Cynthia Tari is a partner in WSHB’s Dallas location. She is one of the leading construction and A/E attorneys in Texas, having litigated hundreds of construction and design professional liability cases and having advised contractors/design professionals on contracts representing billions of dollars in design and construction projects since becoming a licensed attorney in 1995. Cynthia brings to every matter a unique skill set emanating from her experience working in the architecture field for years before becoming a lawyer. She holds a professional degree in architecture and has designed, participated in the development and execution of drawings and specifications issued for construction, and performed construction administration on projects from start to finish, including single-family, mixed-use, commercial, institutional, and/or high-rise developments. This real life experience gives Cynthia a unique perspective and advantage in handling construction defect and professional design matters, delay and liquidated damage claims, acceleration claims, payment disputes and disputes over back charges or other offsets, wrongful termination suits, and others. She enjoys over 25 years of experience litigating and arbitrating construction disputes, including breach of contract, negligence, professional malpractice, deceptive trade practices, and lien/bond claims on public and private projects. She has authored many articles about construction litigation and risk transfer making her a thought leader in Texas. Because of her experience in architecture, Cynthia is regularly called upon to present and speak at seminars throughout the nation on cutting edge issues involving both design and constructions. Cynthia’s background includes direct representation of owner entities, general contractors, subcontractors, vendors, manufacturers, architects, and engineers in contract disputes, construction defect, and professional malpractice issues. She has litigated every facet of cases emanating from the representation of a developer, contractor, or design professional, all with outstanding results.
In addition, Cynthia assists our national insurance coverage practice by advising and representing domestic and international insurers on first-party property (Homeowner’s and Commercial), commercial general liability, construction defect, and professional errors and omission claims. She has successfully litigated a wide variety of first-party and third-party insurance cases, including those arising out of major storm and property damage events, including Hurricane Harvey.
Since 2013, Cynthia has been an Advanced Credentialed Mediator through the Texas Mediator’s Credentialing Association, and is a construction arbitrator. She is on the litigation panel of mediators for the Dallas County Courts and Dispute Resolution Services of Dallas and has been invited to join the Panel of Mediators/Arbitrators for the American Arbitration Association.
- University of Houston Law Center (J.D., 1995)
- Rice University (B.Arch., 1988)
- Rice University (B.A., 1986)
Licensed to Practice in
Events, Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- "Working Constructively: Using the Collaborative Dispute Resolution Process in Construction Cases," Joint Meeting of Construction and Collaborative Law Sections, Dallas Bar Association, November 3, 2011
- "Trends in Construction Defect Litigation," Harmonie Group, Chicago, June 1, 2011
- Testified to Texas Legislature, In support of HB 958 – Proposed Bolstering of Statute of Repose, March 21, 2011
- Successfully defended architect at final arbitration hearing against malpractice claims made by commercial owner for design of a 10-story parking garage and obtained $160,000 award for architect’s unpaid fees on contract providing for recovery of services at an hourly rate, even though client had not kept any time sheets evidencing his additional time.
- Analyzed, drafted recommendations, and proposed revisions to contracts worldwide representing billions of dollars in design project fees for Top 100 Architecture Firm for over 10 years (ongoing).
- Settled multiple lawsuits brought by national bank owner against architect asserting design defects and failure to coordinate with owner’s separate contractors.
- Obtained complete dismissal of design professional from the Fort Worth Water Gardens multiple drowning case prior to discovery.
- Settled malpractice claims against professional engineer made by a Port Authority for design of a levee, which had failed.
- Settled design defect claims brought by municipality and developer against civil engineer (client) based on attack of Certificate of Merit arising out of allegations that engineer had improperly located a 48” water line easement and caused a home to be built within the easement.
- Frequently obtained dismissals of lawsuits filed against architecture and engineering clients by attacking sufficiency of Certificates of Merit.
- Coordinated peer reviews, cost of repair investigations by experts, and settlement negotiations in multiple cases for engineering clients to identify design defects, cost of repair, and level of exposure to negotiate the most cost-effective settlement for clients. Examples of projects affected include inadequate storm water design for elementary school project; sloughing of three detention ponds in large subdivision in Houston; improperly located easement and building setback lines in subdivision resulting in home encroaching into water main easement; and allegations of inadequate plans resulting in erosion of banks of central pond in subdivision in McKinney.
- Extensive contract drafting, review, and negotiations, including Owner-Architect agreements, Design Builder-Consultant agreements, Master Agreements, Professional Services Agreements, and Artist Agreements, on public and private projects, for numerous clients; and, extensive experience drafting and negotiating modifications to AIA and other contract forms for projects worldwide.
- Dallas and Texas Bar Associations, Construction, Litigation, and ADR Sections
- Texas Mediator’s Credentialing Association, Advanced Credentialed Mediator
- Dispute Mediation Services – Attorney Mediator Panel
- Construction Dispute Resolution Services – Arbitrator Panel
- Regional Hispanic Contractor’s Association, Associate Member
- National Association of Women in Construction, Member
- Steering Committee for ABA Forum on the Construction Industry International Construction Division (1998- 2000)