John Yacovelle

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

$ $$$

El Camino Real 12275
San Diego 92130 CA US

John A. Yacovelle is a partner in the Business Trial Practice Group and a member of the Construction Litigation, Energy, Infrastructure and Project Finance, and Tribal and Indian Law Teams.

Mr. Yacovelle has been practicing since 1987 and represents clients in a variety of business disputes, with a special emphasis on energy (including nuclear power), construction, real estate, general commercial litigation, and Native American law. He has represented owners, developers, investors, general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and product manufacturers in connection with private and public works projects.

Mr. Yacovelle has provided these clients with a wide range of services including (1) international arbitration; (2) representation in complex commercial litigation; (3) representation in private and public works payment disputes; (4) the negotiation and review of construction contracts; (5) representation of developers, contractors and product manufacturers in construction defect and product liability matters; and (6) representation of developers in land acquisition disputes.

In addition, Mr. Yacovelle has represented clients in a variety of commercial disputes including corporate dissolution proceedings, enforcement of covenants not to compete, unfair competition, trade secret disputes, matters before the Probate Court, breach of contract disputes and products liability matters. Mr. Yacovelle has extensive trial experience, including representing clients in jury trials, bench trials and domestic and international arbitrations.


  • J.D., Southwestern University, 1987, magna cum laude
  • B.A., University of Southern California, 1984, cum laude


  • California
  • U.S. District Courts for the Central and Southern Districts of California
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Representative Matters:

  • Representation of a utility in a multi billion dollar international arbitration against steam generator manufacturer with respect to the shutdown of a nuclear power plant.
  • Represented utility in connection with a dispute with another utility regarding certain administrative and general accounting costs with respect to the operation of a nuclear power plant. Received significant settlement payment.
  • Represented the owner of a diatomite quarry and processing plant in connection with claims for extras and delays brought by a general contractor who was retained to remodel the processing plant. The matter settled for 13% of the contractor’s claimed amount.
  • Represented the general contractor in connection with its claims for extras related to a project performed for the North County Transit District. The matter settled with a substantial payment to the general contractor.
  • Represented general contractor in a bench trial against a subcontractor on an Orange County hotel project. Judgment in favor of general on the grounds that subcontractor did not comply with licensing law.
  • Prepared numerous construction, project management, and architectural agreements for various clients, including Native American clients.
  • Represented shareholders in involuntary dissolution matter. Achieved successful settlement via buyout of the shareholders.
  • Represented owner of a retirement home in a defect lawsuit against general contractor, subcontractor and design professionals. Settlements in excess of $21 million. Jury verdict against one subcontractor in the amount of $1.1 million.
  • Represented cabinet manufacturers in products liability action against materials suppliers. Achieved successful settlement recouping repair and lost business costs.
  • Represented developer/homebuilder in dispute with former partner, involving complex accounting issues. Successfully settled matter.


  • Member, Associated Builders and Contractors
  • Member, American Subcontractors Association
  • Member, Associated General Contractors of America


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