Arthur F. O'Leary

Architectural law expert

Arthur F. O'Leary, 84, a Los Angeles architect and construction arbitrator who was an expert in the field of architectural forensics, died March 28 in County Louth, Ireland, where he had retired.

In 1949, O'Leary co-founded the L.A. architectural firm O'Leary Terasawa Partners, which after a merger in the 1990s became WWCOT Architects. WWCOT announced O'Leary's death but did not reveal the cause.

A graduate of the USC School of Architecture, O'Leary specialized in the legal ramifications of architectural practice and construction. He served for many years as an arbitrator and consultant in hundreds of construction industry disputes.

He wrote several technical books for architects and contractors, including "Construction Nightmares: Jobs From Hell and How to Avoid Them" with James Acret in 2002. He also wrote articles for the industry magazine Design Cost Data.

O'Leary lectured on professional practice at USC from 1953 to 1963 and led courses at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and the UCLA School of Architecture and Urban Design. He also served on the curriculum committee at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College for 20 years.

Born in Omaha on Oct. 11, 1924, O'Leary served in the Army from 1946 to 1949.

He was named a fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1976. Ten years later, after retiring from his architecture practice, he and his wife, Inny, moved to Ireland.

-- times staff and wire reports