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Michael G. Bock

Counsel
T 412-577-5213

    Michael Bock is counsel in the Firm’s Pittsburgh office. He is a member of the Litigation Services Department, a member (and former chair) of the Construction Industry Practice Group, and a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Group.

    Mr. Bock’s practice concentrates in all aspects of construction industry law, including construction litigation at both trial and appellate levels; alternative dispute resolution (including representation of clients in arbitration and mediation proceedings); preparation and negotiation of construction industry contracts on behalf of project owners, contractors and design professionals; and general counseling of construction industry clients. Mr. Bock also has an active neutral practice in which he serves as an arbitrator and a mediator of construction-related disputes.

    In addition to being a construction attorney, Mr. Bock is also a registered professional engineer (licensed in Pennsylvania and California). Prior to attending law school and entering the legal profession, he worked for some 20+ years in the engineering and construction industries. As such, his construction industry clients recognize and appreciate his ability to readily identify with their problems and issues in view of his own first-hand experiences. In summary, Mr. Bock’s engineering and construction management experience includes the following:

    • 1987-1990: He served as project manager for Oxford Development Company and general manager of its in-house construction company. [He served in these roles while attending law school in the evenings.
    • 1973-1987: He worked for the American Bridge, USS Fabrication and USS Realty Development divisions of U.S. Steel Corporation in engineering, contracting and project management capacities. He filled a succession of increasingly responsible positions from designer/estimator through project manager and district contracting manager. His project involvement included high-rise buildings, bridges and industrial facilities.
    • 1968-1972: He served as a civil engineering officer in the United States Air Force, separating with an honorable discharge and the rank of Captain.

    Mr. Bock is regularly recognized by Best Lawyers in America and by Pennsylvania Super Lawyers in their construction law categories, and is rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell (its highest peer review rating based on legal ability and ethical standards). In view of his professional excellence and integrity, he has been recognized as a Fellow in the Construction Lawyers Society of America.

    Mr. Bock has additionally served as president of the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania and as an adjunct professor in the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering.


    AREAS OF EXPERIENCE

    • Over the years, represented numerous owners/developers on various types of projects including high rise buildings, restaurants, housing and condominium facilities, municipal facilities, chemical plants, hospital and veterinary facilities, power plants, hotels, shopping center developments, dormitory facilities, academic facilities, elder care facilities, public school projects and high-wall signage projects. Provided project counseling and contract services as well as dispute resolution services.
    • For more than ten years, has represented and counseled a major regional healthcare organization with multiple hospital facilities in regard to its construction program, its construction-related contract requirements and dispute resolution issues. This ongoing representation has included project counseling and developing (and updating) a family of form contracts for use with various project delivery scenarios and reflecting the client’s corporate policies and preferred approach to administering its projects.
    • Represented an owner/developer of landfill gas-to-energy facilities in regard to a multi-million dollar dispute with an EPC contractor relative to a large, out-of-state project. After some three years of counseling and arbitrating, a multi-million dollar settlement was reached in favor of the client.
    • Through its insurer, represented an owner/developer of a private aircraft hangar facility at a major international airport, the structural roof of which collapsed under the weight of an unusually heavy snowfall, causing substantial damage to 19 private corporate aircraft stored in the facility. Handled all construction-related issues on this multi-discipline representation and participated in negotiation of multiple settlement agreements.
    • Represented and counseled a national educational corporation, with numerous academic facilities across the United States and in Canada, with regard to its ongoing construction program. This included developing a family of form contracts for use with various project delivery scenarios and counseling with regard to project development and dispute resolution issues.
    • Represented an owner/developer with regard to conversion of an historic trade school facility to a state of the art, high tech energy facility with multiple tenants. This representation included negotiation assistance and developing of contract documents for a design-build approach to the base facility work as well as developing contract documents for tenant build-out work.
    • Represented a major airport authority in regard to its ongoing construction program. Provided project counseling and recommendations as well as contract and dispute resolution services.
    • Represented a public university on construction of a multi-million dollar student center which was plagued with problems as result of inadequate attention paid by the designers and contractors to the expansive pyrite on which the facility was founded. Orchestrated a “fix” to the pyrite-related problems and negotiated a substantial, multi-party financial settlement in favor of client.
    • Represented an owner/developer of a hockey rink in regard to problems with the facility and disputes with its general contractor. Negotiated substantial settlement in favor of client.
    • Represented a country club owner in regard to stability problems with a clubhouse facility that was “slipping” down the grade on which it was constructed. Orchestrated a “fix” to the problems resulting from the geotechnical issues and negotiated a substantial, multi-party financial settlement in favor of client.
    • Over the years, represented and counseled numerous contractors, subcontractors, construction managers, design-builders and design professionals in regard to project, contract and dispute resolution issues. Projects included academic facilities, residential facilities, excavation work, multi-use commercial facilities, sports stadiums, convention centers, dormitories and housing facilities, pipeline projects, power plants, basic steel plants, municipal projects, water storage facilities, courthouse facilities, parking garages, façade restoration projects, power plants, highway projects, industrial projects and public school projects.
    • Represented a structural steel fabricator/erector in regard to substantial damages experienced on an airplane hangar project at a major international airport as result of structural design deficiencies. Drawing upon his extensive background and experience in structural steel design, fabrication and erection, negotiated a multi-million settlement in favor of the client.
    • Chaired a 3-member Dispute Review Board (DRB), i.e., an on-call, standing arbitration panel, assembled pursuant to contract requirements for the purpose of quickly resolving disputes that arise between a state DOT and a general contractor on construction of a major, $175 million bridge project.
    • Has an active neutral practice in which, for many years, he has arbitrated and mediated construction-related disputes. Has served as a single arbitrator, member of a 3-arbitrator panel and arbitration panel chair.

    COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES

    Mr. Bock has long been active in the Western Pennsylvania engineering and construction communities.

    He has served as a 22-year board member and past president (2005-2006) of the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania (ESWP), a non-profit organization whose mission focuses on advancing the professions of engineering, architecture and applied sciences, as well as supporting the technical-related needs of the industry and community. Founded in 1880 by stalwarts of industry, ESWP is believed to be the oldest organization of its type in the United States. In view of the critical shortage of engineering talent that currently exists throughout the state and the country, Mr. Bock has been particularly active in ESWP’s student outreach initiatives, aimed at encouraging younger generations to appreciate the challenges and rewards of pursuing engineering as a career.

    Mr. Bock has performed a considerable amount of legal work for ESWP on a pro bono basis over the course of his 22-year involvement on its board. This includes serving as the organization’s defacto general counsel, advising and counseling the board on an ongoing basis, and addressing legal issues confronted by ESWP in the course of pursuing its mission.

    Mr. Bock has additionally been active in the Master Builders’ Association of Western Pennsylvania (the local AGC trade organization for building trades contractors) and the Constructors’ Association of Western Pennsylvania (the local AGC trade organization for heavy-highway contractors). He is an affiliate member of the American Institute of Architects.

    Mr. Bock served for three years as an adjunct professor at his alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, teaching an undergraduate course in engineering ethics. At the request of the school’s dean, he served for ten years as chair of a committee (comprised of professional engineers, alumni and faculty members) to evaluate nominees and present a cash award and graduate school fellowship to an outstanding undergraduate engineering student.

    Education

    • Duquesne University, J.D., 1991
    • University of Southern California, M.S., 1973
    • University of Pittsburgh, B.S.C.E., 1968

    Court Admissions

    • Pennsylvania and United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

    Bar Admissions

    • Pennsylvania, 1991

    Professional Affiliations

    • American Bar Association, Forum on Construction Law, member of Division 1, Dispute Avoidance and Resolution (1998-present), and chair of Division 1, 2004-2006
    • American Bar Association, Construction Litigation Section, member
    • Allegheny County Bar Association, Construction Law (former member of governing council) and Litigation Sections
    • American Arbitration Association, construction industry arbitrator and mediator
    • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, arbitrator, mediator and early neutral evaluator for the court's ADR program
    • Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania, 22-year Board member and Past President

    Other Distinctions

    • Fellow of the Construction Lawyers Society of America (CLSA)
    • Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation
    • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America for Construction Law and Litigation - Construction, 2012-2019
    • Selected as a "Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" in the Construction/Surety category, 2005; 2009-2018
    • Rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell®