Foran Glennon Palandech Ponzi & Rudloff


Steven C. Swanson

A partner in the firm who is also a former licensed architect, Steven C. Swanson leads the Construction Law and Design Professional Liability Practice in the firm’s Denver office.  He concentrates his practice in the areas of construction law, professional liability defense, and mechanics lien litigation and regularly practices before state, federal, and bankruptcy courts, state regulatory/licensing agencies, and in arbitration and mediation proceedings. Mr. Swanson often negotiates construction industry contracts for his clients and has developed and presented legal seminars on AIA Owner-Architect and Owner-Consultant agreements, building codes, risk management issues, and document retention policies.

Mr. Swanson represents architects, engineers, surveyors, construction managers, owner representatives, general and sub-contractors, and insurance companies in a wide variety of construction-related claims. Representative cases include:

  • Defending an architect in a $140 Million design and construction defect arbitration claim at a high-rise healthcare facility
  • Defending a construction manager in an $84 Million construction defect claim at a major international airport
  • Defending a structural engineer in a multi-million dollar wrongful death/property damage subrogation claim arising from a roof collapse at a steel foundry
  • Successfully mediating a $4.3 Million design defect claim arising from a fast-track hospital project including drafting the combined mediation statement on behalf of the entire design team
  • Successfully mediating a defamation claim against an architect arising from a contentious relationship with the developer of an abandoned project

Mr. Swanson has successfully resolved numerous claims through dispositive motions including early dismissals of construction accident, property damage subrogation, and implied warranty claims against architect and engineer clients. ¬†Examples include a wrongful death claim arising from a boating accident near a temporary causeway at a bridge replacement project. The decedent’s estate voluntarily dismissed Mr. Swanson’s civil engineer client in response to a summary judgment motion without further briefing. ¬†In another example, Mr. Swanson’s architectural experience enabled him to elicit key deposition testimony based upon his analysis of structural design and shop drawings that exonerated his client from personal injury claims brought by an iron worker without incurring the cost of expert fees or a summary judgment motion. ¬†He has also negotiated numerous settlements on advantageous terms, often below the professional’s insurance deductible. ¬†Some cases require creative solutions, such as when Mr. Swanson obtained a proposal from an electrical contractor to perform remedial work at a high-rise university residence hall that resolved the claim at far less cost than the damages asserted against his architect client.¬† Mr. Swanson was also the senior associate attorney representing an owner’s representative involved in a high-profile scaffolding collapse resulting in three deaths, numerous injuries and extensive property damage. ¬†Mr. Swanson took more than 85 fact and expert depositions in that matter which resulted in a favorable settlement for his client.


As a practicing architect, Mr. Swanson worked for a prominent Illinois firm specializing in educational projects and for an international architecture/engineering firm working on transportation and government projects. His professional experience covers all aspects of architectural service including design, preparation of construction drawings and specifications, coordination of engineering sub-consultants, public bidding and negotiation, contract administration, payment applications, and construction observation. Mr. Swanson has international construction experience including design of industrial projects in China and Russia for a Fortune 200 pharmaceutical company. He also has surveying experience including field work and plat drafting.


Mr. Swanson earned his Bachelor of Science – Architectural Studies from the University of Illinois in 1991, his Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois in 1993, and his J.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 2000.

Bar Admissions

Mr. Swanson is authorized to practice law before the state and federal courts in Colorado, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

Professional Associations

Mr. Swanson is a member of the American Institute of Architects, the Colorado Bar Association, and the Jefferson Society.


Steven C. Swanson
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