Skip to Main Content
Services Talent Knowledge
Site Search
Menu

MichaelBalestra

Partner

"I practice under the philosophy of pragmatism above all else."

Overview

Biography

Michael primarily concentrates his practice on local, state, and federal commercial litigation matters that include construction claims, complex business disputes, and employee relations and discrimination claims. He provides strategic counsel with the aim of preventing issues first and, when necessary, represents clients in arbitration, mediation, administrative proceedings, and litigation, including appellate practice.

Michael has extensive experience representing construction-industry professionals and owners including renewable energy project owners, developers, and contractors. He assists in reviewing, drafting, and negotiating all manner of construction contracts, subcontracts, EPC (engineering, procurement, and construction) agreements for the firm's energy clients, and related documents. Michael also represents clients in construction claims involving defective work, breach of contract, mechanics’ liens, and diversion of Lien Law trust funds, among other matters. He regularly defends employers before the NYS Division of Human Rights, the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board, the NYS Department of Labor, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and handles employment disputes involving employee misconduct, enforcement of noncompetition and restrictive covenants, and breaches of the duty of loyalty.

In addition to his construction- and employment-law practice, Michael represents clients in cases involving breach of contract, insurance coverage, partnership disputes, and other complex business issues.

Bar Associations

  • New York State Bar Association
  • Northern District New York Federal Court Bar Association
  • Onondaga County Bar Association
Experience

Representative Experience

  • Obtained a $1.2 million verdict for a contractor in a payment dispute with a building owner after a seven-day bench trial in NYS Supreme Court, Broome County, and successfully defended an appeal from the judgment.
  • Obtained a declaratory judgment after a five-day jury trial in NYS Supreme Court, Jefferson County, that an insurer was obligated for coverage of a fire loss and successfully proved that the insurer’s disclaimer on the basis of arson was improper.
  • Represented a hotel owner and negotiated a favorable settlement in a complex $1.1 million construction dispute with a general contractor and numerous subcontractors involving construction-defect claims, mechanics liens, and diversion-of-trust funds.
  • Obtained numerous findings of “no probable cause” from the NYS Division of Human Rights on behalf of employers in claims alleging workplace discrimination.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a bus distributor, dismissing a transportation company’s claims demanding $3 million in lost profits on account of alleged tortious interference with contract and business relations.
  • Assisted a beverage company in obtaining industrial hemp processing and growing licenses for the production of CBD-infused dietary supplement drinks.
  • Directed a cannabis-processing client's application for agency approval of a capital project to construct and operate a facility in line with FDA standards for current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) for dietary supplements.
  • Led internal and external business and legal teams creating regulatory reports for hemp processing and cultivating clients.
     

Prior Experience

  • Menter, Rudin & Trivelpiece, P.C., Shareholder

Selected Community Activities

  • Village of Skaneateles, Zoning Board of Appeals Chair
  • Ducks Unlimited, Skaneateles Chapter Committee Vice Chair
  • Sons of the American Legion, Post 239, Chaplain
  • LAUNCH CNY, Former Board Member

Selected Honors

  • Selected to Super Lawyers Upstate New York Rising Stars: Construction Litigation, 2016-2020

Featured Media

Alerts

NYS Health and Mental Hygiene Budget Legislation Summary

Alerts

NYS Legislature Passes Legislation to Reopen the CDPAP Fiscal Intermediary Procurement Process

Alerts

Pennsylvania State Court Grants Summary Judgment to Dental Practice Against Insurer for COVID-19 Business Interruption Coverage

Alerts

Unpacking the Impact of the Newly Effective Information Blocking Rule

Alerts

Second Circuit Court of Appeals Certifies Questions Regarding Damages for Improper Judgment Enforcement to New York Court of Appeals

Alerts

NYS Governor Cuomo Signs Bill to Fully Repeal Immunity for Certain Health Care Providers and Facilities

This site uses cookies to give you the best experience possible on our site and in some cases direct advertisements to you based upon your use of our site.

By clicking [I agree], you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For information on what cookies we use and how to manage our use of cookies, please visit our Privacy Statement.

I AgreeOpt-Out