Chad I. Michaelson
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Chad I. Michaelson


Pittsburgh, PA


412.456.2864 fax

Chad I. Michaelson is a trial lawyer with over 15 years of experience resolving complex business disputes. He litigates cases in state and federal courts across the country, and before domestic and international arbitration tribunals. An active member of the firm’s Business Litigation and Construction Law & Litigation Groups, Chad also serves as a member of the firm’s Management Committee.


Practice Overview


Commercial Litigation: Chad has litigated a wide variety of breach of contract matters, and recently helped a manufacturer recover several million dollars in damages caused by a component with hidden defects. He also has helped companies prevent unfair competition, counseled closely-held companies in corporate governance disputes, handled insurance coverage matters and resolved numerous real property and land use cases.


Construction Law: Chad counsels owners, contractors and architects/engineers throughout the construction process, from contract negotiation to claim resolution. He has litigated delay, loss of productivity and other highly technical construction claims on both public and private projects, and recently obtained a $6 million award for a contractor that encountered differing site conditions on a highway project.


In addition to his general construction practice, Chad stays current on the law of building code administration and enforcement, and regularly represents building code officials in litigation and administrative proceedings.  He also has a deep interest in green building and chairs the firm’s Sustainable Development Group.


Oil and Gas Litigation: Chad has handled a variety of disputes involving the ownership and development of oil and gas, with a particular focus on shale gas extraction.  He has litigated disputes over storage and production, and recently represented a brine well operator in emergency proceedings seeking to protect its subsurface facilities from nearby hydraulic stimulation operations.



  • LEED® Green Associate
  • Legal Lean Sigma & Project Management White Belt

Awards and Honors

  • AV Preeminent® peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2015 Best Lawyers in America® –  Construction Law
  • Pennsylvania Rising Star – named for seven years
  • Pennsylvania Lawyer on the Fast Track 2007 –  Pennsylvania Law Weekly

Community/Civic Activity

  • Officer, Allegheny County Bar Association Construction Law Section
  • Member, Mt. Lebanon Board of Appeals
  • Past President and current Director, Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh
  • Attorney Advisor, Seton-LaSalle High School Mock Trial Program

Select Publications and Presentations

  • Pennsylvania Association of Building Code Officials Conference, Presentation on “Defending Negligent Inspection Lawsuits,” September 16, 2014
  • Master Builders Association of Western Pennsylvania Green Building Symposium, Presentation on “High Performance Building Codes,” October 23, 2013
  • Breaking Ground Magazine, Article entitled “Drafting Green Construction Contracts,” September/October 2013
    Pennsylvania Bar Institute Continuing Education Seminar, Presentation on “Pennsylvania’s Uniform Construction Code,” June 19, 2013
  • NAIOP Pittsburgh Continuing Education Seminar, Presentation on “Legal Pitfalls of Marketing Not-So-Green Buildings,” April 17, 2012
  • Construction Today, Article entitled “Avoiding E-Discovery Pitfalls,” August 2011
  • Breaking Ground Magazine, Article entitled “The Intricacies of the Pennsylvania Construction Codes Act,” March/April 2011
  • Meyer, Unkovic & Scott Seminar, Presentation on “The Americans With Disabilities Act: Building Code or Civil Rights Law?,” August 12, 2010


  • West Virginia University, B.A. in Political Science and History, 1996
  • Emory University School of Law, J.D. with Honors, 1999
        ‒ Emory International Law Review
        ‒ Recipient of the Moffett Litigation Award for trial advocacy skills.


A native of Erie, Pennsylvania, Chad currently lives in Mt. Lebanon with his wife, Kara, and their children, Jacob and Meadow.  In his free time, he enjoys coaching youth baseball and softball.