Best construction lawyers in Detroit

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The construction industry is the sum of its parts—experts from every trade come together on a project to bring it to completion. In many ways, construction law is the same. It’s made up of many different specialties in order to meet the complex and unique legal needs of the construction industry. If you work on construction projects in Detroit, you want a lawyer with deep knowledge of the industry. But you also need an attorney that knows the local landscape, whether foreclosing on a mechanics lien or reviewing a new contract. Below, we’ve listed attorneys that provide the best of both worlds: These are the top construction lawyers in Detroit

Detroit’s Top Construction Lawyers

We selected the construction lawyers for this based on the following criteria. The attorneys on this list:

  • Practice law in Detroit
  • Are recognized authorities on construction law
  • Belong to the Detroit Bar Association or related associations
  • Actively seek to help answer questions from construction businesses

Edward Olson

Edward Olson

Edward Olson

38 years experience
56 answers

Edward M. Olson has been practicing law in Detroit since 1985, working for a national securities firm and a Fortune 50 company. In 2006, he launched his own practice to provide legal help and advice to construction businesses in Detroit and across southeastern Michigan. Edward has been admitted to the Eastern and Western Districts of the United States District Courts, the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

He is an active member of the Levelset Community, answering more than 50 legal questions from contractors and suppliers in Michigan. 

Edward specializes in:

  • Business planning
  • Mediation & arbitration
  • Employment agreements
  • Contract negotiation
  • Litigation
  • Bankruptcy
  • Securities & investments

Edward earned is B.A. in Political Science from Michigan State University, and his J.D. from Wayne State University Law School.

Edward is also a Legal Guard attorney, providing on-demand legal help to contractors when they need it. 

Peter J. Cavanaugh

Peter Cavanaugh

Peter Cavanaugh

27 years experience
104 answers

Peter Cavanaugh is a principal at Cavanaugh & Quesada, a law firm in Royal Oak. His practice is focussed on construction law, and he performs a wide range of services within it. Among other things, Peter handles cases that involve litigation, arbitration, contract disputes, lien and surety bond claims, and various other disputes involving contractors, subs, suppliers, designers, and more.

He’s a member of the American Arbitration Association (AAA), the Construction Association of Michigan (CAM), and routinely answers questions on Levelset’s Expert Center. He’s answered over 100 construction payment questions having to do with everything from mechanics liens to alternative recovery options. 

Peter earned his J.D. from the University of Detroit in 1995 and his B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1986. Along with teaching construction law as an adjunct professor at Eastern Michigan University since 2013, Peter plays an extremely active role in the construction law community.

Illustration of LegalGuard on laptop

On-demand legal help you can afford

Legal Guard puts a team of construction attorneys in your corner, on call for contract review or legal advice when you need it.

Brian P. Lick

Brian Lick

Brian Lick

15 years experience
7 answers

Brian Lick is a member of the Construction Practice Group at Clark Hill. He uses his 13 years of construction law experience to represent contractors, subcontractors, owners, and suppliers in various legal matters, such as:

Brian has received plenty of recognition for his expertise, like being recognized as a Top Rated Construction Litigation Attorney by Michigan Super Lawyers and being named a “Top 5 Under 35” by the Ingham County Bar Association.

As a testament to his dedication to the construction industry, Brian is also a member of the Expert Center where contractors, owners, suppliers, and other related professionals can ask him questions regarding payment and Detroit construction law.

Brian got his J.D. from Michigan State University in 2007 and his B.A. from the same institution in 2002. He’s a member of the State Bar of Michigan, Ingham County Bar Association, and the American Bar Association (ABA).

Ronald A. Deneweth

Ronald Deneweth

Ronald Deneweth

45 years experience

Ronald Deneweth is a founding member of Denewith Dungan and Parfitt. His practice is focussed on construction law, but he also works in real estate, insurance, surety, and fidelity law as well. Ronald has vast experience in counseling and representing all parties involved in a project with legal matters concerning each and every stage of the construction process. His specialties include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Arbitrating, mediating, and litigating simple and complex payment claims
  • Negotiating legal documents in real estate and construction
  • Helping contractors and owners reach resolution with lenders
  • Helping to resolve insurance disputes and delays

Since earning his J.D. from Michigan State in 1977 and his B.S. from John Carroll University, Ronald has received several distinctions. He’s a Certified Disputes Arbitrator on behalf of the AAA, a Top Rated Construction Litigation Attorney, and a “Top 100 in all practice areas” lawyer since 2007. Additionally, he’s considered a Top Construction Lawyer by Crain’s Detroit Business and teaches as an adjunct professor of Construction Law at Michigan State University among several other lecturing and leadership roles.

Harvey W. Berman

Harvey Berman

Harvey Berman

45 years experience

Harvey Berman is a member at Bodman, a construction law firm  based in the Detroit area. Mr. Berman is an expert in construction law as well as construction contracts, real estate, and other business matters that have to do with dispute resolution and claims. Additionally, he deals with green building and lean construction matters.

Mr. Berman is a member of several industry associations, such as:

Mr. Berman is also active in the construction community, and he’s a certified instructor for builders and remodelers, teaching a class called Contracts, Liability, and Risk Management. He’s listed as one of the Best Lawyers in America 2020 under construction law and rated as a Top Rated Construction Litigation Attorney by Michigan Super Lawyers.

Mr. Berman earned his J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall College and his B.A. from Case Western Reserve University.

Marcus Sanborn

Marcus Sanborn

Marcus Sanborn

20 years experience

Marcus Sanborn is a construction attorney at BSJZ, a Detroit law firm dedicated to construction law and other closely related industries. At BSJZ, Marcus specializes in construction and business litigation, contract drafting, and claims management. Marcus has built his career around representing owners, general contractors, managers, subs, and suppliers in a wide range of construction disputes.

As a testament to his years of experience, Marcus has been rated as a Top Rated Construction Litigation Attorney. He’s also a member of the Michigan, Minnesota, and American Bar Associations.

Marcus graduated from Washington University in 2002 with a J.D., and he got his B.A. from Michigan State in 1999 in Political Theory and International Relations.

Illustration of LegalGuard on laptop

On-demand legal help you can afford

Legal Guard puts a team of construction attorneys in your corner, on call for contract review or legal advice when you need it.

Michael C. Decker

Michael Decker

Michael Decker

11 years experience

Michael Decker, shareholder at Butzel Long, practices law in their Detroit and Lansing offices. His specialty is construction law and litigation as well as business law. Among other services, Michael offers his clients his expertise in:

  • Drafting and negotiating construction contracts
  • Prosecuting and defending performance, payment, and delay claims
  • Resolving payment related issues

Mr. Decker has been rated as a Top Lawyer in Construction Litigation in 2017, 2018, and 2020 by DBusiness. Mr. Decker is a member of Michigan and Florida State Bars, as well as the Oakland County, Ingham County, and American Bar Associations.

He got his J.D. from Wayne State University in 2011 and his B.S. from Central Michigan University in 2007.

Samantha S. Galecki

Samantha Galecki

Samantha Galecki

12 years experience

Samantha Galecki is a principal at Miller Canfield, a Detroit area law firm that serves the construction industry. Samantha focusses her career in the construction, energy, and manufacturing industries. She serves her clients with:

  • Contract disputes
  • Class actions
  • Mass tort litigation
  • Fraud and misrepresentation claims
  • And much more

Samantha earned her J.D. from the Indiana State University School of Law in 2010 and her B.A. from Swarthmore College in 2005. She’s a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the Federal Bar Association, and the Washtenaw County Bar Association.

Christopher A. Cornwall

Christopher Cornwall

Christopher Cornwall

33 years experience
1 answers

Christopher Cornwall is a member at Dickinson Wright. At Dickinson Wright, Mr. Cornwall practices commercial and business litigation and construction law. He represents various parties involved in construction projects, and he’s experienced in:

  • Drafting and negotiating construction contracts
  • Real estate purchases
  • Defending complex construction claims
  • Lien and bond claims
  • Delays
  • Scheduling
  • Cost escalation
  • Defective design

He’s a member of the Forum on Construction Law of the ABA, the FBA, the State Bar of Michigan, and the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association. Mr. Cornwall got his J.D. in 1989 from the Case Western University School of Law and his B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1985. He was admitted to the Michigan bar in 1989.

Matthew T. Jane

Matthew Jane

Matthew Jane

22 years experience

Matthew Jane is a principal attorney at Monaghan Attorneys and Counselors. In his construction specialization, he’re represented his clients in matters such as:

  • Payment claims
  • Valuation issues
  • Defective design
  • Change orders
  • Differing site conditions

Matthew is a Top Rated Attorney, and he’s also been recognized by Martindale-Hubbell, Michigan Super Lawyers, DBusiness, and the Washtenaw County Bar Association. Matthew earned his J.D. from the University of Michigan in 2000 and his B.A. from the same institution in 1996.

Find Payment Help in Detroit

If you’re looking to stay on top of the construction boom in Detroit, there is no shortage of highly-skilled construction lawyers in the area who can help you do just that. As you can see, their skill sets vary widely—whether you need help with bidding or you need to leverage a mechanics lien claim, you’re bound to find the perfect lawyer for your situation. All you need to do is look!

Alternatively, if you just have a few quick questions regarding construction payment in Detroit or the state of Michigan, Levelset’s Community is full of attorneys and other professionals who are waiting to give you the answers you need. It’s a free resource for contractors, subs, suppliers, and owners who need a little bit of direction when it comes to just about every legal or financial issue they may have over the course of a project.

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