Friday, March 29, 2013

Tampa Bay's Construction Industry


A year ago, Tampa Bay's depressed construction industry hit rock bottom, shedding more construction jobs year over year than any other metro in the country.
The latest report from Associated General Contractors is decidedly more upbeat. In creating 2,100 construction jobs between January 2012 and January 2013, Tampa Bay ranked 96th best out of 339 metros, the trade group reported Friday.
Construction jobs statewide are still down 50 percent from their peak just under 700,000 in mid-2006. But the industry is showing signs of growing strength with home starts and home prices both on the rise.
Tampa Bay's unemployment rate, which peaked at 12.5 percent three years ago, had fallen to 8 percent as of January. (Tampa Bay Times) 
Follow link for full article:
http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/realestate/tampa-bay-construction-jobs-pick-up/2110637

 Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
1211 N Franklin St
Tampa, FL 33602


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Press Release: International Who's Who


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:
Janet Collins
Trent Cotney, P.A.
(813) 579-3278

Trent Cotney Selected for International Who’s Who

                Tampa, Fla.- (March 27, 2013) Tent Cotney of Trent Cotney, P.A. in Tampa, Florida has been identified by his peers  as being among the 503 of the world’s leading  construction lawyers. For the third consecutive year Mr. Cotney will be recognized by the International Who’s Who of Construction Lawyers and International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers. The International Who’s Who of Construction Lawyers 2013 will be published in April and later be included in the 2014 edition of International Who’s Who of business Lawyers hardback compendium volume.

                As a Board Certified Construction Lawyer, Trent Focuses his practice on all aspects of construction litigation and arbitration, including OSHA defense, lien law, bond law, bid protests, as well as construction document review and drafting. He routinely represents general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, manufacturers, architects, engineers, and others in the construction industry in a variety of matters. For more information please visit www.trentcotney.com  .

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
1211 N Franklin St
Tampa, FL 33602

Friday, March 22, 2013

Press Release: Crisis Management Course


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Media Contact:
Janet Collins
Trent Cotney, P.A.
(813) 579-3278

Trent Cotney Approved Contractor Continuing Education Lecturer

                Florida Bar Board Certified Construction Lawyer, Trent Cotney of Trent Cotney, P.A. in Tampa, Florida is proud to announce his approval as a lecturer for Education Institute of Florida (EIF).   He will be presenting a new CILB-approved contractor continuing education course entitled “Crisis Management in Construction.”  This course will provide contractors with an overview of crisis management in construction including addressing serious injuries and fatalities, disaster preparedness, theft and vandalism, license and identity theft, and other crisis events. 

 Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
1211 N Franklin St
Tampa, FL 33602

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Press Release: Trent Cotney Named Top Rated Lawyer



TRENT COTNEY TOP RATED LAWYER

TAMPA. Fla. – (March 4, 2013)

Trent Cotney, of Trent Cotney, P.A. in Tampa, Florida has been named one of Tampa’s top rated lawyers by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell presented by Tampa’s Legal Leaders. The ratings are featured in the April 30, 2013 edition of The Tampa Tribune and The Wall Street Journal.


As a Board Certified Construction Lawyer, Trent focuses his practice on all aspects of construction litigation and arbitration, including OSHA defense, lien law, bond law, bid protests, as well as construction document review and drafting. He routinely represents general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, manufacturers, architects, engineers, and others in the construction industry in a variety of matters. For more information, please visit www.trentcotney.com

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
1211 N Franklin St
Tampa, FL 33602

Monday, March 18, 2013

Transfer of License Case



Robert Petito v.Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Construction Industry Licening Board, DOAH Case 12-3154(F).  The final order entered on January 17, 2013, found that contractor's successfully overturning a denial of an application to transfer of license from one business entity to another, did not give rise to an award of attorneys fees pursuant to 57.105 nor 57.111.  Even though contractor established that he was a "prevailing small business party," the Construction Industry Licensing Board's actions imposing conditions on the application approval were "substantially justified". (From RPPTL Subcommittee). 

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
1211 N Franklin St
Tampa, FL 33602

Friday, March 15, 2013

Application of In Pari Delicto Defense



Earth Trades. Inc. v. T & G Corporation, Case No. SC10-1892, filed January 24, 2013.. The Supreme Court held that a general contractor's knowledge that a subcontractor was not licensed does not create a defense of in pari delicto.  As a result, Section 489.128 prohibited an unlicensed utility and excavation contractor from recovering for site work. (From RPPTL Subcommittee) 

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
1211 N Franklin St
Tampa, FL 33602

Arbitration Clause Decision


George Jackson v. The Shakespeare Foundation, Inc. 38 Fla. L. Weekly S67a, Case No. SC11-1196, filed January 31, 2013. A broad arbitration clause, such as "arising out of or relating to" is enforceable when there is a "significant relationship" of the claim to the contract.  In this case, an arbitration provision was upheld where the purchaser to a real estate contract alleged misrepresentation under a general duty to disclose notwithstanding that the misrepresentation was not included in the contract itself.


Home Construction Management, LLC v. Comet, Inc., Case Nos., 4D11-4022 & 4D12-21, filed February 6, 2013.  Owner was awarded treble damages pursuant to 768.0425(2) against unlicensed contractor.

Editors Note: Owner sued for disgorgement of overcharges as well, but that issue was not addressed on appeal. (From RPPTL Subcommittee) 


Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
1211 N Franklin St
Tampa, FL 33602

Thursday, March 14, 2013

OSHA Roof Fatalities Study


Study finds a higher rate of roof fatalities among roofers in residential construction: younger, Hispanic, racial minorities and immigrant workers also had higher rates

A new NIOSH-funded study on fatalities in the construction industry suggests roofers in residential construction are among those most likely to die in falls from roofs.


The study, "Fatal falls from roofs among U.S. construction workers," finds that "the odds of fatal falls from roofs were higher for roofing and residential construction than any other construction sector." Other groups with higher rates of fatal falls from roofs included workers younger than 20 years or older than 44 years, racial minorities, Hispanics, and immigrant workers. Workers in southern regions also had a higher rate of fatal falls compared to the construction industry as a whole.


 The authors emphasize the need for employer compliance with OSHA fall protection regulations and effective training in a language and vocabulary workers can understand. For more information about preventing fatal falls in construction, visit http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls/index.html. The study examined trends and patterns of fatal falls from roofs in the U.S. construction industry over an 18-year period (1992–2009), with detailed analysis for 2003–2009. (OSHA)



Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
1211 N Franklin St
Tampa, FL 33602

Award of Attorney fees Case


Diamond Aircraft Industries, Inc., v. Alan Horowitch, 38 Fla. L. Weekly S17a, Case No. SC11-1371, filed January 10, 2012. Florida Supreme Court certified questions of Florida Law to the U.S. Court of Appeals (11th Circuit) as follows:
1. A prevailing defendant is entitled to an award of attorney fees for the time spent defending a FDUTPA Claim pursuant to Section 501.2105.
2. An award of attorney fees pursuant to 768.79 is not permitted when the offer of judgment includes the settlement of equitable claims, even if such claims lack merit.
3. An award of attorney fees pursuant to 768.79 and Rule 1.442 where the Plaintiff has demanded attorney fees but the offer of judgment fails to specify when attorney's fees are included. (RPPTL Subcommittee) 



Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
1211 N Franklin St
Tampa, FL 33602

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New Economic Loss Rule Case


Tiara Condominium Association, Inc., v. Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., 38 Fla. L. Weekly S151a, Supreme Court of Florida, Case No SC10-1022, filed March 7, 2013. In a 5-2 opinion (Polston and Canady dissenting in separate opinions and Justice Pariente concurring in a separate opinion), the court responded in the negative to a re-stated certified question form the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, as follows:

DOES THE ECONOMIC LOSS RULE BAR AN INSURED'S SUIT AGAINST AN INSURANCE BROKER WHERE THE PARTIES ARE IN CONTRACTUAL PRIVITY WITH ONE ANOTHER AND THE DAMAGES SOUGHT ARE SOLELY FOR ECONOMIC DAMAGES?

In holding that the ELR applies ONLY in products liability cases, the majority opinion states the court is receding from it prior rulings in all other cases, which it characterized as "unwise and unworkable in practice. In this case, the condominium's insurance broker represented that the association had property damage coverage of $50 million PER OCCURANCE; after being damages by two hurricanes (Frances and Jeanne), the association began a more expensive remediation of damages based on this representation, but the insurer (Citizens Property Insurance Corporation) took the position that the coverage was limited to a total of only $50 million for both occurrences. The parties settled for $89 million, and the association sought the balance from its broker based on (1) breach of contract, (2) negligent misrepresentation, (3) breach of the implied covenant fo good faith and fair dealing, (4) negligence, and (5) breach of fiduciary duty.

The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the broker on all claims, and the 11th Circuit affirmed that result as to all claims except for the negligence and breach of fiduciary duty claims, and certified the question as to these remaining claims in terms of whether the ELR precluded recovery and whether the broker was a "professional" within the exception to the ELR under the holding of Moransais v. Heathman, 744 So. 2d 973 (Fla. 1999), and its predecessor cases. The court's majority restated the certified question so as to ignore the "professional" exception to the ELR, since they were receding to a "products" only application of the rule.

In his dissent, Justice Canady agreed that the original certified question should be answered in the negative as well, but only because he did not find the insurance broker to within the "professional" exception to this rule. He stated: "With today's decision, we face the prospect of every breach of contract claim being accompanied by a tort claim."
NOTE: Even the Justice disagreed if this decision is an "unsettling" change in law. (from RPPTL Subcommittee).

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
1211 N Franklin St
Tampa, FL 33602


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Scope of Arbitration Provision


George Jackson v. The Shakespeare Foundation, Inc. 38 Fla. L. Weekly S67a, Case No. SC11-1196, filed January 31, 2013. A broad arbitration clause, such as "arising out of or relating to" is enforceable when there is a "significant relationship" of the claim to the contract.  In this case, an arbitration provision was upheld where the purchaser to a real estate contract alleged misrepresentation under a general duty to disclose notwithstanding that the misrepresentation was not included in the contract itself. (from RPPTL Subcommittee).

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
1211 N Franklin St
Tampa, FL 33602

Friday, March 1, 2013

Tampa Bay Business Journal Article

The Tampa Bay Business Journal published an article and interview with us today. Check it out here: TBBJ Article

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
1211 N Franklin St
Tampa, FL 33602