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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
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
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