Jake represents and advises clients in the construction, manufacturing, and real estate industries in business disputes, commercial transactions, and related corporate matters.
Jake’s construction practice encompasses representation of contractors, subcontractors, public and private owners, architectural and engineering firms, and sureties in a variety of disputes involving contracts, business torts, multi-party construction defects, and in negotiating construction...
contracts and related agreements. Jake pursues and defends lien, payment bond, and performance bond claims on behalf of owners, contractors, and sureties.
Jake co-authors the Georgia Construction Law Handbook, a leading treatise published annually, and is an active member of the Construction Section of the Atlanta Bar Association, serving as the Section’s Chair in 2022-23.
Jake also advises businesses in commercial and financial disputes involving breach of contract, breach of warranty, business torts, and equipment dealer statutes. Jake applies his industry knowledge to also represent construction and manufacturing clients as creditors in insolvency litigation and bankruptcy matters. Recognizing that traditional litigation is not always in the client’s best interest, Jake negotiates pre-dispute settlements and represents clients in mediations, early neutral evaluations, and arbitrations.
Following is a selected sampling of matters and is provided for informational purposes only. Past success does not indicate the likelihood of success in any future matter.
Previous Professional Experience
- Litigation associate, Atlanta law firm (2016–2020)
- Judicial Extern, The Honorable C. Ashley Royal, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia (2013–2014)
- Collaborating across practice groups to lead the infrastructure delivery of a $2.4 billion electric vehicle battery plant project for a foreign manufacturer, specifically negotiating and drafting professional services and multi-prime construction contracts; lead counsel in related state and federal litigation.
- Ongoing representation of foreign manufacturer related to construction of $5 billion vehicle assembly plant and battery manufacturing facility, advising on Georgia’s public procurement and contractor licensing laws, and drafting construction contracts.
- Ongoing representation of foreign tire manufacturer arising out of construction and expansion of $360 million manufacturing and distribution facility in Tennessee, negotiating and drafting construction contracts, RFPs, and related bond and insurance amendments.
- Represented real estate investment joint venture in the drafting and negotiation of separate design-build and construction management agreements for phased delivery of 90-acre, $144-million film studio.
- Represented real estate investment firm in negotiation of construction, architectural, civil engineering, and site-work agreements for $75-million multi-family project in Atlanta, Georgia, involving $35 million construction loan.
- Ongoing representation of specialty contractor in lien enforcement actions, payment and performance bond claims, matters arising from breach of contract or non-payment, and other issues including: (1) drafting and negotiating tolling agreements between owners, contractors, and sureties for bond claims on public and private projects; (2) negotiating and revising standard AIA and ConsensusDocs terms; (3) preparing and executing standard operating procedures for compliance with lien and bond notice obligations on public and private projects nationwide.
Construction Litigation Matters
- Represented specialty contractor and its surety in litigation and arbitration seeking payment from owner/general contractor of a $70 million multi-use project in Greensboro, North Carolina. Arbitrator awarded contractor’s final contract balance and retainage and denied owner’s seven-figure counterclaim for breach of contract damages upon consideration of cross-dispositive motions. Following three days of hearings, the matter was settled and the related action against the contractor’s surety was dismissed with prejudice.
- Advised and represented ENR Top 10 contractor in closeout of two residential projects in metro-Atlanta involving: the prosecution and defense of nine lawsuits in state and federal courts; recovery of additional costs arising out of delay, material-escalation, and subcontractor defaults; pursuit of claims against performance bond; and defense of client in declaratory judgment action regarding disputed first- and third- party liability coverage.
- Represented contractor in pursuing Request for Equitable Adjustment pursuant to FAR regulations to recover delay and schedule impact costs on federal project in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
- Lead counsel for specialty subcontractor in three separate construction defect lawsuits arising out of 50-story condominium tower in Atlanta, Georgia, involving more than 20 parties and two third-party actions. Plaintiffs claimed damages and repair costs in excess $25 million. Negotiated and obtained favorable settlement for client following six days of mediation, and prior to extensive discovery or depositions.
- First-chair representation of ENR Top 100 geotechnical engineering firm in federal litigation arising out of Westinghouse bankruptcy for work performed on Plant Vogtle Project. Client received full payment of its claim.
- Lead counsel for water systems contractor in federal litigation arising out of Westinghouse bankruptcy for work performed at Plant Vogtle. Client received full payment of its $4 million claim.
- Lead counsel for engineering firm in dispute over final payment from bankrupt general contractor on a $178 million solar project in Maryland. Obtained payment from owner through use of statutory lien rights involving complex ground and utility leases on 14 separate parcels and presented issues of first impression in Maryland lien law.
- Lead counsel for manufacturer of segmental concrete products in federal litigation against terminated contractor seeking damages for breach of contract and delay. Obtained favorable settlement for client prior to extensive discovery or mediation.
- First-chair representation and defense of general contractor in three separate negligent construction lawsuits arising from remediation work on a high-rise condominium tower in St. Petersburg, Florida.
- Second-chair representation of national engineering firm in negligent design lawsuit arising out of federal design-build project in Charleston, South Carolina.
- Resolved landlord-tenant dispute for pro bono client by obtaining full dismissal of dispossessory action.
Materialmen’s Lien/Bond Matters
- Lead counsel for owner, construction manager, and county development authority in separate state and federal civil actions arising out of work performed and related lien claims on $2.4 billion project. Both actions were dismissed with prejudice prior to conducting discovery.
- Obtained final payment for specialty contractor on $16 million contract arising out of a $400 million private hospital project in Georgia through use of statutory lien rights.
- Obtained final payment for contractor on $7 million contract arising out of $80 million public project in litigation against joint-venture general contractor and surety on Little Miller Act payment bond.
- Obtained final payment for specialty contractor on $10 million contract arising out of a $600 million private hospital project in Georgia through use of statutory lien rights.
- Obtained final payment for general contractor on $2.7 million project in Dalton, Georgia through use of statutory lien rights and related litigation.
- First-chair representation and defense of general contractor in lien and surety bond claim by subcontractor arising from work on a retail center in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Obtained full dismissal of lawsuit and release of subcontractor’s claim of lien based on subcontractor’s failure to comply with Florida lien and contractor licensing statutes.
- Represented material supplier and affiliated sub-subcontractor in action on payment bond and related litigation seeking payment for labor and goods supplied on a public project. Obtained payment for full amount of claim after filing suit, but before responsive pleadings were filed.
Commercial Clients & Disputes
- Ongoing representation of Fortune 500 equipment manufacturer in broad-range of corporate and commercial matters including: (1) negotiation of asset purchase agreement for trademarks, drawings, copyrights and related OEM parts for agricultural equipment line; (2) analyzing potential risks for launch of new equipment brand and sale of related assets; and (3) providing counsel related to operation and management of network of independent equipment dealerships.
- Represented license consultant in arbitration to recover $8.4 million from public company for breach of contract.
- Lead counsel for Fortune 500 equipment manufacturer in federal litigation and related arbitration with terminated agricultural equipment dealer alleging violation of state dealer laws for failure to repurchase parts inventory.
- Obtained dismissal with prejudice of all claims asserted against Fortune 500 equipment manufacturer in federal litigation, including fraud, misrepresentation, and civil conspiracy, on 12(b)(6) motion.
- Defended Fortune 500 equipment manufacturer in federal litigation arising out of alleged defects in commercial agricultural equipment. Following oral argument on 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, plaintiff voluntarily dismissed complaint.
- Represented Fortune 500 equipment manufacturer in lawsuit in Georgia court seeking rescission of acceptance of agricultural equipment.
- Lead counsel for Fortune 500 equipment manufacturer as secured creditor in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings of equipment dealer. Recovered total claim of $3.2 million including under-collateralized receivables secured by equipment sold-out-of-trust.
- Lead counsel for Fortune 500 equipment manufacturer as secured creditor in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings of equipment dealer. Negotiated Debtor-in-Possession Financing Agreement allowing dealer to continue selling client’s equipment, while protecting client’s security interest in pre- and post-petition financed collateral.
- Lead counsel for Fortune 500 equipment manufacturer as secured creditor in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings of terminated equipment dealer.
- Lead counsel for specialty subcontractor as lienholder and secured creditor in Single-Asset Real Estate Chapter 11 case arising out of partially completed construction project in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
- Lead counsel for general contractor as lienholder and secured creditor in Chapter 11 reorganization of Hertz Corporation. Obtained critical vendor status for client resulting in nearly full payment of seven-figure claim less than two months after bankruptcy proceeding commenced.
Contractor and Professional Licensing Matters
- Represented contractor and qualifying agent in preparing and submitting license application to Georgia State Licensing Board for General Contractors.
- Represented contractor and qualifying agent in two related disciplinary actions involving alleged violations of state licensing statutes before the North Carolina and Georgia state licensing boards for general contractors. Following limited discovery and a rebuttal presentation, negotiated favorable settlement and consent agreements with the board that allowed client to continue operating as general contractor, while avoiding revocation of license.
Mercer University School of Law,
magna cum laude
- Member and Student Writing Editor of the Mercer Law Review (2012–2014)
- Faculty Award for Outstanding Legal Writing
- Brainerd Currie Honor Society
- CALI Award Recipient in the following courses: Corporate Issues, Business Drafting, and Social Justice
University of Georgia,
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
The Honorable Charles H. Weigle,
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
(2014 - 2016)