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Trent Cotney | CEO

As a Board Certified Construction Lawyer in Florida who is also licensed in Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Texas, Trent focuses his practice on all aspects of construction litigation and arbitration, including OSHA defense, lien law, bond law, and bid protests, as well as construction document review and drafting. He routinely represents general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, manufacturers, architects, engineers, developers, and others in the construction industry in a variety of matters. Trent is the General Counsel for the Florida Roofing & Sheet Metal Association (FRSA), the Florida Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Association (FRACCA), the Tennessee Association of Roofing Contractor (TARC), Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA) and several other local construction associations.  He routinely advocates for the construction industry and is active in molding contractor-friendly statutes, rules and regulations on the local, state and national levels.  Trent has been recognized as one of the leading attorneys in the field by his peers and the construction industry and has received numerous honors and distinctions as identified below. He is the editor and primary author of the Amazon best-selling book OSHA Defense for the Construction Industry.

Education

  • Vanderbilt University, J.D. (Dean’s List, Best Brief Award), 1999
  • Vanderbilt University, B.S., summa cum laude, high honors (Phi Beta Kappa, Dean’s List, top 1%), Alexander Heard Award, 1996
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Work Experience

  • Cotney Construction Law, Tampa, FL, January 2012 to present, CEO
  • Glenn Rasmussen Fogarty & Hooker, P.A., Tampa, FL, January 2006 to January 2012, construction law shareholder and hiring partner
  • Glenn Rasmussen Fogarty & Hooker, P.A., Tampa, FL, April 2000 to December 2005, construction law associate
  • Ruden, McCloskey, Smith, Schuster & Russell, P.A., Tampa, FL, September 1999 to February 2000, commercial litigation associate
  • Ruden, McCloskey, Smith, Schuster & Russell, P.A., Ft. Lauderdale, FL, May 1997 to August 1997, June 1998 to August 1998, construction law summer associate
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Professional Recognition

  • Best Lawyers in America – Construction Litigation 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Chambers & Partners USA, Listed in Construction Law 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
  • Acquisition International Leading Advisor Awards – Leading Construction Litigation and Arbitration Lawyer of the Year, South East USA, 2019
  • Tampa Magazine, Top Lawyers, 2019
  • American Institute of Legal Advocates, Rising Star Immigration Law, 2018
  • Tennessee Association of Roofing Contractors, Service to the Industry Award, 2018
  • Legal Awards 2017 Corporate Insider, Most Outstanding Construction Lawyer Florida
  • Global Awards CorporateLiveWire 2017, Best in Construction Litigation Law Services
  • ALM 2016 Top Rated Lawyer
  • Legal Awards 2015, Most Outstanding Construction Lawyer – Florida (Corporate Livewire)
  • Lawyers World, Annual Award 2013
  • Corporate LiveWire, Excellence in Construction Dispute Resolution Law 2017
  • AV Peer Review Rated,Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
  • AVVO 10 out of 10, Superb Rating
  • Expert Guide, The World’s Leading Lawyers Chosen by Their Peers, Construction and Real Estate 2017
  • FRSA Earl Blank “Heart” Award 2010
  • FRSA President’s Award 2008
  • WCRCA Byron Curry Award 2009
  • Who’s Who Legal Thought Leader in Construction 2018, 2019
  • Acquisition International Magazine, Best Florida Laywer – OSHA Defense
  • Top Lawyers in Florida, The Legal Network 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
  • Florida Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, Construction Litigation (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
  • Florida Super Lawyers, Construction Litigation (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
  • Florida Trend Magazine’s Legal Elite, Up & Coming Construction (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Florida Trend Magazine’s Legal Elite, Construction Law (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
  • ICFM Leading Lawyer 500 Award Winner 2013, 2015, 2016
  • LegalComprehensive.com Law Awards 2014
  • Lawyers World Global Awards 2014
  • Top Attorneys in Florida 2014 (Miami Herald, Tampa Bay Magazine & Orlando Life)
  • Wall Street Journal, Best Lawyers in America 2016
  • Finance Monthly Law Awards, OSHA Defense Lawyer of the Year (2018)
  • Florida Super Lawyers, Top 100 Lawyers (all practice areas – 2016-2019)
  • 2018 International Advisory Experts Award:  Construction Litigation Lawyer of the Year in Florida
  • Worldwide Financial Adviser Magazine, Golden Adviser Award
  • LegalComprehensive.com Top 100 Lawyers in the World 2016-2017
  • Corporate LiveWire 2016 Construction Lawyer of the Year USA
  • Expertise.com Best Litigation Attorneys in Orlando 2016
  • Lawyers Worldwide Awards Super Lawyers in Construction Law 2017
  • NRCA Gold Circle Award for Service to the Roofing Industry, 2014
  • Construction Lawyer of the Year USA, Finance Monthly, 2016
  • 40 Under 40, Gulf Coast Business Review, 2007
  • Tampa Bay Magazine’s Tampa Bay’s Top Lawyers 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Lawyers World Global Awards 2014
  • Top Attorneys in Florida 2014 (Miami Herald, Tampa Bay Magazine & Orlando Life)
  • Business Leaders Magazine, Top 50 Entrepreneurs 2012
  • Tampa Bay Business Journal, Up & Comers, 2010
  • Best Attorney’s Network, Construction Law
  • 2015 Legal Elite, Construction Lawyer of the Year in Florida
  • A.I.M.’s 2014 Business Excellence Award
  • American Registry, America’s Most Honored Professionals 2011, 2014, 2016, 2017
  • International Who’s Who of Construction Lawyers 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
  • International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
  • Tampa’s Top Rated Lawyers 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
  • InterContinental Finance Magazine 2013 Global Award
  • Who’s Who Registry Association Edition for Best Lawyers World Rankings 2016-17
  • 2014 DealMakers Country Award
  • A.I.M.’s 2014 Business Excellence Award
  • Acquisition International Magazine  “Ones to Watch in 2014 — The Most Influential Practice in Construction Law”
  • Legal Media Group, Construction and Real Estate Expert Guide Nominee, 2014
  • Corporate LiveWire Global Awards 2016 Construction & Real Estate
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Certifications

  • Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Construction Law (inaugural class)
  • Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Court Mediator
  • Florida Supreme Court Certified Appellate Mediator
  • American Arbitration Association (AAA) Construction Mediator
  • Member of AAA Panel of Construction Arbitrators
  • Qualified Florida Court-Appointed Arbitrator
  • Department of Business & Professional Regulation Condominium Certified Mediator
  • OSHA 10 Hour Safety Training Certification
  • OSHA 30 Hour Safety Training Certification
  • OSHA 24 Hour HAZWOPER Training
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Admissions

  • The State of Florida
  • The State of Illinois
  • The State of Kansas
  • The State of Massachusetts
  • The State of Tennessee
  • The State of Texas
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Armed Forces
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court, Kansas
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Reported Decisions

  • City of Oldsmar v. State, 790 So.2d 1042 (Fla. 2001)
  • In re: Petition for Declaratory Statement of Sun Star Energy LLC, Construction Industry Licensing Board, DS 2013-043 (2013) (intervenor FRSA).
  • In re: Petition for Declaratory Statement of Pro/Max Construction LLC, Construction Industry Licensing Board, DS 2014-70 (2014)(intervenor FRSA).
  • In re: Petition for Declaratory Statement of Robert Cade, Construction Industry Licensing Board, DS 2014-098 (2014)(intervenor FRSA).
  • In re: Petition for Declaratory Statement of City of Orlando, Construction Industry Licensing Board, DS 2014-099 (2014)(intervenor FRSA).
  • In re: Petition for Declaratory Statement of Hernando County, Construction Industry Licensing Board, DS 2015-056 (2015)(intervenor FRSA).
  • In re: Petition for Declaratory Statement of J&K Roofing, Inc., Construction Industry Licensing Board, DS 2015-129 (2015)(intervenor FRSA).
  • In re: Petition for Declaratory Statement of SGS Contracting, Construction Industry Licensing Board, DS 2015-137 (2015)(intervenor FRACCA).
  • In re: Petition for Declaratory Statement of TSC Southeast, LLC, Construction Industry Licensing Board, DS 2015-138 (2015)(intervenor).
  • Jody Wilson Constr., Inc., Respondent., 2018 O.S.H. Dec. (CCH) ¶ 33661 (CMPAU Feb. 28, 2018)
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Seminars

Trent Cotney speaks on such topics as lien law, construction contracts, construction mediation, licensing regulations, employment law issues and design defects. Trent lectures across the United States on construction law topics and has given more than 200 seminars for 50 different construction groups, associations and law schools.  He has spoken at multiple national conferences including Best of Success, International Roofing Expo, Metalcon, National Minority Homebuilders Summit, National Safety Council, OSHA Stakeholders’ Meetings, WSRCA Expo, FRSA Expo and the FRACCA Education Conference.

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Publications

Trent has published more than 200 articles in 40 different local, regional and national publications on such topics as construction mediation, arbitration, negligent design, delay damages, contract provisions and defective workmanship and is a regular columnist for Roofing Contractor Magazine as well as FRSA and WSRCA trade publications.  He is the editor and primary author of the Amazon best-selling book OSHA Defense for the Construction Industry (2016).

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Selected Professional and Civic Activities

  • Florida Roofing, Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors Association (FRSA), General Counsel, Director, Education & Research Foundation Member & Governor Level Sponsor
  • Florida Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Contractors Association (FRACCA), General Counsel, Member
  • Tennessee Association of Roofing Contractors (TARC), General Counsel, Member
  • National Slate Association (NSA), General Counsel, Member
  • National Women in Roofing (NWIR), General Counsel, Governance Committee, Founding Sponsor
  • Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress, Founding Sponsor, Governor Level Contributor
  • NRCA, One Voice Member, Health & Safety Committee Member, Pro-Certification Committee Member
  • ROOFPAC Political Insiders Council, Member
  • Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), Director, Member
  • West Coast Roofing Contractor’s Association (WCRCA), General Counsel, Treasurer
  • Construction Partners of Tampa Bay
  • Department of Business and Professional Regulation Contractor Continuing Education Lecturer
  • The Florida Bar – Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section
  • Tennessee Bar Association — Construction Law Section
  • Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC), Member
  • Florida Transportation Builders’ Association (FTBA), Past Member
  • Humane Society of Tampa Bay, Past Member – Board of Directors
  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association (RACCA), Member
  • Pinellas County Contractors Association (PCCA), Past Member
  • Underground Utility Contractors of Florida, Past Member
  • University of Tampa Board of Counselors, Past Board Member
  • Central Florida Roofing Contractors Association (CFRSA), Member
  • Northeast Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association (NEFRSA), Member
  • Capital City Roofing & Sheet Metal Association, Inc. (CRSA), Member
  • North Central Florida Roofing & Sheet Metal Association (NCFRSA), Member
  • Roofing Contractors of South Florida Association (RCASF), Member
  • Palm Beach County Contractors Association (PBCCA), General Counsel, Member
  • Midwest Roofing Contractors Association (MRCA), Past Member
  • Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA), Member
  • Treasure Coast Roofing Contractors Association (TCRCA), Member
  • Sarasota/Manatee Roofing & Sheet Metal Contractors Association (SMRSMCA), Member
  • Vanderbilt University Undergraduate and School of Law, Initial Admissions Interviewer
  • Black Dagger Military Hunt Club, Sponsor
  • Chicago Roofing Contractors Association (CRCA), Member
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