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Shamus P. O’Meara, O'Meara, Leer, Wagner & Kohl, P.A.
Shamus P. O’Meara, O'Meara, Leer, Wagner & Kohl, P.A.

The POWER 30: Shamus O’Meara

There are opportunities for contractors, subcontractors and others to communicate about the scope and risk of a project from the inking of a contract to the final twist of a screwdriver. But they don’t always do so.

“A lot of claims result from a failure to communicate about risk transfer arrangements and scope of exposure,” said Shamus O’Meara, partner at O’Meara, Leer, Wagner & Kohl in Minneapolis, where he represents contractors and others all over the country. There are misunderstandings about the obligations of design professionals as well as diametrically opposed positions about whether a risk has been transferred, O’Meara said.

O’Meara has developed dynamic relationships in the real estate, construction and design industries over 30 years, from initial project development to project delivery and beyond. He promotes early dialog and consensus on critical issues impacting successful project outcomes and serves nationally as a mediator and arbitrator to resolve difficult disputes.

He also has been involved in many high-profile matters including the U.S Bank and Minnesota Twins stadium projects and I-35W bridge collapse in 2007.

He represented the Red Lake and Rocori school districts in their school shooting incidents, and provides leadership to educational institutions on critical school security design and emergency management matters.

“Once the subject of nerdy seminars among security vendors, incorporating crime prevention principles in the design of school buildings is fast becoming an integral part of safe school planning,” O’Meara wrote in the ABA publication, “The Construction Journal.”

His advocacy also includes co-founding the Integrated Community Project featuring residential living combined with supported business, employment and life opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

O’Meara served as lead counsel in a landmark federal class action settlement representing 300 families involving the abuse of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities at a state facility. Jensen v. Minnesota Extended Treatment Options alleged use of discipline violated patient’s constitutional and statutory rights. It was settled in 2011 for $3 million and a range of treatment policy changes.


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