Michael L. Chartan


Michael L. Chartan practices in the area of construction law. With nearly three decades' experience in all phases of the construction industry, Mr. Chartan's practice focuses on complex construction, commercial and real estate matters that frequently involve multiple parties. He counsels clients on how to avoid disputes and works with clients to resolve disputes. He has tried cases in federal and state court, before juries and before courts sitting without a jury. He regularly mediates and arbitrates disputes for clients and represents well-known companies, including public companies. He also blogs on alternative dispute resolution and construction issues and has taught construction law as an adjunct professor at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University. 

As a partner of the firm, Mr. Chartan serves on the firm's Pro Bono Committee and interviews law students and associate attorneys for positions as law clerks and associates, respectively, at the firm. He participates in the firm’s mentoring program advising associate attorneys on their professional development.

A member of the New York State Bar Association, the Nassau County Bar Association and Federal Bar Council, Mr. Chartan is a 1981 graduate of Duke University School of Law, where he was an editor of Law and Contemporary Problems, and a graduate of the State University of New York at Binghamton, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Areas of Practice

  • Construction Law
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Real Estate

Representative Matters

  • Represent Lockheed Martin in an accident lawsuit that occurred at McMurdo Air Station, Antarctica. Case is pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York.
  • Represent Lockheed Martin Corporation in litigation against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in the Southern District of New York. Issues concerned the implementation of an electronic security system for the MTA by Lockheed. Case was tried non-jury.
  • Represented the New York Post in multiple party litigation about the construction of the Post's printing plant in the Bronx, New York. Case was resolved through mediation prior to start of discovery.
  • Represented Newhouse in litigation concerning construction at three newspapers in Staten Island, New York, Ann Arbor, Michigan and Birmingham, Alabama. Litigation was settled in mediation.
  • Represented The Associated Press in a dispute concerning the renovation of its headquarters in New York City. Dispute resolved through mediation.
  • Represented a construction manager in multiple party construction litigation against the owner of retirement facility in Westchester County, New York. After years of litigation and appeals, the case was settled prior to trial.
  • Represented a hotel renovation company in litigation against the owners of hotels located in upstate New York, Houston and suburban Chicago. The litigation was filed in the New York and Texas state courts and the federal district court in Chicago. The dispute was settled after the hotel owners filed for bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York.
  • Special Counsel (15 years) to the County of Nassau in suburban Long Island for construction disputes and real property tax disputes. Lead trial and appellate attorney for Nassau in multiple party litigation concerning the construction of the Nassau County District Courthouse in Hempstead, New York. Case was tried to decision by the court in favor of client and settled on appeal. Other cases involved claims by utility companies and a condominium association that they were improperly assessed for tax purposes by the County. These disputes were litigated in the Supreme Courts for Nassau and Albany Counties and in the Appellate Divisions for the Second and Third Departments. Also advised Nassau in its reassessment of properties for tax purposes as well as claims of over assessment by commercial property owners including Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.
  • Represented a lessee of commercial property in a dispute with the owner about the right to exercise an option to purchase the property at the expiration of the lease. Lead trial and appellate attorney for multiple lawsuits and appeals in New York State courts over a ten year period.
  • Represented a contractor in multiple party litigation concerning the construction of a condominium. Issues concerned whether work was properly completed or was defective. Settled through mediation following discovery.


  • New York
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York


  • Duke University School of Law, J.D., 1981
    - Editor, Law and Contemporary Problems, The Burger Court: Reflections on the First Decade (Vol. 43, No. 3- Summer 1980)
  • State University of New York at Binghamton, B.A., 1978
    - Phi Beta Kappa


  • Duane Morris LLP
    - Partner, 2008-present
  • Thelen LLP
    - Partner, 2006-2008
  • Ross & Cohen LLP
    - Partner, 1993-2006
    - Associate, 1987-1992
  • Jaspan, Schlesinger, Hoffman LLP
    - Associate, 1985-1987
  • Nassau County Attorney's Office (New York)
    - Deputy County Attorney, 1982-1985

Professional Activities

  • Federal Bar Council
  • New York State Bar Association
    - Dispute Resolution Section
    - Commercial & Federal Litigation Section
    - Torts, Insurance & Compensation Law Section
  • Nassau County Bar Association (New York)
    - Commercial and Federal Litigation Committee
    - Construction Law Committee

Honors and Awards

Civic and Charitable Activities

  • Holocaust Tolerance and Education Center of Nassau County, Glen Cove, New York
    - Member, Board of Directors
    - Chair, Nominating Committee
  • Nassau County Bar Association
    - Mock Trial Team Attorney Advisor for Freeport High School

Selected Publications