Chris A. McCandless

Chris A. McCandless


Chris A. McCandless's Profile Image
Phone: 916.492.5068
Bio Representative Matters Speaking/Writing Of Note

Chris A. McCandless is a partner in the Business and Construction Litigation Department at Diepenbrock Elkin Gleason LLP.  His practice involves the representation of prime contractors, subcontractors, municipalities, school districts, suppliers, and private property owners in virtually all areas of construction law, including contract disputes, construction claims, public bid protests, mechanic’s liens, surety bonds, differing site conditions, construction defects, and related collection matters.  Mr. McCandless’ also litigates lien claims and real property title disputes, representing lenders, owners, and title companies in resolving the validity and priorities of deeds and other interests in real property.  Mr. McCandless is the 2018-19 Vice-Chair for the Construction Law Council of the Sacramento Regional Builders Exchange. He is active with the AGC of California.  He served as the 2016 Vice-Chair and the 2017 Chair of the Legal Advisory Committee for the AGC of California.  Mr. McCandless is a speaker for various continuing education seminars including the Public Works and Contracts Fall 2018 Study Section for the County Counsels Association of California where he spoke on the Prompt Payment Statutes.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. McCandless worked in the legal department of the California Department of Water Resources where he assisted in cases involving water law, eminent domain, energy regulation, administrative procedure, employment law, and the California Environmental Quality Act. Mr. McCandless also worked in the construction and real estate industry prior to embarking on his legal career and was involved in the development of a national custom home sales and construction firm. In addition, Mr. McCandless maintained a California Real Estate Sales license, working with a real estate development and construction firm, assisting with residential real estate sales as well as in the construction of commercial developments.

Business

Regularly advise clients regarding substitution of listed subcontractors under Subletting and Subcontracting Fair Practices Act, including representing clients in contested substitution hearings.

Regularly advise public owners and contractors regarding public owner contracting authority, void contract rule, and false claims.


Construction

Regularly advise owners and bidders regarding bringing and responding to bid protests, including drafting and responding to detailed statements of protest and pursuing writs of mandate, where appropriate. 

Represented prime contractor and surety in action by subcontractor to recover damages for lost profits, standby, and extended home office overhead under Eichley formula, where subcontractor was terminated before mobilizing for work on power plant construction project.

Represented contractor in an action to foreclose a mechanic’s lien against owners of a water treatment plant reservoir for a residential subdivision that purportedly was conveyed to a local water district after construction, raising novel issues involving the right to lien property where the property subsequently becomes public property.

Successfully represented underground drilling contractor in preparing, recording and perfecting mechanic’s lien to secure payment for underground conduits and cabling installed by contractor for large cable company.

Represented major construction contractor in resolving multi-party dispute over design and construction of water treatment plant, while avoiding contract termination.

Represented general contractor against public owner in $3 million dispute regarding construction of performing arts center. Issues involved design defects, delays, and subcontractor pass-through claims. 

Represented city in defense of $3.6 million claim by drilling subcontractor for alleged differing site conditions related to construction of bridge.  Successfully settled with contribution from design engineer. 

Represented public owner in pursuing claims against and defending claims of terminated construction contractor on $19 million public works contract. Litigation included exchanging tens of thousands of documents, 42 percipient depositions, 24 days of hearing, 21 percipient witnesses, over 750 exhibits, and more than 200 pages of post-hearing briefing. Our client was found to be prevailing party and was awarded substantial damages.

Represented prime contractor in action against local transportation district regarding claims for extra work during construction of major freeway improvement project, involving contract interpretation and application and relationship between contractual claims provisions and Government Code claim process.

Regularly advise clients regarding substitution of listed subcontractors under Subletting and Subcontracting Fair Practices Act, including representing clients in contested substitution hearings.

Represent prime contractors in various cases and arbitrations against Caltrans involving disputed claims for compensation for extra work on major highway improvement projects. 

Regularly advise public owners and contractors regarding public owner contracting authority, void contract rule, and false claims.


Government Contracts

Represented low bidder defending against bid protest for multi-million dollar highway improvement project where second low bidder challenged low bidder’s efforts to achieve disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE) participation goals.  Successfully defeated petition for writ of mandate and prevailed in subsequent appeal to the Third District Court of Appeal.

Regularly advise owners and bidders regarding bringing and responding to bid protests, including drafting and responding to detailed statements of protest and pursuing writs of mandate, where appropriate. 

Represented bidder in a bid protest challenging the Department of General Services’ (DGS) intent to award a contract to a bidder that failed to meet Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (“DVBE”) participation goals and failed to properly document DVBE solicitation efforts.

Represented contractor in protest against municipal project owner for improper award of $5 million project.

Represented prime contractor in action against local transportation district regarding claims for extra work during construction of major freeway improvement project, involving contract interpretation and application and relationship between contractual claims provisions and Government Code claim process.

Regularly advise clients regarding substitution of listed subcontractors under Subletting and Subcontracting Fair Practices Act, including representing clients in contested substitution hearings.

Regularly advise public owners and contractors regarding public owner contracting authority, void contract rule, and false claims.


Litigation

Represented property owner in action to quiet title action to confirm easement rights. Successfully obtained judgment in favor of owner.

Represented title company in action filed against it for fraud and breach of duty with respect to sale of property.

Represented lender in action to quiet title where original deed of trust and original loan documents were missing and had not been properly recorded.

Represented lender in action to confirm priority of deed of trust over previously recorded deed of trust for a home equity line of credit.

Successfully defended lender in action by contractor to foreclose on mechanic’s lien where contractor claimed priority over lender’s construction loan deed of trust.

Represented prime contractor and surety in action by subcontractor to recover damages for lost profits, standby, and extended home office overhead under Eichley formula, where subcontractor was terminated before mobilizing for work on power plant construction project.

Represented contractor in an action to foreclose a mechanic’s lien against owners of a water treatment plant reservoir for a residential subdivision that purportedly was conveyed to a local water district after construction, raising novel issues involving the right to lien property where the property subsequently becomes public property.

Represented prime contractor in action against local transportation district regarding claims for extra work during construction of major freeway improvement project, involving contract interpretation and application and relationship between contractual claims provisions and Government Code claim process.

Successfully represented underground drilling contractor in preparing, recording and perfecting mechanic’s lien to secure payment for underground conduits and cabling installed by contractor for large cable company.

Represented major construction contractor in resolving multi-party dispute over design and construction of water treatment plant, while avoiding contract termination.

Represented general contractor against public owner in $3 million dispute regarding construction of performing arts center. Issues involved design defects, delays, and subcontractor pass-through claims. 

Represented city in defense of $3.6 million claim by drilling subcontractor for alleged differing site conditions related to construction of bridge.  Successfully settled with contribution from design engineer. 

Represented public owner in pursuing claims against and defending claims of terminated construction contractor on $19 million public works contract. Litigation included exchanging tens of thousands of documents, 42 percipient depositions, 24 days of hearing, 21 percipient witnesses, over 750 exhibits, and more than 200 pages of post-hearing briefing. Our client was found to be prevailing party and was awarded substantial damages.


Real Estate

Represented property owner in action to quiet title action to confirm easement rights. Successfully obtained judgment in favor of owner.

Represented title company in action filed against it for fraud and breach of duty with respect to sale of property.

Represented lender in action to quiet title where original deed of trust and original loan documents were missing and had not been properly recorded.

Represented lender in action to confirm priority of deed of trust over previously recorded deed of trust for a home equity line of credit.

Successfully defended lender in action by contractor to foreclose on mechanic’s lien where contractor claimed priority over lender’s construction loan deed of trust.

Mr. McCandless is a member of the California State Bar and is admitted to practice before all California Courts as well as the United States District Court for the Eastern and Northern District of California. Mr. McCandless also is a member of the Litigation Section of the California State Bar, and is an active member in the Legal Advisory Committee for the Associated General Contractors of California.

Supplementing his legal experience, Mr. McCandless also worked in the construction and real estate industry prior to embarking on his legal career. Mr. McCandless was involved in the development of a national custom home sales and construction firm where he was active in all aspects of the business, from construction and design, to sales and marketing. In addition, Mr. McCandless maintained a California Real Estate Sales license, working with a real estate development firm promoting new subdivision sales, as well as assisting in the construction of commercial developments. 

CHRIS' NEWS

 

EDUCATION

University of California, Sacramento
B.S., Magna Cum Laude, 1996

Pacific McGeorge School of Law
J. D., 2000, with Great Distinction

 

ADMISSIONS

California (2000)

U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District of California, Northern District of California, Central District of California

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

United States Supreme Court

 

PRACTICE AREAS

Construction

Government Contracts

Litigation

Diepenbrock Elkin Gleason LLP
500 Capitol Mall
Suite 2200
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916.492.5000
Fax: 916.446.2640