Michael L. Sterling

Michael L. Sterling: Attorney with Vandeventer Black LLP

Biography

Mike serves as the Managing Partner of the law firm and is located in the Firm’s Norfolk office. He has also served on the Executive Board and Chaired the firm’s Construction and Government Contracts Department, Practice Management Committee, and Dispute Resolution Services.

Mike’s practice is concentrated on complex projects and disputes for international, national and local clients with particular focus on compliance and other regulatory issues.

He is experienced in a wide range of project delivery methods including design-build and public-private-partnerships; projects included co-generation and processing plants, wind tunnels, cable stay bridges, highways, stadiums, hotels, courthouses, hospitals, water and wastewater treatment plants, parking garages, high-rise condominiums, environmental site restoration, demolition and large scale residential developments as well as ship construction and repair; represented general contractors, subcontractors, vendors, manufacturers and design professionals, as well as private and public owners; experienced with the Federal Acquisition Regulations, related agency regulations and statutes applicable to federal government funded contracts and grants; appeared before federal and state courts, boards of contract appeals, GAO, agency administrative judges and arbitration panels; and prevailed at the United States Supreme Court.

Mike also manages the law firm’s Dispute Resolution Services; serves as an arbitrator and mediator for the American Arbitration Association (AAA), various Courts and by private appointment.

Construction matters have ranged from claims of defective workmanship to incomplete work to other performance and payment related problems; non-construction matters have included securities fraud, creditor-debtor, joint venture and governance, disputes, employer-employee disputes and other commercial matters; mediated attorney-client fee disputes for the Virginia State Bar; also served as a Hearing Officer for the Supreme Court of Virginia presiding over various state and local employee grievances and professional licensing disputes; represented construction clients in numerous alternative dispute resolution proceedings including AAA arbitration, mediation, early neutral evaluation and partnering sessions; founded the Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association ADR Committee that prepared a standing order for court-sponsored ADR; and conducted various presentations on ADR including as a guest lecturer at William & Mary School of Law.

Mike recognizes the importance of public and professional service and serves on the Board of Directors of Eggleston Services. Mike has served on the Boards of the Red Cross of Southeastern Virginia, and the Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association, and he has been Chairman of the Virginia Bar Association Construction and Public Contract Law Executive Council and the Vandeventer Black Foundation.

NOTABLE ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating

Virginia Business, “Legal Elite” (2002, 05, 09, 12-17)

Thomson Reuters, “Virginia Supers Lawyers” - Construction & Government Contracts (2006-present)

A Top Virginia Attorney in Corporate Litigation & Construction

A Virginia Top Rated Lawyer -Construction

American Arbitration Association Mediator and Arbitrator

Listed in The Best Lawyers in America - Construction Law (2013-present)

Best Lawyers in America, “Lawyer of the Year” - Construction Law (2018)

Publications & Presentations

Federal Government Construction Contracts (3rd Ed.), Chapter 14 - Terminations for Default, American Bar Association, (2017)

Construction Law: State and Local Construction Projects (1st Ed.), Chapter 14 - claims Issues, American Bar Association, (2017)

News

•Vandeventer Black Attorneys Listed as ‘The Best Lawyers in America’ of 2019
•Vandeventer Black’s 2018 Executive Board Elected
•Michael Sterling Selected as a fellow in the Construction Lawyers Society of America
•Sterling to Serve on the Virginia Chamber Legal and Regulatory Reform Institute Advisory Board
•Vandeventer Black Recognized as a Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year
•Vandeventer Black Attorneys Recognized as “Lawyers of the Year” for 2018
•27 Vandeventer Black Attorneys Named ‘The Best Lawyers in America’ of 2018
•Vandeventer Black Announces Elected Executive Board Members
•Vandeventer Black Attorneys Recognized as Virginia Super Lawyers
•Twenty-two Vandeventer Black Attorneys 2016 Legal Elite Finalists

Articles

•Potential Contract Adjustments Based on Tariffs
•Trade Secrets And Proprietary Information - Recent Changes To Virginia Law
•BUSINESS RESOLUTIONS FOR THE NEW YEAR
•Counting Down to Deadline for DoD Requirements for Safeguarding Covered Deference Information and Cybersecurity Incident Reporting
•Federal Contract Blacklisting Rule Repealed
•OSHA’s Final Rule to Protect Workers from Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica
•Drone Law
•Court Questions Teaming Agreement
•Public-Private Partnerships: Conflicting Interests Between Design-Builder and Designer

and Past President Norfolk Area Chapter;
•Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association - Former Executive Committee Member and Founding Member and Former Chairman of Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution;
•Tidewater Association of Service Contractors;
•Virginia Bar Association - Joint Committee on ADR, Local Government Law Section, Construction and Public Contracts Law Section Past Chairman;
•Virginia Beach Bar Association;
•Local Government Attorneys of Virginia;
•Virginia State Bar - Construction Law and Public Contracts, and Local Government Law Sections; and,
•Virginia Transportation and Construction Alliance. Fellow: and Past President Norfolk Area Chapter;

• Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association - Former Executive Committee Member and Founding Member and Former Chairman of Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution;

• Project Management Institute College of Scheduling;

• Tidewater Association of Service Contractors;

• Virginia Bar Association - Joint Committee on ADR, Local Government Law Section, Construction and Public Contracts Law Section Past Chairman;

• Virginia Beach Bar Association;

• Local Government Attorneys of Virginia;

• Virginia State Bar - Construction Law and Public Contracts, and Local Government Law Sections; and,

• Virginia Transportation and Construction Alliance.

Notable Accomplishments

• Martindale Hubbell, peer-rated AV

• Best Lawyers In America 19th & 20th Editions - Construction

• Virginia Business Magazine's Legal Elite -- Construction, Mediation, Arbitration

• Virginia Super Lawyer -- Construction

• A Best Lawyer in Hampton Roads -- Construction

• A Top Virginia Attorney in Corporate Litigation -- Construction

• A Virginia Top Rated Lawyer -- Construction

• American Arbitration Association Mediator and Arbitrator

Representative Matters

• Security Services - Counsel to firms performing international, national and local security services, and construction of related facilities.

• Supplies - Counsel to firm's seeking supllies on international, national and local markets.

• Football Stadium - Counsel for steel fabricator in connection with dispute involving alleged defective design and delay, disruption and cost impact during construction and renovation of college football stadium.

• Cable Stay Bridge Construction - Co-counsel for international construction company in dispute regarding bridge and approach design.

• Multi-story Retirement Complex - Counsel for general contractor in dispute with owner and architect concerning design defects in building envelope, as well as disputes with various subcontractors.

• State Courthouse - Counsel to steel fabricator in defense of claims by erector for delay, disruption and changed work.

• Hotel - Counsel to architect in defense of claim of alleged design error in light gauge metal steel frame leading to building collapse during construction, and pursuit of third party claim against structural engineer.

• International Airport - Counsel to steel fabricator in defense of claims by erector for delay, disruption and changed work.

• Oceanfront Condominiums - Co-counsel for various condominium associations in disputes with developers and builders related to building envelope defects.

• Communications Facility - Counsel for general contractor in dispute with DoD regarding design defects related to standing seam metal roof on structure intended to house top secret communications equipment, and claims against surety arising from default by electrical subcontractor.

• Hospital - Counsel for masonry subcontractor in connection with claim for design defects and insurance coverage related to building envelope failure.

• Child Development Centers -- Counsel for general contractor in connection with design, supply and installation of modular child development centers throughout the United States, and related litigation with team member, subcontractors and others.

• Wastewater and Water Treatment Plant Construction - Counsel to locality in conjunction with the financing, planning and construction of new wastewater and water treatment plants.

• Local Government -- Counsel to various localities and public authorities in connection with public-private-partnerships, contracts, protests, building code, land use and administrative law issues.

• Historic School Renovation - Counsel for general contractor in dispute with owner concerning claims of delay, disruption and other damages arising from the discovery of extensive lead, asbestos and other contamination and owner responsible design defects.

• Paper Plant - Counsel to international steam turbine manufacturer in dispute related to design and performance of turbine-generator set.

Select Publications

• Sterling Named Managing Partner for Vandeventer Black LLP

• The Best Lawyers in America 2014 Lists 23 Vandeventer Black Attorneys

• Court Questions Teaming Agreement

• Public-Private Partnerships: Conflicting Interests between Design-Builder and Designer

• Sterling Selected to Executive Board for Vandeventer Black LLP

• SBA FINAL RULE ON SUBCONTRACTORS MANAGEMENT DUE IN MARCH

Areas of Practice (16)

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Compliance For Government Contractors
  • Construction
  • Construction Defect
  • Cybersecurity & Data Privacy
  • Eminent Domain & Land Use
  • Environmental
  • General Litigation
  • Government Contracts
  • Insurance Coverage Defense
  • International Business
  • Local Government
  • Ship Repair & Ship Building
  • Sports Law
  • Surety & Fidelity Law

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
757.446.8626  Phone
757.446.8670  Fax
www.vanblk.com
University Attended:
Lawrence University, B.A., Economics, cum laude
Law School Attended:
William and Mary, J.D., Order of the Coif, Order of the Barrister
Year of First admission:
1985
Admission:
(10/23/85) U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Fifth (7/26/93), and Federal Circuits (9/18/89); (5/5/87) U.S. Court of Federal Claims; U.S. Government Accountability Office; (6/21/93) Supreme Court of the U.S.; Member, Virginia State Bar (# 25145); Federal Aviation Administration; (10/10/85) Admitted to practice in all Virginia State Courts; (10/28/85) U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia; various U. S. Boards of Contract Appeals; (12/27/99) U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
Memberships:

PROFESSIONAL & COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES

Eggleston Services, Board of Directors
American Arbitration Association, Mediator and Arbitrator
American Bar Association, Construction Law, Public Contract Law, Dispute Resolution, State and Local Government Law and International Law Sections, Construction Industry Forum
Associated General Contractors of Virginia
Association of Builders & Contractors
Board of Contract Appeals Bar Association
Construction Lawyers Society of America, Fellow
Design Build Institute of America, Moderator, Hampton Roads Industry -Government Round Table
Federal Bar Association - Sections on Public Contract Law and Litigation
National Contract Management Association, fellow and Past President Norfolk Area Chapter
Norfolk Portsmouth Bar Association - Former Executive Committee Member and Founding Member and Former Chairman of Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution
Tidewater Association of Service Contractors
Virginia Bar Association - Joint Committee on ADR; Local Government Law Section; Construction & Public Contracts Law Section, Past Chairman
Virginia Beach Bar Association
Local Government Attorneys of Virginia
Virginia State Bar - Sections on Construction Law & Public Contracts, and Local Government Law
Virginia Transportation & Construction Alliance
Virginia Chamber Legal and Regulatory Reform Institute, Advisory Board Member
Dispute Resolution Board Foundation

Birth Information:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 8, 1956
Reported Cases:
Representative Matters: Claims and Disputes: Construction Contract Forum Selection Clause: Co-Counsel for general contractor in Atlantic Marine Construction Company, Inc. v. J-Crew Management, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 568 (2013); where the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of the general contractor, AMC.; Bridge Construction: Co-Counsel for general contractor in dispute regarding claim for delays and other changes on project for the construction of a new bridge from Chincoteague, Virginia to the mainland, a connector spur from the new bridge on the Virginia Eastern Shore.; Hospital Construction and Renovation: Co-Counsel in design dispute regarding the new construction and renovation of a historic hospital.; Dam Construction: Counsel to excavation subcontractor in dispute with general contractor and public owner in Virginia regarding differing site conditions related to drilling and grouting.; Multi-story Retirement Complex: Counsel for general contractor in dispute with owner and architect concerning design defects in building envelope, as well as disputes with various subcontractors.; State Courthouse: Counsel to steel fabricator in defense of claims by erector for delay, disruption and changed work.; Hotel: Counsel to architect in defense of claim of alleged design error in light gauge metal steel frame leading to building collapse during construction, and pursuit of third party claim against structural engineer.; International Airport: Counsel to steel fabricator in defense of claims by erector for delay, disruption and changed work.; Oceanfront Condominiums: Co-counsel for various condominium associations in disputes with developers and builders related to building envelope defects.; Communications Facility: Counsel for general contractor in dispute with DoD regarding design defects related to standing seam metal roof on structure intended to house top secret communications equipment, and claims against surety arising from default by electrical subcontractor.; Hospital: Counsel for masonry subcontractor in connection with claim for design defects and insurance coverage related to building envelope failure.; Paper Plant: Counsel to international steam turbine manufacturer in dispute related to design and performance of turbine-generator set.; Football Stadium: Counsel for steel fabricator in connection with dispute involving alleged defective design and delay, disruption and cost impact during construction and renovation of college football stadium.; Protests, Injunctions, and Declaratory Relief: Improper Best Value Determination: Matter of MTS Technologies, B-413813 et al. (2016). Agency agreed to corrective action.; Insurance Coverage: Counsel for insurer defense of declaratory action for coverage under CGL policy, Certain Underwriters at Lloyds, London v. Middleton et al. (Norfolk Cir. Ct. CL 14000104-00, 2015). The claims were dismissed on our motion.; Sale of Building and Rezoning by Public Body: Counsel for Town of Cape Charles in Old School Cape Charles, LLC, et al., v. Cape Charles Town Council, et al., (Virginia Supreme Court No. 131085, Nov. 15, 2013), where the Court upheld the trial court's denial of declaratory and injunctive relief, and ruling that the Town properly sold an old school, amended the zoning ordinance and granted a conditional use permit.; Incorrect Decision on Lack of Responsibility: Successfully protested exclusion of steel fabricator from project to fabricate strongbacks for a Navy drydock.; Improper Rejection of Bid as Nonresponsive: Successfully protested rejection of bid by school board based on alleged failure of bidder to include proposed contract completion date.; Specialized Public Contract Matters: Ethics and OCI Compliance Programs: Preparation and implementation of ethics and organizational conflict of interest compliance programs, and related investigations for various clients.; Contract and Purchase Order Documentation: Preparation and implementation of contract and purchase order documentation and related advice for various clients.; Environmental claims: Representation of several clients in defense of environmental claims related to the general, transportation and disposal of hazardous waste.; Wastewater and Water Treatment Plant Construction: Counsel to locality in conjunction with the financing, planning and construction of new wastewater and water treatment plants.; Local Government: Counsel to various localities and public authorities in connection with public-private-partnerships, contracts, protests, building code, land use and administrative law issues.; Design-Build Matters: Child Development Centers: Counsel for general contractor in connection with design, supply and installation of modular child development centers throughout the United States, and related litigation with team member, subcontractors and others.; DoD Design Build Projects: Representation of numerous prime and subcontractors on a variety of design-build projects for the Department of Defense including, pier, museum, housing and other facilities projects.; Cable Stay Bridge Construction: Co-counsel for international construction company in dispute regarding bridge and approach design.; Arbitrator - Mediator: Construction: Appointed as arbitrator or mediator in numerous construction dispute cases for the American Arbitration Association, Better Business Bureau, the Community Mediation Center, courts and parties. Matters ranging from claims of defective workmanship to incomplete work, payment, performance and agreement related problems on complex commercial and residential construction projects.; Government Contracts: United States of America, ex rel Donald Hicks v. Chrysler Corp., et al . Case No. CV-98-CO-154-NE and United States of America ex rel. Jack Simon v. Diamler - Chrysler.,et al., Case No. CV-99-C0-1846-S. Appointed as mediator by the United States District Court of the Northern District of Alabama in these 100 million dollar qui tam actions for alleged violations of the False Claims Act during the performance of government military contracts and related employment claims. Successfully mediated settlement between the parties in both matters.; Business Disputes: Appointed as arbitrator in various matters including law firm partnership dispute, estate and business ownership disputes.; Insurance Disputes: Appointed as arbitrator in crop insurance dispute.; Creditor Disputes: Appointed as arbitrator in numerous creditor disputes by the National Arbitration Forum.; Consumer Disputes: Appointed as arbitrator or mediator in various consumer disputes by the Better Business Bureau and the Community Mediation Center.; Securities Matters: Appointed as arbitrator or mediator in various securities trading and related disputes by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA, formerly NASD).; Employment Issues: Appointed as a Hearing Officer by the Virginia Supreme Court to preside over various state and local employee grievances, or professional licensing disputes. Alternate Panel Arbitrator for the Travel Agent Arbiter Program.; Maritime Matters: Appointed arbitrator in various matters including dispute over vessel construction, and design and installation of pier and facility cranes; appointed mediator in disputes between vessel owner and operator concerning management agreements and associated fees.; Attorney Fees: Appointed by Virginia State Bar to mediate a variety of client and attorney fee disputes.
ISLN:
903429168
Payment Information:
  • Credit cards accepted
  • Accepts Visa and MasterCard
  • Peer Reviews

    • 5.0/5.0 (1 review)
    • A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.
    • Legal Knowledge

      5.0/5.0
    • Analytical Capability

      5.0/5.0
    • Judgment

      5.0/5.0
    • Communication

      5.0/5.0
    • Legal Experience

      5.0/5.0
    • 5.0/5.0 Rated by a Member on 09/10/11 in Alternative Dispute Resolution

      although I think Mike's main area of expertise is construction law, I know him from the ADR community. He has devoted countless hours to our local non profit mediation organization and is an accomplished ADR practitioner himself.

      although I think Mike's main area of expertise is construction law, I know him from the ADR community. He has devoted countless hours to our local non profit mediation organization and is an accomplished ADR practitioner himself. Read less

      Read less

    *Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

    Client Reviews

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    Norfolk, Virginia

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