Since 1999, Trent Cotney of Cotney Construction Law has dedicated himself to serving the roofing industry. As a Florida Bar Board Certified Construction Lawyer, Trent specializes in roofing litigation and arbitration, including defending roofers on construction defect claims, prosecuting lien and bond law claims, defending OSHA citations, contractor licensing defense, and bid protests. In addition, Mr. Cotney reviews and drafts hundreds of roofing-related contracts a year for roofing contractors, suppliers, manufacturers, and others in the industry.
In 2002, Mr. Cotney joined the West Coast Roofing Contractors Association (“WCRCA”), the Tampa Affiliate of the Florida Roofing Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Association (“FRSA”). Although Mr. Cotney understood the legal aspects of litigating roofing disputes, he wanted to be well-versed in the actual construction of roofs and joined the local association so that he could learn more about the current issues facing the roofing industry, attend manufacturer demonstrations of new and existing products, and be around others in the industry to share ideas. In 2004, he became a director for the WCRCA and remains a director to this day. In his capacity as a director and member of WCRCA, Mr. Cotney writes a monthly legal article for the newsletter, and has provided more than a dozen seminars on roofing-related legal issues for the Association.
Mr. Cotney became involved with the statewide roofing association, FRSA, in 2003 when he presented a seminar on construction defects and mold claims. He then joined the organization in 2004, became General Counsel for the Association in 2006, and currently serves as and has been a director of the Association since 2007. Mr. Cotney also serves as Chairman of the Public Relations Committee and a member of the FRSA Education and Research Foundation. Mr. Cotney provides a monthly article for the FRSA’s Roofing Florida magazine on construction-related legal topics and provides seminars each year which give contractor continuing education credits. Mr. Cotney has also provided legal services related to lobbying efforts in conjunction with the FRSA lobbyist and was instrumental in drafting the original mitigation statute under Chapter 558, Florida Statutes, as well as serving on construction section committees to encourage contractor-friendly changes to the construction lien law.
Recently, Mr. Cotney filed an appeal of a Construction Industry Licensing Board decision that adversely affected the interests of roofing contractors by allowing plumbers to install a solar water heater without a roofing license, a decision which was ultimately reversed by the CILB.
Mr. Cotney is a member of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) as well as six (6) other local roofing associations across the State of Florida. For his service to the industry, Mr. Cotney was invited to speak at the 2011 and 2014 Best of Success Conference for roofing contractors, and spoke at the 2015 International Roofing Expo. He has received the Byron Curry Memorial Achievement Award given by the WCRCA for excellence and service to the roofing industry (2009). He has also received the FRSA’s President’s Award (2008) and the Earl Blank “Heart” Award (2010) for his commitment and dedication to the interests of the roofing industry. In 2014, he received the NRCA’s Gold Circle Award for Service to the Industry during the International Roofing Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada.