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Professionals

Michael I. Less

Partner

P 901-537-1042 F 901-537-1010

1715 Aaron Brenner Drive
Suite 800
Memphis, TN 38120

 

Michael Less is a member of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Service Team.  He concentrates his practice in all aspects of the area of Construction Law. 

Michael I. Less

Location

1715 Aaron Brenner Drive
Suite 800
Memphis, TN 38120

Representative Matters


Mr. Less has been involved with private and public projects serving as counsel for owners, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, design professionals, financial institutions, insurance companies and sureties.  He has handled contract drafting, contract negotiation, dispute resolution and transactional matters for clients engaged in the construction industry.  He has also represented clients in contract, tort and business litigation and arbitration throughout the United States and in various foreign jurisdictions. 

Professional Experience

Managing Partner of Less, Getz & Lipman for 30 years.

Honors

 Best Lawyers Generic Honors LogoMike Less, SL

  • Woodward/White's The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Litigation - Construction, 2005-2017
  • American College of Construction Lawyers Fellow (1996-2014)
  • Holds the highest professional ratings by Martindale-Hubbell law directory
  • Recognized by his peers as a Super Lawyer in the area of Construction Litigation
  • Don L. Smith Award in Recognition of Lifetime Achievement in the Advancement of Tennessee Construction Law (2010)

Education

1972 - J.D.,University of Memphis

1969 - B.A., University of Missouri

Professional Activities and Memberships

  • American Bar Association
    • Member: Forum on the Construction Industry
    • Member: Tort and Insurance Practice Section
    • Former Vice Chairman: Fidelity and Surety Law Committee
  • American Arbitration Association
    • Former Member: West Tennessee Advisory Council
  • American College of Construction Lawyers
    • Board of Governors (2009-2011)
  • Associated Builders & Contractors
    • Former Member: Legal Rights Committee
  • Memphis Bar Association
  • National Bond Claims Association
  • Surety Claims Institute
  • Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel (founding member)
    • President (2005-2006)
    • Vice President (2004-2005)
  • Tennessee Bar Association

Admissions

  • Tennessee
  • Tennessee Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, Middle and Western Districts of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Mississippi
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Sixth and Eleventh Circuits
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Presentations

  • The Rights and Obligations of a Project Manager, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (Memphis, TN, 2014)
  • Surety Law, the Basics and Litigation and Arbitration Strategies for Dealing with the Surety, Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel, 2012 Annual Meeting (Nashville, TN, 2012)
  • The Presentation of a Payment Bond Claim, American Bar Association, FSLC/TIPS - The Law of Payment Bonds, 2011 Spring Meeting Program (Lake Geneva, WI, 2011)
  • Calculating and Defining the Surety's Time to Complete, American Bar Association, FSLC-TIPS/Forum on the Construction Industry - The Critical Construction Issues Facing the Performing Surety, 2011 Mid-Winter Meeting Program (New York, NY, 2011)
  • The Troubled Project: Strategies for Dealing with the Surety, American College of Construction Lawyers, 2010 Annual Meeting (San Diego, CA, 2010)
  • Dispute Resolution: Remedies for Non Payment; Statutes Affecting Construction, American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry - Fundamentals of Construction Law: Learn the Basics from the Pros (Nashville, TN, 2009)
  • AIA Contracts in Tennessee, Lorman Education Services (Memphis, TN, 2007)
  • Hurricane Warnings: Dealing with the Cumulative Effects of RFI's, Change Order Requests and Change Directives, American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry - Another Perfect Storm, 2007 Fall Meeting Program (Newport, RI, 2007)
  • AIA Contracts in Tennessee, Lorman Education Services (Memphis, TN, 2007)
  • OCIP and Project Specific Insurance, Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel (Tunica, MS, 2007)
  • Project Specific Insurance for Owners, American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry Division 12, Steering Committee, 2007 Mid-Winter Meeting (San Francisco, CA, 2007)
  • Advanced Tennessee Construction Law, Professional Education Systems Institute (Memphis, TN, 2005)
  • Ten Important Recent Construction Cases in Tennessee, Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel (Franklin, TN, 2004)
  • Art of Arbitration, Tennessee Bar Association (Memphis, TN, 2002)
  • Public Contract Code and Competitive Bidding in Tennessee, Lorman Education Services (Memphis, TN, 2002)
  • Administration of the Construction Contract, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (Memphis, TN, 2002)
  • Construction Lien Law in Tennessee, Lorman Education Services (Memphis, TN, 1997; 1998; 2000; 2001)
  • Construction Contracting for Public Entities in Tennessee, Lorman Education Services (Memphis, TN, 2000; 2001)
  • Tennessee Construction Issues, Lorman Education Services (Memphis, TN, 2000; 2001)
  • Law of Payment Bonds, American Bar Association (1998)
  • Casino Construction - The New Mecca of Money Pit, Construction Financial Management Association (1994; 1995)
  • Place Your Bets - and Your Insurance - on a Casino Construction Project, American Bar Association (New Orleans, LA, 1994)
  • Tennessee Construction Law, Cambridge Institute (1992)
  • Protecting the Owner's Interest in Construction Contracting, Pickering, Inc. (1990)
  • Protecting the Public Owner's Interest in Construction Contracting, Tennessee County Attorney's Association (1990)
  • Handling Fidelity & Surety Claims, Wiley Publications (1990)
  • Preparation and Drafting Construction Contracts, Tennessee Bar Association (1989)
  • A Review of the 1987 Edition of AIA Forms, ENCORP/AMCA International (1988)
  • Tennessee Construction Law & Mechanics' Liens, Professional Education Systems (1987)
  • Turning the Tide in Tank, a Discussion of the Surety's Options in the Event of the Contractor's Bankruptcy, Surety Claims Institute (1986)
  • Defenses of the Surety, Professional Education Systems (1984)
  • Tennessee Construction Law, Professional Education Systems (1982)

Publications

  • The Construction Law Handbook/Tennessee Practice Series, Vol. 27, (West Publications, 2010 Edition; 2011 Edition; 2012 Edition; 2013 Edition; 2014 Edition)
  • The Law of Payment Bonds, Second Edition, Contributing Editor (ABA Book Publishing, 2011)
  • Fifty State Construction Lien and Bond Law, The Fundamentals of Construction Contracts: Understanding the Issues (Tennessee section) (Aspen Publishing, 2001-2014)
  • Recovery of Interests and Attorneys Fees, Construction Law Handbook, Chapter 42 (Walters Kluwer, Law and Business, 2008-2010)
  • Building and Construction Documents, Tennessee Practice Series, Chapter 12 (West Publishing, 2002-2014)
  • Review Performance Bond to Make Sure You're Protected if Contractor Defaults, School Superintendent's Insider (October 2003)
  • The Law of Payment Bonds, American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Fidelity & Surety Law Committee, Chapter 5 (2001)
  • Survey of State Arbitration Statutes, American College of Construction Lawyers (2000)
  • Improving the Odds for a Well Managed Project: Practical Tips in Casino Construction, The Gaming Lawyer (Summer 2000)
  • Recovery of Interest and Attorney's Fees, The Aspen Construction Law Handbook, Chapter 33 (Aspen Publishers, 1999)
  • Building and Construction Agreements in Tennessee, West Publishing Company (1992)
  • Tennessee Construction Law, Tennessee Bar Association (1991)

Civic Involvement

  • Memphis Chamber of Commerce
  • Memphis Jewish Federation, Former Board Member
  • Memphis Jewish Home, Former Board Member
  • The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Man of the Year (2002)

Interests

  • Golf
  • Travel

Representative Matters


Mr. Less has been involved with private and public projects serving as counsel for owners, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, design professionals, financial institutions, insurance companies and sureties.  He has handled contract drafting, contract negotiation, dispute resolution and transactional matters for clients engaged in the construction industry.  He has also represented clients in contract, tort and business litigation and arbitration throughout the United States and in various foreign jurisdictions. 

Professional Experience

Managing Partner of Less, Getz & Lipman for 30 years.

Honors

 Best Lawyers Generic Honors LogoMike Less, SL

  • Woodward/White's The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Litigation - Construction, 2005-2017
  • American College of Construction Lawyers Fellow (1996-2014)
  • Holds the highest professional ratings by Martindale-Hubbell law directory
  • Recognized by his peers as a Super Lawyer in the area of Construction Litigation
  • Don L. Smith Award in Recognition of Lifetime Achievement in the Advancement of Tennessee Construction Law (2010)

Education

1972 - J.D.,University of Memphis

1969 - B.A., University of Missouri

Professional Activities and Memberships

  • American Bar Association
    • Member: Forum on the Construction Industry
    • Member: Tort and Insurance Practice Section
    • Former Vice Chairman: Fidelity and Surety Law Committee
  • American Arbitration Association
    • Former Member: West Tennessee Advisory Council
  • American College of Construction Lawyers
    • Board of Governors (2009-2011)
  • Associated Builders & Contractors
    • Former Member: Legal Rights Committee
  • Memphis Bar Association
  • National Bond Claims Association
  • Surety Claims Institute
  • Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel (founding member)
    • President (2005-2006)
    • Vice President (2004-2005)
  • Tennessee Bar Association

Admissions

  • Tennessee
  • Tennessee Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, Middle and Western Districts of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Mississippi
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Sixth and Eleventh Circuits
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Presentations

  • The Rights and Obligations of a Project Manager, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (Memphis, TN, 2014)
  • Surety Law, the Basics and Litigation and Arbitration Strategies for Dealing with the Surety, Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel, 2012 Annual Meeting (Nashville, TN, 2012)
  • The Presentation of a Payment Bond Claim, American Bar Association, FSLC/TIPS - The Law of Payment Bonds, 2011 Spring Meeting Program (Lake Geneva, WI, 2011)
  • Calculating and Defining the Surety's Time to Complete, American Bar Association, FSLC-TIPS/Forum on the Construction Industry - The Critical Construction Issues Facing the Performing Surety, 2011 Mid-Winter Meeting Program (New York, NY, 2011)
  • The Troubled Project: Strategies for Dealing with the Surety, American College of Construction Lawyers, 2010 Annual Meeting (San Diego, CA, 2010)
  • Dispute Resolution: Remedies for Non Payment; Statutes Affecting Construction, American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry - Fundamentals of Construction Law: Learn the Basics from the Pros (Nashville, TN, 2009)
  • AIA Contracts in Tennessee, Lorman Education Services (Memphis, TN, 2007)
  • Hurricane Warnings: Dealing with the Cumulative Effects of RFI's, Change Order Requests and Change Directives, American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry - Another Perfect Storm, 2007 Fall Meeting Program (Newport, RI, 2007)
  • AIA Contracts in Tennessee, Lorman Education Services (Memphis, TN, 2007)
  • OCIP and Project Specific Insurance, Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel (Tunica, MS, 2007)
  • Project Specific Insurance for Owners, American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry Division 12, Steering Committee, 2007 Mid-Winter Meeting (San Francisco, CA, 2007)
  • Advanced Tennessee Construction Law, Professional Education Systems Institute (Memphis, TN, 2005)
  • Ten Important Recent Construction Cases in Tennessee, Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel (Franklin, TN, 2004)
  • Art of Arbitration, Tennessee Bar Association (Memphis, TN, 2002)
  • Public Contract Code and Competitive Bidding in Tennessee, Lorman Education Services (Memphis, TN, 2002)
  • Administration of the Construction Contract, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (Memphis, TN, 2002)
  • Construction Lien Law in Tennessee, Lorman Education Services (Memphis, TN, 1997; 1998; 2000; 2001)
  • Construction Contracting for Public Entities in Tennessee, Lorman Education Services (Memphis, TN, 2000; 2001)
  • Tennessee Construction Issues, Lorman Education Services (Memphis, TN, 2000; 2001)
  • Law of Payment Bonds, American Bar Association (1998)
  • Casino Construction - The New Mecca of Money Pit, Construction Financial Management Association (1994; 1995)
  • Place Your Bets - and Your Insurance - on a Casino Construction Project, American Bar Association (New Orleans, LA, 1994)
  • Tennessee Construction Law, Cambridge Institute (1992)
  • Protecting the Owner's Interest in Construction Contracting, Pickering, Inc. (1990)
  • Protecting the Public Owner's Interest in Construction Contracting, Tennessee County Attorney's Association (1990)
  • Handling Fidelity & Surety Claims, Wiley Publications (1990)
  • Preparation and Drafting Construction Contracts, Tennessee Bar Association (1989)
  • A Review of the 1987 Edition of AIA Forms, ENCORP/AMCA International (1988)
  • Tennessee Construction Law & Mechanics' Liens, Professional Education Systems (1987)
  • Turning the Tide in Tank, a Discussion of the Surety's Options in the Event of the Contractor's Bankruptcy, Surety Claims Institute (1986)
  • Defenses of the Surety, Professional Education Systems (1984)
  • Tennessee Construction Law, Professional Education Systems (1982)

Publications

  • The Construction Law Handbook/Tennessee Practice Series, Vol. 27, (West Publications, 2010 Edition; 2011 Edition; 2012 Edition; 2013 Edition; 2014 Edition)
  • The Law of Payment Bonds, Second Edition, Contributing Editor (ABA Book Publishing, 2011)
  • Fifty State Construction Lien and Bond Law, The Fundamentals of Construction Contracts: Understanding the Issues (Tennessee section) (Aspen Publishing, 2001-2014)
  • Recovery of Interests and Attorneys Fees, Construction Law Handbook, Chapter 42 (Walters Kluwer, Law and Business, 2008-2010)
  • Building and Construction Documents, Tennessee Practice Series, Chapter 12 (West Publishing, 2002-2014)
  • Review Performance Bond to Make Sure You're Protected if Contractor Defaults, School Superintendent's Insider (October 2003)
  • The Law of Payment Bonds, American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Fidelity & Surety Law Committee, Chapter 5 (2001)
  • Survey of State Arbitration Statutes, American College of Construction Lawyers (2000)
  • Improving the Odds for a Well Managed Project: Practical Tips in Casino Construction, The Gaming Lawyer (Summer 2000)
  • Recovery of Interest and Attorney's Fees, The Aspen Construction Law Handbook, Chapter 33 (Aspen Publishers, 1999)
  • Building and Construction Agreements in Tennessee, West Publishing Company (1992)
  • Tennessee Construction Law, Tennessee Bar Association (1991)

Civic Involvement

  • Memphis Chamber of Commerce
  • Memphis Jewish Federation, Former Board Member
  • Memphis Jewish Home, Former Board Member
  • The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Man of the Year (2002)

Interests

  • Golf
  • Travel
Michael I. Less