Judah Lifschitz

Judah Lifschitz

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Construction Litigation Attorney in Washington, DC

Shapiro, Lifschitz & Schram, P.C.
 | 1742 N St NW, Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-689-1900
Fax: 202-689-1901
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2009 - 2019
Licensed Since: 1978
Practice Areas:
  • Construction Litigation: Business (60%),
  • General Litigation (20%),
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (10%),
  • Government Contracts (10%)
Languages Spoken:
  • English,
  • Hebrew
Attorney Profile

Judah Lifschitz is Co-President of SLS and is an extraordinarily experienced trial attorney having tried cases to verdict in virtually every type of adjudicative forum – state and federal bench and jury trials, and arbitrations and Boards of Contract Appeals. In addition to general civil litigation, Judah has extensive experience in construction related matters, including significant experience in power and energy construction representing clients with regard to EPC contracts as well as disputes. Judah represents governmental and private owners, regional, national and international contractors, construction managers, subcontractors, design professionals, sureties and insurance companies in disputes, trials, ADR proceedings and negotiations.  His trial experience includes winning one of the largest liquidated damages awards in the history of the construction industry and his transactional experience includes negotiating and drafting multibillion-dollar EPC contracts for new power plants and industrial facilities.  Judah also represents clients in complex commercial litigation where he has a wealth of experience in every aspect of trial practice including shareholder/partnership disputes, real estate matters, contract disputes, civil RICO and general commercial disputes. Additionally, he has represented clients in civil fraud investigations and brings extensive experience to his clients in government procurement issues. Judah has tried cases across the country and has handled disputes from as far Northeast as Buffalo, New York and as far Southwest as San Diego and many places in between. He is an accomplished appellate advocate, having argued appeals in the 4th, 5th, 9th, District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court, the Federal Circuit and in many state appellate courts, as well.  A staunch believer in mediation, Judah has successfully resolved many complex multi-million dollar disputes through mediation, thereby saving his client the cost and risk of trial.  As a Martindale-Hubbell AV rated attorney, Judah represents clients in a variety of industries, including aerospace, construction, electronics, manufacturing, power and energy, shipbuilding, and technology. Judah’s clients consider him to be "top shelf," and one client claimed, "There is no one I'd rather to go to war with." Multiple appearances in leading listings such as "Super Lawyers" are objective testimony to Judah’s standing among his peer group and clients alike. Super Lawyers is a listing of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

About Judah Lifschitz

Admitted: 1978, Washington D.C.

Professional Webpage: http://www.slslaw.com/judah-lifschitz

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Judd is a Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated attorney.

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Bar and Court Admissions:  Maryland, 1977; District of Columbia, 1978; U.S. District Court - District of Columbia, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, U.S. Claims Court, 1978; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 1980; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 1982; U.S. Supreme Court - U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth and Ninth Circuits, 1985.

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • In an article for Electric Light & PowerJudah Lifschitz and Scott D. Burke analyzed how a Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare may impact Clean Air Act litigation and the energy industry in an article that recently published in Electric Light & Power, "How Obamacare Will Affect Clean Air Act Litigation."  In the article, Lifschitz and Burke note that the Supreme Court ruling in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius (NFIB) may have much broader implications than judging aspects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare." The ruling is likely to affect many aspects of law substantially, including offering new lines of attack against the Clean Air Act (CAA) and its regulation., Author, How Obamacare Will Affect Clean Air Act Litigation, Electric Light & Power, 2013
  • In an article for Corporate Counsel (December 2011), Judah Lifschitz and Laura Fraher discuss how general counsel and corporate executives can safeguard their company's social media presence to avoid "e-trouble" in today's fast-moving world of online communication.  The authors provide four must-know tips that companies should follow as they engage in the world of social media as well as corporate examples of the real-life risks created by social media content in litigation matters., Author, Is Your Company Tweeting its Way into Trouble?, 2011
  • In an article for Corporate Counsel (October 2010) entitled Loose E-Mails Sink Litigation, Judah Lifschitz and James McMichael explain how lawsuits and government investigations can turn into trouble fast and with little warning, especially when "E-Trouble" happens.  E-Trouble is defined as e-mails sent by a company's employees that are produced in discovery or pursuant to a subpoena and then used against that company.  The authors provide several real-life E-Trouble examples and a list of the "dirty dozen" phrases that opposing counsel may look for in the discovery process., Author, Loose E-Mails Sink Litigation, 2010
  • Judd and his team present Must-Know Seminars™ on subjects of importance to the business community. These 90-minute seminars are presented on location and teach audiences what they must know on the latest important topics. Since initiating the Must-Know Seminar™ series, Judd and his team have presented, to rave reviews, at client and trade association locations across the country including Boston, Mobile, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and various other locations.  Currently, Judd and his team offer the following seminars: Avoiding E-Trouble (E-mail, E-documents, and E-data); Avoiding E-Trouble II (On Line Social Media); Building Green; Claims Avoidance, Mitigation and Resolution; EPC; and Winning the Must Win Case., Presenter/Lecturer, Must Know Seminars™, 2010
  • In an article for ConstructionRisk.com, Judd wrote that the decision in New Athens is particularly significant regarding the enforceability of liquidated damages provisions. Liquidated damages provisions are too frequently overlooked, but can - and will - be enforced, often without consideration of actual damages., Author, $26.9 Million in Liquidated Damages Not a Windfall to Power Plant Owner, ConstructionRisk.com Report, 2010
  • In an article for Managing Power magazine, Judd and his colleague James (Jim) McMichael wrote that a recent case demonstrates arbitration panels' willingness to uphold liquidated damages clauses in power plant engineering, procurement, and construction contracts., Co-author, Power Owners in Strong Position to Collect Liquidated Damages, Managing Power, 2010
  • Judd served as the only attorney participant in a panel discussion on the subject of reduction in our carbon footprint and the resulting opportunities and threats, with a detailed look at the current status of cap & trade legislation., Panel member/speaker, 16th Annual Farkas Berkowitz Forum, For Leaders of Infrastructure, Environmental, and Facilities Markets, 2010
  • In this article for The Construction Lawyer, Judd and his co-authors address critical path method (CPM) scheduling as a tool for discerning the proximate cause of project delays, and, in particular, present a critical review of the Recommended Practice No. 29R-03 for Forensic Schedule Analysis issued by the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International (AACEI) in June 2007., Co-author, A Critical Review of the AACEI Recommended Practice for Forensic Schedule Analysis, The Construction Lawyer, 2009
  • In an article for the Washington Business Journal, Judd argued that success in the government sector can only occur if a company understands the fundamental differences between private sector and government construction contracting. The article offered a crash course on those differences., Author, Construction firms: stimulus-ready?, Washington Business Journal, 2009
  • In an article for Image Magazine, Judd analyzed two important questions in the aftermath of the Madoff scheme: What is the defrauded investor to do? And beyond that, the larger question: What does the Madoff affair mean for Jewish charities and philanthropy in general?, Author, The Madoff Scheme: What Is a Defrauded Investor to Do?, Image Magazine, 2009
  • In an article for Concrete Construction Magazine, Judd wrote that due to the recession, unemployment, scarcity of business opportunities, and other challenges have led many construction companies to begin to transition their business plans to the government and military construction sectors. Thus, many who have never before been involved in government construction now will be relying on it for their survival. The transitioning companies must quickly recognize that "construction" is not always "construction" and, that success requires a crash course in the ways of the government sector. Several important issues should be recognized and addressed at the very outset., Author, Aggregate View: Transitioning Business in a Troubled Economy, Concrete Construction Magazine, 2009
  • In an article for Engineering News-Record (ENR), Judd wrote that many in the construction industry, including contractors who have no prior experience in government construction, are now actively competing for a share of the stimulus pie. This change in market focus has immediate ramifications for the newcomers. Most important, transitioning contractors must quickly learn that success in the public sector requires education and adjustments in four areas., Author, Gaining a Slice of Stimulus Pie, Engineering News-Record (ENR), 2009
  • In an article for the Washington Business Journal, Judd wrote that the rise in green design and construction has brought with it “green” claims and litigation., Author, Costly litigation may cause green bloom to fade, Washington Business Journal, 2009
  • In an article for Law360, Judd wrote that, in his 30 years of prosecuting and defending “must-win” cases, many involving substantial construction claims in the power and energy industries, he has learned that there are certain immutable principles absolutely necessary to ensuring victorious results. Judd described those principles and argued that deep understanding and implementation of the basic principles are absolutely essential to winning., Author, Winning the 'Must-Win' Case, Law360, 2009
  • In an article for Sustainable Land Development Today, Judd wrote that the potential liability associated with taking on a green project without proper preparation is huge. He said that potential causes of legal action include claims for misrepresentation, fraud, negligence, negligence per se and breach of contract., Author, The Green Building Movement: Minimizing the Risks , Sustainable Land Development Today, 2009
  • Judd is the author of District of Columbia Construction Law (HLK Global Communications, 2007), a comprehensive reference book discussing the central issues arising in public and private construction in the District of Columbia., Co-author, District of Columbia Construction Law, HLK Global Communications (publisher), 2007
  • Judd has served on the faculty (construction law) of the Washington College of Law of American University.
  • "Mechanics' Liens," Construction Briefings 82-5
  • "Little Miller Acts," Construction Briefings 84-8
  • "Bid Rigging," Construction Briefings 85-9
  • "Delay and Disruption in International Construction," Construction Briefings 86-9
  • "Misappropriate of Contract Funds," Construction Briefings 90-10
  • "Handling Environmental Incidents at the Jobsite," Construction Briefings 91-10
  • "Copyright of Construction Plans and Structures," Construction Briefings 92-10
  • "Proving Claims Under the FIDIC Conditions of Contract," Hawksmere, Plc, 1994
  • "Construction Trust Fund Statutes and the Misappropriation of Contract Funds," Construction Briefings 99-12
  • "Mechanic's Liens/Edition II," Construction Briefings, 2000
  • "Tort Liability in Construction Contracting," Construction Briefings, 2001
  • "Who Owns the Float?," Construction Briefings, 2005
  • "Contractor Licensing Laws, " 1993 Construction Update, Wiley Law Publications
  • "Ownership and Reuse of Design Professionals' Designs," Architect and Engineer Liability: Claims Against Design Professionals, Secton Edition, Wiley 1995


  • Settled claim for contractor by Georgetown Hospital.
  • Settled $40,000,000 claim on power plant in upstate New York.
  • Settled claim against architect on historic hotel reovation in Washington, DC.
  • Judd recently served as lead counsel in a record-setting case involving the construction of a $53 million power plant in upstate New York. What is believed to be the U.S. construction industry's largest-ever liquidated damages award was entered against construction giant Bechtel and in favor of New Athens Generating Company, LLC, a merchant power company. Over the course of a five-year trial, Judd successfully defended the owner against $80 million in claims by the EPC contractor, Bechtel, and prosecuted the owner's substantial affirmative claims against Bechtel, resulting in the three-member arbitration panel’s substantial award in favor of the owner for liquidated damages.  Bechtel Power Associates Professional Corporation v. Athens Generating Co.
  • Judd served as lead counsel for the general contractor on the San Diego Naval Hospital Project, a $100 million dollar hospital, where he successfully defended the general contractor in a three-month jury trial in federal court against multi-million dollar subcontractor claims and then sustained the victory by defending against an appeal in the 9th Circuit. Mai Steel Service, Inc. v. Blake Construction Co., Inc., 981 F.2d 414 (9th Cir. 1992).
  • Judd obtained the dismissal of a multi-million dollar RICO complaint and successfully sustained that dismissal at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Lyon v. Campbell, 28 F.3d 1210 (4th Cir. 1994).
  • Judd and his trial team made law in the State of Maryland when, in a derivative lawsuit brought by dissident shareholders in two closely held corporations, they obtained a dismissal of the suit and sustained that dismissal in a landmark decision at the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. Bender v. Schwartz, 172 Md. App. 648 (2007).
  • Judd was lead trial counsel for the State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, in Cacon, Inc. v. Rand Environmental Services, Inc., 2006 WL 2389553 (N.J. Super. A.D. 2006) where he successfully defended New Jersey against $60 million in claims on a Super Fund remediation project. As a result of Judd and his trial team's tenacity and strategy, the case was very favorably resolved on the eve of trial after major summary judgment rulings were obtained on behalf of the State of New Jersey.
  • Judd served as construction counsel to the Maryland Stadium Authority in connection with its construction of over 1 billion dollars in fast track projects, including Orioles Park at Camden Yard, Baltimore Convention Center, Ravens Stadium, and Comcast Arena. Judd put in place a claims resolution system, which resulted in the resolution by negotiation of every construction claim made on those multiple projects.
  • Judd was lead counsel for a Navy contractor wrongfully terminated for default by the government. In this case, which involved multiple trials before the Armed Service Board of Contract Appeals, Judd prosecuted the contractor's multi million dollar affirmative claims while at the same time defended against the Navy's twenty-five million dollar claim against the contractor. After several trial victories, the Navy settled the case by paying the contractor 11 million dollars. Appeals of Blake Construction Co., Inc. Under Contract No. N68248.81-C-3021, Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals.
  • Mobil Chemical Co. v. Blount Brothers. Corp.; February 17, 1987; United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 809 F.2d 1175

Representative Clients:

  • Greenberg Gibbons Commercial
  • American Municipal Power, Inc.
  • Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
  • Foulger Pratt Companies
  • Federal Management Systems, Inc.
  • Calpine Corporation
  • TECO Energy, Inc.
  • Euro Capital Partners, LLC
  • The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
  • ADA Carbon Solutions
  • Grunley Construction Company
  • American Municipal Power (AMP)
  • Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E)
  • Whiting Turner Contracting Co., Inc.
  • National Energy and Gas Transmission
  • Maryland Stadium Authority
  • La Paloma Generating Co., LLC
  • HLM Design
  • Glen Construction Company, Inc.
  • Gilbane Building Company
  • The Driggs Company, LLC
  • Blake Construction Co., Inc.
  • Barton Malow Company
  • Baker Concrete, Inc.
  • Athens Generating Company, LLC

Other Outstanding Achievements:

  • Judah Lifschitz was the focus of an Executive Profile in the Washington Business Journal (April 2013). The profile, which ran in the WBJ's April issue is a Q&A format and gives insights into what motivates this powerhouse litigator. In the article, Judah notes his "most memorable project" is a case against Bechtel Power, where the company he represented collected $27 million in damages. Since bringing that case to a favorable close, he has been called on more than once to represent clients who have litigation matters with Bechtel. The article also touches on the many other facets of Judah's life that go unnoticed, such as his love of family (including 10 grandchildren), photography and Jewish music., 2013
  • Judd and his team's work in the Athens Generating Company, L.P. v. Bechtel Power Corporation case was covered by Construction Claims Advisor., 2009
  • Judd and his team's work was highlighted in an article in the Andrews Utilities Litigation Reporter, titled "Power Plant Builder Loses Most of Contract Demand." The article summarized the matter of Athens Generating Co. et al. v. Bechtel Power Corp. et al., No. 6085-09, motion to confirm arbitration award filed (D.C. Super. Ct. Aug. 20, 2009)., 2009
  • Judd and his team were featured in Lawdragon's Lawyer Limelight, a column that highlights outstanding attorneys and their achievements, for their work securing what is believed to be the U.S. construction industry’s largest-ever liquidated damages award, which was entered against construction giant Bechtel and in favor of New Athens Generating Company, LLC, a merchant power company., 2009
  • Martidale-Hubbell AV-rated attorney since 1990.
  • In addition to authoring many legal publications, Judd has also published four books: "Heaven Sent Stories of Faith and Effort," Targum/Feldheim, 1977; "Stories for Shauli," Targum/Feldhein, 1999; "The Klausenberger Rebbe, The War Years," Targum/Feldheim, 2003; and "The Klausenberger Rebbe, Rebuilding," Targum/Feldheim, 2007.

Educational Background:

  • B.A., Yeshiva University, magna cum laude, 1974; J.D., George Washington University, 1977

Industry Groups

  • Construction
  • Power
  • Real Estate
Office Location for Judah Lifschitz

1742 N St NW
Washington, DC 20036

Judah Lifschitz:

Last Updated: 11/16/2018

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