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John W. Dreste

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Construction Litigation Attorney in Rochester, NY

Ernstrom & Dreste, LLP
925 Clinton Square
Rochester, NY 14604
Phone: 585-473-3100
Fax: 585-473-3113
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2010 - 2021
Licensed in New York Since: 1985
Practice Areas: Construction Litigation: Business (70%), Surety (20%), Civil Litigation: Defense (10%)
Attorney Profile

John W. Dreste, Partner, concentrates his practice on complex commercial contract litigation,  focusing on the fields of construction contract law, suretyship, fidelity, environmental law and other areas impacting the construction and surety industries. Mr. Dreste's practice, though litigation oriented, involves extensive claims analysis and investigation and includes negotiation, mediation and other informal methods of dispute resolution. Additionally, he serves as a mediator and arbitrator through the American Arbitration Association in construction industry disputes.

In addition, he has lectured, and has authored various articles, on subjects pertinent to the surety and construction industries, inlcuding on issues relating to mold in construction settings, and also regularly contributes to various publications.

Mr. Dreste has handled a number of high profile matters in which E&D has been involved, including numerous multi-million dollar claims asserted by and against clients on major construction projects.  Mr. Dreste most recently obtained a full verdict in favor of a contractor for differing site conditions on a bridge project, including an award of fees. In a subrogation/salvage setting, Mr. Dreste successfully pursued a "Type II" differing site condition claim that resulted from an encounter by the contractor of various toxic substances during the boring of a tunnel underneath a river. In addition, Mr. Dreste successfully obtained a reversal of an administrative finding that a client had failed to pay the prevailing rate of wages by demonstrating to appellate courts, in a case of first impression, that public funding must be present for a "public work" designation.  Mr. Dreste has historically had success in defenses based on fraudulently inducement.  Also, Mr. Dreste represents various Brazilian corporations in matters that have involved railroad and oil production projects, and publicity rights, in the United States and Brazil.

Mr. Dreste regularly counsels clients and handles contractor work-outs and otherwise "troubleshoots" potential defaults or claim situations. Notable efforts have included multi-million dollar financial work-outs involving troubled contractors, sureties and banks. As a firm, we have found that prompt, aggressive and independent early investigation of problems will often mitigate the severity of any loss which may ultimately be incurred. In connection with these efforts, Mr. Dreste has dealt with environmental and other analyses as may be required to protect our clients interests.

The above illustrations are merely representative of matters or issues handled by Mr. Dreste. Mr. Dreste has represented numerous contractors, owners, sureties and others requiring expertise in complex commercial contracts and disputes.

About John W. Dreste

First Admitted: 1985, New York

Professional Webpage:

Representative Clients

  • Available on request

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • Author, Chapter 9, ConsensusDOCS 801: Standard Owner and Construction Manager Agreement (Where the Construction Manager is the Owner's Agent and Enters into Trade Contracts) ConsensusDOCS Contract Documents Handbook, 2012
  • Author, The New York State "Infrastructure Investment Act': The Associated General Contractors New York State Cornerstone, 2012
  • Author, Settling the Hard-Fought Case, For The Defense March 2014, Defense Research Institute


  • Obtained full reversal and dismissal of a million dollar wage underpayment finding in a case of first impression, based on fact that a Project had zero public funding Obtained a full verdict in favor of a contractor for differing site conditions encountered during a bridge reconstruction Project, 2017

Industry Groups

  • Construction
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Office Location for John W. Dreste

925 Clinton Square
Rochester, NY 14604

Last Updated: 4/16/2021

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