Chad I. Michaelson
Chad I. Michaelson


Pittsburgh, PA


412.456.2864 fax

Chad I. Michaelson a Partner at Meyer, Unkovic & Scott LLP.  He is a member of the Business Litigation and Construction Law Groups and chairs the firm’s Sustainable Development Practice Group.


Practice Areas:


Mr. Michaelson counsels businesses on how to manage potential liabilities and works to resolve complex commercial disputes in an efficient and proportional manner.


Mr. Michaelson represents clients before domestic and international arbitral tribunals, administrative agencies, and state and federal courts, and handles a wide range of business litigation including contractual disputes, insurance coverage matters, injunctive relief proceedings, corporate governance disputes, trade secret litigation and claims for interference with business relationships, among other things.  He uses technology to reduce the costs associated with the review and production of voluminous evidence in complex commercial cases, and advises his clients on the unique issues presented by the proliferation of electronically-stored information.


Many of Mr. Michaelson’s clients are involved in real estate and construction work.  He negotiates and drafts construction contracts, handles mechanics’ liens and payment disputes and has both prosecuted and defended delay, loss of productivity and other complex construction claims.  He is certified as a LEED® Green Associate, which allows him to counsel clients on the unique issues presented by green building.  He also has extensive experience with the administration and enforcement of building codes, and has represented building code officials in a variety of administrative and other proceedings.


He has earned an AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating Program. This score indicates the highest recommendation of his peers for general ethical standards and legal ability. Mr. Michaelson’s work has garnered him honors as a Pennsylvania “Rising Star” by Law & Politics Magazine in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, and he was selected as a Pennsylvania “Lawyer on the Fast Track” by Pennsylvania Law Weekly in 2007.


Representative Cases:

  • Drafted and negotiated construction and engineering contracts valued at more than $40 million for corporate headquarters seeking LEED® certification
  • Obtained substantial settlement for medical clinic prevented from doing business due to municipality’s enactment and enforcement of an unconstitutional zoning ordinance
  • Worked as part of a team that successfully defended simultaneous domestic and international arbitration proceedings seeking more than $20 million in damages from a multinational engineering concern arising from delays and cost overruns on an EPC project for the reconstruction of a blast furnace
  • Obtained an arbitration award of over $1 million for a subcontractor that had suffered delays and lost productivity in connection with the installation of a SCR scrubber at a power plant
  • Represented manufacturing firm in dispute involving termination of long-term manufacturing and distribution agreement with Fortune 100 company
  • Successfully defended attempted takeover of closely-held company by minority shareholders
  • Defended numerous negligent inspection lawsuits and administrative decertification proceedings against building code officials



Mr. Michaelson earned his B.A. in Political Science and History from West Virginia University in 1996 and his Juris Doctor, with Honors, from the Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia in 1999.  While in law school, he served on the Emory International Law Review as Notes & Comments Editor and was the recipient of the Moffett Litigation Award for his trial advocacy skills.  Before relocating to Pittsburgh, he worked as a litigation associate in a large Atlanta law firm.


He is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and Georgia and a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the Georgia Bar Association and the Allegheny County Bar Association, and is active in the latter’s Construction Law Section.  He also is a past President and current member of the Board of Directors of Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh, a local nonprofit that provides free home repairs and renovations to the elderly and low-income in Allegheny County.  Mr. Michaelson also serves on the Mt. Lebanon Board of Appeals (Building Codes) and advises the Seton-LaSalle High School Mock Trial program.


A native of Erie, Pennsylvania, Chad currently lives in Mt. Lebanon with his wife, Kara, and their children, Jacob and Meadow.


Publications and Presentations:

  • Presenter, “Legal Pitfalls of Marketing Not-So-Green Buildings,” NAIOP Pittsburgh Continuing Education Seminar, April 17, 2012
  • Chad I. Michaelson and Joseph A. Vater, Jr. Construction Today, “Understanding COBRA” (March 2012)
  • Chad I. Michaelson and David G. Oberdick, Construction Today, “Protecting Your Property” (intellectual property in construction) (December 2011)
  • Chad I. Michaelson, Construction Today, “Avoiding E-Discovery Pitfalls” (August 2011)
  • Chad I. Michaelson, Construction Today, “Delay Claims” (enforcement of no damage for delay clauses) (June 2011)
  • Chad I. Michaelson, Construction Today, “Meeting High Standards” (high performance building codes) (April 2011)
  • Chad I. Michaelson, Breaking Ground, “The Intricacies of the Pennsylvania Construction Codes Act” (March/April 2011)
  • Chad I. Michaelson, Construction Today, “Contractual Clarity” (effective contract negotiation and drafting) (December 2010)
  • Co-Presenter, “The Americans With Disabilities Act: Building Code or Civil Rights Law?,” Seminar (August 12, 2010)
  • Joshua R. Lorenz and Chad I. Michaelson, Breaking Ground, “Proper Planning a Must to Keep Your Green Project Out of the Red” (March/April 2009)
  • Co-Presenter, “Its Not Easy Being Green,” Seminar (February 19, 2009)
  • Presenter, “Preserving and Presenting Change Order Claims,” Lorman CLE Program (Jan. 18, 2007)