George E. Spofford IV - Attorney at Law

401 East Jackson Street
Suite 2700
Post Office Box 3324 (33601-3324)
Tampa, Florida 33602

P 813-273-5000
F 813-273-5145

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Biography

George is a shareholder in the Tampa office and has focused his practice in the construction industry for over 30 years. He routinely represents engineering firms, contractors, subcontractors, and owners (public and private) in disputes involving infrastructure improvements (roads, pipelines, bridges, landfills, excavations, landfills, mines, etc.), litigation of delay, extra work claims, breach of contract actions, mining disputes, claims preparation, bid protests, OSHA matters, contract negotiation and drafting, and claims avoidance. George was previously an owner, officer and counsel to one of the largest heavy civil construction companies in Florida. In that capacity, he was responsible for contract negotiations, bid protests, owner and subcontractor relations, management of project managers and field superintendents, claims documentation and negotiation, loss control, and human resources. He is intimately familiar with the construction of roads, bridges, water and drainage systems, limerock mines, and landfills and is personally acquainted with the management of many of the major parties involved in construction in the Southeastern United States, such as the Florida Department of Transportation, sureties, contractors and suppliers. 

George is a Florida Supreme Court Circuit Court certified mediator as well as a trained and qualified American Arbitration Association arbitrator. He is a member of the American Arbitration Association's construction and commercial mediation panels. George has extensive experience mediating construction disputes as a party (from his days as a contractor), as an advocate (due to his law practice), and as the neutral mediator. Because he has experienced the mediation process from all perspectives, he has the ability to help the parties and counsel identify acceptable solutions to their construction disputes.

George is a member of the National Utility Contractors Association, Underground Utility Contractors of Florida, the Florida Transportation Builders Association, and the Florida Energy Pipeline Association.  He has also argued before the Florida Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

George has published more than 60 articles on construction law issues in various trade magazines. Issues addressed include latent defects, overzealous inspections, OSHA inspections, documentation of claims, venue, construction liens, surety bad faith and bid protests.

Additional Information About George E. Spofford IV

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Education
  • Auburn University, B.A., philosophy (cum laude, 1982)
  • Emory University, J.D. (1985)
Admissions
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Alabama
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Professional Associations & Memberships
  • The Florida Bar
    • Board Certified in Construction Law
    • City, County and Local Government Law Section
    • Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section
  • Florida Bar Association
  • Georgia Bar Association
  • United States Supreme Court
    • Board Certified in Construction Law
  • Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Court Mediator
  • U.S. District Court (Middle District of Florida) Mediator
  • American Arbitration Association Arbitrator
  • Hillsborough County Bar Association
    • Construction Lawyer Section, Member
  • FDOT Certified Dispute Review Board Member
  • Underground Utility Contractors of Florida – General Counsel 1999 to present, Member since 1992
  • Florida Transportation Builders Association, Member since 1986
  • Suncoast Utility Contractors Association, Member
  • National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA), Member by invitation in National  Construction Attorneys Forum
  • Construction Owners Association of America, Member
  • Dispute Review Board Foundation, Member
  • Florida Energy Pipeline Association, Member
  • Lecturer regarding scheduling, construction liens, claims, competitive bidding, and claims documentation
     
Awards & Recognitions
  • AV Preeminent™ rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Chambers USA, Construction, 2015-2017
  • Chambers USA, Litigation: General Commercial, 2008
  • Best Lawyers in America, Litigation - Construction, 2010-2018
  • Florida Super Lawyers, Construction Litigation, 2006-2017
  • Florida Trend, "Legal Elite," Construction, 2006-2007, 2009
  • Tampa Bay Magazine, Tampa Bay's Top Lawyers
  • Tampa "Top Rated Lawyer," Litigation, 2013
Civic
  • Tampa Yacht & Country Club
  • Hyde Park Preservation, Inc., Past President, Past Director
Articles & Publications
  • Show Me the Money: The Local Prompt Payment Statute,” Ditchmen Magazine, February 2015
  • "Pay-When-Paid Clauses," Ditchmen Magazine, September 2014
  • "Personal Guaranties," Ditchmen Magazine, June 2014 
  • "Don't Fall For This Little Known Lien Trap," Ditchmen Magazine, April 2014
  • "OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard Requires Employers to Educate and Train Employees," Ditchmen Magazine, February 2014 
  • “Even if you are Performing Work on a Public Road, You Might Still have Lien Rights,” Ditchmen Magazine, December 2012
  • "How to Pull a Rabbit Out of a Hat: Little Known Tricks that Might Save Your Lien Claim," Ditchmen Magazine, September 2012 
  • “When, If Ever, Is It Too Late To Bring A Demand For Arbitration?” (Part 2 of 2) Ditchmen Magazine, August 2012
  • “When, If Ever, Is It Too Late To Bring A Demand For Arbitration?” (Part 1 of 2) Ditchmen Magazine, July 2012
  • “Bid Protests: Grounds For and Defenses Against,” Ditchmen, March 2011
  • “Bid Protests Revisited,” Ditchmen, January 2011
  • “Recent OSHA Changes,” Ditchmen, September 2010
  • “Executive Order 13496 and What It Means for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors,” Ditchmen, August 2010
  • “Battle of the Forms (Part II of II),” Ditchmen, December 2009
  • “Battle of the Forms (Part I of II),” Ditchmen, November 2009
  • “Contracts – Your Construction Contract Liquidated Damages Clause Might Not Be Enforceable,” Owners Perspective, Winter 2009
  • “Liquidated Damages Are Not Always Enforceable” Ditchmen, July 2008
  • “Litigation, Arbitration and Mediation (Part II of II),” Ditchmen, April 2008
  • “Litigation, Arbitration and Mediation (Part I of II),” Ditchmen, March 2008
  • “Unavoidable Employee Misconduct Defense,” Ditchmen, December 2007
  • “Avoiding a Willful OSHA Violation,” Ditchmen, November 2007
  • “State Agencies Must Play by the Rules,” Ditchmen, January 2006
  • “Statute of Limitations for Performance Bond Claims,” Lawyer Magazine, February 2005
  • “Construction Surety Bonds,” Ditchmen, June 2005
  • “Termination for Convenience: Necessary Evil or Unfair Advantage Part IV of IV,” Ditchmen, March 2005
  • “Termination for Convenience: Necessary Evil or Unfair Advantage Part III of IV,” Ditchmen, February 2005
  •  “Termination for Convenience: Necessary Evil or Unfair Advantage Part II of III,” Ditchmen, December 2004
  • “Termination for Convenience: Necessary Evil or Unfair Advantage Part I of III,” Ditchmen, November 2004
  • “Lost Anticipated Profits,” FRSA, June 2004
  • “Waiver of Contract Notice Provisions,” FRSA, March 2004
  • “Prompt Payment,” FRSA, February 2004
  • “Legislative Update,” Ditchmen, September 2003
  • “The Slavin Doctrine,” Ditchmen, June 2003
  • “Implied Warranty of Availability,” Ditchmen, May 2003
  • “Disclaimers For Differing Site Conditions In Utility Contracts,” Ditchmen, March 2002
  • “Problems with Using the Total Cost Method of Calculating Costs,” Ditchmen, February 2001
  • “Competitive Bidding Under Revised Florida Statute 255.20 (Part 2 of 2),” Ditchmen, November 1999
  • “Competitive Bidding Under Revised Florida Statute 255.20 (Part 1 of 2),” Ditchmen, October 1999
  • “Dispute Review Boards (Part 1 of 2),” Ditchmen, June 1999
  • “Dispute Review Boards (Part 1 of 2),” Ditchmen, June 1999
  • “Unintended Personal Liability,” Ditchmen, May, 1998
  • “Personal Guaranties,” Ditchmen, April, 1998
  • “Two Potential Defenses to OSHA Citations (Part 2 of  2),” Ditchmen, February, 1998
  • “Two Potential Defenses to OSHA Citations (Part 1 of  2),” Ditchmen, January, 1998
  • “Southern Roadbuilders Lives!” Ditchmen, November, 1997
  • “Surety Bad Faith,” Ditchmen, October, 1997
  • “A Method to Recover Claim Preparation Costs,” Ditchmen, September, 1997
  • “The Lien Law: What It Says -vs- What It Means,” Ditchmen, August, 1997
  • “Bid Protests: Timing Is Everything,” Ditchmen, July, 1997
  • “Three Certainties in Life: Death, Taxes, and Revisions to the Lien Law,” Ditchmen, June, 1997
  • “Don’t Take The Notice of Commencement for Granted,” Ditchmen, May, 1997
  • “Dishonored Subcontractor Bid Quotes,” Ditchmen, April, 1997
  • “Venue: Who Cares Where The Lawsuit Is Filed?” Ditchmen, February 1997
  • “Pay-When-Paid Clauses,” Ditchmen, January 1997
  • “Effective Photograph Documentation of Claims,” Ditchmen, December 1996
  • “Overzealous Inspection,” Ditchmen, November 1996
  • “More On Latent Defects,” Dixie Contractor, October 21, 1996
  • “Despite What The Contract Says, Prior Written Authorization Is Not Always Required For Extra Work To Be Compensable,” Ditchmen, October 1996
  • “The Question of Latent Defects,” Dixie Contractor, October 7, 1996
  • “Dispute Avoidance: Setoff of Contract Proceeds On Unrelated Contracts,” Ditchmen, September 1996
     
Presentations & Seminars
  • “Prompt Payment Law,” Suncoast Utility Contractors Association, Roundtable, January 16, 2015.
  • “A General Overview of OSHA Citations,” The Florida Bar Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section, Construction Law Committee Meeting, September 8, 2014.
  • “Mediation of Construction Disputes,” November 18, 2010 and April 21, 2011, Presented to Hillsborough County Bar Association.
  • “Rules and Statutes Governing Florida Contractors,” July 22, 2010, presented at UUCF Statewide Convention.
  • “Handling OSHA Inspections on Construction Projects,” January 28, 2009, presented to Construction Supervisors.
  • “What The Construction Professional Should Know About Construction Law,” August 12, 2008, presented at Florida COAA Annual Meeting.
  • “Handling OSHA Inspections on Construction Projects,” February 15, 2007, presented to Hillsborough County Bar Association.
  • “Laws and Rules Regulating The Construction Industry,” February 18, 2008, presented to Central Florida Utility & Transportation Contractors Association.
  • “Advanced Construction Law Issues,” November 2, 2002, presented in Dallas, Texas, Florida Bar Course No. 8153R, approved for 7.5 hours credit.
  • “Roofing Law,” October 8, 2002, Presented to The West Coast Roofing and Sheet Metal Workers Association, Tampa, Florida, Florida Bar Course No. 8253R, approved for 3.0 hours credit.
  • “Construction Contracting/Claims,” February 18, 2003, presented to The Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, Florida Bar Course No. 8353R, approved for 3.0 hours credit.
  • “Construction Bonds,” September 22, 2004, presented to Construction Owners Association of America, DBPR Course No. 8221, approved for 3.5 hours for Contractors and 3.0 hours for Architects, approved Florida Bar CLE Course.
  • “Handling OSHA Inspections on Construction Projects,” May 11, 2004, presented in Jacksonville, Florida, approved Florida Bar CLE Course.
  • “Handling OSHA Inspections on Construction Projects,” May 12, 2004, presented in Orlando, Florida, approved Florida Bar CLE Course.
  • “Handling OSHA Inspections on Construction Projects,” May 13, 2004, presented Naples, Florida, approved Florida Bar CLE Course.
  • “Construction Law for Architects & Engineers,” May 30, 1999, DBPR Course No. AR.05.919
  • “Scheduling,” January 1993, presented to Florida Department Of Transportation/Florida Transportation Builders Association Joint Conference, Orlando, Florida.
  • “Construction Contracting For Public Entities In Florida,” June 1999, Lorman Education Services.
  • “Construction Contracting for Public Entities In Florida,” November, 2000, Lorman Education Services.
  • “Roofing Law,” presented to The West Coast Roofing and Sheet Metal Workers Association, October 2002.
  • “Mold Issues For Roofers,” Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors Association Statewide Convention, 2003, approved Florida Bar CLE Course.
  • “Construction Contracting/ Claims” February 2003, Presented to The Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute.
  • “Competitive Bidding,” January 4, 2000, Sponsored by Ringhaver Equipment Company.
 
Representative Experience
  • Representation of international engineering firm in litigation of claims arising out of dredging project.
  • Representation of contractors in litigation arising out of horizontal directional drill and microtunneling projects.
  • Preparation, litigation, and negotiation of multi-million dollar construction claims with the Florida Department of Transportation and various counties on projects such as SR 200; US 27; US 301; SR 20; US 319; US 331; SR 200; US 98;  The Veterans’ Expressway; S.R. 52; Hudson Avenue; three phases of I­75, Alligator Alley; SR AIA; Seven Mile Bridge; Apalachicola River Bridge; Commercial Boulevard Bascule Bridge Rehabilitation; Military Trail Road; S.R. 5 Drainage Improvements; S.R. 717; Florida Keys Aqueduct; I-664 Bridge; I-4.
  • Member of FDOT Dispute Review Boards on: FDOT SR 64 East Project (Chairman), FDOT SR 64 West Project (Chairman), FDOT US 301 Project (Chairman).FDOT S.R.90 (US 41) Project, FDOT US 1 (S.R. No. 5) Project, FDOT SR 776 Project, FDOT SR 222 Project. 
  • Representation of contractor in dispute with U.S. Air Force regarding construction of golf course on MacDill AFB.
  • Representation of minority owned contractor in dispute with U.S. Corps of Engineers regarding the construction of recreation center on MacDill AFB. 
  • Representation of clients in litigation and negotiation with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for the reduction and elimination of fines and citations due to safety violations.
  • Representation of Florida municipality in dispute with Florida Department of Transportation regarding underground utility work delays and extra work claims.
  • Representation of lime rock mine owners and operators in disputes regarding mine operation.
  • Representation of landfill contractor in litigation against the City of Jacksonville, Florida, involving issues such as wrongful termination, material breach, defective design, and over zealous contract administration.
  • Representation of construction sureties in defense of payment and performance bond claims.
  • Representation of a highway contractor in litigation against the City of Edgewater, Florida, for damages due to delays and extra work incurred during the construction of approximately ten miles of asphalt roadway.
  • Representation of leading manufacturer of single ply roofing materials in breach of contract and civil theft litigation.
  • Representation of a statewide contractors association in dispute with a public owner concerning a $63,000,000 public works project.
  • Representation of custom home building company in breach of contract litigation against one of Florida’s largest land development companies.
  • Representation of clients in bid protests arising out of competitive public bid lettings.
  • Representation of clients before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals regarding construction contract disputes.
  • Representation of local municipalities in the analysis and defense of construction claims.
 
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