In This Section


Rick Reed, board certified in Construction Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, focuses his practice on construction law and has significant experience drafting and negotiating all types of engineering, procurement, and construction contracts for major projects. He leverages his in-depth industry experience from his time as the assistant general counsel to a large privately owned construction firm – and his decades of practice – to help clients develop strategies for major construction projects and to manage complex construction disputes.

A Charter Fellow of the Construction Lawyers Society of America, Rick has also served as an Arbitrator on the American Arbitration Association's Construction Arbitration Panel of Neutrals since 2009. He was a Senior Lecturer/Adjunct Professor at The University of Texas at San Antonio, College of Architecture, Construction and Planning in the initial six years of the university’s Construction Management Degree Program, during which time he helped the University obtain accreditation for the program from the American Council for Construction Education. 

Through his long-time involvement with the Texas State Bar Construction Law Section, including serving as Chair of the Section (2001-2002), Rick has established relationships with many highly competent construction litigators, arbitrators, and expert witnesses across the country. He is licensed to practice law in Texas, and has been admitted to appear before the bench in all Texas State Courts, the Western Federal District Court, the Fifth and Eleventh Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.


Memberships & Awards

Board Certified in Construction Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, 2016
State Bar of Texas, Construction Law Section (Chair, 2001-2002), Insurance Law Section, and Alternative Dispute Resolution Section
State Bar of Texas, Construction Law Section, Construction Law Journal, former Advisor to Editorial Board
San Antonio Bar Association, Construction Law Section and Alternative Dispute Resolution Section
Construction Lawyers Society of America, Charter Fellow
American Bar Association, Construction Law Forum
College of the State Bar of Texas
Texas Bar Foundation, Life Fellow
American Arbitration Association, Construction Arbitration Panel of Neutrals
Dispute Resolution Board Foundation
Association of Attorney-Mediators
Associated General Contractors, San Antonio Chapter, Member of Board of Directors, 2009-2012
Associated General Contractors, Texas Building Branch Legal Affairs Committee, 2009-2019
Associated General Contractors of America, certified BIM Instructor for AGC’s Unit 3: Building Information Modeling-Contract Negotiation & Risk Allocation
Phi Delta Phi
Chambers USA America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Construction (2018-present)
The Best Lawyers in America®, Construction Law (2010 – present)
The Best Lawyers in America®, Lawyer of the Year in San Antonio, Construction Law (2020)
Texas Super Lawyers (2012 – present)
San Antonio Magazine, “San Antonio’s Top Attorneys” (2020)
AV Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell, Top-Rated Lawyer in Construction
Associated General Contractors, San Antonio Chapter Moeller Award for Outstanding Services to AGC Members, 2008 and 2012

Key Experience

Represented a public owner in the procurement of new construction projects with a combined value in excess of $1.5 billion, to deliver several major health care facilities, including a new trauma tower, parking garage and central utility plant, significant renovations to another existing hospital, and a new Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Advice included analysis of procurement laws and methods; drafting of professional service and construction contracts and requests for qualifications and proposals; analyzing exceptions and qualifications; contract negotiations; review of insurance policies; and continued advice on all issues related to contract administration and warranty claims. The advice also included the use of a dispute review board process that successfully enabled the client to resolve several multi-million dollar disputes arising from defects in the design and construction of the trauma tower facility.
Represented a federally chartered credit union in connection with the development, design, and construction of its office headquarters complex, including the formation of a joint ownership entity to develop an adjacent multi-story office building on the developer landowner’s highly valuable downtown tract of land, with mixed-use retail and Class A tenant lease office space. The project included major sustainability elements, including solar and geothermal energy-saving features. Helped the client negotiate joint ownership, cost sharing, and development agreements, as well as design and construction contracts, and commercial leases for the client’s interest in the project.
Represented a major public owner on all aspects of procurement and contracting for the design and new construction of a $900 million construction project in Austin, Texas, including analysis of insurance policies of prospective project management, design, and construction firms. The project included new construction of 1,500,000 square feet of modern, high-performance office buildings connected by underground tunnels and parking facilities.

Work Experience

2022 Steptoe & Johnson PLLC
2006-2022 Coats Rose, P.C.
1980-2006 Johnson, Reed, Watt & Goff
1978-2006 Zachry Construction Corporation

Speaking Engagements


Issues for Consideration in Using the New A102-2017 Exhibit A Insurance Exhibits, North American Construction Lawyers Symposium, November 2017

Walking the High Wire While Juggling: Strategies to Manage Litigation Costs and Meet Client Expectations, American Bar Association Annual Meeting, April 2010

Emerging (and some Not-so-New) Dispute Resolution Techniques, Construction Owners Association of America, February 2010

My Immersion into DRB World, 13th Annual Meeting and Conference of the Dispute Resolution Board Foundation, Houston, Texas, October 2009

Joint Venturing Issues for GCs and A/Es, 17th Annual Associated General Contractors/American Institute of Architects Building Communities Conference, South Padre, Texas, September 2009

ConsensusDocs: An Overview, International Facilities Management Association, San Antonio Chapter, May 2009

Termination of a Construction Contractor, “How to Keep Construction Projects from Going Bad – And What to Do When They Do” Lorman Seminar, San Antonio, Texas, January 2009

Associated General Contractors /American Institute of Architects Contract Series: Comparison of ConsensusDocs and AIA Forms on Key Issues, Topics included: (1) General Overview and Dispute Resolution Practices and Processes; (2) Traditional Roles & Responsibilities: Owner/Architect/Contractor/Subs; (3) Liability Risk Transfer: Consequential & Liquidated Damages, Limitations of Liability, Indemnity and Insurance; (4) Delays, Changes & Change Management; and (5) Default, Termination & Suspension, Associated General Contractors, San Antonio Chapter, August – December 2008

Following the Money: Managing the Risk of Owner Non-Payment Under the New Texas Statutory Restrictions on Contingent Payment Clauses, 21st Annual Construction Law Conference, San Antonio, Texas, 2008

ConsensusDocs: Good for Owners?, Construction Owners Association of America, Texas Chapter, September 2008

Environmental Liability in Construction Contracts, Houston Bar Association, Construction Law Section, November 2007

The Basics of Contracts for Financial Managers, Construction Financial Management Association, November 2007

Termination of a Construction Contractor, Associated Builders & Contractors, San Antonio Chapter, August 2007

Expedited Arbitration Procedures – It Ain’t Just Plain Ole’ Arbitration Anymore, 20th Annual Construction Law Conference, San Antonio, Texas, 2007

The Short Version: Can a Lead Person Vote in a Union Election? Associated Builders & Contractors, San Antonio Chapter, January 2007

Subcontract Guidance for the Contractor: How to Be Stuck in the Middle, Without Getting Stuck, 18th Annual Construction Law Conference, San Antonio, Texas, 2005

Contractor Modifications to Standard Contract Clauses, Fourth Annual Basics in Construction Law Course, San Antonio, Texas, October 2004

The Ultimate Survival Strategy: The Limitation of Liability Clause, 13th Annual Construction Law Conference, Houston, Texas, 2000


A Practical Guide for Applying Rule 59 of the AAA Construction Industry Arbitrations Rules, Dispute Resolution Journal, Volume 74, Number 3, June 2020

The Economic Loss Doctrine as an Obstacle to Claims of Contractual Strangers 46 St. Mary’s L.J. 321 Saint Mary’s Law Journal, 2015; republished with permission in the Construction Law Journal published by State Bar of Texas, Construction Law Section, Construction Law Journal and which article was also republished in the Handbook entitled "Issues in Construction and Technology" associated with the annual publication of "Forms and Agreements for Architects Engineers and Contractors", a five-volume Construction Law treatise published by Thomson/Reuters/West, New York, October 2016

Professional Liability Risk for the Contractor – Does Assisting with Design Cross the Line?, San Antonio Construction News, December 2009

Indemnity Clauses – Why so much Fuss?, San Antonio Construction News, November 2009

Consequential Damages – Waiving Them May be of No Consequence, San Antonio Construction News, October 2009

ConsensusDocs: There’s a New Kid in Town, Associated General Contractors, San Antonio Chapter Newsletter 2008

Bypassing the Low Bidder: An Examination of Texas Bidding Laws Applicable to Local Governmental Entities, State Bar of Texas, Construction Law Section, Construction Law Journal, September 2007

Enforceability of Contingent Payment Clauses in Texas (Co-Chaired Associated General Contractors – Texas Building Branch drafting committee and served as primary author of this AGC publication, which focuses primarily on the 2007 Texas statute restricting the enforceability of contingent payment clauses in subcontracts.)

Lien Rights of Construction Managers; co-authored with law student Kerri Ranney, State Bar of Texas, Construction Law Section, Construction Law Journal, September 2007

The “Arranger” – Helping the Owner Deal with its Contaminants while Minimizing your Risk of being Contaminated with CERCLA Liability, San Antonio Construction News, September 2006

A Day Late and Two Million Dollars Short (How Intermediate Delay Leads to Major Consequences), San Antonio Construction News, August 2006

Workers’ Compensation Insurance for the Temporary Worker, San Antonio Construction News, July 2006

Limitation of Liability – The Ultimate Survival Strategy, San Antonio Construction News, June 2006