William R. Joseph, Partner

Bill Joseph leads Dunn Carney’s Construction and Design Team and is also a member of the firm’s Litigation Team. He has extensive experience litigating and trying various types of business and civil disputes in the areas of construction, public bidding and contracting, liens, real estate, products liability, contract, employment and tort matters. Bill is also experienced in handling corporate and real estate transactional matters. In 2013, Bill was awarded the Bill McNutt Award by Associated General Contractors Oregon-Columbia Chapter. This award is presented to individuals who have been active at the committee level and otherwise served the chapter in an exemplary fashion. The Daily Journal of Commerce’s Focus on Law featured Bill in July 2011. In 2010, Bill was honored as Associate of the Year by the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland. In 2008 and 2009, he was selected for inclusion as a Rising Star in the area of construction law by Oregon Super Lawyers.

In addition to his regular law practice, Bill is a lobbyist, and uses his experience and contacts to keep apprised of  state and local legislative issues.

When Bill isn’t practicing law, he is an avid guitar and ukulele player. He and his wife, Joanna Lezak, have a band called Baby Carrots that plays kids music they hope parents will appreciate as well. Bill also plays all kinds of guitar music, including blues, folk, Hawaiian and rock-n-roll, but his true love today is jazz, particularly Latin jazz. In September 2012 the Multnomah Bar Association featured Bill and his music in an article entitled Mild-mannered Attorney by Day, Itinerant Jazz Musician by Night.

Bar Admissions

  • Washington, 2008
  • Oregon, 2000
  • California, 1996


  • George Washington University Law School, J.D., with Honors, 1996
  • Boston University, B.A., International Relations, cum laude with Distinction, 1992

Professional Associations

  • Oregon State Bar, Member
  • Washington State Bar, Member
  • California State Bar, Member
  • Multnomah Bar Association, Member
  • Oregon Association of Defense Counsel, Member
  • National Association of Home Builders, Construction Law Attorney Forum, Member
  • Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland, Board Member, Executive Committee, Member and General Counsel
  • Associated General Contractors, Associates Committee Member
  • Associated Builders & Contractors, Board Member, Government Affairs Political Action Committee Chairman
  • Construction Financial management Association, Member and General Counsel

Representative Cases:

  • Durig v. Washington County, 177 Or. App. 227 (2001)
  • People v. Dewey, 42 Cal. App. 4th 216 (1996)

Published Articles:

  • Document Retention: Legal Aspects & Best Practices, CFMA‘s Building Profits, March/April 2015
  • “What to Expect When Working with Legal Counsel,” CFMA’s Building Profits, September/October, 2014
  • “When to consult an attorney- a commonsense approach to utilizing legal counsel,” HBA News, November 2013
  • Legal Cases affecting our Industry, HBA News, March 2013
  • The Dangers of Allowing Your Contractor’s License to Lapse, Associated Builders and Contractors, The Contractor Quarterly, January 2013
  • “State legislation, candidate endorsements, and PAC updates,” Home Building News, April 2010
  • “Coping with Measure 67” for Home Building News, co-authored with Bob Winger of Dunn Carney, March 2010
  • Book review of “The Opportunity Maker: Strategies for Inspiring Your Legal Career Through Creative Networking & Business Development”, By Ari L. Kaplan for the National Law Journal, www.Law.com.
  • Ways to Avoid Becoming Just Another Foreclosure for  Homebuilding News, June 2009
  • The Importance of Keeping Your Contracts Updated, Home Building News, May 2008
  • Mandatory Arbitration Provisions: Pros & Cons, Home Building News, 2006
  • Contractual Attorney’s Fees Clauses: Pros & Cons, Home Building News, 2005
  • Oregon State Bar Real Estate & Land Use Digest, Contributing Writer, 2004
  • Oregon State Bar Legislation Alerts Newsletter, Contributing Writer, 2004
  • Oregon State Bar 2003 Legislative Update CLE, Contributing Writer
  • Digital Millenium Copyright Act: Do Two New Cases Establish the Standard for Enforcement, OSB Intellectual Property Newsletter, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2002

Classes/Seminars Taught:

  • Speaker, 2016, Construction Financial Management Association, Succession Planning
  • Speaker, 2015, International Builders Show, Boilerplate Contracts: Talking About Legalese and What it Means
  • Speaker, 2014 International Builders Show, “Common Sense Legal Strategies for Managing Subcontractor Relations.”
  • Speaker, 2014 BuildRight Conference and Expo, “Mitigating Circumstances: Minimizing Risk & Liabilities,” March 2014. Radio interview with Rod McLaughlin from radio station Sunny 1550AM.
  • Speaker, 2014 National Association of Home Builders International Builders Show, “Common-Sense Legal Strategies for Selecting, Delivering & Administering Your Warranty.” February 2014
  • Speaker, National Association of Home Builders International Builders Show, “How to Avoid Homeowner Litigation” & “Green Construction from a Liability Perspective,” January 2013
  • Speaker, Dunn Carney Construction Seminar, Green Projects, What you need to know, Oct. 2012
  • Speaker, Dunn Carney Construction Seminar, Do you know the terms of your contract?, Nov. 2011
  • Speaker, Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland, 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012
  • Professor, AGC University, Associated General Contractors, Columbia Willamette Chapter, 2010, 2011 & 2012
  • Speaker, Washington Defense Trial Lawyers, Construction Law Update, 2007, 2008 & 2009
  • Speaker, Oregon Association of Defense Counsel, Fall Seminar, 2007
  • Adjunct Professor, Art Institute of Portland, 2004 & 2005
  • Speaker, Oregon State Bar Products Liability Section Legislative Update, 2003
  • Speaker, Multnomah County Paralegal Association, Legislative Update, 2003
bjospeh_super_lawyers_badge Lorman Distinguished Faculty Member