Michael R. C. Riess is a founding partner of the firm. Prior to starting Riess LeMieux in 2018, Michael founded Kingsmill Riess, LLC in 1989. During his thirty-five year career, Michael Riess has represented domestic and international corporate and individual clients in a wide range of complex commercial litigation matters and business transactions. Michael continues to fiercely represent his diverse mix of local, regional and national clients with their legal needs in cases involving construction litigation, public bid protests, contract disputes, maritime incidents, charter party disputes, insurance and indemnity law questions, sales, transactions, foreclosure, restructuring and litigating troubled loans for both creditors and debtors.
Michael has tried more than 75 cases to verdict and handled thousands more with the understanding that each individual client has their own goal for a successful resolution. Michael regularly presents seminars on construction- and business-related topics, including contract negotiation, public bid law disputes, FARs, bid rigging, ethics compliance, and DBE compliance. Michael has been involved in many charitable endeavors over the years, the most recent being Campaign Chair to raise over $6.2 million to refurbish and restore St. Stephen’s Church, a historic landmark in Uptown New Orleans.
Among other acknowledgments, Michael has been recognized by New Orleans Top Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, and Chambers USA. Michael was also recognized in the 2011 Leadership in Law class by CityBusiness.
Michael has represented clients on numerous types of projects, including airports, hospitals, military bases, chemical plants, shipyards, highways and bridges, office towers, hotels, condominiums, apartment complexes, public schools, movie theaters, restaurants, and museums.
- Obtained summary judgment dismissing hundreds of claims against a general contractor based on the government contractor immunity defense on three SELA projects involving over $350 million worth of construction work in New Orleans.
- Successfully defeated mold and mildew claims in excess of $3 million and recovered 100% of contract value and retention for large commercial HVAC/mechanical subcontractor.
- Successfully litigated dozens of public bid protests under the Louisiana Public Bid Law on behalf of numerous general contractors.
- Successfully closed $66 million acquisition of platform drilling rigs for large independent driller working in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Successfully obtained over 10 defense verdicts for maritime clients in Jones Act cases.
- Currently representing three major subcontractors pursuing claims in excess of $40 million on the University Medical Center Project in New Orleans.
- Successfully represented buyers and sellers in commercial transactions in excess of $1 million.
- Obtained arbitration award in favor of electrical subcontractor against general contractor on public school project in New Orleans.
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of pile driving contractor under peremption/statute of repose involving claims dealing with structural and foundation issues in excess of $13 million.
- Successfully litigated numerous commercial contract claims to conclusion by way of settlement up to maximum or near maximum recoverable amounts.
- Obtained over 25 summary judgments in favor of general contactors relating to dismissal of third party construction zone claims.
- Successfully negotiated terms and conditions involving construction contracts for developers, general contractors and subcontractors.