John S. Vento

Shareholder

ALTERNATE CONTACT

Jennifer Yarnall
Legal Secretary

OVERVIEW

John Vento has been with Trenam since 1981 and has been a Shareholder since 1985. He was named Construction Litigation Lawyer of the Year 2014 in Tampa by Best Lawyers in America and is in the top 100 in Florida and top 50 in Tampa Bay in Super Lawyers for construction law. John is Florida Bar Board Certified in Construction Law and is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Civil Court Mediator. He has also been certified as a Mediator by the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. John has been an Arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association since 1982 and serves on the Complex Case and Construction Panels.

John belongs to our Construction Law and Government Contracting Group.  He has experience in the areas of Qui Tam/Whistleblower claims, federal government contracting, private, public and federal construction contracting, private, public and federal construction disputes, international law, arbitration and mediation, and medical health care fraud.

Prior to joining the firm, John was a Judge Advocate on active duty with the U.S. Air Force, including an assignment as Assistant Law Professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy. While in the Air Force Reserve, John served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Air Force's Judge Advocate General's School, which published the handbook he authored on Contingency Contracting and Fiscal Law and where he taught procurement law. Upon his retirement in the rank of Colonel, John was awarded the prestigious Legion of Merit Award.


EXPERIENCE

  • Successfully defended a large engineering firm in 2014, in a one week federal court trial, obtaining a judgment in excess of $400,000 on a counterclaim involving construction contracting on a military base.
  • Lead litigation counsel in the successful dismissal of a qui tam whistleblower fraud case against a government contractor sued for over $600 million in damages. Obtained a voluntary dismissal of the claim during discovery.
  • Lead litigation counsel in the successful defense of a government contractor sued in a $22 million qui tam whistleblower fraud case. Obtained an involuntary dismissal after the third day of trial. 
  • Lead litigation counsel for a major public transportation authority over the collapse of an elevated expressway which resulted in litigation and mediation with various design team members, settling design and insurance claims and obtaining for the authority over $85.75 million. Successfully defended the authority against a $25 million claim by the contractor in dispute review committee hearings, resulting in a favorable mediated settlement for well less than half of the claim. 
  • Lead trial counsel for a major electrical utility in a one month trial against a major international engineering firm, securing a judgment confirmed on appeal of over $40.6 million. 
  • Lead litigation counsel in an on-going $34 million design malpractice claim for an international engineering firm accused of design error in the design of a gravity sewer and lift station. 
  • Florida construction counsel for a Chilean corporation in an ICDR arbitration over the construction of a three hundred mile power transmission line in Chile. 
  • President of an ICDR arbitration panel in a dispute involving the construction of a medical school in the Caribbean Islands.
  • Lead trial counsel for a major international design and construction firm in a United States Board of Contract Appeals trial over the design and construction of a building at a U.S. military base. (Decision pending).
  • Claims counsel for a major international design and construction firm doing business in the United States in the preparation and submission of claims under the Contract Disputes Act for projects at U.S. military bases. 
  • Successfully represented a major international design and construction firm doing business in the United States in litigation in the Northern District of Georgia arising out of its teaming agreement with a minority contractor on seven military projects, successfully resolving the matter in the favor of client. 
  • Successfully represented a client in an ICC International Arbitration in Canada in a dispute with its Belgium distributor, achieving a favorable result in the ICC arbitration that resulted in a favorable mediated settlement of claims pending in Belgium.
  • Successfully mediated numerous construction disputes in Florida.

PROFESSIONAL INVOLVEMENT

  •  American Bar Association
    • Liaison between ABA Forum on Construction Law to the ABA's Commission on Hispanic Rights and Responsibilities, 2015
    • Forum on the Construction Industry
    • Governing Committee, 2011-2014
    • Division 8 Steering Committee, 2005-2011
    • Governing Committee Liaison to the Membership, Technology and Diversity Committees, 2011-2014
    • Division 8, International Contracting, Chair, 2007-2009
    • Division Chairs, Membership and Technology Committees, 2006-2011
    • Special Committee on Communications, 2007
    • Section of Litigation
    • Construction Litigation Committee, Co-Chair, 1994-1996
  • American Arbitration Association
    • Construction and Large Complex Panels, 1982-present
  • Hillsborough County Bar Association
    • Construction Law Committee, Co-Founder and Co-Chair, 2006-2008
  • Tampa Bay Hispanic Bar Association, 2007-present
  • National Hispanic Bar Association, 2011
  • Associated Builders and Contractors, Associate Member, 2005-present
  • American Institute of Architects, Associate Member, 2008-present
  • Associated General Contractors of America, 2000-2005
  • Florida Chapter of Design Build Institute America, Co-Founder, 2001
  • Mid-Florida Region of the American Arbitration Association, Governing Board, 1998-2002

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

  • Tampa Bay Kiwanis Club (Senior Status), 1982-Present
  • Tampa Bay Kiwanis Foundation, President, 1999-2001
  • University of Michigan Alumni Association, Director Emeritus, 1989
  • University of Michigan Alumni Club of Tampa Bay, President, 1985-1987
  • Sant’ Yago Educational Foundation (Tampa’s Latino Scholarship Foundation), Special Counsel, 2005-Present

PUBLICATIONS

  • Author, "Protesting Classified Acquisitions", Trenam Kemker Legal Update, January 2014
  • Co-Author (with Patrick Poff), Fifty-State Lien and Bond Law Manual, Florida Chapter and Forms and Updates, Aspen Law Publishing, 2000-present.
  • Co-Editor, Federal Government Construction Contracts, Second Edition, American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry, 2010.
  • Author, Chapter 25, “Funding and Related Issues Regarding Federal Government Construction Outside the United States,” Federal Government Construction Contracts, Second Edition, American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry, 2010.
  • Co-Author (with Carina O’Hara), Chapter 3, “Practical Considerations/Risks for U.S. Companies Contracting Across Borders,” International Contracting Desk Book, American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry, 2009.
  • Author, Contingency and Disaster Contracting and Fiscal Law Handbook, 2000; 2005 (Second Edition). Published by the Judge Advocate General’s School, United States Air Force (current 2007 edition in use).
  • Author, “Checklist 64, International Discovery,” Construction Checklists, American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry, 2007.
  • Co-Author (with Peter Halls and Michael Black), Chapter 8, “Discovery Outside of the United States,” Discovery Desk Book for Construction Disputes, American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry, 2006.
  • Author, “How to Have a Successful Design Build Project.” F.W. Dodge’s Southeastern Construction, Fall, 2004.
  • Co-author, “Admissibility of Computer-Generated Evidence,” The Construction Lawyer, Vol. 14, No. 3, August 1994.
  • Author, “Protection Under Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act for U.S. Military and Activated Reservists,” The Florida Bar Journal, Vol. LXV, No. 2, February 1991.
  • Author, “International Contracts Can Specify Where a Lawsuit Must Be Brought,” Tradeline (Tampa Bay International Trade Council), Vol. II, Issue 2, March 1987.
  • Author, curriculum materials, Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education Program, 1982-present.
  • Author, “Continuing Legal Education Materials on Pre-Trial Motion Practice,” The Florida Bar, 1982-1984.
  • Note, “Chilling Effect on First Amendment Rights – Army Surveillance of Civilian Political Activity,” 11 Duquesne Law Review 419 (1973). 

NEWS

EVENTS

PRESENTATIONS

  • Presenter, Difference between Private and Public Construction Projects And Prompt Pay Acts, The Florida Bar Advanced Construction Law Certification Review Course, March 2017
  • Panel Member, "Life After Jag - Translating your Military Experience to Civilian Law Practice", HCBA MVAC Panel Discussion, February 2017.
  • Speaker, “Severin Pass-Through Agreements in Federal and Florida Law,” Florida Bar Construction Law Institute, March 2012.
  • Moderator, “Over There, Over There – Construction Contracting with the Federal Government Overseas, American Bar Association, Section of Public Contract Law, Annual Meeting, Toronto, August 2011.
  • Moderator, “Preparing for the Exit – A Look at the State of M&A in the Middle-Market Defense and Government Sector,” co-sponsored by the National Defense Industrial Association and the Florida Federal Contractors Association, July 2011.
  • Moderator, “What Does International Trafficking in Arms Regulations Mean to Me?” Florida Federal Contractors Association, April 2011.
  • Moderator, Hillsborough County Bar Association Construction Law Section CLE Meeting: “Effective Construction Mediation: A Panel Discussion of Dos and Don’ts,” November 2010.
  • Guest Lecturer, Ave Maria Law School Distinguished Speakers Series: “Why a Big Case is Like a Law School Exam Question,” October 2010.
  • Panel Member, Florida Federal Contractors Association: “Challenges of Teaming,” August 2010.
  • Guest Lecturer, Associated Builders and Contractors: “Sealed Bid ‘Fixed Price’ vs. ‘Competitive Negotiation Best Value’ Procurement,” October 2009.
  • Guest Lecturer, Associated Builders and Contractors: “Overview of Davis Bacon Act and Service Contract Act,” September 2009.
  • Guest Lecturer, Associated Builders and Contractors: “Doing Construction and Related Business with the Federal Government,” August 2009.
  • Speaker, Florida Bar Construction Law Institute: “Resolving Ethical Dilemmas When Dealing with Expert Witnesses,” March 2009.
  • Speaker, National Contract Management Association: “Terminations for Convenience Under the Federal Acquisition Regulations,” December 2008.
  • Lecturer, The Florida Bar, Basic Construction Law Course, Miami; Tampa, 2007.
  • Lecturer, The Florida Bar, Basic Construction Law Course, Miami; Tampa, 2006.
  • Instructor, The Florida Bar’s Basic Construction Law CLE Course, 2006-2007
  • Lecturer, Design Build Institute of America (DBIA), Regional Meeting, June 2001.

HONORS & DISTINCTIONS

  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale Hubbell
  • Florida Bar Board Certified in Construction Law, 2005-present
  • Certified Circuit Civil Mediator, 2013
  • National Law Journal, Tampa’s Top Attorneys, 2011
  • Chambers USA Ranked, Construction Law, 2010-2016
  • The Best Lawyers in America (Construction Litigation), 2007-2016
  • The Best Lawyers in America Tampa Bay Lawyer of the Year (Construction Litigation), 2014
  • Florida Super Lawyers, Construction, 2006-2016
    • Top 100 in Florida
    • Top 50 in Tampa Bay
  • Florida Trend Legal Elite, 2005, 2010-2013, 2016
  • American Law Journal, Tampa’s Top Lawyers, 2011
  • American Law Journal, Top Lawyers, 2011
  • Tampa Bay Magazine, Tampa Bay’s Top Lawyers, 2010
  • Tampa Bay Business Journal, Who’s Who in Law, 2007
  • Quien Es Quien in U.S. Commerce, 1994-1996
  • Who’s Who Legal, Construction, 2013

EDUCATION

Yale Law School (National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow), 1980

  • University of Michigan Law School (LL.M. in International Law), 1979
    • Michigan Scholar for highest academic achievement

Duquesne University School of Law (J.D., cum laude), 1974

University of Pittsburgh (B.A., cum laude), 1971

ADMISSIONS

Florida 

United States Court of International Trade

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, Fifth Circuit and Eleventh Circuit

U.S. District Court, Middle and Southern Districts of Florida

U.S. Court of Federal Claims

U.S. Supreme Court

Alternate Contact

Jennifer Yarnall
Legal Secretary

Education

Yale Law School (National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow), 1980

  • University of Michigan Law School (LL.M. in International Law), 1979
    • Michigan Scholar for highest academic achievement

Duquesne University School of Law (J.D., cum laude), 1974

University of Pittsburgh (B.A., cum laude), 1971

Admissions

Florida 

United States Court of International Trade

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, Fifth Circuit and Eleventh Circuit

U.S. District Court, Middle and Southern Districts of Florida

U.S. Court of Federal Claims

U.S. Supreme Court

  • American Arbitrators Association Badge for 2015
Disclaimer Notice Close

Thank you for your interest in Trenam. This Web Site provides general information about the firm and is not intended to be legal advice. Please note that contacting Trenam by e-mail or otherwise does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. An attorney-client relationship is established only after we have cleared any conflicts of interest and have agreed to represent you, as confirmed by your receipt of an engagement letter from us. You should not provide any confidential information or documents to us prior to our advising you that we are in a position to represent you.

Your proceeding to contact us by clicking "agree" reflects your acknowledgement of and agreement to this notice.