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Michael J. Cochrane



Construction Defects | Mediation, Arbitration & Litigation
High-Rise Representation

Michael J. Cochrane



Construction Defects | Mediation, Arbitration & Litigation
High-Rise Representation

Treats your case as if it were his own.

Areas of Expertise

  • Soil and landslide claims
  • Defective construction
  • Material failure
  • Water intrusion
  • High-rise specialist
  • Post-settlement repair
Mike specializes in common interest developments (HOAs) that have suffered damage from landslides, foundation movement, fire, water intrusion, and defective construction or materials. He’s successfully represented hundreds of individual homeowners and homeowner associations against builders and developers, as well as cities, counties, and other public entities who’ve caused property damage, and insurance companies who have wrongfully denied damage claims.
“When clients come to us, they often don’t know where to turn,” says Mike. “They’re in a hole because they have damaged or defective property. Our job is to get them out of that hole. We work to get them the most money in the most efficient way possible. When that settlement is in hand, our role isn’t complete – we then help implement the solutions.” Mike continues, “by this point we know a lot about their buildings and their units. Now it’s time for us to help them restore the integrity of the buildings and value of the properties by implementing the solutions we developed during the litigation.”

Experience & Background

  • With HGCT since 2007
  • 30 years’ experience representing property owners and claimants in construction defect cases
  • Has successfully tried more than a dozen cases to verdict in Superior Courts throughout Northern California
  • Obtained a multimillion-dollar jury award for a single-family homeowner in three-month trial involving claims of insurance bad faith and construction defect
  • Has represented hundreds of single-family homeowners and dozens of common interest developments in construction defect litigation
  • Served as a Judge Pro Tem for the Contra Costa County Superior Court, Small Claims Court (1990 to 2001)

Professional Affiliations

California Lawyers Association
  • Litigation Section
Contra Costa County Bar Association
  • Real Estate Section


Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Juris doctor degree
  • Regional finalist, moot court competitor
University of Florida
  • BS in Journalism, American Studies

Bar Admissions

Northern District of California
Eastern District of California


“It’s amazing that I can walk into a courthouse on behalf of a client and solve their problem efficiently. When clients come to us, they are usually at their wits end and frustrated with their builder, developer, or the system. It’s a privilege to help resolve their case and repair their damaged property. That’s what I most like about being a lawyer; I can be part of helping people solve their problems.”


  • Born and raised in Miami, still trying to adjust to Northern California beaches
  • Avid life-long reader
  • Favorite legal book: A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr

Proud and grateful to be part of the legal system, which provides a forum for the peaceful resolution of disputes.

Awards & Honors

Presentations & Publications

SB 800 and Developer Relationships
Construction and Repair Contracts
Construction, Repairs and Insurance
  • Management Company and Board Education Events
    Various Clients
How to Take Effective Depositions
  • Lorman Education Services; 2003-2004
How to Deal with a Difficult Witness
  • Lorman Education Services; 2003-2004
The Land of Aas: A Primer for Construction Defect Lawyers after Aas v. Superior Court
  • Contra Costa County Bar Association monthly newsletter; 2000