James H. Rowland


801 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10017

Practice Areas

  • Construction Law
  • Commercial Litigation


  • Fordham University School of Law, J.D.
  • New York University, B.A.

Bar Admissions

  • New York

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York

Industry Recognition


801 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10017


James H. Rowland is a Partner of Zetlin & De Chiara. With more than 20 years of litigation experience, Mr. Rowland represents clients in complex commercial and construction litigation matters, including the resolution of claims through trial, mediation and arbitration. He drafts construction contracts for owners and design professionals and advises clients on business-related matters, professional licensing, insurance issues and risk management. Mr. Rowland represents architects, engineers, contractors, owners, developers, and construction managers in all aspects of the construction process, and he has appeared in New York State and Federal Court.

Honors & Awards

  • Super Lawyers, 2014-2015
  • Business Leadership Award, Queens Center for Progress, 2017

General Counsel / Board Membership

  • Society of American Registered Architects - General Counsel (New York City Chapter)

Representative Experience

  • Represented a home owner in connection property damage claims against a utility company.  Following trial, the jury awarded the homeowner the full amount of damages sought at trial and the homeowner was also awarded pre-judgment statutory interest of 9% dating back to when the repair work was performed.

  • Represented an architectural firm and its principles, individually, against claims of breach of contract and malpractice brought by the developer.  The developer alleged in excess of $18 million in damages at trial.  Following trial, the jury returned a defense verdict in favor of the architectural firm and its principles and found in favor of the architectural firm on its counterclaim and awarded the architectural firm the full amount of unpaid fees sought at trial.

  • Successfully represented an engineering firm in connection with claims asserted against a State for substantial unpaid engineering fees arising out of a post Hurricane Sandy rehabilitation, reconstruction and mitigation program.

  • Successfully obtained dismissal of claims asserted against an architectural firm in a multi-million dollar federal litigation involving allegations of defective design and construction administration services in connection with the construction of a public school building.

  • Represented owners, design professionals and contractors in connection with litigation commenced under New York's Labor Law and other work site related accidents and incidents.
  • Represented owners and design professionals in various litigations concerning claims of alleged design defects, delay damages, liquidated damages and other consequential damages.
  • Represented a leading design professional in connection with a multi-million dollar design defect claim arising out of the design and construction at an airport.
  • Successfully obtained pre-answer dismissal of numerous litigations against design professionals, including wrongful death and substantial property damage claims.
  • Represented design professionals in connection with both governmental and private investigations and litigation concerning alleged Federal, State and local accessibility non-compliance.
  • Negotiated and drafted construction contracts across a wide spectrum of projects, encompassing office, retail, hotel, residential and special-use projects.
  • Represented a major utility company in all facets of litigation, including property damage, breach of contract and subrogation claims up to and including trial.
  • Represented national transportation companies in connection with Federal Employee Labor Act claims, passenger injury claims, property damage and subrogation claims in all facets of litigation up to and including trial in State and Federal Courts.


  • American Institute of Architects, Staten Island - General Counsel
  • Society of American Registered Architects, New York Council - General Counsel
  • Structural Engineers Association of New York
  • The American Bar Association
  • The New York City Bar Association

Speaking Engagements


  • "Design Professional Good Samaritans Face Rough Road in New York," Zetlin & De Chiara LLP Newsbulletin, January 2013
  • Co-Author, "Growing Trend of Government-Mandated Green Building," Long Island Builders Magazine, May 2007

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