Joseph C. Staak

Joseph C. Staak: Attorney with Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP AV stamp icon
  • Senior Counsel at Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP (64 Attorneys)
  • 2700 Marquis One Tower, 245 Peachtree Center Avenue, N.E., Atlanta, GA 30303
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Joe C. Staak is Senior Counsel with the Atlanta law firm of Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP. His areas of practice include construction law, government contracts and environmental law. He has practiced with the firm since 1981. He is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Georgia School of Law.

Joe provides professional and cost effective legal representation to parties involved in all aspects of construction. He concentrates his practice on the resolution of construction disputes through negotiation, mediation, arbitration, litigation or alternative dispute resolution. He has represented owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors, engineers, suppliers, insurers, and sureties. His experience ranges from the front-end planning of a construction project through project-completion and resolution of post-completion disputes. He has experience in projects ranging from multi-million dollar industrial plants to home construction. Project types include power plants, highways and bridges, semiconductor facilities, paper mills, water and waste, tunneling, airports, office buildings, high rise construction, multifamily, schools, retail, warehousing, hospitals, military construction and environmental remediation. He has worked with numerous project delivery vehicles including design-build, construction management, partnering, DRBs and P3s. He has experience in construction scheduling, cost controls, design defects, means and methods, geotechnical and foundations, structural steel, stucco and plaster, roof systems, instrumentation and control wiring, electrical, mechanical, and construction defects.

He has participated in numerous hearings and trials in state and federal courts, before federal boards of contract appeals, and in arbitration. Joe has extensive experience in procurement protests, contractor and engineering licensing issues, latent defects, errors and omissions, construction insurance, and claims identification and resolution.

Upon graduating from Georgia Tech with a BS degree in Civil Engineering, Joe was commissioned in the Air Force and served four years as an engineering and construction management officer in Texas and Alaska. While stationed at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, Joe headed the Construction Management Office responsible for inspecting and administering contract construction at Elmendorf AFB and twelve remote radar sites. His duties included evaluating contractor claims and providing technical advice to the contracting officer.

Joe has lectured and conducted seminars and educational programs for many organizations including the Associated General Contractors, the Associated Builders and Contractors, the University of Florida Construction Management Academy, Southeast Builders Conference and Lorman Educational Services. He also regularly conducts training programs for Florida licensed contractors to meet their required continuing education obligations. He has authored or co-authored numerous articles and publications.


•Apartment Complex in Georgia
•Bridges and Roads in Florida
•Cable-Stayed Bridge in Georgia
•Construction of Motor Vehicle Facilities, Military Barracks, Dining Facilities and Operational Support Facilities
•Deep Storage Tunnel in Chicago
•Ecological Restoration Work in the Everglades National Park
•Highrise Condominium Projects in Jacksonville, Florida
•Hilton Garden Inn in Georgia
•Kentucky Petroleum Refinery Project
•Materials Testing Work on Georgia Highway Projects
•Modular Retaining Wall in Georgia
•New Bank Building, Crestview Florida
•Platinum Rated LEED Project in Chicago
•Power Plant Litigation in Nebraska
•Recycling Facility in Georgia
•Representation of Engineering Company on Multiple Geotechnical Matters
•Roof Projects
•School Projects in Florida
•Student Housing Facilities Project
•Tren Urbano Project in Puerto Rico
•University Student Housing Project in Georgia
•UST Environmental Remediation in Alabama
•Wal-Mart Stores
•Student Housing, Albany, Georgia

Honors and Awards

•Certified in Construction Law by the Florida Bar, 2005 to present.

Articles & Publications

Public Construction, Contracting and Procurement Law: State and Federal Perspective, Co-Author, 2012.
Construction Risk Avoidance and Mitigation for Florida Contractors, 2011.
•“Government Construction Contracting Law: Federal and State Perspectives,” 2000.
•“Georgia Construction Law,” 1998.
•“Georgia Construction Lien and Public Contract Bond Law”, co-author, Lorman Education Services.
The Significance of Final Acceptance, Common Sense Contract Law (July 9, 2012)
OSHA Is Developing New Proposed Rules Regulating Silica Dust, Common Sense Contract Law (March 2, 2012)
Practical Impacts of Design-Build on the Design Engineer, Common Sense Contract Law (December 12, 2012)
Subcontractor Terminations on Design-Build Projects, Common Sense Contract Law (April 17, 2013)


•Lecturer on construction claims for various professional groups, seminars and workshops.
•FCILB Course for Florida Contractors in Alabama - August 18 & 19, 2016 - Birmingham, AL
•Arbitration v. Litigation - How Litigators Deal with the Differences - August 5, 2016 - Atlanta, GA
•FCILB Course for Florida Contractors in Georgia - August 4-5, 2016 - Atlanta, GA
•FCILB Course for Florida Contractors in Alabama - August 20 & 21, 2015 - Birmingham, AL
•FCILB Course for Florida Contractors in Georgia - August 6-7, 2015 - Atlanta, GA
•August 21-22, 2014 - FCILB Courses for Florida Contractors in Alabama - Birmingham, AL
•August 7-8, 2014 - FCILB Courses for Florida Contractors in Georgia - Atlanta, GA
•May 16, 2014 - Fundamentals of Construction Contracts in Georgia - Atlanta, GA
•April 25, 2014 - AIA Contracts Seminar - Athens, GA
•August 8-9, 2013 - FCILB Seminar - Common Sense Construction Law for Florida Contractors in Georgia
•August 1-2, 2013 - FCILB Seminar - Common Sense Construction Law for Florida Contractors in Alabama
•May 3, 2013 - Seminar on the Fundamentals of Construction Contracts
•January 25, 2013 - AIA Contracts: Analysis and Interpretation of AIA Standard Contract Forms Seminar

Other Experience

United States Air Force, Design and Construction Engineer, 1974 - 1978


Areas of Practice (6)

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Construction Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Government Contracts
  • Bidding & Procurement
  • Surety Bonds & Insurance

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
404.582.8026  Phone
404.688.0671  Fax
University Attended:
Georgia Institute of Technology, B.S., Civil Engineering, 1974
Law School Attended:
University of Georgia School of Law, J.D., cum laude, Law Review, Georgia Law Review, 1979 - 1981, 1981
Year of First Admission:
1990, U.S. District Court, Middle District of GA; 2004, U.S. District Court, Southern District of GA; 2008, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; 1984, U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit; 2009, U.S. Court of Federal Claims; 1984, U.S. District Court, Northern District of GA; 2006, U.S. District Court, Northern District of FL; 2010, U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit; 1981, Georgia; 1982, District of Columbia; 1994, Florida; 2005, Alabama

Professional Affiliations

•Atlanta Bar Association
•Georgia Bar Association
•American Bar Association
•State Bar of Georgia
•Florida Bar
•American Bar Association (ABA) Public Contract Law Section
•American Bar Association (ABA) Forum on the Construction Industry
•Member, ABA Division on Dispute Avoidance & Resolution
•Member, ABA Division on Contract Negotiations, Performance & Administration
•Member, ABA Division on Insurance, Surety & Liens.
•Associate Member, American Society of Civil Engineers


Peer Reviews

A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.

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

Documents (1)

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Atlanta, Georgia

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

    404.582.8026 Phone

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