Shailendra (Shay) KulkarniShareholder

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Shailendra “Shay” Kulkarni is a Shareholder at the Firm and member of the Construction, Insurance, and Litigation practice groups. He focuses his practice primarily in the areas of construction, insurance coverage litigation and analysis, and complex civil litigation. He also practices in the areas of surety litigation and construction-industry contracts.  He has been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers in the areas of construction and surety law for 2015, 2016, and 2017.

Shay is currently serving a second term as the chairman of the Construction Law Section of the San Diego County Bar Association. He was recently appointed the Division 13 (Government Construction) liaison to the Diversity Committee of the ABA Forum on Construction  Law. He serves as an advisory board member and mentoring program co-chair of the Crawford Academy of Law Program here in San Diego. He is also a member of various organization, including the State Bar of California, the Louisiana State Bar Association, and the National Bond Claims Association.

Prior to joining Sullivan Hill, Shay practiced in the areas of construction and surety litigation in New Orleans, Louisiana.




Tulane University Law School, J.D., 2007

University of California, Berkeley, B.A., 2004


Shay has extensive experience in complex construction litigation and real estate litigation. He has tried cases before civil courts and arbitration panels and has participated in numerous mediations. He has filed appellate briefs with the Louisiana First, Third, and Fourth Circuit Courts of Appeal and the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Shay is also a frequent speaker on topics in the fields of construction and surety law.

Prior to entering private practice, Shay served as a law clerk for the Honorable John Saunders, Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal.

Representative Matters

  • Assisted in successful prosecution of bid protest (and defense of subsequent counter-protest by aggrieved challenger) on behalf of joint venture concerning construction manager at risk (“CMAR”) bid process for the major planned construction of a new terminal at the New Orleans Louis Armstrong International Airport, resulting in a contract award for the $546 million project.
  • Successfully defended public owner against bid protest action challenging public entity’s disqualification of aggrieved bidder on design-build project due to bidder’s non-compliance with bid specifications concerning anticipated participation of disadvantaged business entities (“DBE”). The contract value of the project was in excess of $50 million.
  • Prosecuted lawsuit on behalf of bidding subcontractor involving unfair trade practices and fraud allegations concerning the bidding procedures for subcontracts on federal CMAR project, resulting in favorable settlement.
  • Represented contractor in litigation involving unfair trade practices, fraud, and single-business-entity claims involving alleged inflation of subcontract bids on federal construction project, resulting in favorable settlement.
  • Successfully represented public owner in litigation with insurance company concerning existence and extent of insurance coverage for hurricane damage. The matter resulted in a settlement of approximately $1 million.
  • Successfully argued appeal before the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal regarding the vesting of indemnity rights in light of the state’s statute of limitations governing the construction of buildings and improvements on real property.


  • “Default is not in our Stars: California Court Comes to Bury (not Praise) the Requirement of Declaring Default under Subcontractor Performance Bond,” Division 7 Newsletter, ABA Forum on Construction Law, April 2016.
  • “How to be Smarter than your Phone: Discovery of Emails and Text Messages in Mobile Phone Era,” Under Construction Newsletter, ABA Forum on Construction Law, December 2015.
  • “So What’s the Remedy? Modern Trends in Miller Act Waiver Jurisprudence,” Co-Authored with Tamara Lindsay, Esq., Division 13 Newsletter, ABA Forum on Construction Law, October 2014.


  • “California Performance Bond Claims in the Wake of JMR Construction Corp. v. Environmental Assessment & Remediation Management, Inc., 243 Cal. App. 4th 571 (2015),” Co-presented with John Yi, Esq., Surety Association of San Diego, November 2016.
  • “A Look Inside the Surety Claims Process,” Moderator/Presenter, San Diego County Bar Association, June 2016.
  • “Conducting Discovery in Construction Litigation,” Co-presented with Roger Nelson, P.E., San Diego County Bar Association, March 2016.
  • “Dos and DON’Ts of Construction Project Record Keeping,” Moderator/Presenter, Lorman Educational Services, January 2015.
  • “Dispute Resolution Agreements: Functional and Dysfunctional,” Moderator/Presenter, San Diego County Bar Association, April 2017.
  • “Scheduling Impact Claims: Common Legal Issues and Practical Considerations for Asserting, Proving, and/or Defending Delay, Disruption, and Acceleration Claims,” Co-presented with Richard Tasker, Associated General Contractors of America, San Diego Chapter, August 2017.


Shay is a member of the State Bar of California, the Louisiana State Bar Association, and the ABA Forum on Construction Law. He is also a member of several surety-industry organizations, including the Surety Claims Institute, the National Bond Claims Association, and the Surety Association of Louisiana (Legal Affairs Officer, 2013 and 2014). Shay is the program co-chair/advisory board member for the Crawford Academy Law Program as well.