Ernest C. Brown

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Alternative Dispute Resolution Attorney in San Francisco, CA

Ernest Brown & Company, APC
 | 244 California Street, Suite 200
San Francisco, CA 94111-4308
Phone: 877-406-1535
Fax: 415-276-1754
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2019
Licensed Since: 1978
Practice Areas:
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (70%),
  • Construction Litigation: Business (10%),
  • Real Estate: Business (10%),
  • Government Contracts (10%)
Attorney Profile

An arbitrator and mediator at Ernest Brown ADR, Ernest C. Brown represents clients in the state of California in construction accidents. Throughout his 40 years of experience, he has been lead trial counsel for many large clients, including the National Society of Professional Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Associated General Contractors of America, the American Arbitration Association and The State Bar of California.

Mr. Brown graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in civil and environmental engineering before moving to the University of California, Berkeley. There he earned a Juris Doctor and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering in 1978, then did international law graduate study at Harvard Law School. He is a registered civil engineer in the state of California and is admitted to practice in all state courts.

For Mr. Brown’s work with various types of alternative dispute resolution, he has been given the American Jurisprudence award, the Harmon Prize, the USMC – USMAS El Toro Community Service Award and the San Francisco Construction Litigation Lawyer Award. His clients come from a wide range of industries, including casinos, airports, power plants, sports arena, transit systems, roadways and bridges, high technology, industrial, schools and universities and treatment plants.

A certified mediator by the International Mediation Institute, Mr. Brown is also a member of The Bar Association of San Francisco, the League of California Cities, the American Institute of Architects and the County Counsels’ Association, and he is a former member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the National Society of Professional Engineers. Currently, he is co-chairman of The State Bar of California Construction Law section and a member of the forum on construction industry of the American Bar Association.

Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Alternative Dispute Resolution (70%): Arbitration, Mediation

Construction Litigation (10%): Construction Defects

Real Estate (10%)

Government Contracts (10%)

Focus Areas

Arbitration, Mediation, Construction Defects


Selected to Super Lawyers for 6 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2019

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About Ernest Brown

Admitted: 1978, California

Professional Webpage:


  • Super Lawyer, 2014 - Present
  • AV* Rated Pre-Eminent, National Peer Review
  • Top Five Construction Lawyers in California, Chambers & Partners
  • Karl Taylor Compton Prize, MIT Community Service Award, 1975
  • Harmon Writing Prize, Boalt Hall, 1978
  • American Jurisprudence Award, Boalt Hall, 1978
  • USMC - USMAS El Toro Community Service Award

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Registered Professional Engineer - California (Civil Engineering), 1980

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Certified Mediator, International Mediation Institute (IMI)
  • Member, American Bar Association Forum, Construction Industry
  • County Counsel Association of Architects
  • California League of Cities
  • Associated General Contractors
  • Mediator and Arbitrator, Northern California Commercial Association of Realtors
  • Member, Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Co-Chairman, California State Bar Association, Construction Law Section
  • Orange County Bar Association, Desert Shield Committee, 1990
  • Chair, Orange County Bar Association
  • Founder, Orange County Bar Association, Construction Section, 1987 – 1998
  • ABA Forum, Construction Industry, 1980 - Present
  • Member, California Bar Association, 1978 - Present
  • California, 1978

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Member, American Society of Professional Engineers
  • Member, National Society of Civil Engineers
  • Legal Advisor, Hunters Point Solar Conversion Project, 2004 - 2008
  • Chairman, St. Margarets Episcopal School, Board of Trustees, Campus Building Committee, 1995 - 1998
  • Secretary, St. Margarets Episcopal School, Board of Trustees, Campus Building Committee, 1995 - 1998
  • Orange County YMCA, Board of Directors, 1988 - 1992
  • American Institute of Architects

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • AAA Arbitration Awards, Safeguarding, Deciding & Writing Awards (ACE001), 2004
  • Architect/Engineer Liability Under California Law, Cambridge Institute, 1992
  • What Lawyers Must Know About Asbestos, ABA Journal, November, 1987
  • Architect/Engineer Malpractice, Federal Publications, 1980
  • California Public Works: Contracts & Litigation, 1999
  • A Practical Guide to Public-Private Partnerships, Publisher Design Group, Inc., 2015
  • Co-author, Federal Publications and Cambridge Institute Course Manuals on Architect-Engineer Malpractice
  • Editor, Construction Contracts and Disputes Continuing Education of the Bar
  • CEB's California Public Contract Law Handbook
  • California Infrastructure Projects: Successful Contracting and Dispute Resolution, Recorder Books, 2015
  • Author, California Infrastructure Projects, American Legal Media, 340 Page Legal and Contracts Handbook for Successful Infrastructure Projects, Construction, 2010
  • AAA Mediation Training, 1996
  • AAA Construction Industry Arbitrator Training, 1999
  • AAA Arbitrator Update, 2001
  • AAA Construction Arbitrator II Training: Advanced Case Management Issues, 2002
  • Faculty, State Bar of California, Construction Mediation, 2004
  • Faculty, San Francisco Bar Association, Construction Mediation, 2005
  • AAA Dealing With Delay Tactics in Arbitration (ACE004), 2005
  • Chair, AAA, Arbitration Panel, Managing Procedures, Process & Dynamics (ACE005), 2007
  • AAA Advanced Mediator Training, 2009
  • Faculty, AAA Construction Conference, Keeping Arbitration Lean, 2015


  • Settled or litigated $1 Billion in Construction Claims as lead counsel. Gained settlements or verdicts of over $88 million on public works projects, 2000 - 2013, 1990

Representative Clients:

  • Flatiron Construction Company Manson Construction Company MDT Services Fox Entertainment Group HCC Insurance Services, 2013


Educational Background:

  • Harvard Law School, International Law
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, BS, Civil and Environmental Engineering, 1975

Industry Groups

  • Complex Construction
  • Infrastructure
  • Public Works
  • Real Estate & Site Accidents
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Office Location for Ernest C. Brown

244 California Street
Suite 200
San Francisco, CA 94111-4308

Phone: 877-406-1535

Fax: 415-276-1754

Ernest C. Brown:

Last Updated: 2/15/2019

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