Get to Know Michael Decker


Attorney and shareholder Michael C. Decker practices in Butzel Long’s Detroit and Lansing offices. He concentrates his practice in the areas of construction and construction litigation and business and business litigation.

Decker represents and counsels construction companies and contractors on all aspects of both public and private projects, from inception to completion of those projects. Notably, he has substantial experience with drafting and negotiating contracts, subcontracts, and other agreements and prosecuting and defending performance, payment, and delay related claims on behalf of construction companies and contractors, as well as owners and sureties.

He has been recognized as a Rising Star in Business Litigation in 2013-2017 by Super Lawyers. Rising Stars are attorneys 40 years old or younger or who have practiced for ten years or less. Only 2.5 percent of Michigan lawyers are named to the list of Super Lawyers each year. He also has been recognized as a Top Lawyer in Construction Litigation in 2017 and 2018 by DBusiness.

Decker earned his his Bachelor of Science from Central Michigan University and his J.D. from Wayne State University Law School where he served as an associate editor of The Journal of Law in Society. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the State Bar of Florida and is admitted to practice in various courts in Michigan and Florida.

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

What would surprise people about your job?
The depth of analysis in handling matters for clients.  As a lawyer, you are constantly trying to think 2, 3, 4, or 5 steps ahead or anticipate every scenario even the most unlikely scenario.

Why did you become a lawyer? I enjoy solving problems. As a lawyer, my clients present me with problems and I enjoy helping them analyze and resolve them as best as possible.

What’s your favorite law-related movie?
  A Few Good Men.

Who is your law role model? My colleague, Jim Urban. I greatly respect his work ethic, thinking and problem-solving skills, passion for his job, and dedication to colleagues and clients.

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be?  My 18-month-old daughter.  I often think, “How do you have that much energy?” and “what are you thinking?”

What advice do you have for someone considering law school?
Go for it, but if you go for it, get practical experience (internships, externships, clerkships, etc.)

What’s your proudest moment as a lawyer? Successfully defending a client against a $5 million claim brought against it.

How do you relax? Spend time with my family and exercise.

What other career path might you have chosen? I majored in psychology in college. I enjoy solving problems and thought psychology would allow me to work with individuals and help them analyze and resolve their problems.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self? Don’t sweat the small stuff. Relax, enjoy the moment or the process, and keep things in perspective.

Favorite website:

Favorite app: Yelp

Favorite music: Classic rock

If you could have one super power, what would it be? Fly.

What is your happiest childhood memory? Anything that involves spending time with my brothers—sports, vacations, etc.

What is your most treasured material possession?
MAC Championship rings. They are not overly expensive and I rarely wear them, but they represent struggle and success and are reminders of lifelong friends.

What do you wish someone would invent?
A time-travel machine.

What has been your favorite year so far and why?
2016 stands out because it was a year of outstanding changes for me.

What’s the most awe-inspiring place you’ve ever been? Kauai.

What’s one thing you would like to learn to do? Surf.

What’s the best advice you ever received? There is no substitute for hard work.

What is your motto? Never stop at anything—never stop believing, never stop trying, never stop learning, never stop improving.

Favorite place to spend money:
Any sporting goods or outdoor store. I enjoy hunting and outdoor activities.


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