Devon G. Coughlan
Devon Coughlan specializes his mediation practice in the areas of national and international construction and insurance coverage disputes, with a focus on large, multi-party cases.
A commercial and construction litigation attorney for many years, Devon is now one of the most experienced, knowledgeable, and credible large-case construction and insurance coverage mediators in the country. His experience and expertise includes familiarity with every conceivable kind of construction and design related claim, as well as their associated insurance coverage dynamics, in projects from NFL stadiums to suspension bridges, international airports to high-rise condos, highways to hospitals, reservoirs to waste-to-energy power plants.
With a thorough understanding of construction, engineering and architectural contracting forms and issues, insurance products and exclusions, workflows, means and methods, scheduling analysis issues, the change order process, and the myriad of other issues which make up a construction dispute, Devon has a leg-up when it comes to mediating construction cases efficiently and effectively. He is also adept at working with multiple parties and designing a mediation process that maximizes the chances for settlement. Devon has mediated well over two billion dollars in construction and insurance coverage related claims in the last three years alone, with settlements achieved in over 90% of those cases.
National and International Construction Practice
With a Masters Degree in International Law from Duke University, and as a Board Member of the International Academy of Mediators, Devon has a national and international construction mediation practice. Devon has mediated cases involving projects or proceedings situated in Alabama, California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, France, Canada, the Middle East and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Devon is familiar with FIDIC construction documents and forms, and is sensitive to the cultural issues involved is mediating international cases.
Insurance issues lie directly or indirectly at the heart of almost every case Devon mediates. Devon has extensive experience interpreting complex insurance policies, exclusions, reservation of rights letters, statutory provisions and applicable case-law in multiple jurisdictions. He is well versed at mediating subrogation claims among carriers, has been asked to interpret the meaning of new insurance products in carrier/insured disputes, and has mediated cases with virtually every major carrier in the US.
Devon is an active and evaluative mediator. He believes that cases need to be settled on the facts and the law, and is willing to give all parties the benefit of his independent insights into a case. Devon’s attention to detail and ability to truly understand all of the issues involved in a complex case make him unique in his field. Mediation process design and interacting meaningfully with the parties prior to the first mediation day are key contributors to Devon’s success. Devon never gives up on a case, and believes that until a trial court verdict is entered, settlement in every case is possible. In those case that do not settle at the table, Devon follows up with the parties extensively so that a settlement may still be achieved.
Recently Mediated Cases
Some of Devon’s recently mediated cases, with claims ranging from 1.9 million to 200 million dollars, include the following:
Hospital – Construction and Design Defect Dispute, OSIP and OPPI issues – 12 parties.
Law School Library – Construction and Design Defect Claim, 23 parties.
Luxury Condominium – Construction and Design Defect / Water Intrusion Claim, 18 parties
Insurance Policy Interpretation Dispute – New Insurance Product
Municipal Building – Construction and Design Defect / Water Intrusion Claim, 4 parties
Metropolitan Hotel / Historic Structure Renovation – Design and Engineering Defect Claim, 10 parties
Refinery Explosion – Class Action Personal and Property Injury Claim /Insurance Coverage Dispute
Hospital Construction and Renovation – Construction Defect / Water Intrusion Claim, Insurance Coverage Issues, 8 parties
Water Treatment Plant – Design and Construction Defect Claim, Insurance Coverage Issues
Business Dispute – Breach of Contract / Tortious Interference
Insurance Subrogation Claim – International Airport Construction
University Library – Delay and Wrongful Termination Claim, Insurance Coverage Issues, 12 parties
Waste-to-Energy Power Plant – Design and Construction Defect Claim, Insurance Coverage Issues
Water Reservoir – Construction and Design Defect Claim, Insurance Coverage Issues, 4 parties
Employment Claim – Multi-plaintiff age discrimination dispute, 20+ Plaintiffs
Multi-Unit Condominium – Water Intrusion / Defective Construction Claim, Insurance Coverage Issues, 16 parties
International Airport – Construction Defect Claim, Insurance Coverage Issues
Commercial Retail / Stadium Related Development – Design Defect Claim, Insurance Coverage Issues
International Airport – Design Defect Claim
University Chapel – Construction Defect and Delay Claim
Middle School – Wrongful Termination /Reimbursement Claim by Bonding Company
Duke University School of Law, 1991 – 1994.
J.D. with Honors. LLM in International Law. Member, Moot Court Board.
Connecticut College, New London, Connecticut, 1986 – 1990.
Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, double major in Economics and Political Science.
St. Georges School, Middletown, R.I., 1982 – 1988
Mediation Certifications and Organizations
Certified Circuit Court Mediator, Florida
Certified Appellate Mediator, Florida
Certified County Court Mediator, Florida
International Academy of Mediators, Board Member and Distinguished Fellow.
Association for Conflict Resolution, Member.
Florida Circuit-Civil Mediators Society, Member.
Florida Bar ADR, REPTILE and Business Law Sections, Member.
Publications and Speaking Engagements
ABA Forum on the Construction Industry Winter Meeting, January, 2014, Luncheon Panelist for Program “How to Catch Flies – With Honey or a Fly Swatter?” Negotiation Tactics and Strategies.
Maine Bar Summer Meeting, 2013, Presenter, Avoiding Pitfalls and Seizing Opportunities; How to Maximize Your Mediation Outcomes.
MCLE’s “A Practical Guide to Superior Court Practice in Maine,” Chapter 5, “Alternative Dispute Resolution.” Publication Pending.
Maine Lawyers Review, June, 2012 “On the Couch with Dr. Will, A Mediator’s Call for Help”
Maine Lawyers Review, June, 2010, “No Impasse Before Noon – Understanding Early Mediation Dynamics”
Maine Lawyers Review, June, 2009, “Maximizing Mediation Results in a Challenging Economy.”
ACResolution Magazine, Summer, 2009, co-author “The Blame Game: Understanding and Addressing Admissions-Related Conflicts in a Nursing Facility Setting.”
Maine Lawyers Review, June 2008, co-author “Choosing the Right Mediator.”
Bench-Bar Conference, West Palm Beach, Florida, 2008. Federal Panel Speaker on ADR issues in federal court.
Conflict Solutions, 2008-present. Partner. Full time mediator and arbitrator.
Conflict Solutions, 2006 – 2008. Associated Mediator.
Ruden McClosky, Boca Raton, Florida, June – October 2008. Of-Counsel.
Elk, Christu & Bakst, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach, Florida, 1998 – June 2008. Partner and head of Boca Raton litigation department.
Coughlan Associates, P.A., Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, 1997-1998. Founder and managing partner.
Carlton Fields, West Palm Beach, Florida, 1994 – 1997. Litigation associate.
Federal Court for the Southern District of Florida
Federal Court for the Middle District of Florida
United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit
United States Supreme Court
Member and Past President, Federal Bar Association, Palm Beach County, Florida, Chapter
Member, ABA Forum on the Construction Industry
Trustee and Board Vice President, Gulf Stream School, Gulf Stream, Florida.
Honorary Board Member and Past President of the Board, Boynton Beach Chamber of Commerce
Past President of the Board, Hugs for Kids, organization for the prevention of child abuse.
Member, Palm Beach County Bar Association
Owner and President, Kingsley Pines Camp, Raymond, ME. 2010 – present.