Michael W. Switzer
Clients trust Michael W. Switzer, a Florida Bar Board Certified Construction Lawyer, as both a risk-management advisor and a proven trial advocate to help them through high-exposure matters spanning a wide range of business, insurance coverage, and liability implications. He has successfully handled litigation in state and federal courts throughout Florida and across the country, with a track record of obtaining defense verdicts, dispositive motion results, and other favorable outcomes in cases involving construction defect, employment disputes, professional liability, and a broad array of general liability claims. He serves as national counsel for a number of companies and brings to each matter a practical, efficiency-driven approach stemming from his in-house experience as general counsel and regional manager for a large title company based in Florida’s panhandle.
Mike’s in-house experience lends a practical business perspective and keen operational insight to his legal practice. As a regional manager and general counsel for a major Florida title company, he oversaw five offices, handled complex title issues, and worked with developers and county government to drive projects from real estate purchase and development through construction and closing.
A major focus of Mike’s practice is serving the construction industry, with clients that include a number of the nation’s top general contractors as well as regional developers and subcontractors, architects, and engineers. A Board Certified Construction Lawyer with over a decade of experience handling construction defect claims, he frequently defends construction firms and professionals against claims involving a host of allegations and building issues as well as lumberyard owners and other supplier-level entities in product matters. A small sampling of the issues he has handled in construction litigation include defective building materials; general design and structural issues; complex insurance coverage issues; constructability; truss manufacture and installation; roofing; window assembly, design, and installation; concrete design, mix, and curing procedures; fenestration issues; soil compaction; and wind loading.
Mike has been national counsel for numerous suppliers in the defense of Chinese drywall litigation, concluding in a global settlement, and he has achieved defense verdicts and zero or trivial amount settlements in truss collapse matters, one of which involved a death. He also defends construction-site accident claims involving property damage as well as personal injury to employees and third parties. These cases have involved crane collapses, forklift, and heavy equipment and machinery issues, roof and truss collapse, and building collapse.
Mike applies his extensive construction knowledge and risk-management perspective to his representation of insurers as well. He provides coverage analysis, issues coverage opinions, and reservation of rights and disclaimer letters, crafts effective policy wording, and evaluates claim files and past handling scenarios for bad faith and extra-contractual damages issues. By aggressively pursuing insurance subrogation claims against actual tortfeasors, he helps carriers and large, self-insured clients recover policy amounts they have paid out.
Professionals from construction-related disciplines and other fields turn to Mike for protection against professional liability claims. He has extensive experience defending architects and engineers, particularly in connection with defense, indemnity and coverage issues, and design defect issues. He also represents insurance agents and brokers, lawyers, accountants, real estate professionals, corporate officers, and others in employment practices and professional errors and omissions claims.
Mike defends employers in employment-related litigation around the country in state and federal jurisdictions. His experience in this area includes handling wrongful termination and whistleblower claims, wage and hour issues, Americans with Disabilities compliance, Veteran and Disabled Individual Affirmative Action, and age/race/gender discrimination claims.
On a national basis, Mike represents numerous clients in all aspects of general casualty matters. Much of this work involves the lumber industry, with matters including premises liability, automobile and trucking, employment matters, contract disputes, point of sale/box products liability, rental equipment, wrongful death, truss design and manufacturing, and construction and product defect.
Honors & Awards
Florida Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, 2016-17 (Thomson Reuters)
- West Virginia
- U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Florida
- University of Florida Levin College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 2003
- University of Florida, B.S. and B.A., with high honors, 2000
- Texas Bar Association
- West Virginia Bar Association
- The Florida Bar: Business Law and Trial Lawyers Sections; Young Lawyers Division
- Palm Beach County Bar Association
- American Bar Association: ABA Forum on the Construction Industry
- Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
Training and Certifications
- Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education: Certified Construction Lawyer
Publications & Events
- “Post-Tensioned Concrete Claims” Co- Presenter, GS Construction Webinar, October 10, 2019
- “Florida 558 Construction Defect Statute” Co-Presenter, GS Construction Webinar, July 11, 2019