Matthew B. Millis

Partner

contact info
Email: mmillis@easterandcavosie.com
Office: (317) 574-0828
Direct: (317) 708-8829

Fax: (317) 574-0969

Practice Areas

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  • Overview
  • Experience
  • Professional & Civic
  • Education & Awards

Matt is a construction lawyer who helps developers, contractors and design professionals navigate the complexities of the construction process. He provides day-to-day counsel from project inception to completion and guides his clients through dispute resolution when problems arise on the job.

 

Matt is also a seasoned commercial litigator with both trial and arbitration experience. When construction or other business disputes arise, Matt helps his clients develop the right resolution strategy, whether that may be measured negotiation, or aggressive litigation. Matt has handled both bench and jury trials and resolved many cases through mediation or arbitration.

 

Prior to joining Easter & Cavosie in 2020, Matt honed his construction law skills as an associate at Fredrickson & Byron, a large regional firm in Minneapolis, and as a partner and head of the construction law group at Wooden McLaughlin, a mid-size firm in downtown Indianapolis.

Construction Experience

Matt’s construction practice includes litigating or arbitrating construction and real estate disputes, advising construction clients, drafting and negotiating construction contracts, pursuing and defending mechanic’s lien and bond claims, and counseling clients on default, termination and project management issues.

 

Matt provides ongoing construction related counsel to many of the region’s largest multi-family developers and construction companies, including risk management, contract drafting and negotiation, and dispute resolution.

 

  • Since 2017, Matt has drafted and negotiated all construction and design contracts for a multifamily developer and builder with projects in the Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, and Tampa / St. Petersburg metropolitan areas ranging in size from $20 million to more than $60 million.
  • Since 2018, Matt has provided ongoing contract drafting and construction counsel to a developer with multifamily projects in Indianapolis, Kansas City, and Louisville.
  • In 2020, Matt negotiated a favorable settlement for a local municipality involved in a dispute with their utility contractor over change orders.
  • In 2020, Matt defended a general contractor who had been wrongfully terminated from a public project. The public entity ultimately revoked the termination, withdrew its claim, and settled on very favorable terms.
  • In 2018, Matt negotiated design-build construction contracts for a mixed-use project and office building located along the Monon Trail in Carmel, Indiana.
  • In 2018 – 2019, Matt defended a local business owner in a $300,000+ mechanic’s lien action filed by the company’s former general contractor. The contractor, who had been fired after failing to complete the construction of the client’s retail store, ultimately settled the case after facing aggressive counterclaims for breach of contract, fraud, and slander of title.
  • In 2017, Matt defended and negotiated a successful settlement for the developer and general contractor on a $30M+ mixed-use development facing breach of contract and mechanic’s lien claims asserted by the project’s lumber supplier.
  • In 2015 – 2016, Matt defended a prime contractor on the Grand Park sports complex in Westfield, Indiana. The City of Westfield terminated the contractor (without notice) and sued for more than $3 million in damages.  Matt’s client counterclaimed for wrongful termination.  Matt moved for summary judgment on the City’s claims, and while that motion was pending, negotiated a favorable settlement of the City’s claims.

Real Estate and Commercial Litigation

Matt’s commercial litigation experience includes foreclosing mortgages, defending mortgage loan servicers, asserting and defending title insurance claims, litigating tax sale disputes, applying for court-ordered receiverships, negotiating debt workouts, and prosecuting and defending preferential transfer and fraudulent conveyance claims. He represents clients in complex commercial litigation matters involving landlord/tenant disputes, business disputes, business torts, and claims for breach of contract.

 

  • Matt has represented several commercial developers facing foreclosure of their properties.  Matt advised the developers on how to achieve positive workouts with their lenders.
  • Matt has represented both commercial property owners and residential mortgage servicers in numerous mortgage foreclosure and receivership
  • In 2018 – 2019, Matt handled and ultimately settled a contentious trust dispute involving allegations of fraud and breaches of fiduciary duty.
  • In 2016, Matt was co-counsel in a four-day court trial in Vanderburgh County for a lender and its broker.  Besides prosecuting the client’s commercial foreclosure claim having a value of over $3.0M, Matt defended the clients against a multitude of contract and tort counterclaims asserted by the borrower.  The trial court ruled for Matt’s clients on all claims. The borrower appealed, and on May 4, 2017, the Court of Appeals affirmed.
  • In 2015, Matt defended a homeowner facing litigation filed by neighbors who claimed to have a prescriptive easement over the homeowner’s property. After Matt moved for summary judgement, the neighbors quickly retreated, and settled for no compensation.
  • In 2015, Matt pursued a fraud lawsuit on behalf of a house flipper that resulted in the recovery of all funds lost.

Speeches & Publications

  • Minimizing Risk: Preventing mechanic’s liens on your next construction project, Evansville Business Journal, March 2018
  • Time’s Up: For AIA Contract Forms, The Indiana Lawyer, October 2018
  • Preventing, Minimizing, & Defeating Liens: A Commercial Property Owner’s Guide to Indiana Mechanic’s Liens, Indiana Civil Litigation Review, 2017

Professional Affiliations

  • ABA Forum on Construction Law
  • Indiana State Bar Association – Construction and Surety Law Sections
  • Indianapolis Bar Association

Community Involvement

  • Northview Church (Carmel, IN)

Education

  • Miami University (Ohio), B.S./B.A., magna cum laude 2003
  • Indiana University Maurer School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude 2006
  • Notes & Comments editor for Indiana Law Journal
  • Order of the Coif
  • National Institute of Trial Advocacy Program, 2011

Awards 

  • Indiana Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2015 – 2020