Our Practice


Construction Law
Tradesmen and Contractors

Contract Drafting and Negotiation

Claim Preparation 

Mechanic's Liens

OSHA and Other Compliance Issues

Payment Issues 

Owners & Homeowners

Contract Review and Negotiation

Set Fee Service for Contractor Vetting and Contract Reveiw

Pursue Construction Disputes

Construction Defect Claims

Legal Advice on Renovations

Defend Mechanic's Liens

Mediation and Arbitration

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Offering a Full Range of Alternative Dispute Resolution Services Including:



Independent Project Neutral

Experience You Can Trust

Construction Lawyer
Mary Jo Gilsdorf

Meet Mary Jo Gilsdorf, Esq.

After practicing with a large firm in litigation and environmental law as an attorney for many years, Mary Jo began in construction as a generalist performing various duties with contract administration, project management, estimating, field supervision and safety in a small construction management firm.  Then, she became a cost engineer analyzing and negotiating entitlement and value of change order requests for a large regional construction management company. She was promoted to be in-house counsel and handled all legal matters from contracts, claims, third party insurance claims, employment claims, due diligence, compliance and some federal contracting work.

Through this varied industry hands-on exposure in conjunction with her legal knowledge, Mary Jo Gilsdorf, Esq. has significant experience with the preparation, presentation and resolution of claims through informal negotiation processes, alternative dispute resolution proceedings and litigation. Representative experience includes claims involving scheduling and delay issues, cost entitlement, concealed conditions, coordination disputes, financing / work-out issues, construction defect, design errors and omissions and disputes involving Building Informaton Modeling (BIM), ranging from $ 50K to $ 12MM in value.

Further, she has an in-depth knowledge of contract drafting and negotiation.  Understanding that contracts form the foundation and the structure for the relationship of the parties involved in a project, they are a critical component of the construction process.  She takes a proactive approach to tailoring each contract to reflect clear roles for the parties and to allocate risk responsibly.  Her knowledge of insurance in the construction industry allows her to analyze coverage to protect her clients from the many risks involved.

Additionally, Mary Jo Gilsdorf has experience in managing, mediating and arbitrating construction cost and payment claims, construction defect claims, professional liability claims, real estate disputes, personal injury claims, commercial claims, business dissolution, legal fee dispute claims and other contract claims.

Mary Jo Gilsdorf, Esq. was admitted into practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in 1989.  Since 2014, she has conducted over 100 mediations and arbitrations.

Arbitration Approach

As an Arbitrator, Mary Jo Gilsdorf devotes her full focus and attention on the issues at hand. Perceptive and intelligent, she examines the issues presented and weighs the evidence against the backdrop of her industry experience and legal knowledge.

While Mary Jo Gilsdorf has served as an Arbitrator on several types of commercial matters, her prior construction industry experience as in-house counsel and a cost engineer at a major regional construction management firm gives her practical and insightful industry knowledge.  She has encountered numerous issues on cost, entitlement, workmanship and design.  She can read blueprints, do estimates, prepare bids and proposals and understands the various means and methods of the trades.  Mary Jo has acquired a keen understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the various parties in a construction dispute. With over fourteen years of working within the industry and over twenty five years of experience as a lawyer, she has a solid background supporting her ability to be a perceptive, effective and fair arbitrator.  

Mediation Philosophy

Mary Jo Gilsdorf has successfully mediated over 50 cases since 2015.  She is known for her tenacity and understanding of each participant's position which enables her to see through the issues and develop a mutually agreeable settlement of the dispute.  Not afraid to be creative or look at the matter from different perspectives, Mary Jo's unique approach in developing a workable solution in a mediation session has resulted in substantial savings for claimants over more costly and involved litigation or arbitration proceedings.

Mary Jo Gilsdorf is available to facilitate settlement of disputes on a fair and impartial basis. In her approach, she seeks to understand and appreciate each participant's perspective and bring that understanding to the other parties in the process.  In this way, common ground can be developed as a foundation for resolution and settlement.  In the construction context, she appreciates the roles of the members of the construction team and the division of responsibility and risk among the key parties which aids in reaching consensus and agreement.

Alternative Dispute Resolution Panels

American Arbitration Association Commercial and Construction Arbitration Panel Member, Fixed Time and Cost Panel Member, Delaware County Court of Common Pleas Arbitration Panel Member, Chester County Court of Common Pleas Arbitration Panel Member, New Jersey Superior Court Arbitration Panel Member.

American Arbitration Association Roster of Mediators, New Jersey Superior Court Roster of Mediators, Chester County Bar Association Roster of Mediators and Fee Dispute Mediators, Delaware County Bar Association Fee Dispute Roster of Mediators, Pennsylvania REALTORS Association Mediation Panel Member,  Suburban West REALTORS Association Mediation Panel Member.

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Pro Tem, Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program

Admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.