• Dale R. Ellickson
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Dale R. Ellickson

Dale R. Ellickson

Senior Counsel


Dale Ellickson practices in the areas of construction contracts and design professional agreements. He counsels on multi-phased projects of significant dollar value; provides advice on complex regulations and laws; reviews proposals; and negotiates the terms and conditions of contracts. His clients include owners, design professionals, and construction contractors.

As a former senior legal counsel to the American Institute of Architects (AlA), Dale was responsible for writing and publication of the AIA’s more than 180 standardized contracts and forms. He was instrumental in developing new policies and procedures for dealing with such issues as hazardous materials, alternative dispute resolution, change orders, correction of defective work, indemnification, insurance, and termination.

Before becoming an attorney, Dale practiced as an architect and has designed and built buildings ranging from a cancer laboratory for Rockefeller University to a subway station for Atlanta's MARTA system. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects, the national group’s highest honor recognizing exceptional work and contributions to architecture and society.

Dale is a frequent lecturer and author on legal matters in the construction industry. He has written for such publications as Architectural Record, the Journal of the American Institute of Architects, the Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice, and the ABA’s Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Journal.

He maintains a personal blog, with a worldwide readership in more than 40 countries, dedicated to short stories about architects at


  • Facilitated more than 200 complex, politically sensitive negotiations to develop consensus among groups representing owners, contractors, sureties, insurers, architects, and engineers and their attorneys covering such topics as design-build, bidding and procurement, bonding, general conditions, and construction management.
  • Provided legal counsel for AIA’s MasterSpec, the industry-leading building and construction specification resource.
  • Served as liaison to the insurance industry on A/E professional liability and builder’s insurance.


  • Atlanta Law School (J.D., 1976)
  • University of Minnesota (B.Arch., 1971)
  • University of Minnesota (B.A, 1970)
Bar Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia


  • Of Counsel, McManus & Felsen LLP, Washington, D.C. (2017–2019)
  • President and CEO, Ellickson & Associates, Great Falls, VA (2004–2016)
  • Of Counsel, McManus & Felsen LLP, Washington, D.C. (2002–2004)
  • Senior Legal Counsel and Managing Director of Contract Documents Program, American Institute of Architects, Washington, D.C. (1978–2000)
  • Consulting Architect, Toombs, Amisano, Wells Architects, Atlanta, GA (1977–1978)
  • Director of Production, Reynolds Architects, Decatur, GA (1975–1977)
  • Project Architect, TVS Architects, Atlanta (1973–1975)
  • Urban Designer, Jonathan Development Corp., Chaska, MN (1971–1973)


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