Joe Watson is a Nashville attorney who focuses his practice on construction-related issues for a broad range of clients. His practice includes representation of owners, developers and contractors in all phases of construction projects: developing the design and construction agreements at the front end; assisting clients navigate issues that arise during the project and in claim avoidance; and, at project conclusion, prosecuting and defending claims and disputes. Mr. Watson represents clients on private and public projects ranging from urban high-rises and heavy civil construction to the development of healthcare facilities, hospitality properties, manufacturing facilities, mixed-use commercial developments and tenant buildouts.

In his transactional practice, Mr. Watson is experienced in preparing and negotiating stipulated sum, guaranteed maximum price (GMP) and design-build construction contracts, in addition to design agreements. He routinely develops and advises clients regarding modified American Institute of Architects (AIA) contracts, custom contracts/templates, master agreements and other industry-recognized contract forms.

Inevitably disputes arise, and Mr. Watson assists owners and contractors in resolving commercial construction disputes in the most cost-effective way possible, whether in the courtroom or through alternative dispute resolution (mediation and arbitration). He prosecutes and defends claims related to design and construction defects, project and schedule delays, payment disputes, cost overrun and change order disputes, mechanic's and materialman's liens, and insurance coverage disputes pertaining to construction issues. By working closely with his clients and learning the issues that are most important and valuable to them, Mr. Watson is able to efficiently and pragmatically resolve issues and disputes, so clients can focus on their day-to-day operations.

He has made numerous continuing legal education presentations on various construction issues, including Tennessee's construction lien and prompt pay/retainage statutes.

While in law school, Mr. Watson worked at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee. Following law school, he served as a law clerk to the Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court, the Honorable Gary R. Wade.


  • University of Tennessee College of Law, J.D., summa cum laude; with honors
  • Furman University, B.A., summa cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Tennessee
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee
  • Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel
  • American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law
  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • Nashville Bar Association
  • Harry Phillips American Inn of Court
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Health Care Law, 2024
  • Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers guide, Construction, 2023