Varela, Lee, Metz & Guarino (VLMG)

R. Michael Viayra, Jr.


Mr. Viayra brings over 25 years of engineering and legal experience to assist clients with litigation and transactional matters.  He represents construction and energy companies in contract and real property negotiations and disputes in California state court, federal court, and alternative dispute resolution forums (AAA, JAMS, ASBCA, and CBCA). Mr. Viayra’s combination of engineering knowledge, military experience, in-house counsel practice at a Fortune 100 corporation, and prior AMLAW 100 experience allows Mr. Viayra to provide a unique perspective to clients to address their legal needs.

Prior to law school, Mr. Viayra completed the U.S. Navy Nuclear Propulsion Program (Nuclear Power School and Prototype) and served in the engineering department aboard a ballistic missile submarine as part of the officer team responsible for the operation and maintenance of the nuclear reactor and all related mechanical, electrical, and chemical systems.



  • Represented drywall and interior finishes contractor in California state court on delay, disruption, and inefficiency claims related to construction of San Francisco General Hospital. Multimillion-dollar settlement on eve of trial.
  • Represented electrical subcontractor on SR-91 freeway project in AAA arbitration on delay and unpaid work claims. Multimillion dollar settlement after favorable ruling on motion.
  • Represented subcontractor seeking recovery for contract balance and extra work on sewer upgrade project for Federal prison in Long Beach, California. Recovered entire seven figure claim amount plus attorney’s fees after jury trial.


  • Developed, negotiated, and managed construction contracts for top 10 US mall owner.
  • Reviewed AIA construction documents for numerous multimillion-dollar private projects and client tenant improvements.
  • Directed large in-house and contractor due diligence team for $5+ billion spinoff of all California oil and gas interests into new publicly traded corporation.

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