Tom is the founding partner of Olson Construction Law. His vision, commitment and energy have provided important leadership both to his firm and to his clients.
Tom serves as a mentor to both contractors and attorneys. Contractors seek counsel from Tom for his sharp understanding of construction issues, and for his genuine commitment to their business and personal success. Attorneys seek Tom’s counsel to learn from his keen legal mind and his pragmatic approach to solving “legal” problems. You can count on Tom’s honesty and his integrity in everything he does.
- Knowledge of Construction: Tom has advised contractors and sureties in construction for over twenty-five years on issues spanning most areas of underground, highway and vertical construction.
- Proactive Solutions: Tom regularly assists public contractors to secure extra payment and time extensions on city, county, state and federal projects through cooperation, not confrontation.
- Technical Knowledge: Clients use Tom’s understanding of construction for more than legal advice. For example, Tom has assisted clients prepare, revise and update construction schedules (both CPM and bar chart).
- Trial Experience: Tom has trial experience before arbitration panels, state and federal courts, and federal contracting boards.
- Appellate Experience: Tom has argued appeals before the multiple state and federal appellate courts.
- Lien and Bond: Tom prepared an analysis of lien and bond laws for every state within the United States.
- DOT Specifications: Tom prepared an analysis of DOT specifications for every state within the United States. Tom regularly assists contractors, lawyers, engineers and public owners interpret DOT specifications. Furthermore, Tom continues to consult with construction associations, DOTs and federal highway representatives regarding better ways to prepare DOT specifications to avoid future disputes.
- Effective: Tom has successfully challenged the assessment of liquidated damages for many clients.
- Industry Advisory Board (IAB), Louisiana Tech University’s Trenchless Technology Center (TTC)
- National Utility Contractors Association (Board Member 2014-present)
- National Utility Contractors Association (Trenchless Technology Committee 2012-present)
- American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
- American Concrete Paving Association (ACPA)
- Concrete Paving Association of Minnesota (CPAM)
- Construction Law Section, Minnesota State Bar Association
- Minnesota Association of General Contractors (AGC)
- Minnesota Utility Contractors Association (MUCA) (Board Member 2003-2005)
- Gopher State One Call Statute Advisory Committee (Helped Pass One Call Statute)
- Minnesota Asphalt Pavement Association (MAPA)
- Dakota Asphalt Pavement Association (DAPA)
- North Dakota AGC (DOT Specifications Committee 2008-Present)
- North Dakota NUCA (Since inception in 2018)
- South Dakota AGC (Concrete Paving and Municipal Utilities Committees 2007-Present)
- Nebraska AGC (Paving, Utility and Grading Committees 2009-Present)
- Iowa AGC (Specifications Committee 2009-Present)
- Iowa NUCA (Board Member 2019)
- Colorado NUCA (Government & Industry Committee 2012-Present)
- Hamline University School of Law, Juris Doctor (1985)
- Tom has been a meticulous, thorough writer and editor since law school, where he was an editor of Law Review.
- Tom honed his ability to think quickly as a member of the Mock Trial and Moot Court Teams.
- After graduating, Tom continued to contribute his skills as an advocate and a mentor by serving as an adjunct professor of trial skills (1986-1994).
- University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, B.A. Political Science (1982)
- Geopier Soil Reinforcement Technical Training, Phoenix, AZ (2011)
- AAA Arbitrator Training (2006)
- AAA Arbitrator II Workshop (2002)
- AAA Arbitrator Update (2002)
- AAA Construction Industry Arbitrator Training (1998)
- University of Georgetown Center of Strategic and International Studies (1990)
- All courts of the State of Minnesota
- All courts of the State of Iowa
- All courts of the State of Nebraska
- All courts of the State of North Dakota
- All courts of the State of South Dakota
- United States District Court for the District of Minnesota
- United States District Court for the District of North Dakota
- United States District Court for the District of Northern Iowa
- United States District Court for the District of Southern Iowa
- United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- United States Supreme Court
- United States Court of Federal Claims
- 2020 – Trenchless Technology Center – Louisiana Tech University, speech: “Evaluation of Subgrade Conditions: Bidding and Building”
- 2020 – ACPA Concrete Pavement Progress, Quarter 3, ACPA 2020 3rd Q – Do Repair Provisions
- 2020 – ACPA Concrete Pavement Progress, Quarter 2, ACPA 2020 2Q – Utility Issues – Tom Olson
- 2020 – ACPA Concrete Pavement Progress, Quarter 1, Liquidated Damages-ACPA 2020 Q1
- 2020 – MUCA Underground Press, Spring 2020, A Contractors Roadmap to Safely Build Beyond COVID-19
- 2019 – NUCA 811 One-Call Meeting speech: “Utility-Related Problems-Strategies to Manage”
- 2019 – AGC of Nebraska Annual Convention speech: “Unmarked, Mismarked, and Late Utility Relocation: A Roadmap to Obtain Payment”
- 2019 – NUCA Business Journal, Fall 2019, Doing What the Contract Says
- 2019 – ACPA Concrete Pavement Progress, Quarter 4, 2019, CenturyLink: Contractors Get Paid from Utility Company for Inaccurate Information
- 2019 – MUCA Underground Press, Quarter 4, 2019, Unmarked, Mismarked and Late Utility Relocation
- 2019 – ACPA Concrete Pavement Progress, Quarter 3, 2019, Paper Trail
- 2019 – NUCA Business Journal, Spring 2019, Unmarked, Mismarked, and Late Utility Relocation
- 2019 – MUCA Underground Press, Spring 2019, Reliance on Soils Reports
- 2019 – ACPA Concrete Pavement Progress, Quarter 2, 2019, Late Utility Relocation
- 2019 – Iowa ASCE Geotechnical Conference speech: “Bidding Professional Services”
- 2019 – TTC – Louisiana Tech University Utility Investigation School (February 2019): “How to Manage Identification and Relocation of Utilities”
- 2019 – ACPA Concrete Pavement Progress, Quarter 1, 2019, Reliance on Soils Reports
- 2018 – ACPA Progress, 4th Quarter 2018 Differing Site Conditions: A Roadmap for Additional Compensation and Time
- 2018 – TTC – Louisiana Tech University Municipal Forum on Trenchless Technology (November 2018): “Important Geotechnical Considerations When Designing a Trenchless Project”
- 2018 – ACPA Concrete Pavement Progress (Quarter 3 2018): “Repair of Concrete Pavement Cracking: What the Roadmap Should Be”
- 2018 – NUCA Contractor Magazine (July/August 2018): “NUCA Construction Law Committee Report”
- 2018 – NASTT No-Dig Show: “Differing Site Conditions are Here To Stay: A Roadmap to Change” (Speech and Whitepaper)
- 2018 – NUCA Annual Conference Legal Panel: “Geotechnical Essentials for the Trenchless & Open Cut Pro”
- 2018 – AGC of Nebraska Annual Convention Speech: “Design-Build Contracts: Rights, Responsibilities & Trends”
- 2018 – NBI Webinar: “Construction Law Ultimate Bootcamp”
- 2017 – NUCA Business Journal (November 2017): Overcoming Underdesigned Projects
- 2017 – NUCA IA From the Trenches (March 2017): Obtaining Change Orders, Not Lawsuits
- 2017 – Concrete Paving Association of Minnesota Speech: “Why Random Cracking and Related Performance Problems Should Not Be the Contractor’s Responsibility”
- 2017 – NUCA Fall Leadership Conference Speech: “Why Highway Heavy and Vertical Projects Fail from the Bottom Up…the Missing Design Analysis”
- 2017 – ASCE Annual Convention Speech: “Managing Project Risks and Design Claims Avoidance: A Construction Attorney’s Perspective”
- 2017 – ACPA International Conference on Highway Pavements and Airfield Technology Speech: “Legal Case Study on Whitetopping Projects”
- 2017 – AGC of Nebraska Annual Convention Speech: “What Contractors Need to Know About Public Construction Requirements”
- 2016 – AGC of North Dakota Annual Convention Speech: “Design Defects and Unanticipated Site Conditions”
- 2016 – American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA) Annual Convention Speech: “Smoothness Testing and Other Concrete Issues”
- 2016 – NUCA Fall Leadership Conference Speech: “Ten Issues Which Utility Contractors Need to Understand”
- 2016 – Associate of the Year Award from NUCA (National Utility Contractors Association)
- 2016 – Author of NUCA’s National Trenchless Construction Manual‘s chapter on “Legal Rights and Obligations of Engineers and Contractors”
- 2016 – Construction Law Ultimate Boot Camp Webinar: NBI (National Business Institute) Continuing Legal Education
- 2016 – NUCA Business Journal (Fall 2016): “Your Legal Rights Following an OSHA Citation” Legal Rights Following OSHA Citation
- 2016 – NUCA Business Journal (January 2016): “Know Your Rights and Obligations That Protect You From Bearing Design Defect Costs” NUCA Journal January 2016
- 2015 – Advanced Construction Contract Law Webinar: NBI (National Business Institute) Continuing Legal Education
- 2015 – NUCA Fall Leadership Conference Speech: “Owners’ Growing Attempts to Contractually Disclaim Liability for Defective Design”
- 2015 – AGC – MnDOT Transportation Construction and Grading Innovations Technology Forum: “What Can Be Done to Stop Road Settlement”
- 2015 – MUCA Underground Press (Fall 2015): “When the Street Settles: Owners Trying to Contract Away Liability for Defective Design” MUCA Fall Article 2015 by Tom Olson