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 our Tampa office and has focused his practice in the construction industry for over 30 years. He routinely represents clients in matters such as 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 member of the National Utility Contractors Association, Underground Utility Contractors of Florida and The Florida Transportation Builders 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.

In addition to the representation of employers regarding alleged OSHA violations, George regularly assists employers in the revision of employee and safety handbooks to improve the employer’s opportunities to avoid a citation altogether.

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
  • 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
Representative Experience

Representation of companies in regards to alleged OSHA violations including:

  • Serious citations resulting from improper machine guarding
  • Serious citations involving issues of combustible dust
  • Multiple serious citations issued to prime contractor for a subcontractor’s unsafe scaffolding
  • Multiple serious citations for an unsafe elevator following failure of the elevator
  • Serious citations based on improper respirators
  • Serious citations for excavation spoil pile violation revised to be citation for failure to scale walls
  • Serious citations based on unsafe stacked/tiered culverts
  • Serious citations for inadequate excavation cave-in protection system
  • Citations based on warehouse aisles being too narrow for operation of mechanized equipment
  • Repeat citations for blocking manufacturing aisles
  • Repeat citations for unsafely stacked boxes and pallets


Litigation regarding:

  • Airports
  • Aquatic weed removal
  • Architect Malpractice defense
  • Bonds
  • Bridges
  • Commercial properties
  • Concrete
  • Differing site conditions
  • Disputes between owners of closely held construction companies
  • Dredging projects
  • Duty to indemnify and defend
  • Engineer Malpractice defense
  • Flood control structures
  • Golf courses
  • Landfills
  • Lien claims
  • Limerock mines
  • Marinas
  • Multi-million dollar residences with water intrusion issues
  • Multi-unit apartment complexes
  • Pay if paid clauses
  • Payment and performance bond claims
  • Port container facilities
  • Prompt payment statute violations
  • Roadway improvements
  • Steel structures for roadway projects
  • Surety bad faith
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects
  • Uniform Commercial Code (Sales) disputes
  • Unlicensed contracting
  • Water injection well projects
  • Water intrusion
  • Water treatment plants
  • Water, sewer, and storm water projects
  • Well drilling


Bid protests regarding:

  • Bid bond deficiencies
  • Consulting engineer conflicts of interest
  • County construction contracts
  • FDEP construction contracts
  • FDOT construction contracts
  • Joint venture protests
  • Local vendor preferences
  • Municipalities self-performing work in violation of competitive bid law
  • Piggy-back/alternate source procurements
  • Pre-bid specification protests
  • Sole source specifications
  • Unbalanced bids
  • Unlicensed bidders
  • Water Management District contracts


Document preparation regarding:

  • Employee and safety handbooks
  • Owner/architect agreements
  • Owner/contractor construction agreements
  • Project development agreements
  • Roadway, water system, and building contract documents for county and municipal governments
  • Subcontracts for roadway and utility contractors and building contractors


OSHA matters regarding:

  • Aerial lifts
  • Back up alarms
  • Blocking manufacturing aisles
  • Combustible dust
  • Confined spaces
  • Electrical panels
  • Elevators
  • Employer duty to train employees
  • Excavations
  • Fall protection
  • Floor loading
  • Forklift s
  • Improper machine guarding
  • Multi-employer work sites
  • Ramps
  • Respirators
  • Scaffolding
  • Severe Violator Program
  • Shoring and cave in protection
  • Spoil piles
  • Stacked boxes and pallets
  • Stacked/tiered culverts
  • Unavoidable employee misconduct
  • Unleveled warehouse floors
  • Warehouse aisles being too narrow for operation of mechanized equipment
  • Welding 
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
  • Certified Mediator
  • Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow
  • Dispute Review Board Foundation, Member
  • Florida Department of Transportation Dispute Review Board
  • Florida Transportation Builders' Association
  • National Utility Contractors Association
  • National Utility Contractors of Florida 
    • General Counsel
  • Suncoast Utility Contractors Association
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
  • Hyde Park Preservation, Inc., Past President, Past Director
Articles & Publications
  • "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 Magazine, March 2011
  • “Bid Protests Revisited” Ditchmen Magazine, January 2011
  • “Contracts – Your Construction Contract Liquidated Damages Clause Might Not be Enforceable” Owners Perspective, Winter 2009
  • “Liquidated Damages are not Always Enforceable” Ditchmen Magazine, July 2008
  • “Litigation, Arbitration and Mediation" Ditchmen Magazine, March 2008
  • “State Agencies Must Play by the Rules” Ditchmen Magazine, January 2006
  • “Construction Surety Bonds" Ditchmen Magazine, June 2005
  • “Statute of Limitations for Performance Bond Claims” Lawyer Magazine, February 2005
  • “Termination for Convenience: Necessary Evil or Unfair Advantage, 4 Parts" Ditchmen Magazine, November 2004 - March 2005
  • “Lost Anticipated Profits” FRSA, June 2004
  • “Waiver Of Contract Notice Provisions” FRSA, March 2004
  • “Prompt Payment,” FRSA, February 2004
  • “The Slavin Doctrine” Ditchmen Magazine, June 2003
  • “Implied Warranty of Availability” Ditchmen Magazine, May 2003
  • “Disclaimers For Differing Site Conditions In Utility Contracts” Ditchmen Magazine, March 2002
  • “Problems with Using the Total Cost Method of Calculating Costs” Ditchmen Magazine, February 2001
  • “Competitive Bidding Under Revised Florida Statute 255.20, 2 Parts" Ditchmen Magazine, October and November 1999
  • “Dispute Review Boards, 2 Parts" Ditchmen Magazine, June and July 1999
  • “Unintended Personal Liability” Ditchmen Magazine, May 1998
  • “Personal Guaranties” Ditchmen Magazine, April 1998
  • “Two Potential Defenses to OSHA Citations, 2 Parts” Ditchmen Magazine, January and February 1998 
  • “Surety Bad Faith” Ditchmen Magazine, October 1997
  • “A Method to Recover Claim Preparation Costs” Ditchmen Magazine, September 1997
  • “The Lien Law: What It Says -vs- What It Means” Ditchmen Magazine, August 1997
  • “Bid Protests: Timing Is Everything” Ditchmen Magazine, July 1997
  • “Three Certainties in Life: Death, Taxes, and Revisions To The Lien Law” Ditchmen Magazine, June 1997
  • “Don’t Take The Notice Of Commencement For Granted” Ditchmen Magazine, May 1997
  • “Dishonored Subcontractor Bid Quotes” Ditchmen Magazine, April 1997
  • “Venue: Who Cares Where The Lawsuit Is Filed?” Ditchmen Magazine, February 1997
  • “Pay-When-Paid Clauses” Ditchmen Magazine, January 1997
  • "Effective Photograph Documentation Of Claims” Ditchmen Magazine, December 1996
  • “Overzealous Inspection” Ditchmen Magazine, November 1996
  • “Despite What The Contract Says, Prior Written Authorization Is Not Always Required For Extra Work To Be Compensable” Ditchmen Magazine, October 1996
  • “More On Latent Defects” Dixie Contractor, October 21, 1996
  • “The Question of Latent Defects” Dixie Contractor, October 7, 1996
  • “Dispute Avoidance: Setoff of Contract Proceeds On Unrelated Contracts” Ditchmen Magazine, September 1996
Presentations & Seminars
  • "A General Overview of OSHA Citations," Construction Law Committee Meeting of The Florida Bar Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section, 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
  • “What The Construction Professional Should Know About Construction Law,” August 12, 2008, Presented at Florida COAA Annual Meeting
  • “Laws and Rules Regulating The Construction Industry,” February 18, 2008, Presented to Central Florida Utility & Transportation Contractors Association
  • “Handling OSHA Inspections on Construction Projects,” February 15, 2007, Presented to Hillsborough County Bar Association
  • “Construction Bonds,” September 22, 2004, Presented to Construction Owners Association of America, DBPR Course No. 8221
  • “Construction Contracting/Claims,” February 18, 2003, Presented to The Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, Florida Bar Course No. 8353R
  • “Advanced Construction Law Issues,” November 2, 2002, Presented in Dallas, Texas, Florida Bar Course No. 8153R
  • “Construction Contracting For Public Entities In Florida,” November, 2000, Lorman Education Services
  • “Competitive Bidding,” January 4, 2000, Sponsored by Ringhaver Equipment Company
  • “Construction Law for Architects & Engineers,” May 30, 1999, DBPR Course No. AR.05.919
  • “Scheduling,” January 1993 - Florida Department Of Transportation/Florida Transportation Builders Association Joint Conference, Orlando, Florida
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