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Trenton Hugh Cotney

Trenton Hugh Cotney

also known as Trent Cotney

Practice areas:

Construction & Development

Trenton Cotney

About Me

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, and 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.   He has authored more than 75 published articles in more than 15 publications on such topics as negligent design, delay damages, and defective workmanship and is a regular columnist for FRSA and WCRCA trade publications.  As a State Accredited Continuing Education Provider, Trent has conducted seminars on such topics as construction contract provisions, licensing, and lien law. He has argued on behalf of contractors before the Construction Industry Licensing Board.  Trent is also a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Court Mediator and a Qualified Court-Appointed Arbitrator.


Practice Areas

Licensed since 1999

  1. Construction & Development: 100%


Payment Types:

Cash, Check, Credit Card

Attorney Endorsements

2 total

  • John S. Castro

    Trent is great attorney that is passionate about his work and dedicated to representing his client's best interests.


    John Castro Criminal Defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Jason David Karpel

    Trent is one of the best attorney's I have ever came across. He is very easy to work with and always has the clients best interest at heart. Very intelligent and easy to communicate with.


    Jason Karpel Business Attorney
    Relationship: Friend


FLMember in Good Standing199905/07/2015

Professional Misconduct

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo Contributions
Legal Answers
Award NameGrantorDate Granted
Best Law Firms Construction LawU.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers2014
Gold Circle Award for Service to the IndustryNRCA2014
Who's Who of Business LawyersInternational Who's Who of Business Lawyers2014
Best LawyersBest Lawyers in America, 20th Edition2014
Annual AwardsLawyers World2013
Global AwardIntercontinental Finance Magazine2013
Leading Lawyer 500Intercontinental Finance Magazine2013
Construction Law Firm of the Year - FloridaAcquisition International M&A Awards2013
Best LawyersBest Lawyers in America, 19th Edition2013
Florida Legal Elite - Construction LawFlorida Trend Magazine2013
Florida Super LawyersSuper Lawyers2013
America's Leading Lawyers for Business for Construction LawChambers USA2013
Construction Law Firm of the Year in FloridaCorporate INTL2013
Best Law Firms Construction LawU.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers2013
International Who's Who of Construction LawyersWho's Who Legal2013
Construction LitigationFlorida Super Lawyers2013
Tampa Bay's Top LawyersTampa Bay Magazine2013
Who's Who of Business LawyersInternational Who's Who of Business Lawyers2013
Legal Elite, Construction LawFlorida Trend Magazine2012
Rising Stars, Construction LitigationFlorida Super Lawyers2012
International Who's Who of Construction LawyersWho's Who Legal2012
Top 50 Entrepreneurs of the YearBusiness Leader Magazine2012
Tampa's Top Rated LawyersLegal Leaders2012
America's Most Honored ProfessionalsAmerican Registry2011
Best Attorneys, ConstructionThe Best Attorney's Network2011
Earl Blank "Heart" AwardFRSA2011
Legal Elite, ConstructionFlorida Trend Magazine2011
Rising Stars Construction LitigationFlorida Super Lawyers2011
Rising Star, Construction LitigationFlorida Super Lawyers2010
Construction Business of the Year, FinalistAssociated Builders & Contractors2010
Business Achievement Award for Community InvolvementAssociated Builders & Contractors2010
Legal Elite, Construction LawFlorida Trend Magazine2010
Tampa Bay's Top Lawyers, Construction LawTampa Bay Magazine2010
Up & ComersTampa Bay Business Journal2010
Best Law Firms, Construction Law, Tampa, FLU.S. News & World Report2010
Construction Law Firm of the Year in FloridaCorporate INTL Magazine2010
Rising Star, Construction LitigationFlorida Super Lawyers2009
Up & Coming Lawyer, Construction LawFlorida Trend Magazine2009
President's AwardFlorida Roofing Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Association2009
Certified Circuit Court MediatorFlorida Supreme Court2009
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell2009
Qualified Court-Appointed ArbitratorFlorida State Courts2009
Up & Coming Lawyer, Construction LawFlorida Trend Magazine2008
Byron Curry AwardWest Coast Roofing Contractor's Association2008
Top 40 Under 40Gulf Coast Business Review2007
Admitted to PracticeUnited States Supreme Court2007
Board Certified in Construction LawFlorida Bar2005
Accredited Contractor Continuing Education ProviderFlorida Department of Business and Professional Regulation2004
Admitted to PracticeFlorida Bar1999
Best Brief AwardVanderbilt University School of Law1998
Alexander Heard AwardVanderbilt University1996

Work Experience
TitleCompany NameDuration
PresidentTrent Cotney, P.A.2012 - Present
Shareholder Attorney in the Construction Law Practice GroupGlenn Rasmussen Fogarty & Hooker, P.A.2000 - 2012
AssociateRuden McClosky Smith Schuster & Russell1999 - 2000
Legal InternRuden McClosky Smith Schuster & Russell1998 - 1998
Legal InternZimmerman, Kiser & Sutcliffe, P.A.1998 - 1998
Legal InternRuden McClosky Smith Schuster & Russell1997 - 1997

Association NamePosition NameDuration
American Arbitration AssociationMember of Roster of Mediators and Arbitrators2014 - Present
National Roofing Contractors AssociationMember2013 - Present
Pinellas County Contractors AssociationMember2011 - Present
FRSA Education & Research FoundationPlatinum Member2010 - Present
Humane Society of Tampa BayDirector2008 - 2010
Associated Builders & ContractorsMember2007 - Present
Hillsborough County Bar AssociationCo-chair2005 - 2006
Florida Bar, Real Property, Probate and Trust Law SectionMember2004 - Present
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors AssociationMember2004 - 2008
Florida Roofing Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors AssociationGeneral Counsel; Director2004 - Present
Hillsborough County Bar Association, Construction Law SectionMember2004 - Present
University of TampaBoard of Counselors2002 - 2004
West Coast Roofing Contractor's AssociationDirector2002 - Present
Underground Utility Contractors of FloridaMember2000 - Present
Florida Transportation Builders AssociationMember2000 - Present
National Utility Contractors AssociationMember2000 - Present
Suncoast Utility Contractors AssociationMember2000 - Present
Florida BarMember1999 - Present
Academy of Florida Trial LawyersMember1999 - 2000
Hillsborough County Bar AssociationMember1999 - Present
Hillsborough County Bar Association, Young Lawyers DivisionMember1999 - 2003
Moot Court Honor SocietyExecutive Committee1998 - 1999

Publication NameTitleDate
Roofing FloridaPartial & Final Waivers and Releases of Liens2013
WCRCA NewsletterRoofing Contractor or Unlicensed Public Adjuster?2013
Roofing Florida MagazineDetermining the Costs of Construction Defect Claims2013
Roofing Florida MagazineTransferring a Lien to a Security2013
WCRCA NewsletterThe Waiver of Owner Notice Provisions2013
Roofing Florida MagazineLegal Dangers of Unlicensed Contracting in Florida2013
Roofing Florida MagazineContracting and Liquidated Damages2013
Roofing Florida MagazineOSHA Time for a Change?2013
Roofing Florida MagazinePublic Projects & Bid Protests (part 1 of 2)2012
Roofing Florida MagazinePublic Projects & Bid Protests (part 2 of 2)2012
WCRCA NewsletterRecent Lien Case Provides New Loopholes2012
Roofing Florida MagazineGreen Construction & the Implied Warranty of Availability2012
RCASF NewsletterFlorida Lien Law - Notice of Commencement2012
Roofing Florida MagazineDocumentation Necessary to Support Defense Against OSHA Citation2012
RCASFFailure to Obtain a Permit May Invalidate a Claim of Lien2012
Roofing Florida Magazine2012 Legislative Session: Lien and Bond Law Changes2012
Roofing Florida Magazine2012 FRSA Convention - Family Matters2012
WCRA NewsletterProblems With Using the Total Cost Method of Calculating Costs2012
WCRCA Newsletter3 Important Provisions in Residential Roofing Contracts2012
Roofing Florida MagazineWaiver of Arbitration Provisions2012
Roofing Florida MagazineHow to Remove a Claim of Lien2012
HVAC Insider PublicationMediating Construction Disputes2012
Roofing Florida MagazineExperienced Construction Mediator Can Save Contractors Time and Money2012
HVAC Insider PublicationConstruction Law and Your Business2011
WCRCA NewsletterLitigation, Arbitration & Mediation2011
WCRCA NewsletterPublic Projects & Bid Protests2011
Florida Roofing MagazineOSHA Safety Tips2011
Roofing ContractorLiquidated Damages Provisions in Construction Contracts2011
Roofing Florida MagazineFall Protection and Willful OSHA Violations2011
Roofing FloridaRecent Case Refines Statute of Limitations for Roof Leaks2011
WCRCA NewsletterHow to Defeat Pay When Paid Clauses2011
Plans & SpecsThe Implied Warranty of Availability2011
Roofing Florida MagazineEffective Construction Mediation2011
Roofing Florida MagazineChanges to Lien Law Affects Recovery of Attorney's Fees2010
WCRCA NewsletterNo Damages for Delay Provisions2010
WCRCA NewsletterTermination for Convenience: Necessary Evil or Unfair Advantage2010
Roofing Florida MagazineFive Important Provisions in Residential Roofing Contracts2010
WCRCA NewsletterDamages for Defective Workmanship2010
WCRCA NewsletterA Negligent Design Defense2010
WCRA NewsletterPersonal Guaranties2010
Roofing Florida MagazineOSHA Makes Significant Changes to Crane Standards2010
WCRCA NewsletterThree Ways to Prevent Mold Claims on Construction Projects2010
Palm Beach County Roofing Association MagazineConstruction Arbitration2009
Plans & SpecsMediating Construction Disputes2009
WCRCA NewsletterRecovery of Attorneys' Fees Under Florida Lien Law2009

School NameMajorDegreeGraduated
Vanderbilt University Law SchoolLawJD - Juris Doctor1999
Vanderbilt UniversityPolitical ScienceBS - Bachelor of Science1996

Speaking Engagements
Conference NameTitleDate
National Association of Credit Management, Tampa,FLWriting Effective Demand Letters2013
FRSA ConventionCrisis Management in Construction2013
Education Institute of FloridaOSHA Citation & Inspection Process2013
RCASF Fort Lauderdale, FLConstruction Contract Provisions2012
PCCA Clearwater, FLOSHA Update2012
FRSA Convention; Orlando, FLContractor Licensing and Construction Contracts2012
CILB LicensingLaws and Rules2012
CFRSA Orlando, FLGetting Paid on Projects2012
ABC - Ft. Myers, FLFlorida Construction Lien Law2012
ABC - Ft. Myers, FLCollecting Payment on Construction Projects2012
ABCContractor Regulation & Licensing2012
PCCAOSHA Inspection & Citation Process2011
NEFRSA MeetingOSHA Inspection & Citation Process2011
HAPHCCThe Basics of Construction Lien Law2011
HAPHCCLegal Aspects of Construction Licensing2011
FRSA ConventionContractor Licensing Issues & Construction Contracts2011
FRACCA Education ConferenceFlorida Lien Law Update2011
CFRSACollecting Payment on Construction Projects2011
Best of Success ConferenceUnderstanding Construction Contracts2011
Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc.Collecting Payment on Construction Projects2011
Hillsborough Association of Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Contractors, Inc.Construction Dispute Resolution2010
Hillsborough Association of Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Contractors, Inc.Florida Construction Lien Law2010
Hillsborough Association of Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Contractors, Inc.Contractor Regulations & Licensing2010
Glenn Rasmussen Fogarty & Hooker, P.A.Alternative Construction Dispute Resolution2010
FRSA SeminarContractor Regulation and Licensing2010
FRSA Annual ConventionContractor Licensing Issues & Construction Contracts2010
Associated Builders & ContractorsConstruction Contract Provisions2010
Associated Builders & ContractorsAlternative Dispute Resolution in Construction2010
West Coast Roofing Contractor's AssociationFlorida Construction Lien Law2009
Tri-County Roofing Contractor's AssociationBasics of Construction Lien Law2009
National Association of Credit ManagersBasics of Construction Contracts and Lien Law2009
FRSA Annual ConventionLicensing and Lien Law2009
Florida Roofing & Sheet Metal AssociationLicensing Regulations-Chapter 4892009
Associated Builders & ContractorsUnderstanding Construction Contracts2009
Florida Roofing & Sheet Metal AssociationLegal Aspects of Construction Licensing & Lien Law2008
Associated Builders & ContractorsDefective Design and Construction2008
Florida Roofing & Sheet Metal AssociationUnderstanding Contracts & Defective Design/Workmanship Issues2007
Florida Roofing & Sheet Metal AssociationDealing with Defects in Design & Construction2007
West Coast Roofing Contractor's AssociationLegislative Update to the Florida Construction Lien Law2006
Florida Roofing & Sheet Metal AssociationLegal Issues Pertaining to Mold2003
West Coast Roofing Contractor's AssociationNotice Provisions and Disclaimers2002
SMCRCAReduction & Prevention of Mold Litigation2002
Roofing Consultants Institute Lakeland, FLCollecting Payments on Construction Projects and Florida Construction Lien LawN/A