Chad I. Michaelson


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  • J.D., Emory University School of Law
  • B.A., West Virginia University

Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania
  • Georgia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

Chad Michaelson is a trial lawyer with more than 20 years of experience resolving complex business disputes. He has litigated a wide variety of contractual disputes and defended companies against liability claims in the state and federal courts and before domestic and international arbitration tribunals. A significant portion of his practice is devoted to counseling clients in construction law.

Mr. Michaelson handles complex disputes that often involve highly technical subject matter. He has litigated difficult construction claims on both public and private construction projects and obtained several multi-million dollar verdicts and awards for his clients. He has experience with real property and land use cases, interpretation and enforcement of building codes, insurance matters, closely-held corporate governance disputes, the defense of tort claims and a diverse mix of breach of contract cases.

His work has garnered recognition by a number of independent organizations. He holds an “AV Preeminent” peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell; is ranked by Chambers & Partners in the area of Construction Law; and has been selected repeatedly for inclusion in “Best Lawyers in America” and “Super Lawyers” in the fields of Business Litigation and Construction Law. In 2022, Chad was named a Fellow of the Construction Lawyers Society of America.

Chad chairs the firm’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department and serves as a member of the Management Committee. He provides pro bono representation to low-income tenants in housing matters and is a long-standing member and past President of the Board of Directors of Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh. A native of Erie, Pennsylvania, Chad currently resides in Mt. Lebanon and enjoys the outdoors in his free time.

  • Prosecuted property damage claims by the owner of a manufacturing facility involving technical subject matter and complex contractual and legal issues, culminating in a five-week jury trial that resulted in a $12.8 million verdict for the client.
  • Handled complex subsurface trespass claims between a solution mining operator and neighboring oil and gas producers involving damage claims approaching $70 million.
  • Obtained a $3 million jury verdict against a contractor that defaulted on a public construction project.
  • Won a $6 million arbitration award for a highway contractor in a dispute involving differing site conditions.
  • Negotiated a substantial recovery for condominium owners in a complex, multi-party construction defect case.
  • Represented an electric generator in litigation involving the early termination of coal supply agreements valued in excess of $200 million.
  • Prosecuted claims by a natural gas producer to recover substantial environmental cleanup costs resulting from a subcontractor’s negligent damage to the lining of a retention pond.
  • Successfully defended an engineering firm in a $30 million dispute involving complex delay and defect claims relating to the construction of a blast furnace.
  • Counseled majority and minority shareholders and closely-held companies in litigation concerning corporate governance and succession.
  • J.D., Emory University School of Law – with honors, 1999
    • Emory International Law Review
    • Recipient of the Moffett Litigation Award for trial advocacy skills
  • B.A. in Political Science and History, West Virginia University, 1996
  • “Cost Accounting and Construction Contracts – More Complex Than It Appears,” The Legal Intelligencer, August 15, 2019.
  • “Mechanics’ Liens in Pennsylvania,” Faculty Member, Pennsylvania Bar Institute Seminar, June 2017.
  • Author, “Pennsylvania’s Uniform Construction Code,” in Pennsylvania Construction Law: Project Delivery Methods, Execution and Completion (2nd ed.), Pennsylvania Bar Institute, March 1, 2016.
  • “Pennsylvania Building Code Update,” Lorman Educational Seminar, September 23, 2016.
  • “Civil Liability of Building Code Officials,” Presenter, Pennsylvania Association of Building Code Officials Conference, September 20, 2016.
  • “High Performance Building Codes,” Presenter, Master Builders Association of Western Pennsylvania Green Building Symposium, October 23, 2013.
  • “Drafting Green Construction Contracts,” Breaking Ground Magazine, September/October 2013.
  • “Pennsylvania’s Uniform Construction Code,” Presenter, Pennsylvania Bar Institute Continuing Legal Education Seminar, June 19, 2013.
  • “Legal Pitfalls of Marketing Not-So-Green Buildings,” Presenter, NAIOP Pittsburgh Continuing Legal Education Seminar, April 17, 2012.
  • “Avoiding E-Discovery Pitfalls,” Construction Today, August 2011.
  • “The Intricacies of the Pennsylvania Construction Codes Act,” Breaking Ground Magazine, March/April 2011.
  • “The Americans with Disabilities Act: Building Code or Civil Rights Law?” Presenter, Meyer, Unkovic & Scott Seminar, August 12, 2010.