Michael B. Donahue practices in the areas of construction law and litigation, including arbitration and alternative dispute resolution, public procurement law and the drafting of design and construction agreements. Mr. Donahue has tried cases before state and federal courts, American Arbitration Association tribunals and administrative agencies involving diverse matters of contract performance, payment and bond claims, delay and disruption claims, claims against designers and enforcement of mechanic's liens. He has experience in Massachusetts public procurement laws, and has often served as a special assistant attorney general, representing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Highway Department and Division of Capital Asset Management in many litigations arising from defective design and construction work and public procurement issues. He sits as an arbitrator of construction disputes as a member of American Arbitration Association's National Construction Roster of Neutrals.
Mr. Donahue is a 1989 graduate of Villanova University School of Law and a graduate of the University of Dayton.
Areas of Practice
- Construction Litigation
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Defended international development and property-management firm against subcontractor mechanics' lien claims arising from a corporate-campus project in Burlington, Mass.
- Prepared standard forms of construction and design contracts for national retailer to be used by the company's internal construction department in leased-space projects and trained company personnel on administration of forms and potential negotiation parameters.
- Prepared standard forms of construction and design contracts to be used by hospitality provider's internal construction department and trained company personnel on administration of forms and potential negotiation parameters for both stand-alone and shopping center locations. Prepared and negotiated standard construction and design contract for regional supermarket chain.
- Provide advice on public procurement of design and construction services to the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency. Negotiate and draft contracts between MDFA and design and construction firms.
- Represented Massachusetts Turnpike Authority in various litigation and appeals arising from $200 million in contractor delay and disruption claims and resulting arbitral awards, Central Artery/Tunnel Project (Big Dig).
- Provided general public construction procurement advice to various Massachusetts public agencies.
- Represented the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority in litigation arising from its cost audit of an engineering subconsultant on the Central Artery/Tunnel Project.
- Represented the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority in nine cases against design firms seeking recovery for cost over-runs and defective design on the Central Artery/Tunnel Project.
- Represented Massachusetts Turnpike Authority in suit brought by frustrated bidder that had sought a contract for the design, installation and maintenance of the cellular telephone system for the I-90/I-93 Tunnel.
- Represented national construction-management firm in litigation against a major urban university seeking more than $10 million in additional costs arising from the delay and disruption of a large academic building project.
- Represented national construction-management firm in litigation of a $9 million claim against the owner of a medical office, laboratory and clinical facility in Boston, Mass.
- Represented national construction-management firm in litigation of a claim for delay and disruption arising from the renovation of a residence hall at a university in Connecticut.
- Defended international development and property-management firm against allegations of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty, and prosecuted a claim for payment owed for construction and development-management services provided on the multi-use NorthPoint project in Cambridge, Mass.
- Negotiated and drafted the design, sitework, construction and specialty-contractor contracts for a hotel/casino project in Bangor, Maine, for Penn National Gaming, Inc.
- Negotiated and drafted the design and construction contracts for the porte-cochere project at the Argosy Casino in Kansas City, Mo., for Penn National Gaming, Inc.
- Performed corporate and real estate due diligence for Penn National Gaming, Inc. in connection with its potential acquisition of the Wonderland Greyhound Park in Revere, Mass.
- Negotiated and drafted the design and construction contracts for the Empress Casino project in Joliet, Ill., for Penn National Gaming, Inc.
- Negotiate and draft contracts for Penn National Gaming on casino-development projects in Kansas City, Kan.; Columbus, Ohio; Joliet, Ill.; Lawrenceburg, Ind.; Charles Town, W.Va.; Rossford, Ohio and Reading, Pa.
- Negotiated and drafted the design and construction contracts for a 150-room hotel in Charles Town, W.Va., for Penn National Gaming, Inc.
- Defended construction manager against claims arising from the construction of luxury hi-rise condominium towers in a multi-tiered, mixed-use development project Boston, Mass.
- Defended geotechnical engineering firm against negligence and indemnity claims arising from the collapse of a cofferdam during the construction of the Brightman Street Bridge in Fall River, Mass.
- Represented a city housing authority in the litigation and appeal of claims arising from environmental contamination of a housing project during the demolition phase of a major renovation.
- Negotiated and drafted the construction contract for the expansion of the first-class lounge and clubhouse of an international airline at Logan Airport, Boston, Mass.
- Reviewed international airline's professional service contact.
- Reviewed and revised the construction contract and provided advice regarding real estate, permitting and environmental matters for a project at the Norwood, Mass., campus of a national vocational-education provider.
- Represented millwork supplier/installer in connection with various claims for payment on projects in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.
- Represented and defended millwork supplier/installer against fourth-party claim arising from litigation brought against a general contractor by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York in connection with the Bronx Courthouse Project.
- Defended construction-materials manufacturer against a claim that it supplied defective cementitious flooring material for the renovation of a tipping station in Hudson, Mass.
- Represented private secondary school in a claim involving architectural malpractice in the design of a dormitory project.
- Brought a collection action on behalf of international architectural firm seeking payment of design fees for a multi-use project in Costa Rica.
- Brought a collection action on behalf of international architectural firm seeking payment of design fees for a hi-tech lab space in Cambridge, Mass.
- Defended national retailer against mechanics' lien claims brought in a U.S. District Court in Texas by a general contractor seeking additional compensation for labor and materials provided to the retailer's flagship-store project in Williamsburg, Va.
- Defended hospitality provider against mechanics' lien claims brought by 11 subcontractors arising out of the construction of a retail food outlet at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa.
- U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
- Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, J.D., 1989
- University of Dayton, B.A., 1986
Honors and Awards
- "Construction Sector Dispute Resolution Attorney of the Year in Massachusetts," 2014 Corporate Intl Magazine Global Award
- Listed in Massachusetts Super Lawyers, 2004, 2005 and 2009
- AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
- Contributor, Duane Morris Construction Blog
- "Massachusetts Trial Court Showing Deference to Arbitration as Sutow and Harelick Decisions Hew to Policy Favoring Arbitration," Duane Morris Alert, December 15, 2015
- Co-author, "Massachusetts Appeals Court Invalidates Mechanic's Liens Against Condo Common Areas," Duane Morris Alert, January 11, 2012
- "First Circuit Holds That Warranty Not Exclusive Remedy When Repeated Corrective Efforts Fail," Building & Bonding: The Construction Group Newsletter, Fall 2011
- "Contractor Beware: That "Flow-Down Clause" May Not Flow as Far as You Think ," Building & Bonding: The Construction Group Newsletter, Fall 2010
- Co-author, "New Massachusetts Prompt-Pay Law to Govern Private Construction," Duane Morris Alert, August 12, 2010
- "Adding Value by Avoiding or Minimizing Loss," Winning Strategies in Construction Law; Inside the Minds, Aspatore Books, 2006
- Massachusetts Construction Law, Professional Education Systems Institute, LLC, 2002-2006
- "What Happened to Building Quality? Are Actuaries Overriding Engineering Ethics?" Boston Business Journal, October 2006
- Co-author, "Outside the Budget Box - Public/Private Partnerships as a Vehicle for Finance and Delivery of Public School Facilities," Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education & Practice, October 2005
- "At What Cost? Benefits of Owner-Controlled Policies," Boston Business Journal, April 1-7, 2005
- "Construction Law Chapter 15: Government Contracting," Matthew Bender, 1996-2004
- "Partnerships May Answer School Building Woes," Boston Business Journal, October 3-9, 2003
- Co-author, "Bad Faith Claims Against Sureties," SuretyScope Journal, Fall 1997
Selected Speaking Engagements
- Panelist, Dispute Resolution Board Foundation Northeast Conference - "Alternative Dispute Resolution Techniques," October 2008
- Speaker; "A Discussion of the AIA 2007 Contract Documents and the 2007 ConsensusDOCS," CoreNet Global, Boston, April 2008
- Speaker, McCarter & English, LLP client seminar, "The New AIA and ConsensusDOCS Contract Documents," Boston, March 2008
- Speaker, McCarter & English, LLP client seminar, "New AIA and Consensus DOCS Contract Documents," New York, February 2008
- Speaker, "Comparison of AIA and ConsensusDOCS 2007 Contract Documents," CoreNet Global, Boston, February 2008
- Speaker, "Comparison of AIA and ConsensusDOCS 2007 Contract Documents," CoreNet Global, Hartford, Connecticut, February 2008
- Speaker/Panelist, McCarter & English, LLP client seminar, "Redevelopment Opportunities in Massachusetts," Boston, February 2008
- Speaker, "Construction Contract Forms and Drafting," Massachusetts Development Finance Agency Internal CLE seminar, January 2008
- Moderator/Panelist, "LNG Pipeline and Facility Construction: How Much, How Soon, How?" Construction SuperConference, San Francisco, December 2006
- Moderator/Speaker, "Long-Range Forecast, What Contractors, Developers Can Expect in Boston and Beyond This Decade," Regional Construction and Development Conference, Babson College, Waltham, Massachusetts, June 2006
- Moderator/Speaker, "Alternative Dispute Resolution on International Projects," International Construction SuperConference, London, May 2006
- Speaker, "False Claims Liability and How to Avoid It," Construction Management Association of America New England Chapter, Boston, April 2006
- Moderator/Speaker, "Security Concerns in the Design and Construction of Infrastructure Projects," Construction SuperConference, San Francisco, California, December 2005