Philip Lane Bruner

Philip Bruner

Title: Arbitrator, Mediator and Director of Global Engineering and Construction Panel of Neutrals
Company: JAMS
Location: Stillwater, Minnesota, United States

Philip Lane Bruner, Arbitrator, Mediator and Resolver at JAMS, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Lawyers for dedication, achievements, and leadership in construction and infrastructure law.

With more than 55 years of professional experience, Philip Lane Bruner is a distinguished authority in the fields of construction law, arbitration, mediation and dispute resolution. Since 2008, he has been a full-time national and international arbitrator and mediator of major construction disputes arising in the United States and abroad, and since then also has been Director of the Global Engineering and Construction panel of neutrals of JAMS, the world’s largest privately-held dispute resolution organization.  In the 40 years prior to joining JAMS, he was a practicing lawyer, most recently as a senior partner and founding head of the Construction Law Group of Faegre and Benson LLP (now Faegre Drinker Biddle and Reath LLP) from 1991 to 2007; senior partner and president of Hart and Bruner PA from 1983 to 1990; and, associate and partner with Briggs and Morgan PC from 1967 to 1983. While in private practice, he was lead counsel in over 100 arbitrated or litigated construction, engineering, infrastructure, energy and other disputes venued in more than 30 U. S. states.  Mr. Bruner began his career from 1964 to 1967 during the Vietnam War as a Judge Advocate in the U.S. Air Force, where he served to the rank of Captain and was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal for meritorious service upon his discharge from active duty in 1967.

Attributing his career success to hard work, appreciative clients, and a loving and supportive family, Mr. Bruner has shared his expertise widely through professional activities, lecturing and writing.  He is co-author with Patrick J. O’Connor, Jr. of BRUNER & O’CONNOR ON CONSTRUCTION LAW (ThomsonReuters/West 2002, supplemented annually), the 12 volume, 11,000-page legal treatise regarded as the most authoritative ever written on American law governing construction. Since its publication in 2002, the treatise has been cited as legal authority by more than 500 WestLaw reported judicial opinions authored by U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal, U.S. District Courts, state supreme, appellate and trial courts, Federal and state courts of claims, and U.S. commonwealth and territorial courts.

He also founded and taught the first construction law courses offered by the University of Minnesota Law School and the William Mitchell (now Mitchell Hamline) School of Law.  Active for decades in the American Bar Association, he served as Chair of the ABA’s 2,500 member Fidelity and Surety Law Committee from 1994 to 1995 and as Chair of the ABA’s Forum on Construction Law International Law Division from 1989 to 1991. From 1995 to 1997, he was the Vice Chair of the International Projects Committee of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association.

He has written over 50 published articles on construction law and arbitration subjects.  As a respected author and lecturer in the field, Mr. Bruner has served as Chair of the Construction Industry Advisory Board for the Thomson Reuters’ Construction Contract Law Report since 1992; Co-chair of the Editorial Advisory Board for the Journal of the American College of Construction Lawyers; and, a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Construction Law Review published in London. He is a member by invitation of Britain’s Society of Construction Arbitrators, the International Construction Law Association, the London Court of International Arbitration, and the Institute for Transnational Arbitration.

Moreover, he has chaired numerous professional conferences and has presented over 400 lectures across North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Over his career, Mr. Bruner has spoken to international professional audiences in Alnwick (England), Barcelona, Beijing, Calgary, Chicago, Cologne, Halifax, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur, London, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne (Australia), Miami, New Delhi, New York, Nice, Patiala (India), Princeton, Quebec City, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Stuttgart, Tokyo, Toronto, Vancouver, Warsaw and Washington DC.  For excellence in his professional endeavors, Mr. Bruner has been named to Best Lawyers in America since 2003 and listed by the International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers as one of the world’s leading commercial arbitrators, commercial mediators and construction lawyers.

Mr. Bruner’s professional honors include Founding Fellow and past President of The American College of Construction Lawyers; Honorary Fellow of The Canadian College of Construction Lawyers; Fellow of The International Academy of Construction Lawyers; Chartered Arbitrator and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (London); Fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators; Certified Mediator, International Mediation Institute (The Hague); Fellow of The American College of Civil Trial Mediators;  Member of The Institute of Energy Law Panel of Arbitrators; Fellow of the National Contract Management Association; and, Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He received the 2005 Cornerstone Award from the American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law presented annually to one lawyer for “exceptional service to the construction industry, to the public and to the legal profession”, and was recognized by Britain’s  Society of Construction Arbitrators with its 2011 Norman Royce Prize.  In light of his many accomplishments, Marquis Who’s Who presented him with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mr. Bruner’s desire to help others extends beyond his professional work and includes his active involvement in his community for many years. From 1975 to 2013, he was an officer of the Minnesota Council of Churches Foundation, where he served in the roles of president, secretary and trustee during his tenure.  He is the founder of the Mahtomedi Area Educational Foundation, where he served as the president from 1989 to 1992 and 2002 to 2007, and as a trustee for 20 years. He also was elected to three terms as a member of his local school board for a total of nine years.

Continuing to learn and educate himself in the law throughout his career, Mr. Bruner first embarked on his studies at Princeton University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 1961.  He went on to the University of Michigan Law School from which he graduated in 1964 with a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree. He concluded his formal studies while serving in the Air Force by earning a Master of Business Administration degree in 1967 from Syracuse University.  Licensed to practice law in the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin, he has been admitted before the Supreme Court of the United States; the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth and Federal Circuits; the United States District Courts for the District of Minnesota, the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin, and the District of North Dakota; the United States Court of Federal Claims; and the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

Mr. Bruner was born to father Henry Pfeiffer Bruner and mother Marjorie Williamson Bruner, who respectively were featured in Who’s Who in Commerce and Industry and Who’s Who of American Women. Still married to his wife Ellen for over 56 happy years, he is the proud father of three children and grandfather to four wonderful grandchildren. Looking toward the future, Mr. Bruner intends to continue with his current arbitration and mediation work and hopes to leave a legacy as a lawyer and dispute resolver who contributed significantly to the field of construction law and dispute resolution. With a life-long motto of living life “steadfast in integrity, brave in peril, trustworthy to all, and loyal and loving to family,” he would advise young and aspiring lawyers to accept the rigors of professional practice through hard hands-on daily work necessary to acquire exceptional knowledge and skills while maintaining a balanced home life enjoyed by family and friends.

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