Almost every contractor hopes a project will proceed without the need to file a claim; the reality often proves otherwise. Claims come in all kinds of forms – delay, extra work, acceleration, inefficiency – but essentially involve recovering any type of entitled cost or time impact. When circumstances demand filing a claim, the process may seem daunting or overwhelming. But, it shouldn’t discourage filing, especially when you follow a few key mantras: preservation, preparation, and presentation.
In this seminar, Michael Metz-Topodas will demystify the construction claims process and provide attendees with strategies to preserve, prepare, and present claims. Attendees will learn skills and best practices to ensure they are not waiving their rights, that they are creating the documentation necessary to support their claims, and that they are presenting claims in a way that maximizes their chances for success.
Michael focuses his practice on both construction and commercial litigation. He handles a range of matters in his construction litigation practice, including delay and inefficiency claims, design and construction defects, bond claims and mechanics liens, and differing site conditions cases. He also defends clients in commercial disputes involving corporate ownership and shareholders’ rights, insurance coverage issues, and Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) claims.
Michael has substantial experience in all phases of litigation, including pre-litigation counseling, case assessment, pleadings, written discovery, document production, taking and defending depositions, briefing and oral argument for substantive and procedural motions, mediations and settlements, trial and arbitration advocacy, and post-arbitration proceedings. He frequently handles appealing trial court decisions in both federal and state court. Michael’s litigation practice also includes advising clients on e-discovery issues, such as preservation, collection, production, and protective orders, with a focus on using cost-effective methods to comply with discovery obligations.
Clients rely on Michael for real-time counseling on business matters in ongoing public and private projects, including contract disputes and compliance issues. Michael also helps clients with issues related to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforcement and investigations. He also drafts, reviews, and negotiates a range of construction and commercial contracts, including general contractor and subcontractor agreements, master service agreements, and supplier/vendor purchase orders.
Before joining Cohen Seglias, Michael practiced commercial litigation and represented clients in a range of business sectors and industries—telecommunications, construction, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, and education—across a wide scope of issues, such as breach of contract, labor and employment, statutory and regulatory compliance, corporate governance, products liability, and free speech.
As a law clerk to the Honorable William H. Yohn Jr. in the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Michael assisted the court on civil matters concerning issues such as title insurance rate regulations, unfair real estate lending practices, civil rights, and employment discrimination.
While in law school, Michael served as a note-comment editor for the Temple Law Review, participated in moot court, and earned recognition as the evening student with the highest scholastic rank. Before attending law school, Michael taught history and political science in private and public schools both abroad in Switzerland and Korea and here in the United States, including Strath Haven High School, in Wallingford, Pennsylvania.