Looking back on how I began with the firm, I met Jeff during the third year of law school. I was interviewing at different law firms in the Jacksonville area and interviewed at a firm that Jeff was a partner in. It was called Hedrick Dewberry Regan & Durant at the time, and I ultimately accepted a job with that firm.
Jeff pretty quickly, I would say within six months, eight months, really started to take on a mentor role for me as a young lawyer, and over time we became partners. He became the godfather to my son and also became a very good friend.
From Adversaries to Friends and Partners
It’s interesting. Gene (Atwood) and I were actually adversaries in a case. He had a general contractor he was representing in a big construction defect case, and I was representing a manufacturer of windows in the case. It was a large case that spanned somewhere around four years with many depositions in Orlando and in Jacksonville.
I was living in Jacksonville at the time and had an opportunity to get to know several of the attorneys in the case, including Gene, and we actually became friends during that case and then, as luck would have it, later on, became partners in this firm.
Florida Bar Board Certified in Construction Law
I made the decision to practice construction law as a significant part of my practice. Achieving board certification in construction law, in that chosen practice area, is, I think, one of the more important accomplishments in my experience as an attorney.
Expert in Construction Law
It’s important in my career as an attorney because it’s a recognition from my peers that I am an expert in the field of construction law. It also is a recognition that I have the necessary knowledge and experience to call myself a specialist in construction law.
Construction, Business, and Real Estate Litigation
My practice includes construction law, business litigation, and real estate litigation. In my construction law practice, I primarily represent general contractors and trade contractors, although I also represent some owners.
Construction Disputes We Handle
The disputes that we handle as part of our construction law practice, our firm and myself individually, include really a wide range of construction-related disputes. It’s everything from smaller lien and payment bond claims ranging all the way up to multi-party, multimillion-dollar construction defect claims, and really everything in between.
Delay and Disruption Claims
One of the more interesting areas that I think that we handle in terms of construction is delay and disruption claims, which often arise on public projects, although they certainly can also arise on private projects.
Business Litigation Cases
My business litigation practice includes a wide range of disputes, typically involving either a written agreement, a contract, or a business tort. For example, the dispute could be anything from a simple breach of a promissory note or a breach of a contract for services of some kind unrelated to construction.
The dispute could involve a homeowner who’s purchased a home and finds out that there’s an undisclosed material defect in the home.
There are also broker liability type cases…a wide range of anything that fits under the umbrella of business litigation, or what it’s sometimes called: a commercial tort, such as a fraud case.
Fraud in Connection with a Business
There may be fraud in connection with the operation of a business, or in connection with a relationship between two business entities. You could have fraud or negligent misrepresentation that arises…all of which fits under a very broad umbrella of business litigation.
Real Estate Litigation We Handle
My real estate litigation practice involves disputes related to real property. That could involve, a dispute over an easement, a nuisance type case, a civil trespass case, a dispute that arises out of a commercial real estate transaction between the parties. Other cases include a breach of some kind. It’s a fairly broad practice area that fits under the umbrella of real estate litigation.
We Enjoy the People On Our Team
We work hard. We also play hard. I know that sounds like a cliché, but it’s true. All the attorneys in our firm have a really diverse range of interests outside of the practice. The attorneys in our firm fish, hunt, are football coaches, are youth sports coaches, they cook…it’s just a wide range of interests outside of the practice
So when we’re engaged in a lawsuit, engaged in representing a client, we work extremely hard at it. But outside of the practice, we also try to have well-rounded, balanced lives, which is part of the reason that we all enjoy being around each other and we enjoy practicing together because, at the end of the day, you should practice law with people you enjoy being with.