David L. Fine

David represents and counsels clients in the construction industry, including commercial, institutional and residential owners and developers, general contractors, construction managers, specialty subcontractors, suppliers and manufacturers.  He represents clients in adverse proceedings such as litigation and arbitration, consulting regarding risk management, contract preparation and negotiation, and providing business advice.  He is chair of the firm’s Construction Law Group, a diverse group comprised of attorneys specializing in construction litigation, corporate and real estate law, and labor and employment law.

David works closely with several national, regional and local trade organizations, and he often lectures and writes about topics pertinent to the construction industry, such as project delivery, due diligence and financing, contracts, teaming, indemnity and warranty concerns, insurance coverage, public procurement, bid protests, green building and solar, surety bond claims, mechanics’ liens, and construction industry dispute resolution methods and procedures.  He is the president of the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Central Massachusetts, and he lectures regularly on construction risk management issues on behalf of several trade and bar organizations.  David is an active member of the American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law, where he serves as a member of the Steering Committee for the Forum’s Subcontractors and Suppliers Division and as a liaison to the Special Programs & Education Committee.

David was named a Massachusetts "Super Lawyer" by Boston magazine and Law & Politics every year since 2017.  In 2013, 2014 and 2015, David was named a Massachusetts "Rising Star" by Boston magazine and Law and Politics.

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
  • U.S. District Court for Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for Rhode Island
  • U.S. District Court for Connecticut
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • Suffolk University Law School JD, cum laude, Suffolk University Law Review member (2005)
  • University of Vermont BA (1999)
  • Successfully defended a leading national supplier of aggregates, asphalt, ready-mix concrete and construction and paving services against payment claims by an electrical contractor through trial in Rhode Island Superior Court
  • Negotiated and drafted hundreds of construction agreements for a variety of clients, ranging from standard form (“AIA”) documents prepared on behalf of several institutional clients, including for example local and regional colleges and universities, cities and towns, and national banking institutions, to HIC-compliant builder/remodeler agreements
  • Successfully defended a plastic molding manufacturer in a Section 28 claim brought by a former employee through trial in the Worcester Department of Industrial Accidents
  • Negotiated a successful resolution on behalf of a general contractor in a dispute with a hospital, architect and multiple subcontractors over delay and changed conditions in a multi-phased renovation and new construction hospital project
  • Prosecuted mechanics lien action on behalf of site contractor who was owed contract balance and change order amounts on a private project in which the general contractor filed for bankruptcy protection
  • Successfully represented former owners of sand and gravel and concrete ready mix businesses in a dispute with the subsequent purchaser related to the receivable and warranty obligations contained in the sale documents
  • Obtained judgment in favor of a residential homeowner in a private arbitration proceeding against a roofing and restoration contractor for defective roofing and siding installation
  • Represented a general contractor on a Rhode Island public works project concerning renovation and build out of a college dormitory in a dispute with the owner and multiple subcontractors over payment and scope of work requirements
  • Obtained an arbitration award in favor of a site contractor and against a municipality for changed conditions and delay claims stemming from construction of public recreational fields and facilities
  • Represented regional steel contractor against claims that it breached a requirements lease agreement regarding crane rentals and other equipment
  • Successfully defended a general contractor in a bid protest against allegations of impropriety in the pre-qualification process
  • Represented regional roofing company in a claim against a former employee regarding breach of fiduciary duty and appropriation of trade secrets in operating a competing side business
  • Successfully represented several supply companies, including, among others, plumbing and mechanical, electrical and concrete, in various collection actions 
  • Represented the interests of the pension, annuity, health and apprenticeship trust funds of a local trade union
  • Represented a contractor defending a claim by the department of labor of failure to pay prevailing wages on a public works project

Publications/Presentations

  • “Pay-if-Paid: A Discussion & Jurisdictional Survey of Contingent Payment Clauses,” American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law (September 2022) (moderator and panelist)
  • Quoted in “The Dotted Line: Recession fears spur uptick in terminations for convenience,” Construction Dive, August 30, 2022
  • Quoted in "The Dotted Line: Supply chain woes lead to possible breach, defect claims," Construction Dive, November 30, 2021
  • "Legal Issues for Builders, Remodelers, and Contractors," Home Builders & Remodelers Association (October 2021) (presenter)
  • "Construction Law Essentials," ABA Forum on Construction Law 2021 Regional Program (September 2021) (Boston site coordinator)
  • "Managing Construction with AIA Document A201: General Conditions," HalfMoon Education, Inc. Webinar (July 2021) (presenter)
  • Quoted in "Judge Strictly Construes Prompt Payment Act," Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, December 10, 2020
  • “Understanding the Primary AIA Contract Documents,” HalfMoon Education, Inc. Webinar (July 21, 2020) (presenter)
  • Quoted in “Hurting, contractors are implementing coronavirus measures to protect their clients and themselves," Boston.com, May 12, 2020
  • Quoted in “Real Estate Industry Reacting to Short- and Long-Term Consequences of Pandemic,” Worcester Business Journal, May 11, 2020
  • "COVID-19: Impact on Construction Industry,” On Air with Mirick O’Connell legal podcast (April 23, 2020)
  • “COVID-19 Town Hall Webinar,” American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law (April 2020) (moderator)  
  • “Managing Engineering Liability and Risk,” HalfMoon Education, Inc. (March 2020) (panelist)
  • The Impact of Coronavirus on the Construction Industry,” Mirick O’Connell Client Alert, March 18, 2020
  • "Legal Issues for Builders, Remodelers and Contractors," Home Builders & Remodelers Association (August 2019) (panelist)
  • "AIA Contract Workshop" HalfMoon Education, Inc. (July 2019)
  • "Revitalization of Worcester: An Insider's View of the CitySquare Project," Massachusetts Bar Association (June 2019) (moderator, presenter)
  • "Construction Risk Management," Home Builders & Remodelers Association (April 2019) (presenter)
  • "Mind the Gap: Avoiding Design Delegation Dangers," American Bar Association webinar (September 2018) (panelist)
  • "Construction Law Fundamentals," Home Builders & Remodelers Association  (August 2018) (presenter)
  • "Legal Issues for Builders, Remodelers and Contractors,” Home Builders & Remodelers Association (March 2018) (presenter)
  • “Warranties, Guarantees, Decennial Liability, and Statutes of Limitation & Repose,” American Bar Association Forum Midwinter National Meeting (January 2018)
  • “The New AIA Documents: What’s New,” American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law (October 2017) (moderator)
  • "The 2017 A201 Deskbook," American Bar Association Book Publishing, September 2017 
  • "Construction Contracts and Risk Management," Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (September 2017)
  • "Construction Contract Workshop," HalfMoon Education, Inc. (April 2017)
  • Quoted in “General Contractor Liable for Subcontractor’s ‘Loss of Productivity,’” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, April 2017
  • "Construction Supervisors License ("CSL") Continuing Education Program," HBRA (December 2016)
  • “Pretrial Procedures” Massachusetts District Court Civil Procedure Manual, MCLE, October 2016
  • “Examining Legal Issues and Disputes,” HalfMoon Education, Inc. (May 2016)
  • "Legal Issues for Contractors," Gould Construction Institute, Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (March 2016, September 2015, April 2015, November 2014, March 2014) 
  • "Contracts and Risk Management," New England Alarm and Controls Council Northeast Security Systems Contractors Expo (May 2015)
  • "Construction Law Risk Management," Home Builders & Remodelers Association (January 2015)
  • "Subcontractors Teaming Agreements; What Should You be Worried About?," American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law (January 2015) (panelist)
  • “Protecting the Owner of the Project: Insurance and Bonding Issues in Construction,” HalfMoon Education, Inc. (August 2014)
  • "Construction Subcontracting, A Comprehensive, Practical and Legal Guide," American Bar Association Publishing, April 2014 
  • "Lunch and Learn: Legal Update," Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc., Massachusetts Chapter (March 2014) 
  • "It's Miller (Act) Time," American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry (January 2013) (panelist) 
  • "Construction Risk Management," Gould Construction Institute, Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (December 2012)
  • "Go Green or Go Home," Home Builders and Remodelers Association, Central Massachusetts Chapter Newsletter, Fall 2012
  • "A Primer on Contract Formation and Terms," Home Builders and Remodelers Association, Central Massachusetts Chapter Newsletter, Summer 2012
  • "Court Defines Reach of Mechanics Lien Law in Leasehold Context," Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. Newsletter, February 2012
  • "Notice of Possible Mechanic's Lien: An Easy Way to Forfeit Lien Rights," Mirick O'Connell Newsletter, March 2011
  • "Bonding and Insurance for Emerging Contractors, Claims and Dispute Resolution," R.I. Contractors Development Program (2009, 2010)
  • "Getting Paid in Difficult Times," Mirick O'Connell Client Seminar (2010)
  • "Termination From Collective Bargaining Agreements," Mirick O'Connell Newsletter, Spring/Summer 2009
  • "Employer Consent Regarding Use of Company Vehicle," Mirick O'Connell Newsletter, Spring/Summer 2008 

Professional / Community Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, Forum on Construction Law, Division Steering Committee member; Special Programming and Education Committee member; Distance Learning (Webinar) Committee member
  • Associated Builders and Contractors
  • Home Builders and Remodelers Association, president
  • Massachusetts Bar Association, Steering Committee, Development and Construction Law Committee
  • Rhode Island Bar Association
  • Worcester County Bar Association
  • Hopkinton Youth Soccer Board, Vice President

A Classic Distinction Between Legal Remedies and Equitable Remedies:  1st Circuit Overturns Decades-Old Precedent On Citizen Enforcement of Clean Water Act

The First Circuit recently overturned a thirty-one year old decision on citizen enforcement of the Clean Water Act (CWA).  The now-overruled decision is North and South Rivers Watershed Ass’n v. Town of Scituate, 949 F.2d 552 (1st Cir. 1991), in …

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Municipal Law:  Supreme Court Lightens Up On Standard of Review for Certain Sign Bylaws

Recently, the Supreme Court addressed a challenge from two private entities related to the constitutionality of a sign bylaw (“Bylaw”) instituted by the City of Austin (“City”).  In City of Austin v. Reagan National Advertising of Austin, LLC, et. al., …

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“A Trap for the Unwary:”  Bankruptcy Court Declares Debtor’s Homestead Deficient

In In re Luu, Danny Luu (the “Debtor”) argued that he had a homestead exemption in the amount of $324,960.00.  He argued that because he filed a homestead declaration on March 18, 2021—just two days prior to filing his Chapter …

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State’s Highest Court to Determine Scope of Dover Amendment Solar Protection in M.G.L. c. 40A

Last week, the SJC heard oral arguments for a case that is anticipated to potentially impact municipal zoning, specifically in the realm of solar energy projects.  The outcome of this case will either aid or inhibit a municipality’s ability to …

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Remote Public Meetings Authorized Through April of 2022; New Law Extends Additional COVID-19 Emergency Rules

Public bodies may continue to hold remote meetings through April of 2022 under new legislation enacted this week. The statute, Chapter 20 of the Acts of 2021, authorizes a quorum of a board or committee to meet remotely and require remote …

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Municipal Permitting Timelines Resume on December 1

Effective December 1, municipal boards must follow the usual permitting deadlines following a COVID-19 statute enacted last week. Towns and cities had been operating under Section 17 of Chapter 53 of the Acts of 2020, which tolled the deadlines for commencing …

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Important Update – The Impact of Coronavirus on the Construction Industry

Since our post on March 18, a lot has happened from both a health and regulatory standpoint as far as the impact from the outbreak of COVID-19 (“coronavirus”) on local and state construction practice.  Here is an update, as of …

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The Impact of Coronavirus on the Construction Industry

The outbreak of COVID-19 (“coronavirus”) has impacted all industries, including construction.  First and foremost, we are in the midst of a public health crisis, and the safety and well-being of all project participants should be top of mind.  We are …

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Executive Order Loosens Open Meeting Law Requirements During Coronavirus Emergency

Governor Baker signed an Executive Order relieving government boards and committees from compliance with certain Open Meeting Law requirements during the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. The Order gives public bodies greater leeway to hold closed-door and remote meetings, so that government agencies …

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SJC Reverses Appeals Court on Standing Requirements Under the Zoning Act – With Record Speed

All zoning conformities are alike, to rephrase Tolstoy’s famous opening line, but each zoning-related injury is injurious in its own way. Such has been the time-honored tenant of Massachusetts law for abutter standing under the Zoning Act.  To successfully challenge …

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PFAS Concerns Mounting for Cities and Towns as MassDEP Proposes Maximum Contaminant Level in Drinking Water

Many of our readers will be aware that on December 27, 2019, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) proposed a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for PFAS in drinking water of 20 parts per trillion (0.02 ug/L or ppt) for six PFAS …

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Building the Boroughs: A Year in Review

In 2019, Mirick O’Connell’s permitting attorneys were proud to help our clients, large and small, with local approvals in Marlborough for 6 great projects. Thank you to our clients and the City of Marlborough for a wonderful year! Click here …

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