The Washington Times - August 20, 2008, 05:17PM

The D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission has retained the services of Chicago law firm Seyfarth Shaw to assist in negotiations with the Nationals over issues relating to the team’s new ballpark.

Bennett Greenberg, a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, will work with the commission as it prepares to enter arbitration over whether the ballpark was “substantially complete” when it opened for play in March. The Nationals have witheld their rent payments and have demanded thousands of dollars in penalties until the issue is resolved.


Greenberg’s specialization is construction law, and according to his online biography, he has “successfully mediated, litigated, and arbitrated large complex, multi-party construction disputes.” Greenberg is also a special legal advisor to the Design Build Institute of America, a construction trade group. He has been involved in disputes over the construction of several major stadiums, including the Patriots’ Gilette Stadium in New England.

While the sports commission and the Nationals are expected to enter into arbitration to resolve the issue of substantial completion, the two sides are still negotiating over a number of related issues, including who should pay for certain items such as tarps, wireless networks, and video cameras. The two sides are scheduled to resume talks on Aug. 25.