A litigator with more than 25 years' experience, Mike focuses his practice on construction, government contracts and commercial business disputes. He is a member of Husch Blackwell's Energy & Natural Resources team. His practice is national in scope, and his clients are civil and environmental contractors, design and engineering firms, energy companies, and providers of services and products to federal and state government agencies, including companies in the transportation, environmental remediation, nuclear waste storage and processing, and alternative energy industries. He has pursued and defended claims in alternative dispute resolution proceedings and has litigated in state and federal courts, as well as before the federal boards of contract appeals.
Mike's extensive energy and construction industry experience includes:
•Represented USA Repository Services LLC, an affiliate of URS Corp., in connection with various claims against the U.S. Department of Energy relating to the de-scoping of its contract to construct, manage and operate DOE's planned Yucca Mountain project. Yucca Mountain was to be the national permanent storage facility for high-level nuclear waste and, when awarded, the client's contract had a projected 10-year budget in excess of $2.6 billion.
•Counseled a ConocoPhillips affiliate in arbitration with Bechtel Energy Corp. concerning Bechtel's claims for additional compensation - and the client's counterclaims - relating to design and construction of a gas-fired 421 megawatt combined-cycle co-generation power plant in Orange, Texas. The dispute involved allocating responsibility for the cost of damage to the turbines caused by the injection of liquids that had collected in the gas lines feeding the generators.
•Advised Compass Environmental in arbitration with NiSource, an Indiana-based utility, concerning responsibility for cost increases to perform environmental site remediation at a former manufactured gas plant in Indiana.
Mike is the leader of the firm's Government Contracts Practice Specialty Center and is a member of the firm's Partner Board. He also is a former Captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.
Awards and Recognitions
Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, President's Award
•Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
•Virginia Super Lawyers, Construction/Surety, 2010
•Washington DC Super Lawyers, Construction/Surety, 2012-2014
Committee for Dulles
•Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors, 1995-2000; Government Affairs Committee, 1995-1997
•Represented Infigen Energy, an Australia-based wind energy developer, in litigation with Gamesa Corp., a Spanish wind turbine supplier, in Pennsylvania and New York state courts regarding the responsibility for the cost - more than $150 million - to repair or replace blades and other major components on 107 turbines at four wind farms located in Pennsylvania, Illinois and California. The case also involved end-of-warranty disputes concerning a second Illinois wind farm.
•Advised Infigen Energy in a dispute with a turbine manufacturer regarding gear box failures and substantial end-of-warranty claims relating to wind farms in Oregon, New Mexico, California, Texas and Colorado.
•Advised a Chicago-based construction firm in litigation with Fairfax County, Va., and a national engineering firm regarding financial responsibility for cost overruns and delays during upgrades to a large wastewater treatment plant in Virginia.
•Counseled Infigen Energy in litigation arising from a dispute with Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas regarding entitlement to payments relating to certain New Mexico Renewable Energy Production Tax Credits (PTC).
•Represented Amtrak in a dispute with the contractor that installed the electric catenary system and track improvements on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor from Washington, D.C., to Boston. The disputes related to the adequacy of the transmission wire, bolts, clamps and support structures used for the catenary system, as well as to the costs incurred to perform the electrical and construction work. The disputes were heard by a three-member disputes review board, which issued various decisions that were subject to de novo review in federal court.
•Prepared engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services agreements for upgrades to Infigen wind farms in Texas to bring those projects into compliance with regulations imposed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).
•Represented Infigen Energy in litigation in Pennsylvania and New York against Lloyd's of London concerning property damage and business interruption insurance coverage for damaged turbines at 11 wind farms across the United States. The claims exceeded $50 million.
•Represented WRSCompass, an earthwork contractor, in litigation with the Army Corps of Engineers relating to construction of a phosphorous removal and storm water treatment project in central Florida owned by the South Florida Water Management District. The client sought payment for additional costs relating to differing site conditions and extra work.
•Advised Ryan Incorporated Central in connection with litigation over the construction of a landfill cap in Maryland, which included a substantial on-site gas collection and storage system. Problems with the gas system installed by the prior contractor were a substantial issue in the case. Construction/Infrastructure
•Represented the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority in defense of a rail transit contractor's claim for delay and acceleration costs relating to the construction of an extension of the Blue Line in Maryland.
•Represented a bridge foundation contractor for the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge on a differing site conditions claim asserted against the Missouri Department of Transportation.
•Defended Amtrak, and pursued counterclaims on Amtrak's behalf, in connection with a contractor's claim for additional compensation relating to the construction of a static frequency converter station in New York.
•Represented Ryan Incorporated Eastern in pursuit of a claim for additional costs resulting from changes and interference on an earthwork contract in Virginia.
•Counseled the prime contractor for a telecommunications upgrade project at Fort Rucker, Ala., in a dispute with a terminated subcontractor.
•Represented New Jersey Transit in a professional malpractice action against an engineering firm. Government Contracts
•Represented a Nebraska-based technology company in the preparation and submission of a convenience termination settlement proposal, relating to an Air Force space operations integration and engineering contract.
•Represent the prime contractor in a dispute with the U.S. Department of Energy concerning the de facto termination for convenience of a $2.6 billion contract.
•Represented many government contractors in bid protests relating to the award of defense and civilian agency prime contracts.
•Defended a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business in a Small Business Administration size protest and in protests challenging the contractor's service-disabled status.
•Advised and assisted various government contractors with internal investigations.
•Represented a postal contractor in connection with claims seeking compensation for changes and for breach of contract damages.
•Advised a multiple award schedule contractor regarding cost and pricing issues.
•Represented earthwork contractors and subcontractors in connection with disputes with prime contractors on Corps of Engineers projects in Georgia, Florida and Mississippi. Commercial Litigation
•Represented the holder of a purchase money security interest in defense of a priority claim asserted by a general secured creditor.
•Advised a Maryland corporation in defense of claims of tortious interference with contract and negligent misrepresentation.
•Represented an engineering firm in connection with a dispute regarding the adequacy of a land survey.
•Represented on appeal a manufacturer of ruggedized computer equipment in a contract dispute with a buyer of such equipment.
•Counseled minority shareholder in a closely held corporation in a lawsuit seeking dissolution of the company and other relief.
•Represented the purchasers of stock in a securities fraud action against the majority shareholder and seller of the shares.
•Represented an individual defendant in lawsuits arising out of an airplane crash.
•Represented a secured creditor in securing injunctive relief in federal court in Maryland.
3.26.12 Breaking Down the Army's $7 Billion RFP for Renewable Energy
3.17.11 Damages in spent nuclear fuel cases - who has what burden?
Civil Remedies for Fraud, Construction Briefings
Recovering Home Office Overhead on Delay Claims, Journal of Construction Accounting & Taxation
Construction Claims Overview, American Public Transportation Association Legal Affairs Conference
RFPs: Requests for Protest? or for Partnerships? American Public Transportation Association Procurement Materials Management Workshop
Federal Contracting, What Every Contractor Needs to Know, Corporate Counsel CLE Program
Transportation Law: Litigation and Regulatory Update, American Public Transportation Association Legal Affairs Conference
Transit Procurement Standards, American Public Transportation Association Legal Affairs Conference
In The News
4.30.14 Super Lawyers Announces 2014 Honorees in Arizona and Washington, D.C.; Three Husch Blackwell Attorneys Named
4.29.13 2013 Washington, D.C., Super Lawyers and Rising Stars Names Four Husch Blackwell Attorneys
4.26.12 Washington D.C., Super Lawyers Names Two Husch Blackwell Attorneys
4.14.10 Husch Blackwell Sanders Secures Victory in Protest of Government Contract Award
1.25.10 Husch Blackwell Significantly Expands Government Contracts Practice