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STEPHEN HILGER

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STEPHEN HILGER

GENERAL OVERVIEW

Practices

   Construction Law
   Commercial Litigation
   Contract Preparation/Review

Professional History

   2008 - Present:

    Hilger Hammond,Grand Rapids, Michigan

   1991 - 2008:

    Rhoades McKee, Grand Rapids, Michigan

   1982 - 1991:

    Gray, Harris & Robinson, P.A., Orlando, Florida

Education

   University of Florida

  Gainesville, FL, B.S.

   Case Western Reserve University College of Law

  Cleveland, OH, J.D.

ADMITTED TO PRACTICE

   State Bar of Michigan & Florida

   American Arbitration Association Panel of Arbitrators

   U.S. District Court, Eastern & Western Districts of Michigan, Middle District of Florida, Northern District of Indiana, 6th  Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. Supreme Court

Steve Hilger is engaged in complex commercial litigation with an emphasis on construction law, has tried many cases in multiple state courts, and has appeared in several state courts of appeal, the Michigan Supreme Court, United States District Courts, United States District Courts of Appeal, the United States Supreme Court on cert, and multiple arbitration tribunals across the country.

Steve Hilger has been actively involved mediating and arbitrating construction law and related cases involving Owners, Developers, Contractors, Subcontractors, Suppliers, Architects, Engineers and Consultants in many different Midwest, Southern and Western states as well as abroad. His cases have ranged from simple construction issues to complex commercial, municipal and industrial projects involving breach of contract, payment, lien, bonding, delay, acceleration, compression, interference, indemnity, builder’s trust, code compliance, change orders, change directives, material selection, material compliance, scheduling, sequencing, design, design development, default, termination, unforeseen site conditions and a multitude of other construction related issues. Steve is very familiar with the Construction Industry Rules of the American Arbitration Association as well as other trade rules on arbitration. Steve has been on the American Arbitration Association Panel of Arbitrators for over twenty years and has conducted private arbitrations as well.

Steve is also involved in extensive contract preparation and review including contracts in the construction industry, material purchase orders, vendor agreements, documents involving the Uniform Commercial Code, licensing agreements, and multiple other commercial contracts and related documents. In addition, he is routinely involved in extensive negotiation of transactions and agreements, as well as pre and post litigation mediation.  The remainder of Steve’s practice involves in depth participation and the making of recommendations for business decisions and business strategies, as well as assisting in regulatory compliance and promoting and developing best practices.

Distinctions

   Named Michigan Lawyers Weekly Leader in the Law 2014

   2011 - 2014 The Best Lawyers in America

   The Fellows of the Michigan State Bar

   AV rated Attorney by Martindale & Hubbell

   Named “Super Lawyer” 2006 – 2013

Leadership and Management

   Associated Builders and Contractors, West Michigan Chapter, Board Member (2013- )

   Associated General Contractors of America, Michigan Chapter, Legal Advisory Committee - Co-Chair

   American Subcontractors Association, West Michigan Chapter, Charter Board Member 2005-2011

   Construction Financial Management Association

Teaching Experience

   Cooley Law School, Adjunct Professor of Law

   Case Western Reserve University College of Law

   University of Central Florida

Personal

   Music: Founder & leader of The Steve Hilger Band and The Steve Hilger Jazz Quintet

   Archery: Eight national titles

   Photography: Cover Photos in multiple magazines

Presentations

 

  • “Liens and Waivers”, Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI, November 2013
  • “BIM: Raising the Accountability Bar”, Central Arizona Society for Healthcare Engineering, Phoenix, AZ, October 2013
  • “Private Public Partnerships”, West Michigan Construction Industry Forum, Grand Rapids, MI, September 2013
  • “Construction Liens and Bonds”, West Michigan Construction Industry Forum, Grand Rapids, MI September 2013
  • “Top 10 Contract Killers”, Construction Financial Management Association Western Michigan Chapter, Grand Rapids, MI, April 2013
  • “Clearing the Path Towards a Successful Project”, Building Envelope Symposium, Ann Arbor, MI April 2013
  •  “Litigation and Building Information Modeling”, Missouri Society for Healthcare Engineering, Chesterfield, MO, January 2013
  • “Legal Review 2012: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”, Construction Specifications Institute, Grand Rapids, MI, January 2013
  • “IPD & BIM: Getting Teams and Systems to Play Well Together”, West Michigan Design and Construction Expo, Grand Rapids, MI, October 2012
  • “Building Information Modeling: Raising the Accountability Bar for Building Performance”, BIM Forum, Tacoma, Washington, October 2012
  • “Construction Liens and Payment Bonds”, West Michigan Construction Industry Forum (WMCIF), Grand Rapids, MI, September 2012
  • “Integrated Project Delivery, WMCIF, Grand Rapids, MI, September 2012
  • “Doing Business Out of State”, (WMCIF), September 2012
  • “Where did the $100 Grand Go? Understanding the Michigan Builders’ Trust Fund Act”, Associated Builders and Contractors, Grand Rapids, MI, May 2012
  • “Builders Trust Find Act: A Tool to Get Paid? A Way to Pay Twice?”, American Subcontractors Association of Michigan, General Membership Meeting, Grand Rapids, MI, March 2012
  • “Integrated Project Delivery”, International Risk Management Institute Construction Risk Conference, San Diego, CA, November 2011
  • “Evaluating the Rights, Wrongs and Responsibilities in Construction Competitive Bidding”, West Michigan Design & Construction Expo, Grand Rapids, MI, April 2011
  • “Construction Jeopardy”, National Association of Women in Construction, Grand Rapids, MI, April 2011
  • “A Primer to Michigan Construction Liens”, American Subcontractors Association of West Michigan, Grand Rapids, MI, March 2011
  • “Avoid the Road Bumps when Working Out of State”, Construction Financial Management Association, Grand Rapids, MI, March 2011
  • “Bond Boot Camp”, Pinnacle Insurance, Grand Rapids, MI, January 2011
  • “Protecting your Interest: Helpful Steps to Facilitate Payment”, American Subcontractors Association of West Michigan, Grand Rapids, MI, December 2010
  • “Warranties, Guarantees, Indemnities & Insurance”, Structure Tec, Lansing, MI, October 2010
  • “IPD and BIM”, Central Arizona Society of Health Care Engineers, Scottsdale, AZ, September 2010
  • “The New Indemnity Dilemma – How Does It Affect You and Your Business”, Associated Builders and Contractors, Grand Rapids, MI, June 2010
  • “Building Information Modeling, BIM: A Basic Primer”, Moderator, Association of General Contractors, Lansing, MI, October 2009
  • Client Seminar, Structure Tec, Grand Rapids, MI, August 2009
  • AGC 1st Annual Meeting, Ypsilanti, MI, January 2008
  • “ConsensusDOCS”, ASAWM/ABC Seminar, Grand Rapids, MI, January 2008
  • “Advanced Lien Law Protection & Surety Issue”, Association of General Contractors, Grand Rapids, MI, October 2007
  • “Pay-when-Paid and Pay-if-Paid”, American Subcontractors Association of West Michigan, Grand Rapids, MI, January 2007
  • “Mitigating Risk & Balancing Indemnification Seminar”, Association of General Contractors, Grand Rapids, MI, October 2006
  • “Retainage”, American Subcontractors Association of West Michigan, Grand Rapids, MI, December 2006
  • “Roof Asset Management Program”, Structure Tec, Kalamazoo, MI, March 2006
  • “Roof Asset Management Program”, Structure Tec, Symposium at Lawrence Tech University, Detroit, MI, February 2006
  • “Public Contract, Code/Competitive Bidding”, Lorman Education Services, Grand Rapids, MI, August 2005
  • “Building Envelope Symposium”, Structure Tec, Grand Rapids, MI, August 2005
  •  “Roof Asset Management Program”, Structure Tec, Symposium, Oak Brook, IL, April 2005
  • “Roof Asset Management Program”, Structure Tec, Symposium at Lawrence Tech University, Detroit, MI, March 2005
  •  “Roof Asset Management Program”, Structure Tec, Symposium at Lawrence Tech University, Detroit, MI, February 2005
  • “AIA Contracts in Michigan”, Lorman Education Services, Traverse City, MI, January 2005
  •  “Public Contracts & Procurement Regulations in Michigan”, Lorman Education Services, Grand Rapids, MI, October 2004
  • “Public Contract Code & Competitive Public Bidding in Michigan”, Lorman Education Services, Lansing, MI, October 2004
  • “Roof Asset Management Program”, Structure Tec, Symposium at Lawrence Tech University, Detroit, MI, September 2004
  • “Construction Mixer”, St. Cecilia’s, Grand Rapids, MI, March 2004
  • Client Seminar, Structure Tec, Kalamazoo, MI, March 2004
  • Text Box:  
“Roof Asset Management Program”, Structure Tec, Symposium at Lawrence Tech University, Detroit, MI, February 2004
  • “Roof Asset Management Program”, Structure Tec, Symposium at Lawrence Tech University, Kalamazoo, MI, November 2003
  • “Michigan Construction Law: What Do You Do When…?”, National Business Institute, Grand Rapids, MI, October 2003
  • “Construction Contracting for Public Entities in Michigan”, Lorman Education Services, Kalamazoo, MI, July 2003
  • “Water Intrusion and Mold Claims in Michigan”, Lorman Education Services, Traverse City, MI, May 2003
  • “Michigan Construction Defect and Mold Litigation”, National Business Institute, Grand Rapids, MI, May 2003
  • “Public Contract Code and Competitive Public Bidding in Michigan”, Lorman Education Services, Kalamazoo, MI, April 2003
  • “Public Contract Code and Competitive Bidding in Michigan”, Lorman Education Services, East Lansing, MI, December 2002
  • “Construction Lien Law and Strategies in Michigan”, National Business Institute, Grand Rapids, MI, September 2002
  • “Construction Issues in Michigan”, Lorman Education Services, Lansing, MI, September 2002
  • “Mold and Mildew”, Lorman Education Services, Grand Rapids, MI, July 2002
  • “Design Build”, Lorman Education Services, Grand Rapids, MI, June 2002
  • “Michigan Construction Law: What Do You Do When…?”, National Business Institute, Grand Rapids, MI, May 2002
  • Trade Group Seminar, Associated Builders and Contractors, Grand Rapids, MI, March 2002
  • “Public Contract Code and Competitive Public Bidding in Michigan”, Lorman Education Services, Grand Rapids, MI, March 2002
  • Conference Seminar, Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industries, International 85th
  • Annual Convention and Trade Show, San Antonio, TX, March 2002
  •  “Construction Claims in Michigan”, Lorman Education Services, Grand Rapids, MI, April 2002
  •  “Construction Contracting for Public Entities in Michigan”, Lorman Education Services, Grand Rapids, MI, March 2001
  •  “Successful Strategies in Construction Claims Management”, Lorman Education Services, , Grand Rapids, MI, February 2001
  • “Construction/Management Design-Build in Michigan”, Lorman Education Services, Grand Rapids, MI, November 2000
  • “Michigan Construction Law: Can This Job Be Saved?”, Lorman Education Services, Grand Rapids, MI, February 2000
  • “Construction Contracts and Michigan Lien Law”, National Business Institute, Grand Rapids, MI, July 1999
  • Trade Group Seminar, American Society of Professional Estimators, Grand Rapids, MI, April 1999
  • Trade Group Seminar, Associated Builders and Contractors General Membership Meeting, Grand Rapids, MI, February 1997
  • Conference Seminar, Construction Marketing Conference, McGraw Hill, Tampa, FL, January 1997
  • “Construction Lien Law”, American Society of Professional Estimators, Grand Rapids, MI, December 1996
  • Conference Seminar, Construction Marketing Conference, McGraw Hill, Cambridge, MA, August 1996
  • Conference Seminar, Construction Marketing Conference, McGraw Hill, Lincolnshire, IL, May 1996
  • “Construction Contract and Lien Law”, Lorman Business Center, Grand Rapids, MI, May 1996
  • “Current Topics in Construction Law”, Associated Builders and Contractors, Grand Rapids, MI, September 1995
  • “How to Stay Out of the Sandtrap Called Litigation”, Florida Wall & Ceiling Contractors Convention, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, June 1994
  • Conference Seminar, 77th Annual Meeting of the Association of Wall and Ceiling Industries - International, Las Vegas, NV, March 1994
  • Conference Seminar, 75th Annual Meeting of the Association of Wall and Ceiling Industries -  International, Washington, D.C., February 1992
  • Conference Seminar, Mid-year meeting of the Association of Wall and Ceiling Industries -  International, Honolulu, Hawaii, September 1991
  • Conference Seminar, Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industries - International Annual Convention, San Francisco, CA, March 1991
  • “Changes to the Florida Construction Lien Laws”, Florida, Wall & Ceiling Contractors Association, Ft. Myers, FL, December 1990

 Publications

  • “Significant Changes to Michigan Indemnity Law”, Hilger Hammond Construction Law Blog, February 2013
  • “The Legislature Jump-Starts Housing Development, Hilger Hammond Construction Law Blog, February 2013
  • “The Legislature Jump-Starts Housing Development”, Hilger Hammond Construction Law Blog, January 2013
  • “International Risk Management Institute 2010, Hilger Hammond Construction Law Blog, November 2010
  • “The Legal Worries Raised by IPD”, Engineering News Record, ENR.com, September 2010
  • “Construction Defects, Mold Litigation and the Rice of Substandard Drywall Claims: Chapter XXII”, A Contractors’ Guide to Michigan Construction Law, AGC, Michigan 2009
  • “The Design-Build Relationship: Chapter XIV”, A Contractor’s Guide to Michigan Construction Law, AGC Michigan 2009
  • “Building Information Modeling (BIM): A Basic Primer: Chapter XX”, A Contractor’s Guide to Michigan Construction Law, AGC Michigan 2009
  • “Recent Perils in the Construction Industry”, Business Update Publication, July 2007
  • “Sick buildings need more than two aspirins”, Business Direct Weekly, June 2004
  • “Mold Litigation Can Be A Sticky Issue In Michigan”, West Michigan Commercial Quarterly, February 2004
  • “A Boon for Contractors: The Narrowing of the ADA”, Walls & Ceilings,  September 1999
  • “Even the Construction Arena Can Fall Prey to the Y2K Bug”, Walls & Ceilings, June 1999
  • “Pay-When-Paid Clauses: A Contractors Defense” (reprinted with permission), Walls & Ceilings, January 1999
  •  “The Perils of Partnering” (reprinted with permission), Roofing Contractor Colossal, Vol. 18, No. 10, “Pay-When-Paid Clauses: A Contractor’s Defense”, Michigan Defense Quarterly, Summer 1998
  • “Disabilities and Design Responsibilities”, Walls & Ceilings, July 1998
  • “The Perils of Partnering”, Walls & Ceilings, April 1998
  • “Construction in the Year 2058”, Walls & Ceilings, January 1998
  • “Dealing with Construction Site Deaths”, Walls & Ceilings, November 1997
  • “Design-build Construction Considerations”, Walls & Ceilings, October 1997
  • “Preparing Yourself for Inclement Weather”, Walls & Ceilings, July 1997
  • “Arbitration in Construction Litigation”, Walls & Ceilings, May 1997
  • “An Insurance Primer for Construction Companies”, Walls & Ceilings, March 1997
  • “Indemnity:  Pitfall or Windfall?”, Walls & Ceilings, January 1997
  • “Courts Scrutinize Use of “Pay-When-Paid” Clause”, Walls & Ceilings, September 1996
  • “The 10-Step Claims Prosecution Decision Tree”, Walls & Ceilings, February 1996
  • “The Winds of Change”, Walls & Ceilings, October 1995
  • "Preparing Yourself for Arbitration", Walls & Ceilings, July 1995
  • "The Best Defense is a Good Offense", Construction Dimensions, March 1994
  • "Models for Battles", Construction Dimensions, January 1994
  • "Performance Bonds v. Letters of Credit", Construction Dimensions, November 1993
  • "The Opportunity of Arbitration", Construction Dimensions, October 1993
  • "The Indemnity Dilemma", Construction Dimensions, September 1993
  • "The Five W's", Construction Dimensions, August 1993
  • "The Perils of Pass-Throughs", Construction Dimensions, July 1993
  • "Preparing Yourself for a Deposition", Construction Dimensions, June 1993
  • "Using A Damage Summary", Construction Dimensions, May 1993
  • "The Renovator's Dilemma", Construction Dimensions, April 1993
  • "Reducing Litigation Costs", Construction Dimensions, March 1993
  • "Invention As the Grandmother of Necessity", Construction Dimensions, February 1993
  • "Contingency Fees in Construction Cases", Construction Dimensions, September 1992
  • "Protecting Yourself in an Owner or General Contractor's Bankruptcy", Construction Dimensions, February 1992
  • "Recognizing the Problem", Construction Dimensions, November 1991
  • "Managing Stucco Thickness Questions", Construction Dimensions, July 1991
  • Co-authored with Harry Rourke, "How Wall and Ceiling Contractors Can Beat the High Costs of Litigation", Construction, Dimensions, April 1991

Published Decisions

  • Lighthouse Place Development, L.L.C. v. Moorings Association, et al, 485 Mich 1120 (Mich 2010)
  • Lighthouse Place Development, L.L.C. v. Moorings Association, et al, 2009 WL 1139260 (Mich. App. 2009)
  • 84 Lumber Company, LP v Pagel & Frey, LLC, et al, 2007 WL 1228629 (2007)
  • Wentworth v. State of Florida, Department of Environmental Protection, 771 So.2d 1279, (4th DCA 2000)
  • Hilliard v. Shell Western E & P Inc., U.S. App LEXIS 22736 (1998)
  • Fournier Furniture v. Waltz Holst Blow Pipe Co., 980 F. Supp 187 (U.S.D.Ct., W.D.Va.1997)
  • The Travelers Insurance Company v. Jacob C. Mol, Inc., et al 898 F. Supp. 528 (U.S. D.Ct., W.D.Mi. 1995)
  • Central Constructors, Inc., and Seaboard Surety Company v. The Spectrum Contracting Co., et al., 621 So. 2d 526 (Fla. 4th DCA 1993)
  • Hold and Hooker, Inc., v. DRW Property Co. 74 LTD., etc., et al, 565 So. 2d 898 (Fla. 5th DCA 1990)
  • In re Continental Country Club, Inc., Hill, etc. v. Southeast Bank, N.A., 108 B.R. 327 (Bkrtcy. M.D.Fla. 1989) (reversed 1991)
  • Barcelona West Investor's Ltd. v. Hold & Hooker, Inc., etc., et al, 545 So.2d 342 (Fla. 5th DCA 1989)
  • The City of Winter Park, Florida v. Southern States Utilities, Inc., 540 So.2d 178 (Fla. 5th DCA 1989)
  • State Federal Savings and Loan Association v. W. M. Campbel, 848 F.2d 1186 (11th Cir. 1988)
  • In re Hunter, Southeast Bank, N,A. v. Hunter, 83 B.R. 803 (Bkrtcy. M.D.Fla. 1988)
  • Dependable Life Insurance Company v. Harris, 510 So.2d 985 (Fla. 5th DCA 1987)
  • D.R.L., Inc. v. Murphy, 508 So.2d 413 (Fla. 5th DCA 1987)
  • 518 So.2d 1277(Fla. 1987)
  • Bellochi v. Andrews, 505 So.2d 506 (Fla. 5th DCA 1987)
  • 511 So.2d 998(Fla. 1987)
  • Mullins v. Harrel, 490 So.2d 1338 (Fla. 5th DCA 1986)
  • I.C. Industries v. I.C. Industries, 595 F. Supp. 340 (D.C.Fla. 1983)