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Michael D. Germain

Partner
Phone: (949) 247-7973

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Michael Germain is licensed to practice in the states of California and Colorado, and concentrates his practice in the area of construction where he provides a full range of litigation and business-legal counseling services to general contractors, owners, developers, and subcontractors. Mike also represents EPC contractors as well as alternative energy technology developers, manufacturers, and energy service companies. 

In addition to the negotiation, drafting and legal in-project administration of his clients’ construction contracts, Mike has substantial experience and expertise in the area of complex construction contract disputes in both the public and private arenas, and has represented contractors, subcontractors, developers and owners both locally and nationally. His practice also focuses on commercial contract business disputes. In addition, Mike has substantial experience in both state and federal courts and is admitted to the United States Court of Federal Claims.

Representative Experience

  • Represented an engineering contractor against a municipality for unpaid changed and additional work; obtained award in binding arbitration in favor of client for an amount exceeding 90% of claim, including award of attorneys fees and costs.
  • Member of litigation and trial team representing an international design-build contractor against claims by its subcontractor for breach of contract and prompt payment penalties relating to the design and construction of a $900 million-plus combined cycle power plant located in Kern County, CA; following a two-and-one-half month trial, the jury denied the subcontractor's $17 million prompt payment/attorneys' fees claim, and the judgment was successfully contained within the range of the mock jury verdicts commissioned pre-trial.
  • Represented a high-end home owner in Beverly Hills in the prosecution of a claim against more than 25 parties for multiple architectural and engineering errors and construction defects affecting client's residence; obtained in excess of $5,500,000 in settlement funds for client, an amount that exceeded the original costs for demolition of the original residence and the construction of the new home.
  • Represented a high-end home owner in Nellie Gail Ranch (Laguna Hills, CA) against the architect of record in an action for professional negligence and breach of contract concerning the $2.5 million remodel of the client's residence; obtained an award in binding arbitration in favor of client in excess of $1,100,000 - representing a recovery of over 90% of the client's total claim.
  • Represented a high-end home owner in Long Beach, California in the prosecution of a claim for multiple design and engineering errors and construction defects affecting client's three (3) properties totaling approximately 25,000 s.f., including the client’s main residence and two town-homes; obtained $2,200,000 in settlement funds for client.
  • Represented a construction engineering firm in the prosecution of its claim against a California public agency for damages resulting from design error, delay, differing site conditions and claims for extra work totaling in excess of $1.3 million; obtained over $900,000 in settlement funds for the client, as well as the public agency’s dismissal of its false claim action against the client.
  • Represented a general engineering contractor against a nationally prominent residential developer's claims for breach of warranty and contract; obtained a settlement for the client at 10% of developer's total claim.
  • Represented a general engineering firm in its claim against a public entity for payment of extra work, acceleration costs, delay damages and other impacts;  client’s original claim was for $261,000;  prior to trial, obtained $350,000 in settlement funds for client.
  • Represented a general engineering contractor against the concrete subcontractor's claim for payment for work on upgrades to the runways at the San Diego International Airport; obtained a settlement for the client at a small fraction of the subcontractor's claim.
  • Prepared and argued successful bid protests on behalf of multiple clients.
  • Negotiated on behalf of a green-energy client multi-million dollar sales contracts & long-term service agreements with private firms and multiple public agencies and utilities, including PG&E, SCE and municipal water districts.
  • Preparation of annual updates to clients' standard form contracts.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Orange County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
    • Forum Committee on the Construction Industry
    • Forum Committee on Litigation
    • Forum Division on Public Contracts

Publications and Presentations

  • Author: Chapter 4 - “Common Construction Disputes,” California Construction Law Book, HLK Global Communications, Inc., 2013.
  • Author: "Beware the Less Obvious False Claims Act Violations - Underbidding and False Pricing are Now Under Heightened Scrutiny," WTHF newsletter, Spring 2013.
  • Presenter: Singer-Lewak Contractor's University Series Presentation Contract Negotiation Workshop, June 2008.
  • Author: "Analysis of Selected Revisions to the American Institute of Architects A201-1997 General Conditions," From the Ground Up, Summer 1999, West Coast Update.
  • Guest Speaker: American Society of Civil Engineers - Forensic Engineering Technical Group, March 1998.