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Clayton T. Osteen | Partner

Clayton T. Osteen joined Cotney in July 2019.  He primarily focuses his practice in the areas of construction law, administrative law, licensing and business litigation.  In 2017, Mr. Osteen was recognized by Florida Trend magazine’s 2017 Florida Legal Elite.  Mr. Osteen has extensive experience representing clients throughout the construction industry relating to construction defects, liens, delay claims, payment disputes, licensing issues, and workers’ compensation issues.  

Mr. Osteen started his legal career at the Department of Business and Professional Regulation where he served as the Deputy Chief Attorney for the Construction Division and presented cases in front of the Construction Industry Licensing Board, as well as the Electrical Contractors’ Licensing Board.  Mr. Osteen has extensive experience prosecuting licensing discipline cases and has tried multiple cases at the Division of Administrative Hearings, including a case that resulted in changing regulations to the pool industry.  Prior to joining Cotney, Mr. Osteen litigated various construction, licensing and business-related issues in State and Federal Courts throughout Florida. 

Mr. Osteen’s family has worked in the construction industry in the State of Florida for over one-hundred years.  Prior to law school, Mr. Osteen labored as an underground technician and supervisor for roughly ten years installing underground utilities.  Mr. Osteen employs this background in the practice of law and his experience and knowledge of the construction industry, and business in general, only strengthen his legal focus areas.

Mr. Osteen was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2014 after earning his Juris Doctorate degree from the Florida State University College of Law.  He also obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Florida State.  During his undergraduate career, Mr. Osteen played defensive end for the Florida State University football team.


  • Florida State University College of Law – J.D.
  • Florida State University College of Business, B.S. – Business Management
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Work Experience

Construction Law

  • Represented multiple condominium associations in class action for construction defects, design defects and building code violations with damages ranging  from $6,000,000 to over $10,000,000.
  • Represented national general contractor in a payment dispute involving a payment bond claim and delay claim with damages in excess of $2,000,000.
  • Successfully defeated a $211,000 lien claim filed by a national manufactured home builder.
  • Obtained settlement in excess of $200,000 for homeowner in lawsuit for construction defects, design defects and building code violations.
  • Represented and defended landscaping contractor in payment dispute involving a Chapter 255 claim.
  • Obtained favorable settlement for minority shareholder of construction equipment company.
  • Represented framing subcontractor in payment dispute with national home builder.
  • Obtained favorable settlement for property owner involving property damage caused by national building material supplier.
  • Represented and defended multiple general contractors and subcontractors regarding payment disputes with material suppliers.
  • Represented and defended concrete subcontractor regarding construction defects, design defects and building code violations relating to a residential home.
  • Represented multiple general contractors, subcontractors and material suppliers in construction lien filing and foreclosure on commercial and residential development projects.
  • Represented general contractors and subcontractors in filing and defending various Federal Miller Act claims.

Administrative Law and Licensing

  • Successfully prosecuted Commercial Pool/Spa Contractor for performing electrical services, which involved formal administrative proceedings conducted before the Division of Administrative Hearings and involved six (6) expert witnesses.  The result of the case changed regulations in the pool industry.
  • Represented and defended national contractor before a local construction board, which resulted in the case being dismissed.
  • Represented multiple contractors on workers’ compensation violations and penalty assessments issued by the Department of Financial Services, Division of Workers’ Compensation.
  • Represented and defended several subcontractors regarding violations and citations issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
  • Successfully defended multiple Division I contractors in defeating recovery fund claims filed with the Construction Industry Licensing Board.
  • Represented and assisted a multitude of contractors in all aspects of obtaining initial licensure, securing additional business entities and defending contractors and design professionals in administrative proceedings for discipline on licenses.
  • Over the course of Mr. Osteen’s career prosecuting cases for the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, he obtained a multitude of Final Orders, which included thousands of dollars in administrative fines, placing contractors on probation, and, in some cases, the revocation of a contractor’s license.

Corporate Formation & Transactions

  • Negotiated and revised construction contract for underground utility contractor for power delivery and installation services involving a national utility company.
  • Negotiated and drafted a series of agreements relating to consulting services in the correctional industry.
  • Drafted and reviewed a variety of master trade agreements for general contractors and subcontractors.
  • Prepared corporate formation documents for a variety of businesses, including construction companies, consulting companies, breweries, distribution companies, and agricultural companies.
  • Drafted and negotiated construction contracts for owners, general contractors and subcontractors on commercial and residential construction projects.
  • Drafted corporate formation documents for several contractors and assisted with initial licensure and qualification of the business.
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  • The Florida Bar
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
  • The Jacksonville Bar Association
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Selected Professional and Civic Activities

Mr. Osteen is a member of and has served or serves on various committees, boards of directors and holds officer positions in many professional and trade organizations, including but not limited to:

  • Ducks Unlimited – Jacksonville Chapter
  • Northeast Florida Builders Association
  • Associated Builders and Contractors – Florida First Coast Chapter
  • Jacksonville Bar Association
  • The Florida Bar, Young Lawyers Division
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Honors and Activities

  • Florida Trend, Legal Elite, 2017
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