Mr. Dettman was involved with the $14.6 Billion Central Artery/Tunnel Project since 1992, advancing from Senior Counsel, to Chief Counsel, to Associate Project Director for Claims Resolution. As the project’s lead attorney for almost a decade, he managed the project’s attorneys and staff, as well as outside law firms. He managed all legal matters on the project, including construction claims, design claims, Owner Controlled Insurance Program, alternative dispute resolution, cost recovery, procurement, contract negotiation and administration, inter-governmental relations and agreements, conflicts of interest, ethics, regulatory oversight, labor, employment, building issues, DBE regulations, litigation, civil and criminal investigations, and legislation.
As Chief Counsel, more than half of his time was devoted more to “management” issues rather than pure “legal” issues. Moreover, these legal/management issues encompassed a wide range of subject areas that changed as the project evolved through its 15-year construction life cycle. From October of 2001 to early 2003, Mr. Dettman was given the added responsibility of general oversight of the Cost Recovery Program, reporting to the General Counsel of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority. From October of 2001 to early 2003, Mr. Dettman was given the added responsibility of supervising the Director of Claims and Changes, who was responsible for analyzing and negotiating all contract claims and changes on the project.
Becoming Associate Project Director for Claims Resolution in May of 2003, Mr. Dettman managed a 110-person staff and numerous outside consultants, and assumed management responsibilities for the $27 Million Work Program budget. He was responsible for preparing and implementing a plan to resolve over 5,000 open issues/claims with a claimed value of over $600 Million. The expedited claim resolution program Mr. Dettman established has been a success to date. He oversaw the teams that settled out on a global basis several major contracts with claims totaling over $460 Million. In addition, he substantially reduced the claims backlog on other contracts (even while dealing with a large influx of new directed changes and contractor initiated claims associated with project accelerations to meet roadway opening milestones).
Examples of the contract claims on which Mr. Dettman lead the negotiations/mediations include the following:
§ C19D1 Contract (Charles River Bridge)—Kiewit brought a $25 Million claim alleging insufficient and deficient design, delayed access, differing site conditions, delay and impact. The claim was successfully settled through negotiation.
§ CO1A3 Contract (South Boston Mainline Tunnel and Access Ramps)—Kiewit/Atkinson/Cashman, Joint Venture, brought a $66 Million claim alleging delayed access, interference by other contractors, delay/disruption, and open change order claims. The claim was successfully settled through mediation.
§ CO9A4 Contract (South Bay Interchange)—Slattery/Interbeton/White/Perini, Joint Venture, brought a $110 Million claim alleging insufficient and defective design, lack of access, delay/disruption, and open change order claims. The claim was successfully settled through mediation.<![if !mso]><![endif]>
C22A2 Contract (Integrated Project Controls System)—Honeywell brought a $167 Million claim alleging insufficient disclosure in the bidding process, defective design, delayed access, delay and disruption, and open change order claims. The claim was successfully settled through mediation.
§ CO1A6 Contract (South Boston Mainline Tunnel and Access Ramps)—DeMatteo/Interbeton/Flatiron, Joint Venture, brought a $60 Million claim alleging delayed access, delay/disruption and open change order claims. The claim was successfully settled through mediation.
Prior to joining the CA/T Project, Mr. Dettman was the law clerk to Justice William G. Callow of the Wisconsin Supreme Court from 1983 to 1984. Thereafter, Mr. Dettman was a commercial litigator at two leading Boston, Massachusetts law firms from 1984 to 1992, providing legal advice in the areas of complex commercial and business disputes, lender liability litigation and associated workouts, insurance coverage disputes, construction disputes and litigation, products liability litigation, trademark and copyright, and appellate tax board appeals.
Mr. Dettman is a member of several organizations that promote or support the practice of dispute resolution, including the American Bar Association, Section on Dispute Resolution; the Association for Conflict Resolution; the Transportation Research Bureau, Committee on Contract Law; and the Dispute Resolution Board Foundation. He has received required training to be certified as a mediator under Massachusetts General Laws, and to serve as a member of Disputes Review Boards. He is a member of the Construction Neutrals Panel of the American Arbitration Association and is on the approved arbitrator list of the American Dispute Resolution Center.
Mr. Dettman actively promotes the use of ADR in the construction industry by speaking at professional conferences, including the American Bar Association Section of Public Contract Law Annual Federal Procurement Institute; the Construction Management Association of America Annual Conference; the Transportation Research Bureau’s Legal Workshop and Annual Conference; and the American Road and Transit Builders Annual Conference. He has also given talks to State Departments of Transportation, legal groups, and other construction industry professionals.
ADR Training: 40 Hour Mediator Training (Certified under MGL Chapter 233, Section 23C); Dispute Review Board Administration and Practice Workshop; AAA Commercial Arbitrator Training, March 2006; ADR Center arbitration training, May 2006.
Professional Licenses: Licensed to practice law in Wisconsin (since 1983; currently on inactive status) and Massachusetts (since 1985).
Education: B.A., Political Science, University of Wisconsin, 1979; J.D., University of Wisconsin, 1983.