Practice Areas


Since 1999, Mr. Cotney has devoted his practice to construction law and in particular, construction litigation and arbitration. He routinely represents contractors, subcontractors, architects, engineers, suppliers, manufacturers, developers, and others in the construction industry. These disputes include claims involving claims of lien, payment and performance bonds, Miller Act bonds, prompt payment interest, negligent design, defective construction, equitable liens on undisbursed construction proceeds, equitable liens on property, construction defects, lien foreclosure, real property disputes, breach of warranty, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, disputes based on open accounts, tortious interference with business relationships, fraudulent misrepresentation, and defamation claims, among other things.

We have participated in dozens of commercial and construction arbitrations administered by the American Arbitration Association (AAA), JAMS and private arbitrators.



We defend contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, manufacturers and others in the construction industry against OSHA citations and complaints all across the United States. We are intimately familiar with the OSHA inspection and citation process, and frequently lecture as a State Accredited Department of Business and Professional Education continuing education provider on legal issues pertaining to OSHA.

In addition to responding to citations and participating at informal conferences on behalf of clients at the local level, we have also represented clients at the regional level after the Notice of Contest has been issued through the initial complaint and hearing process as well as on appeal. We have represented clients with serious, repeat, and willful, repeat violations including citations based on fatalities. Our years of experience dealing with inspectors and area directors allow us to efficiently navigate the process and provide clients with legal advice focused on increasing workplace safety. Finally, our knowledge of the process allows us to manage crises due to injuries or fatalities sustained by employees.



Since 1999, Trent Cotney of Cotney Law has dedicated himself to serving the roofing industry. As a Florida Bar Board Certified Construction Lawyer, Trent specializes in roofing litigation and arbitration, including defending roofers on construction defect claims, prosecuting lien and bond law claims, defending OSHA citations, contractor licensing defense, and bid protests. In addition, Mr. Cotney reviews and drafts hundreds of roofing-related contracts a year for roofing contractors, suppliers, manufacturers, and others in the industry.

In 2002, Mr. Cotney joined the West Coast Roofing Contractors Association (“WCRCA”), the Tampa Affiliate of the Florida Roofing Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Association (“FRSA”). Although Mr. Cotney understood the legal aspects of litigating roofing disputes, he wanted to be well-versed in the actual construction of roofs and joined the local association so that he could learn more about the current issues facing the roofing industry, attend manufacturer demonstrations of new and existing products, and be around others in the industry to share ideas. In 2004, he became a director for the WCRCA and remains a director to this day. In his capacity as a director and member of WCRCA, Mr. Cotney writes a monthly legal article for the newsletter, and has provided more than a dozen seminars on roofing-related legal issues for the Association.

Mr. Cotney became involved with the statewide roofing association, FRSA, in 2003 when he presented a seminar on construction defects and mold claims. He then joined the organization in 2004, became General Counsel for the Association in 2006, and currently serves as and has been a director of the Association since 2007. Mr. Cotney also serves as Chairman of the Public Relations Committee and a member of the FRSA Education and Research Foundation. Mr. Cotney provides a monthly article for the FRSA’s Roofing Florida magazine on construction-related legal topics and provides seminars each year which give contractor continuing education credits. Mr. Cotney has also provided legal services related to lobbying efforts in conjunction with the FRSA lobbyist and was instrumental in drafting the original mitigation statute under Chapter 558, Florida Statutes, as well as serving on construction section committees to encourage contractor-friendly changes to the construction lien law.

Recently, Mr. Cotney filed an appeal of a Construction Industry Licensing Board decision that adversely affected the interests of roofing contractors by allowing plumbers to install a solar water heater without a roofing license, a decision which was ultimately reversed by the CILB.

Mr. Cotney is a member of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) as well as six (6) other local roofing associations across the State of Florida. For his service to the industry, Mr. Cotney was invited to speak at the 2011 and 2014 Best of Success Conference for roofing contractors, and spoke at the 2015 International Roofing Expo. He has received the Byron Curry Memorial Achievement Award given by the WCRCA for excellence and service to the roofing industry (2009). He has also received the FRSA’s President’s Award (2008) and the Earl Blank “Heart” Award (2010) for his commitment and dedication to the interests of the roofing industry. In 2014, he received the NRCA’s Gold Circle Award for Service to the Industry during the International Roofing Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada.

HVAC & Refrigeration Law

Trent Cotney of Cotney Law has served the HVAC and Refrigeration industry since 1999. He was a member of the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association (RACCA) from 2006-2008 and is a current member. He has spoken at at least five Florida Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Contractors Association (FRACCA) annual education conferences and he has advocated on behalf of air conditioning contractors at the Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB). He serves as General Counsel to FRACCA where he provides legal services to FRACCA and its members. In addition, several Cotney Law staff members worked in the HVAC industry prior to working for Cotney Law.


We prepare all lien and bond documents at fixed prices including the Notice to Owner, Claim of Lien, Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit, Notice of Contest of Lien, Notice to Contractor, Notice of Non-Payment, Miller Act Notice, Request for Sworn Statement of Account, partial and final release of lien, and partial and final payment applications.



Trent Cotney is AAA Construction Mediator, Florida Supreme Court Circuit Civil and Appellate Mediator, and a Department of Business and Professional Regulation Condominium and Homeowner’s Association mediator. He has mediated a variety of disputes involving commercial and construction matters both informally and formally through the mediation process. In addition, Mr. Cotney is a member of AAA Panel of Construction Arbitrators and a Qualified Court-Appointed Arbitrator that specializes in arbitrating construction disputes. Cotney Law provides all alternative dispute resolution services at fixed rates with no required hourly minimum and no cancellation fee.



We defend contractors in licensing disputes on both a local and State level. We respond to Department of Business and Professional Regulation investigations and argue before the Construction Industry Licensing Board and Electrical Contractors Licensing Board on behalf of contractors. We also defend architects, engineers and other design professional in front of their governing boards. The types of claims we defend include complaints based on misallocation of funds, judgments relating to the practice of construction, renting your license, abandonment of a project, improper licensure, failure to obtain a permit, fraud, negligence and failure to notify DBPR of prior criminal convictions.



Many construction companies bid county, municipal, state or federal public projects. Navigating the bid process can be a difficult procedure. We represent companies throughout the bid protest process and can either assist a protesting bidder in challenging government action or represent the winning bidder and defend against protests which challenge the validity of the award. We have performed bid protests both through the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and through local ordinances and are familiar with the legal and political issues involved in protesting a bid.



We have extensive experience in reviewing and drafting a wide variety of legal documents. We have prepared everything from a one page terms and conditions to a four inch bid package. As part of this service, we offer a fixed price for drafting contract forms. These contract documents include terms and conditions, contactor-owner agreements, subcontractor-contractor agreements, owner-architect agreements, owner-engineer agreements, engineer-architect agreements, developer agreements, licensing agreements, distribution agreements, teaming agreements, joint venture agreements, supplier agreements, promissory notes, guarantees, releases, settlement agreements, privacy policies, terms of use, workmanship warranties, manufacturer warranties, indemnity provisions, disclaimer provisions, notice provisions, pay when paid clauses, price acceleration provisions and all types of contract documents. In addition, we have reviewed and revised hundreds of contracts including all major American Institute of Architects (AIA), ConsensusDOCS, and Associated General Contractors (AGC) forms.


Construction Employment Law

Cotney Law handles all aspects of employment law as it relates to the construction industry. This includes the defense of employers in wage and hour, ADA, Whistleblower and OSHA retaliation claims, discrimination and EEOC complaints as well as the prosecution of non-compete and trade secret violations.


At Cotney Law, we represent employers in all areas of employment-based immigration. Our attorneys can help you navigate through complex rules and regulations involved in immigration law, whether you need to use visas to bring workers in from other countries or you need assistance in ensuring that you are complying with the current immigration laws in the United States. Cotney Law attorneys can assist employers with:

  • Obtaining approval for foreign personnel to work in the U.S. and for U.S. personnel to travel and work abroad with services that include acquiring temporary business visas, NAFTA visas, non-immigrant visas for intra-company transfers, temporary skilled worker visas, treaty trader and investor visas, and providing permanent residency and naturalization services;
  • I-9 audits, verifications, and the state and federal E-Verify process;
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on a range of issues including compliance, investigations, inspections and penalties;
  • ICE audit preparation defense including defense against fines and ICE prosecution.