V. James "Jim" Dickson joined Adams and Reese in 2010 following the firm's expansion into St. Petersburg. Jim has been practicing law since 1978.
He focuses his practice on construction law, environmental law and commercial litigation, representing owners, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers in all aspects of construction law, including bidding, contract preparation and negotiation, surety bonds, claim resolution, mediation, arbitration, and litigation. He further represents clients in a broad array of environmental matters concerning hazardous substances, contaminated property, Brownfields, asbestos, RCRA, CERCLA, and toxic torts. He also practices in land use, title, trade regulation, commercial litigation and general business negotiations.
Over his more than 30 years of experience in the fields of construction and environmental issues, Jim has litigated hundreds of cases, but he also believes that a well-prepared attorney can more often achieve a better result for a client through negotiation or mediation. He can draft documents that better anticipate and address issues that may arise on projects involving construction or environmental issues. Jim can also decipher the key economic and psychological issues between parties in a dispute or negotiation, and anticipate potential problems and suggest options to avoid such problems.
Jim is admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court, United States Fifth Circuit and Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States District Courts, Middle and Southern District of Florida.
His significant contributions include:
· Serving on the steering committee at a number of Superfund Sites from 1984 through the present. He routinely advises clients on responses to 104(e) requests under CERCLA and has often assisted clients in response to notices of RCRA or NPDES violations and has negotiated many Consent Orders.
· Recognized in Florida Super Lawyers® 2006-2012, as well as Best Lawyers® 2009-2012.
· An accomplished author and lecturer, Jim has written and spoken extensively on construction, bond and lien law as well as environmental law. His works include Dealing With Delays on a Construction Project: Time is Money, Payment Bonds for Construction Projects in Florida; Understanding the Construction Contract, Construction Lien and Bond Law in Florida; Dealing with Dirty Dirt: Environmental Due Diligence and Evaluation of Risks Related to Contaminated Property; and What Every Business Should Know About Hazardous Waste, Hazardous Substances or Contaminated Property.
As an adjunct professor at Stetson University School of Law, Jim teaches Environmental Hazards Associated with Real Property, which addresses common issues such as liability for contaminated soil and groundwater; control and disposal of hazardous wastes; the duty to report contamination; the scope of amnesty in Florida petroleum and dry cleaning programs; use of Brownfields' incentives in the redevelopment of property; asbestos and lead regulations; risk allocation by contract or insurance.
An active member of the bar and the community, Jim has been a recipient of the Florida Bar Pro Bono Service Award, St. Petersburg Bar Pro Bono Award, National Association for Community Leadership, Distinguished Leadership Award and the Leadership St. Petersburg Alumni Association Leadership Award.
Jim has served as the General Counsel to St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and as a Board member of the Chamber, Leadership St. Petersburg Alumni Association, St. Petersburg Human Relations Review Board, Gulfcoast Legal Services, Florida Legal Services, Community Law, Inc., the Community Alliance, City of St. Petersburg Police Advisory Council, City of St. Petersburg Committee to Advocate Persons with Impairments, Tampa Water Resource Recovery Project Task Force, Florida International Museum, and the Early Learning Council of Pinellas County.
He received his J.D., cum laude, from Indiana University in 1977, and his B.A. with honors, from Indiana University in 1972.
Among the people Jim admires most are Thurgood Marshall and Sandra Day O'Connor. As the first black and female members of the Supreme Court they had to break many societal barriers while preserving strong intellectual integrity to their core legal beliefs. He also admires Warren Buffet as an independent financial guru who has followed his own path, and Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist and Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City - he makes one excited to contemplate the imponderables of the universe.
In his spare time, Jim is an avid scuba diver that enjoys underwater photography. He has also developed a strong interest in Mayan Archaeology through opportunities with Partner Geoff Young to explore underwater cenotes in the Yucatan and to photograph artifacts with an archeologist from the University of Merida. He also enjoys shooting trap, biographical history and playing softball in a co-ed municipal recreational league ever Friday night.
Articles and Publications
· "Failure to Comply with Stormwater Requirements on Construction Sites Can Generate Substantial Fines"
· "Dealing With Dirty Dirt: Overview of Liability for Purchase or Ownership of Contaminated Property"
· "Construction Law Primer for the Florida Owner/Developer"
· "An Overview of Florida Construction Lien and Bond Law"
· "Dealing With Delays on a Construction Project: Time is Money"
· "Licensing Requirements for Contractors in Florida and Liability of Qualifying Agents"
· "Lender Responsibilities and Liabilities in a Construction Loan"
· Energy and Environmental Bulletin: "EPA Proposes New Regulation to Decrease Amount of Phosphorous and Nitrogen in Florida's Freshwater Lakes, Rivers, Streams, Springs and Canals"
Professional Memberships / Affiliations
St. Petersburg Bar Association
American Bar Association, Forum Committee on Construction Industry
Florida Bar Association, Trial Lawyers Section, Environmental Land Use Section
St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, Committee Chair
Community Law Program, board member
Urban Land Institute, member
Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM)
Leadership Tampa Bay Alumni Association
Leadership St. Petersburg Alumni Association
Palladium Advisory Council
AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Florida Super Lawyers® - Construction and Environmental Law
Best Lawyers® - Construction Law
Florida Bar Association - Pro Bono Service Award
St. Petersburg Bar Association - Pro Bono Award
National Association for Community Leadership - Distinguished Leadership Award
Leadership St. Petersburg - Alumni Association Leadership Award
Tampa Bay's Top Lawyers 2010 - Tampa Bay Magazine
Litigation Counsel of America, Trial Lawyer Honorary Society