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Accomplishments

Litigation matters – recent successes

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  • In defending a painting company in a jury trial where the owner was seeking over $700,000 in damages, we prevailed on the claim and obtained over $100,000 from the jury on our counterclaim.
  • We obtained summary disposition for a steel fabricator and surety company on a $250,000 claim brought by a supplier. The defense included very technical arguments involving contract and surety law.

Contract negotiations

  • One of our clients was negotiating a $25 million contract for a local construction project, but it had to obtain a bond as a condition to an award of this contract. The bonding company initially balked because of the outstanding bonds that the company already has. We worked with the bonding company to summarize and analyze the status of all of the bonded projects. In the end, we were able to assure the bonding company that the issuance of the bond for the $25 million project was not an undue risk, and our client anticipates an award of the project.
  • One client was in negotiation with a foreign company for an $8 million construction project. The parties came up with terms and the scope of work, and our office negotiated the contract with the foreign company’s attorneys. The contract was so complex that it took nearly twelve hours just to go through the contract documents line by line, but we were able to negotiate satisfactory terms and our client was awarded the job.
  • We recently prepared and submitted an extensive claim to DTE for a mechanical contractor, and recovered over $900,000 for our client.
  • We assist clients with employment law matters, including with difficult employees and with confidentiality and non-compete agreements to protect client customer lists and confidential information. Clients ask us to review and update their employee handbooks and employment procedures to ensure compliance with the Family Medical Leave Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Eliot Larson Civil Rights Act.
  • We routinely review clients’ standard service contracts to ensure that the clients’ interests are protected, especially through their choice of law and forum selection clauses and any applicable arbitration provisions.

Union matters

  • We regularly advise construction clients considering Union collective bargaining agreements (“CBAs”) as to the ramifications and advantages of such contracts. Because we have engaged in litigation over CBAs in disputes against various unions and fringe benefits funds (including the Carpenters Union, the Laborers Union, and the Painters Union), we are acutely aware of the pitfalls that await new Union contractors, including claims of alter ego liability and withdrawal liability.