Michael Rubin is a partner in the firm’s Buffalo office who focuses his practice on complex construction litigation, construction defect, and defending owners and contractors in claims alleging violations of the New York Labor Law. Michael is the Chair of Goldberg Segalla's OSHA and Worksite Safety Practice Group and devotes a significant portion of his practice to OSHA, including counseling clients across multiple industries regarding inspections, responding to citations, and the intricacies of the OSHA recording and reporting requirements. He has on-the-ground experience conducting accident investigations and represents employers at all stages of OSHA enforcement proceedings, including negotiating for the withdrawal and reclassification of violations at informal conferences and formally contesting citations. He is a member of the firm’s Business and Commercial and Construction Practice Groups. He possesses an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

Michael, a certified Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST), is a frequent lecturer on best practices for minimizing OSHA liability, the New York Labor Law (Scaffold Law), and strategies for effective risk management and risk transfer. He has completed the Department of Labor’s OSHA-30 construction training and general industry training and has authored numerous articles/blog posts on OSHA, including as co-editor of Goldberg Segalla’s OSHA: Legal Developments and Defense Strategies blog. He also has experience in employment law, class action litigation, and defending clients through trial in general liability actions, including wrongful death, premises liability, products liability, and environmental claims.

In 2014, Michael was the recipient of a “Trial Gladiator Award” for his work on a case for a major international insurer. It is the highest award the insurer presents to its defense attorneys.

Representative engagements include:

  • Representing a recycling plant during an ongoing OSHA investigation, including defending against 15 alleged violations
  • Obtaining the reclassification of four OSHA violations – all relating to alleged scaffold deficiencies – from “serious” to “other-than-serious” on behalf of a general contractor
  • Obtaining summary judgment for the owner of a construction company in a New York Labor Law action
  • Defending a well services company in hydraulic fracturing litigation alleging groundwater contamination
  • Obtaining summary judgment for the manufacturer of a gas control valve in a product liability wrongful death action
Honors
  • AV Preeminent Peer-Review Rating (Martindale-Hubbell)
  • Upstate New York Super Lawyers 2015-2016 (Thomson Reuters)
  • View peer-review methodologies at martindale.com and superlawyers.com. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. 
Professional Affiliations 
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
  • American Bar Association 
    • Occupational Safety and Health Law Committee
  • Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc.
    • WNY Regional Leadership Committee
    • Membership Committee
  • Construction Exchange of Buffalo and WNY
    • Safety Committee
Training/Certifications 
  • CHST (Construction Health and Safety Technician)
  • Department of Labor OSHA-30 Construction Training
  • Department of Labor OSHA-10 Construction Training
  • Department of Labor OSHA-30 General Industry Training 
Admitted to Practice
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
Education
  • Seton Hall University School of Law, J.D., 2000
  • University of Delaware, B.A., 1993
Presentations/Publications
  • Author, “Establish a Strong OSHA Defense Before an Inspector Shows Up,” Modern Contractor Solutions, January 2017
  • Presenter, "Your Safety Culture and Compliance: Making and Keeping Safety Resolutions for 2017,” Construction Exchange Safety Services, Buffalo, NY, January 2017
  • Presenter, “The Accident and Investigation,” NYSBA Labor Law Claims, Coverage, and Litigation CLE Seminar, Syracuse, NY, December 2016
  • Presenter, "OSHA and the New York State Industrial Code Rules: Two Sets of Safety Requirements for Contractors in NY,” American Society of Safety Engineers, Buffalo, NY, October 2016 
  • Presenter, "Preparing Your Best Defense to an OSHA Citation … Before OSHA Shows Up!” EHS Today Safety Leadership Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, September 2016
  • Presenter, "OSHA’s New Injury and Illness Electronic Reporting Requirements: Your Roadmap to Full Compliance Ahead of the November 1 Deadline,” BLR Webinar, September 2016
  • Author, "Seven Steps to Prevent Construction Defects and Minimize Liability,” The Voice: The Official Magazine of the Construction Users Roundtable, Summer 2016
  • Presenter, "Anatomy of a Construction Defect Case: Claims and Defenses,” Onondaga County Bar Association CLE, July 2016 
  • Presenter, "Construction Defect Claims: Defense Strategies for Contractors," Associated Builders and Contractors, Buffalo, NY, June 2016
  • Presenter, "Legal Considerations for Safety Professionals: More than Safety?" American Society of Safety Engineers Professional Development Conference, Skaneateles, NY, June 2016
  • Co-Author, "Construction Defect Claims: A 2016 Update,” Mealey’s Litigation Report: Construction Defects Insurance, June 2016
  • Presenter, “OSHA 2016 Regulatory Update: Cranes, Confined Spaces, Silica (... and more)," Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) 2016 Spring Safety Summit, Cincinnati, OH, April 2016
  • Featured in “16 Legal Tips: Handling OSHA Citations the Right Way,” Intelivert, April 2016
  • Presenter, " Building Your Best OSHA Defenses – Now – Before OSHA Shows Up," Associated Builders and Contractors, Rochester, NY, April 2016
  • Presenter, "Building Your Best Defense to an OSHA Citation," American Society of Safety Engineers, Buffalo, NY, March 2016
  • Presenter, "Your Best Defense to an OSHA Citation — The Unpreventable Employee Misconduct Defense," Associated Builders and Contractors, Buffalo, NY, January 2016
  • Co-Author, "Groundbreaking OSHA Developments in 2015 to Directly Impact 2016 — and Beyond," IndustryWeek, December 31, 2015
  • Author, “OSHA Ups the Ante in U.S. Workplaces,” Buffalo Law Journal, December 4, 2015
  • Presenter, “Best Practices on OSHA – Before, During, and After an Inspection,” Associated Builders and Contractors, Syracuse, NY, September 2015
  • Author, Demystifying the Process of Contesting an OSHA Citation,” IndustryWeek, July 21, 2015
  • Presenter, “OSHA Training: Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses,” Montvale, NJ, July 2015
  • Author, “Best Practices Should OSHA Come Knocking,” Buffalo Niagara Partnership Perspectives, February 2, 2015
  • Co-Editor, OSHA: Legal Developments and Defense Strategies blog
  • Contributor, Shale Watch: A Review of the Legal Developments Arising Out of Hydraulic Fracturing blog 
  • Presenter, “Understanding OSHA: Practice Pointers for Inspections and Citations,” Associated Builders and Contractors, Buffalo, NY, September 2014
  • Author, “Goliath vs. David: Defending the FDIC’s Aggressive Claims Against Counsel to Failed Banks,” Professional Liability Defense Federation Annual Meeting, September 2014
  • Presenter, “The Affordable Care Act and Employment Law Update 2014,” Onondaga County Bar Association CLE, Syracuse, NY, July 2014
  • Author, “Exploring the Limits of OSHA's Inspection Authority: A Precursor to Exercising Your Rights,”IndustryWeek, April 4, 2014
  • Presenter, “OSHA Training: Confronting an Inspection and Strategies for Minimizing Risk and Responding to Citations,” Home Builders & Remodelers of Central New York, March 25, 2014
  • Author, “Minimizing OSHA Liability Through (More Than) an Ounce of Prevention,”IndustryWeek, February 10, 2014