James F. Butler, III

James F. Butler, III: Attorney with Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP AV stamp icon
Attorney Awards


Jim Butler is a partner with the Atlanta construction law firm of Smith, Currie & Hancock. He is a graduate of Duke University and the University of Kentucky College of Law. He is admitted to practice in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Arkansas and Washington.

His practice is concentrated in the negotiation, arbitration and litigation of construction contracts, government contracts and environmental issues. He has experience with a variety of projects, including power plants, water and wastewater systems, process plants, NGL facilities, methanol plants, tunnels, dams, stadiums, arenas, airports, casinos, semiconductor facilities, office buildings, schools, hospitals, prisons, condominiums, communications and cable facilities, food processing plants, highways, manufacturing and industrial plants, asbestos abatement projects, superfund sites and government facilities. Jim has represented contractors, owners, engineers, architects, subcontractors and sureties on a wide variety of projects, domestically and internationally.

Mr. Butler has a sub-specialty which focuses on EPC and design-build projects. He has been particularly active in promoting, putting together and resolving disputes on design-build projects since the mid-80’s. He was awarded the Rich Allen Meritorious Service Award by the Professional Engineers in Construction Division of the National Society of Professional Engineers for his efforts in assisting professional engineers and other participants in the design-build process to avoid liability and claims on design-build projects.

He has conducted seminars and training programs for the American Bar Association, Associated General Contractors, Associated Builders and Contractors, the National Society of Professional Engineers, the American Consulting Engineers Council, the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers, the Florida Bar, the Construction Industry Forum Committee, the Design Build Institute of America, the Construction Superconference, the National Asbestos Council, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Texas, the Texas State Department of Transportation, the National Solid Waste Management Association, the Georgia Institute of Technology and Virginia Polytechnic Institute. He is also an adjunct professor at the College of Architecture of the Georgia Institute of Technology.

He has completed the American Arbitration Association’s mediator training and Harvard University College of Law’s Advanced Mediation Program. He is a mediator for the American Arbitration Association and a member of its Construction Industry National Panel of Arbitrators. He is also a member of the American Bar Association’s Forum Committee on Construction Law and immediate past chair of the International Construction Division. He is a contributing author to Design-Build Contracting Handbook, Alternative Clauses to Standard Construction Contracts, and The AGC Environmental Risk Management Procedures Manual.


•Bridges and Roads
•Design-Build in Nevada
•Environmental Remediation
•Florida Dredging Projects
•Fossil Fuel Plants
•Gas Fired Power Plant in California
•Highrise Resort Condominium in Florida
•Hurricane Protection Work
•Hydroelectric Projects
•Liquid Natural Gas Facility in Venezuela
•Methanol Plant in Trinidad
•Poultry Processing Plant
•Power Plant and Refinery
•Power Plant Litigation in Nebraska
•Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Facility in California
•Telecommunications Bandwidth Upgrade Projects in Several Mid-West States
•Tunneling and HDD Projects
•Wall Board Plant in West Virginia
•Water and Wastewater Projects
•Hotel in Madison, Wisconsin
•Sabine Neches Waterway, Port Arthur, Texas
•Wastewater Treatment Plant in Iowa
•Gas-Fired Electric Power Plant near Newark, New Jersey

Honors and Awards

•Rich Allen Meritorious Service Award, National Society of Professional Engineers
•One of America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the Construction Law Area by Chambers and Partners
•Georgia Super Lawyer by Law & Politics and Atlanta magazine
•Identified as a leading international construction lawyer by Who’s Who Legal


•Adjunct Professor, College of Architecture of the Georgia Institute of Technology
•The Owner's Perspective: Construction Claims and Disputes - July 23-25, 2019 - Hilton Head Island, SC
•The Owner's Perspective: Construction Claims and Disputes - May 6-8, 2019 - La Jolla, CA
•The Masters Institute in Construction Contracting - June 19-21, 2018 - Sterling, VA
•The Masters Institute in Construction Contracting - July 17-19, 2017 - Hilton Head, SC
•The Masters Institute in Construction Contracting - June 14, 2016 - Arlington, VA
•ABA Fall Meeting - Presentation on Managing Risks on International Lump Sum Turnkey Contracts - October 8, 2015 - Austin, Texas
•The Masters Institute in Construction Contracting - June 23, 2015 - Alexandria, VA
•SCH Annual Construction Law Update Seminar - February 26-27, 2015 - Atlanta, GA
•Presentation at ABA Forum on Construction Law - January 30, 2015 - Scottsdale, AZ
•Course Presentation at Masters Institute in Construction Contracting - July 15-17, 2014 - Hilton Head, SC
•Course Presentation at The Masters Institute in Construction Contracting - July 10, 2013 - Hilton Head, SC
•November 15, 2012 - 3rd Annual Federal Construction Law Update Seminar
•November 1, 2012 - Best Practices for Contracting with the Federal Government
•Seminar on Public Private Partnerships in the SE US (October 16, 2012)

Other Experience

•Litigation and Appeals

Areas of Practice (6)

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Construction Law
  • Contract Formation
  • Environmental Law
  • Government Contracts
  • Litigation

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
404.582.8025  Phone
404.688.0671  Fax
University Attended:
Duke University, A.B.
Law School Attended:
University of Kentucky College of Law, J.D.
Year of First Admission:
1988, U.S. Court of Federal Claims; 2009, U.S. District Court Western District of Kentucky; 1992, Florida; 2004, New York; 1981, Kentucky; 2003, Washington; 2006, North Carolina; 1981, Georgia; 1994, Texas; 2006, Arkansas

Professional Affiliations

•Arkansas Bar Association, Member
•Atlanta Bar Association, Member
•Florida Bar Association, Member
•Kentucky Bar Association, Member
•New York State Bar Association, Member
•State Bar of Georgia, Member
•State Bar of Texas, Member
•North Carolina Bar Association, Member
•Immediate Past Chair, International Construction Division of ABA Forum Committee on Construction Law
•Washington Bar Association, Member
•Dispute Review Board Foundation, Member


Peer Reviews

5.0/5.0 (1 review)
A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.
  • Legal Knowledge

  • Analytical Capability

  • Judgment

  • Communication

  • Legal Experience


*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

Atlanta, Georgia

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    Atlanta, GA
    2700 Marquis One Tower , 245 Peachtree Center Avenue, N.E.
    Atlanta, GA 30303

    404.582.8025 Phone

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