After clerking for Maine Supreme Court Justice Robert Clifford for a year after law school, Mike dove straight into construction law, defending architects and engineers in construction cases at a small Portland insurance defense firm. Since joining Bernstein Shur a decade and a half ago, Mike has had the pleasure of representing the full panoply of participants on a construction project: developers, owners, general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, lenders, and sureties in everything from contract negotiation and administration to construction claims, collection efforts, and litigation. He has deep experience with the prosecution and defense of mechanic’s liens, Prompt Payment Act claims, and cases under Maine’s Home Construction Contracts Act, among other construction statutes.
Mike strives to provide his clients with legal advice and counsel on whatever is affecting their businesses or lives. He has quickly grown from a fresh, young litigator to the chair of the firm’s Construction Practice Group, building his practice into a truly regional one, covering primarily Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. In service to his firm, Mike ran for and was elected to the firm’s Compensation Committee and has served for the past five years in that capacity. Over the years, Mike also has developed superior knowledge in asbestos defense, having represented manufacturers of pumps, valves, insulation products, siding, roofing, and gaskets, with additional experience in litigating eminent domain cases for and against the Maine Department of Transportation, municipalities, and private owners.
An ally for clients of all shapes and sizes, Mike also fosters a special fondness for animal law, and began to develop this expertise a decade ago, when the very concept of animal law was in its infancy. He frequently works on matters involving household pets (including dogs, cats, horses, turtles and even elephants!) in disputes over ownership or custody, dangerous dog cases, and veterinary malpractice matters, and finally, the widely reported first pet food class action lawsuit that was prosecuted in the mid-2000s. As Mike would tell any new client, and has told the press, his guiding principle is that he is “pro-animal.” He currently serves as a member of the American Bar Association Animal Law Committee and has previously presented to the Maine Bar Association on the evolving principles of animal law.
In September of 2015, Mike launched Bernstein Shur’s drone law team. The team provided a 12-part “boot camp” alert series covering federal, municipal and local regulatory issues, insurance, and litigation theories that will be used in drone lawsuits that are getting filed around the country. Mike and the team have been featured in the New York Times, the Portland Press Herald, the Bangor Daily News, Maine Biz, WMUR in Manchester, Maine Calling and several other publications. Mike is continuing to build this practice area as the development and proliferation of drones continues in society.
But that’s not all. Mike is also very experienced in:
- Drafting and negotiating standard AIA and ConsensusDocs contracts
- Negotiating nuanced project-specific agreements
- Day to day counsel for his construction clients, which range from new startups to some of the largest companies and owners in New England, and working with his colleagues in different practice areas to assist these clients with their various needs
- Complex insurance issues regarding defense and indemnity coverage in economic, property damage, and personal injury cases
- Assisting clients with personal injury matters, providing superior quality work at competitive rates
- Substantial collections work, including mechanic’s liens, prejudgment attachments and liens, and post-judgment collection efforts
In his former life, Mike was:
Valedictorian at Edward Little High School Class of 1989, Philosophy Major at Bates College, and Clerk for Maine Supreme Court Justice Robert Clifford.
When Mike isn’t working, he is…
With his wife Luana, enjoying spending time with their four adult children as they have their college experiences. Mike previously served as one of the youngest presidents of Bates College’s Alumni Association and has volunteered with the American Heart Association and the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland. He is a competitive runner, boot camp fanatic, and has completed half-marathons, marathons and, for the first time in 2015, volunteered at the Maine Tri-For-A-Cure as a kayaker. Mike reads and writes constantly, and enjoys spending quality time with his family, friends, and his trusted clients.