J. Michael “Mike” Schiff

J. Michael “Mike” Schiff

Senior Counsel

Construction Lawyer Houston, Litigator - J. Michael Schiff

Michael Schiff’s practice focuses on both construction litigation and alternative dispute resolution, in which he represents general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and owners in a variety of construction related disputes.

Areas of Practice

  • Construction
  • Commercial Litigation

Bar and Court Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of Texas

Representative Experience

  • Won two day arbitration as first-chair on behalf of subcontractor, obtaining a decision in excess of $450,000 on counterclaim for lien foreclosure, breach of contract, and attorney’s fees against project owner and general contractor
  • Successfully negotiated payment of withheld $350,000 to rotating equipment repair subcontractor at mediation opposed to conglomerate cooling systems manufacturer following dispute concerning equipment breakdown
  • Experience representing contractors and subcontractors on multi-million dollar industrial and infrastructure project claims in International Chambers of Commerce arbitrations
  • Successfully negotiated for settlement of $1.2 million claim against developer resulting in financial loss to plaintiff
  • Extensive experience both defending and litigating mechanic and materialman’s liens for vendors, subcontractors and general contractors under applicable Texas law
  • Aggressively litigated a $360,000.00 claim for an electrical materials vendor which led to a prompt negotiated settlement for the full amount of the claim plus prompt pay interest
  • Defended against a temporary restraining order on a suit for declaratory relief to rescind a non-competition agreement, ultimately settling the suit for a de minimis amount and maintaining employer protections in the agreement
  • Won at trial as co-chair representing employer in pursuit of claims for breach of a non-competition agreement and tortious interference with contact, obtaining a judgment of $100,000
  • Represented employer, eliminated defensive claim and associated legal fees of $80,000 through summary judgement in a non-compete and tortious interference dispute
  • Obtained $150,000 in damages, fees and interest on behalf of a general contractor at mediation of a contractual indemnity dispute with the subcontractor
  • Defended a residential general contractor at trial in a commercial lease dispute resulting in no liability for the contractor and zero damages for the plaintiff
  • Obtained partial Summary Judgment in defense of general contractor in a labor dispute, resulting in the elimination of $300,000 from the plaintiff’s claim, removal of a key witness and a favorable settlement
  • Temporarily enjoined a large government agency from making claims on a general contractor bid error, leading to a settlement beneficial to the contractor
  • Brought suit and favorably settled mechanics and materialmen’s lien claim by overhead door contractor in multi-party litigation in connection with work done on a $7 million cryogenic manufacturing industrial warehouse
  • Successfully represented plumbing subcontractor in mediation against multiple parties for claims of non-payment
  • Obtained a favorable settlement for pipeline contractor in litigation arising from work conducted by a subcontractor on a Montgomery County storm water and sewer utilities project
  • Assisted an international construction corporation in preparation for a breach of contract arbitration concerning construction of pumping stations for a trans-national oil pipeline
  • Clerked for an international retail energy company assisting in matters including litigation, corporate divestiture, contract negotiations, and collaboration with other industry members on research and development


  • University of Houston Law Center, Houston, Texas
    • J.D. – 2010
  • Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas
    • B.A. – 2004

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • State Bar of Texas
  • Houston Bar Association, Construction Law and Litigation Sections
  • Houston Young Lawyer’s Association
  • Associated Builders and Contractors
  • The Associated General Contractors of America, Construction Leadership Council

Speeches and Publications