William R. Joseph
Bill Joseph leads the firm’s Construction and Design Team and is also a member of the firm’s Litigation Team. His practice emphasizes serving as outside general counsel for construction industry clients who either do not employ their own in-house attorneys or who need counsel in areas outside their usual expertise.
Bill advises developers, general contractors, subcontractors, design professionals, real estate professionals, as well as product manufacturers and suppliers regarding matters ranging from entity formation and administration, insurance and bonding, bidding and contracting, project administration and workouts, as well as liens and collections. Bill also has significant litigation and dispute resolution experience including successful representation of clients in mediation, arbitration, court trials and appeals.
He has litigated and tried construction and real estate-related disputes, including breaches of contract, construction defects, lien foreclosures, bond actions, adverse possession actions, encroachments, subsidence and other real estate disputes, unlawful trade practices and breaches of fiduciary duty claims, corporate and partnership disputes, statutory violations, negligence and other general tort matters.
Bill is also adept at handling transactional matters that clients regularly encounter in any general construction practice, including business formation and administration, contract drafting; real estate transactions, employment matters, and other construction and design-related issues.
Bill uses a holistic approach to problem solving, encouraging clients to look beyond the issue at hand and address larger structural or operational issues when possible. He finds this is the most effective way to help clients prevent future–and often more costly–legal problems.
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 kid music they hope parents appreciate as well. Bill plays all kinds of guitar music, but his true love is jazz.
George Washington University Law School, J.D., with Honors, 1996
Boston University, B.A., International Relations, cum laude with Distinction, 1992
Durig v. Washington County, 177 Or. App. 227 (2001)
People v. Dewey, 42 Cal. App. 4th 216 (1996)
“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
Succession Planning, Construction Financial Management Association, 2016,
Boilerplate Contracts: Talking About Legalese and What it Means, International Builders Show, 2015,
Common Sense Legal Strategies for Managing Subcontractor Relations, International Builders Show, 2014
Mitigating Circumstances: Minimizing Risk & Liabilities, radio interview with Rod McLaughlin from radio station Sunny 1550AM, BuildRight Conference and Expo, March 2014
Common-Sense Legal Strategies for Selecting, Delivering & Administering Your Warranty, 2014 National Association of Home Builders International Builders Show, February 2014
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
Honors & Recognitions
Bill McNutt Award, Associated General Contractors Oregon-Columbia Chapter, 2013
Associate of the Year, Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland, 2010
Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2008-2009
“Mild-Mannered Attorney by Day, Itinerant Jazz Musician by Night,” Multnomah Bar Association, 2012