Jesse S. Keene


Washington, D.C.

(202) 747-0795

(202) 861-1905

Jesse’s practice is focused on construction law and government contracts with particular concentration on litigation, international and domestic arbitration, claim preparation, and strategic project advice. 

For more than a dozen years, Jesse has represented owners, general contractors, design professionals, and subcontractors in every phase of a construction project. Clients rely on Jesse’s candid, straight-forward, and strategic advice in drafting contracts, providing project counsel during design and construction, preparing and evaluating claims, or participating in post-project dispute resolution. They know that Jesse’s objective is achieving the best possible business result. 

Jesse is an experienced litigator having successfully tried numerous cases in state and federal courts and before administrative panels. Jesse also regularly represents clients in international construction arbitrations under the ICC, UNCITRAL, and ICDR rules. In his international practice, Jesse has assisted clients on shipping and supply contracts and in disputes on mega-projects for the engineering, procurement, and construction of liquified natural gas production and storage facilities, power plants, and the construction of overseas facilities for the U.S. Departments of State and Defense.

Jesse is a member of the American Bar Association’s Forum on the Construction Industry, the Society of Construction Law – North America, the Board of Governors of the Virginia State Bar’s Section on Construction and Public Contracts Law, and the Washington Building Congress. He was a co-author of the Virginia Practice Guide Construction Volume published by Thomson Reuters (2016 through 2019 editions). And, since 2014, Jesse has been listed by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in Washington, DC for Construction Law.

Jesse earned his Bachelor of Arts from Washington State University where he served as student body president. He earned his J.D. from the Gonzaga University School of Law and served on the Gonzaga Law Review editorial board. After practicing construction and commercial litigation in the state of Washington, Jesse moved cross-country and earned a Master of Laws (LL.M) from The George Washington University Law School. His master’s thesis was published in the Federal Circuit Law Journal and has been cited before the U.S. Supreme Court. He is an avid baseball fan and runner and lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife and three children.



82 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 19 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2021 Guide

May 26, 2021

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the United States, has ranked 82 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the guide’s 2021 edition; of those, 15 lawyers have been recognized nationally.

Twelve Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Recognized as Washington, D.C., Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

May 05, 2021

Super Lawyers has named 12 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to its 2021 Washington, D.C., Super Lawyers and Rising Stars list.

Jesse Keene Named a Fellow of the Construction Lawyers Society of America

October 22, 2020

Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce that Jesse Keene, member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Department, has been named a fellow of the Construction Lawyers Society of America. The

Cozen O’Connor Expands its Construction Law Practice in Washington D.C., Adding Stephen M. Seeger and Jesse S. Keene

September 23, 2019

Seeger and Keene have played leading roles in developing some of the largest building projects in Washington, D.C., one of the hottest and fastest-growing commercial and multifamily construction markets in the United States.


Washington State Reopens Some Construction, with Restrictions [Alert]

April 27, 2020

Jesse Keene discusses Governor Inslee's addendum allowing limited construction projects to resume in Washington.

UPDATE: Several Midwest States Close Non-Essential Businesses – Potential Construction Impacts

April 10, 2020

Chris Sweeney, Stephen Seeger, Jesse Keene, and Alex Busch detail the various stay-at-home orders issued by Midwest states and the impact of each on the construction industry.

D.C. Closes Non-Essential Businesses, Restricts Sick Employees of Essential Businesses [Alert]

March 31, 2020

Chris Sweeney, Stephen Seeger, Jesse Keene, Kelly Trout, and Alex Busch discuss the D.C. mayor's order closing all non-essential businesses and how it impacts the construction industry.

Maryland and Virginia Close “Non-Essential” Business [Alert]

March 30, 2020

Christopher Sweeney, Stephen Seeger, Jesse Keene, Kelly Trout, and Alex Busch discuss how the Maryland and Virginia executive orders will impact the construction industry.

COVID-19 Construction Update: NJ, NY, DE, and PA Close Businesses

March 27, 2020

Nicholas Berenato, Chris Sweeney, Stephen Seeger, Jesse Keene, and Alex Busch review the executive orders from the governors of Delaware, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and the impact on the construction industry.

West Coast States Close Businesses Due to COVID-19 [Alert]

March 25, 2020

Chris Sweeney, Stephen Seeger, Jesse Keene, and Alex Busch discuss orders in California, Oregon, and Washington closing businesses due to coronavirus.

COVID-19 Strategies for the Construction Industry

March 20, 2020

Chris Sweeney, Stephen Seeger, and Jesse Keene discuss steps the construction industry can take now to better prepare them for the impact of COVID-19.


  • Gonzaga University School of Law, J.D.
  • The George Washington University Law School, LL.M.
  • Washington State University, B.A.

Awards & Honors

Super Lawyers Rising Star in Washington, D.C. for Construction Law, 2014-2019

Super Lawyer in Washington, D.C. for Construction Law, 2021, 2022

Chambers & Partners USA 2021

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • U.S. District Court -- District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court -- Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court -- Maryland

Fellow, Construction Lawyers Society of America 

Governor, Virginia State Bar Section on Construction & Public Contracts

Member, ABA Forum on the Construction Industry

Member, Society of Construction Law – North America