An Attorney That Has Actually Worked On A Construction Project And Can Walk The Talk


John started in construction when he was in high school, pulling nails and toting materials on a remodel project. After he received his undergraduate degree in literature he did what many lit majors did after graduation- he bought some bags and tools and went to work as a carpenter.  He moved up the ranks from journeyman to foreman to superintendent to project manager.  John obtained his general contractors license in 1983, building and running residential and commercial projects. 

He went back to school for his J.D. in 1994 and graduated with honors from McGeorge School of Law, where he is a member of the school's Traynor Honor Society.  Not surprisingly, John represents contractors, suppliers and owners in construction and business related matters. 

In 2012 he wrote a book- California Contractor’s DESKTOP GENERAL COUNSEL What You Need To Know About California Construction Law (M3-Publisher)- now in its second edition, soon to be third edition.  John also provides seminars and presentations on legal issues and he continues to write on new cases and issues that affect the construction industry.

In 2016, after working as in house counsel for a large public works general contractor and after many years at a large law firm, John decided to open his own shop; still doing the same work, but able to do it without the big firm obligations.  The best of all worlds!


Get in touch

If you have a construction law issue, or a Real Estate matter, that you want to discuss, we should talk.  Let's walk through your concerns, what you want to accomplish, your budget, and see what your options are.  The first 30 minutes are free. 

Go to the CONTACT page and fill out the email form to set up an appointment, or call and we can discuss that way too- 707-337-1932.






John P. McGill


Archer Norris, Walnut Creek, CA


  • Construction Law: Public and Private Works
  • Delay, Inefficiency, Claims, Stop Notice, Mechanic Liens, Surety Issues, Licensing
  • Construction Defect
  • Transactional Matters, Contracts- Preparation and Review
  • Entity Formation, Real Estate-transactional
  • Trial, Mediation, Arbitration

Arntz Builders, Novato, CA.

General Counsel - Public Works General Contractor

  • Government Code & Public Contract Code matters
  • Delay & Inefficiency Claims, Stop Notice and Payment Bond Claims
  • Differing Site Conditions
  • Corporate Compliance
  • Employment Law matters: FEHA, documentation & compliance
  • Transactional Matters; Entity Formation; Employee Manual
  • Administrative Hearings, Trial, Mediation, Arbitration

Burnham & Brown, Oakland, CA.


  • Construction Litigation- defect and claim
  • Real Property Including Commercial Lease Preparation & Review
  • Transactional, Contract- Preparation & Review
  • Litigation, Mediation, Arbitration, Appeals& Writs 


  • Mc George School of Law, University of the Pacific, Sacramento, CA
    • J.D. with Distinction, Traynor Honor Society           
  • UC Berkeley & Golden Gate University
    • M.A. program Construction Management
  • Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio / S.U.N.Y.
    • Literature


(Author)   California Contractors’ DESKTOP GENERAL COUNSEL Second Ed.  What You Need To Know About California Construction Law (2012 M3-Publisher)

Partial List of Articles

  • The Effective 48-Hour Notice
  • Creating A Subcontractor Fiduciary Relationship
    • Making Debts Non-Dischargeable In Bankruptcy
  • The D Word
    • What Not To Say In Your Project Correspondence
  • The Subjective Objective Good Faith Dispute
    • When Ambiguity Is Not Construed Against The Drafter
  • What’d You Say Your Name Was?
    • Sometimes It’s The Small Things That Make All The Difference
  • Telling The Book By Its Cover
    • Prevailing Wage & The Combined Project
  • When You Have It And When You Don’t
    • Subcontractors And Suppliers And The Right To Recover Payments

Reported Cases

  • Arntz Builders v. City of Berkeley (2008) 166 Cal.App.4th 276 (Arntz I)           
  • Arntz Builders v. City of Berkeley (2011) RG03095394 (unpub.) (Arntz II)
  • WestAmerica Bank v. City of Berkeley (2011) 201 Cal.App.4th 598


  • Lorman speaker- Construction Schedules
  • NECA presentations on Prevailing Wage, Current legal issues
  • Speaker- Safety Expo 2014- current issues in construction law
  • SB 800 Presentation- Solano Napa Builders Exchange (2008)
  • General Contractor (1983-present)
  • Project Manager- Commercial & Residential construction
  • Instructor Project Management/Estimating- Diablo Valley Community College