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Joseph A. Cleves, Jr.

JOSEPH A. CLEVES, Jr. is a partner in the firm’s Construction and Real Estate groups. Joe has extensive experience in lean construction, a practice designed to maximize value and minimize waste throughout the construction process, and with integrated project delivery (“IPD”), a process uniquely suited to put lean construction principals into practice. Joe has consulted on multi-million dollar developments across the nation, incorporating IPD as a means to delivering value to all phases of design, fabrication and construction.

Aside from IPD, Joe is highly experienced in developing and revising contract documents and procedures and has negotiated and closed on numerous construction contracts, joint venture agreements and subcontracts.

Prior representative matters include:

  • Representing a major medical center in Omaha, Neb., on a $350 million construction renovation project using IPD.
  • Consulting with an owner for a $45 million high energy efficiency apartment development in Kansas City using IPD.
  • Advising an international construction manager on a $160 million office project in California using IPD.
  • Representing the owner and facilitating the implementation of integrated project delivery for a $35 million senior living facility.
  • Representing and coaching the design team and negotiating contracts for the implementation of IPD for a $100 million dollar facility for a major Greater Cincinnati medical center.
  • Contract negotiations with a construction manager for a $50 million dollar expansion by a Greater Cincinnati medical center.
  • A master construction manager agreement between a Greater Cincinnati medical center and a large construction company for continuing services on core hospital projects.
  • Standard form construction contact libraries with extensive customized revisions of numerous project delivery systems for two major medical centers in Greater Cincinnati, a major regional design-builder and the Kentucky branch of a significant religious organization.
  • Contracts for a $48 million dollar residential village at a major state university in Ohio for a design-builder, including a joint venture with a residential builder.

Construction clients of note include:

  • An Australian-based construction manager in its IPD projects in the U.S.
  • Owners and developers throughout the U.S. engaged in IPD projects.
  • Major medical centers and hospital/health care networks throughout Ohio and Kentucky.

Joe is listed in Best Lawyers in America and was named “Lawyer of the Year" in 2013 for Cincinnati Construction Law. He has also been named a Fellow of Construction Lawyers Society of America. He is currently on the board of the Cancer Support Community and heads its development committee. Joe is a past board member and former chair of the Thomas More College Alumni Association and served six years on the board of a local ministry-based, non-denominational social service agency, including three years as its chair.


  • “IPD and IFOA: How to Make Collaboration Work,” CURT (Construction Users Roundtable) LCI Lean Summit, Las Vegas 2016
  • “The New and Improved ConsensusDOCS 300,” LCI Congress, Boston World Trade Conference Center 2015
  • “What You Need to Know About Lean Project Delivery and IPD,” Pre-Construction SuperConference Workshop, San Francisco, with Will Lichtig
  • “Moving from GMP to Integrated Project Delivery,” Construction SuperConference, San Francisco, with Roland Nikles, John Nunan and Jeff Allen
  • “Integrated Project Delivery: The Game Changer,” American Bar’s Construction Law Forum, Las Vegas, with Hanson Bridgett partner Lisa Dal Gallo
  • “AIA Design and Construction Contracts and Bonds,” Catholic Conference for Facility Managers, Covington, Kentucky
  • “The New Paradigm:  Realignment Through Integrated Project Delivery,” ConSteel Conference, Atlanta, an organization of designers, construction companies and suppliers
  • “The Top-Down Approach to Integrated Project Delivery,” Lean Construction Institute – Central Florida Chapter
  • Guest lecturer on lean construction at the University of Cincinnati’s and University of Dayton’s Engineering Colleges


  • “CGL Policies in the Construction Industry: Emerging Consensus and Coping Strategies,” The Construction Lawyer, American Bar Association, October 2015
  • “No-Fault Construction’s Time Has Come,” Construction Lawyer – American Bar Association
  • “Incentives and Risk Sharing in the LEAN Setting,” The Voice – Construction Users Roundtable
  • “Why Lean Economic Times Calls for Lean Construction,” Under Construction – American Bar Association
  • “Legal Brief: Is LEAN the Wave of the Future,” The Voice – Construction Users Roundtable