Michelman & Robinson, LLP’s (M&R’s) Construction Department has extensive experience working with clients in all facets of construction-related issues.
We specialize in complex, highly visible projects for general contractors, subcontractors, owners, developers, construction managers, vendors, design professionals, homeowner’s associations, insurers and sureties. We are highly skilled negotiators who routinely secure bids and contracts with both private and public entities, and have litigated cases involving design defect allegations and damages, breach of contract and class actions. Our attorneys have spent decades servicing the construction industry as contracting firm owners and operators, and as legal consultants offering valuable insights on complex transactions and litigation matters., We always have our clients’ long-term business goals in mind.
Our skilled litigators have fiercely defended multimillion dollar cases, often settling for nominal amounts. Utilizing a cross-practice approach, we assist construction clients on various issues affecting their business, including financial service concerns, real estate workouts for developers and labor and employment claims.
We are actively involved with the Construction Management Association of America, Associated General Contractors, California State Board of Contractors, Building Industry Association of Orange County and the Southern California Contractor's Association. Our Construction attorneys routinely speak at the events hosted by these associations, and frequently publish articles in prominent construction industry trade publications.
Areas Of Expertise
- Bid Disputes
With the understanding that bidding disputes can result in costly delays for private and public works projects, M&R attorneys seek to resolve these matters. We represent owners and contractors in evaluating claims and often handle writ of mandate actions.
- Cleanup Services Claims
Our Construction attorneys work to resolve and, when necessary, litigate issues arising from construction site cleanup disputes, frequently utilizing the expertise of members of our Environmental Department.
- Construction Defect
We regularly handle complex, multimillion dollar claims on behalf of general contractors, subcontractors, builders and owners relating to allegations of defective design and construction.
- Construction Litigation
We provide counsel on the full spectrum of construction disputes, taking an aggressive approach to litigation in matters involving breach of contract, delays, disruptions, fraud, false claims and insurance issues. We strategically plan discovery, motion work and trial preparation to minimize costs for our clients. Exceptional mediators and arbitrators, we have litigated construction cases in federal and state courts with unparalleled results.
- Contract Preparation/Negotiation
Our Construction attorneys adeptly manage virtually every aspect of contract preparation and routinely develop, analyze and negotiate both custom and standard industry and government forms on behalf of our clients.
- Delay & Disruption Claims
We handle issues related to delay and disruption in construction projects. These include actual and constructive acceleration, claims for lost labor and equipment productivity, and excessive charges.
- General Liability
Our construction attorneys have extensive experience in general liability litigation relating to construction matters. We have successfully defended against claims involving personal injury, property damage, premises liability and economic loss.
- Lien, Bond, Insurance Claims
We routinely represent clients in issues where claimants attempt to use lien and bond remedies to collect money owed. We also work through insurance coverage disputes involving rights of defense or indemnity in matters involving multiple parties, defect allegations and warranty claims.
- Professional Negligence
Our attorneys deftly handle professional negligence and malpractice claims for architects, design professionals and engineers.
The following is a select sampling of our representative matters:
- Asbestos Remediation: Obtained a jury defense verdict, eliminating all exposure for one of the largest commercial property owners in the world, against a contractor and other plaintiffs in a $10 million asbestos remediation claim in which they accused our client of concealing asbestos from tenants of a major downtown Los Angeles office building.
- Builder Construction Defect Defense: Defended builder of a large commercial project against allegations that improper construction caused alleged multi-million dollar injuries/damages. Successfully brought a motion for the dismissal of the action and received a directed judgment against the Plaintiff.
- Builder Construction Defect Defense: Imputed responsibility for design and construction defects on a large commercial project in Los Angeles County to applicable subcontractors on behalf of builder, reaching an immediate and cost-effective resolution.
- Construction Defects: Imputed responsibility for design and construction defects on a large commercial project in Los Angeles County to applicable subcontractors on behalf of builder, reaching an immediate and cost-effective resolution.
- Construction Litigation: Defended builder of a large commercial project against allegations that improper construction caused multimillion dollar injuries/damages. Successfully brought a motion for the dismissal of the action and received a directed judgment against the Plaintiff.
- Construction Defects: Negotiated a $24 million construction defect claim down to $7.1 million on behalf of our client, the general contractor/builder of a multi-story luxury condominium building, in a case that required identifying, naming, serving and coordinating thirty-plus subcontractors.
- Contractor Defense: Successfully defended facilities’ contractors (architects, engineers and construction managers) against professional negligence allegations made by the United States Army, including a case brought against the architect and engineer of a $70 million facility in Utah where the army alleged errors, omissions and negligent work.
- Delay Arbitration: Successfully arbitrated a $1 million delay claim on behalf of a grading contractor against a private owner of a 663-unit apartment development who delayed the project start due to permitting issues, requiring the contractor to unexpectedly work through the winter. The award was confirmed by the reviewing trial court.
- Design Defects: Successfully defended facilities’ contractors (architects, engineers and construction managers) against professional negligence allegations made by the United States Army, including a case brought against the architect and engineer of a $70 million facility in Utah where the army alleged errors, omissions and negligent work.
- Design Professional Defense: Reached an early case resolution and significantly reduced exposure for the designer of a large multi-building complex in Los Angeles County in professional negligence case.
- Earthwork Arbitration: Significantly reduced or eliminated potential exposure for a major water and power agency in multiple $10-$29 million contractor claims against it concerning Southern California filtration plants.
- General Contractor Construction Defect Defense: Negotiated a $24 million construction defect claim down to $7.1 million on behalf of our client, the general contractor/builder of a multi-story luxury condominium building, in a case that required identifying, naming, serving and coordinating thirty-plus subcontractors.
- Negligent Construction: Recovered full cost to repair air conditioning system defects for office building owner in professional negligence case against prime contractor.
- Plaintiff Contractor: Currently representing a contractor in arbitration who is suing for $1.5 million for nonpayment.
- Plaintiff Contractor: Obtained $1.6 million in interest and costs on behalf of a contractor who sought $1 million for work done on a pumping station that was abandoned due to errors in the owner’s design and differing site conditions.
- Plaintiff Delay and Disruption: Represented a worldwide construction industry leader in developing a claim measuring the cumulative impact of hundreds of owner-imposed changes, delays and disruptions on a major public highway project.
- Public Owner Defense: Defended a major water and power agency against a contractor’s $10 million claim for additional work caused by alleged errors in plans and project specifications surrounding the installation of a 60-foot water transmission pipeline. Resolved the matter at a significantly reduced exposure for our client.
- Subcontractor Construction Defect Defense: Negotiated a significantly reduced settlement for roofing subcontractor that worked on a multi-million dollar automobile dealership project that suffered from significant water intrusion.
- Subcontractor Defense: Negotiated $93 million of litigation across three cases down to settlements of $65,000, $15,000 and $10,000 on behalf of a steel manufacturing subcontractor in a Los Angeles luxury condominium project involving 93 units.
- Subcontractor Defense: Negotiated a $1.5 million dollar total settlement for a concrete surfacing subcontractor when a major commercial Southern California Airport Authority sought over $9.6 million in damages for surface deterioration to hanger floors allegedly caused by faulty concrete.
- Subcontractor Defense: Negotiated a $5 million claim down to a $39,184 settlement for a retaining wall and waterproofing subcontractor in a construction defect lawsuit surrounding water intrusion at a 35,000 square foot, single-family detached residence on 1.9 acres of property in south Orange County, California. Resolved matter for our client as an individual (non-contingent on a global settlement).
- Subcontractor Defense: Negotiated a carve-out case resolution for a plumbing contractor in a multi-million dollar dispute regarding issues with a single family detached home.
- Subcontractor Defense: Negotiated reasonable and advantageous settlements for a subcontractor in over 90 cases concerning alleged sheet metal defects in residential construction tracts in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties in Southern California. Only two cases went to trial.
- Subcontractor Defense: Negotiated reasonable settlements for a subcontractor in over 30 cases concerning alleged roofing defects in commercial and residential construction projects throughout Northern and Southern California.
- Subcontractor Defense: Negotiated reasonable settlements for several of 50 cases brought against a subcontractor for alleged stucco and lathing defects in residential construction tracts in Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties in Southern California. One case was disposed of during pre-trial motions.
- Water/Power Agency Defense: Significantly reduced or eliminated potential exposure for a major water and power agency in multiple $10-$29 million contractor claims against it concerning Southern California filtration plants.
- California Constructor Magazine, May 2016
- Architectural West, March 28, 2016
- Green Home Builder, December 10, 2014
- Peninsula Publishing, Inc. Blog, October 10, 2014
- Architectural West, September 2014
- Contractor Magazine, May 7, 2014
- Architectural West, July 2013
- Dollar$ and Sense: What are the Business Impacts When A Construction Defect Case Resolves Against the Architect?Los Angeles Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute DinnerLos Angeles, California, May 24, 2017
- Orange County Bar AssociationOrange County, CA, March 2, 2016
- CA Supreme Court Decision Changes the Construction Defect Game by Increasing the Litigation Exposure of Design ProfessionalsIntermountain Construction Defect & Dispute ConferenceSandy, UT, May 15, 2015
- Orange County Bar AssociationNewport Beach, CA, April 1, 2015
- American Institute of Architects (AIA) Orange CountyOrange County, CA, January 14, 2015
- Lorman Educational Services SeminarOakland, CA, September 26, 2014
- Orange County Bar AssociationOrange County, CA, February 6, 2013
- Western Council of Construction ConsumersJanuary 29, 2013
- California Construction Law: What to do When....National Business Institute2002
- 1st Annual Intermountain Construction Defect & Dispute ConferenceMay 15, 2015
- Orange County Bar AssociationApril 1, 2015
- M&R BlogJuly 16, 2014
- M&R BlogJune 6, 2014
- Darren Barker and Eric Rans Discuss "How Legal Counsel Can Help During Contractors' State Licensing Board Investigations"M&R BlogJune 6, 2014