Mary Beth Coburn, P.E.


Tel: (619) 525-1369


At a Glance

Mary Beth focuses on public works and infrastructure construction law.
She is a California licensed professional civil engineer.
Mary Beth assists public agencies and private owners with the entire construction process.


Mary Beth Coburn, a partner with Best Best & Krieger LLP, is also a California licensed professional civil engineer with more than a decade of experience in design and construction of public facilities. She held positions with Los Angeles County Department of Public Works and several consulting engineering firms prior to law school.

For the last twenty years, Mary Beth’s primary practice has focused on public works and infrastructure construction law, including construction contracting and construction claims resolution. Her unique combination of “hands on” engineering experience and construction law provide clients with efficient, practical and comprehensive legal services. Mary Beth understands what it takes to get a project built and what delays and claims can do to that process.

Mary Beth is adept at assisting public agencies and private owners with all aspects of the construction process, including construction document preparation, bid protests, subcontractor substitution and default, contractors’ claims, stop notices, and project close out. She currently assists regional public agencies on contract drafting utilizing cutting edge procurement methods, including CM/GC and Progressive Design Build.

Mary Beth routinely works with all types of public agencies on all issues related to construction of public facilities, from master planning through claims resolution. She often assists clients with latent construction defects long after construction projects have been closed out and warranty periods have lapsed.

Mary Beth has successfully terminated contractors for failure to perform and routinely works with sureties on various payment and performance bond issues, including surety takeover of projects in default. She also has experience in false claim actions against contractors for inflating or falsely submitting extra work claims.

Mary Beth is frequently called upon to provide public works training sessions to assist firm clients in proper procurement practices, claims avoidance and dispute resolution as well as disaster recovery and resiliency utilizing federal funding.

Mary Beth is a member of the San Diego County Bar Association and the American Society of Civil Engineers. 


  • University of San Diego School of Law, J.D.
  • Michigan Technological University, B.S., civil engineering 


  • California


  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Construction Litigation, 2019-2021
  • Litigation - Construction Lawyer of the Year in San Diego, Best Lawyers®, 2020
Legal Alerts Jul 08, 2020

Coronavirus Relief Fund Deadlines for California Cities and Counties

Certification Form Must be Submitted by July 10; Expenditure Report by Sept. 1

Legal Alerts Jun 30, 2020

Coronavirus Relief Fund Dollars for California Municipalities and Counties

Certification Form Must be Submitted by July 10

Legal Alerts Jun 24, 2020

Coronavirus Relief Funds Can Be Used for FEMA Public Assistance Cost Share

Public Agencies Should Be Aware of Requirements

Legal Alerts May 12, 2020

California Applicant’s Briefings for COVID-19 FEMA Public Assistance Scheduled

Cal OES Providing Information via Live Webinars

Legal Alerts Apr 01, 2020

Preparing for COVID-19 Pandemic FEMA Public Assistance Reimbursement

Public Agencies Should Take Steps Now to be Eligible for Cost Recovery

Legal Alerts Aug 23, 2018

Increased Bid Limits for Agencies Subject to Uniform Public Construction Cost Accounting Act

UPCCA Update Takes Effect Jan. 1

Authored Articles & Publications Mar 30, 2018

Disaster-Response Decision-Making: Is Your Agency Prepared?

BB&K Attorneys Mary Beth Coburn and Rebecca Chaparro Write About Disaster Preparedness in PublicCEO

Legal Alerts Jun 28, 2017

Failure to Register Public Works Projects with DIR Could Result in Penalties

New California Law Takes Effect Immediately

Legal Alerts Dec 02, 2016

Claims Resolution Procedure Changes

Public Works Contract Disputes Impacted by New California Law

Legal Alerts Mar 15, 2016

CSDA Call to Action: SB 885

Legislation Would Limit Design Professionals’ Liability on Public Contracts

Contact Mary Beth Coburn, P.E.

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