020, 2022-2024
- Dorsey & Whitney – Scales of Justice Team Award (Rebuilding Our Community Webinar Series), 2021
- Named a 2015 "Attorney of the Year" by Minnesota Lawyer
- Recognized by Client Choice for Excellence in Client Service - Minnesota, Construction, 2016 and 2018
- Inducted as a fellow in the American College of Construction Lawyers, 2016
- Top Tier lawyer, recommended by The Legal 500
- 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”
- Dorsey & Whitney Partner of the Year, 2007