Disciplined in Sophisticated Defense and Insurance Litigation

James K. Hickman handles Construction Defect Litigation. Jim primarily defends architects, engineers, and real estate professionals against negligence, breach of contract, personal injury, misrepresentation, and fraud and nondisclosure claims.

After earning his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Florida in 1988, Jim went on to Stetson University College of Law. In 1991, he graduated cum laude from Stetson. Before joining Butler, he worked for several local firms handling mostly construction defect defense cases and participating in class action litigation. In addition to the many cases he has tried to verdict, Jim has successfully resolved numerous matters through mediation and arbitration.

Jim's leadership and service extend well beyond the legal profession. For eight years, he has served on the Board of Directors for East Lake Little League. He also serves on the Student Advisory Counsel of Brooker Creek Elementary School in Tarpon Springs. Additionally, he is active as the Lay Leader of the East Lake United Methodist Church and serves on several of the church's committees.

Admissions

  • Florida

Recognitions

  • Named Super Lawyer for 2014

Education

  • University of Florida
    Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
  • Stetson University College of Law
    Doctor of Jurisprudence

Memberships

  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • Florida Defense Lawyers Association (FDLA)
  • Hillsborough County Bar Association (HCBA)

Courts

  • Florida Courts (Middle District)
  • Florida Courts (Southern District)
  • Florida State Courts
  • United States Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals

REPRESENTATIVE CASES

Avalon at Clearwater Condominium Assoc., Inc. v. Montecito Renaissance, Inc., et. al., 73 So. 3d 765 (Fla. 2d DCA 2011) (Affirming dismissal with prejudice of numerous claims against Architect who inspected property when converted from apartments to condominiums; remaining claims settled at mediation)

Baskerville Donovan, Inc., et. al., v. Water Equipment Services, Inc., 22 So. 3d 77 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009) (Represented engineer and engineering firm accused of professional malpractice.  Case was tried over three weeks with a verdict entered in favor of Plaintiff. However, the Plaintiff recovered approximately just 1/7th of the damages sought, which was far less than the lowest amount Plaintiff ever offered in settlement.  All parties appealed various rulings made at trial, but the Second District affirmed. )

C.E. Huffman Trucking, Inc. v. Red Cedar Corporation, 723 So. 2d 296 (Fla. 2d DCA 1998) (Represented contractor in a wrongful demolition claim.  Following the Appellate Court's reversal of the trial court, the case settled without the Contractor contributing toward settlement and recovering its fees pursuant to its indemnity claim against its co-defendant).

Coleman v. Schulz, 46 So. 3d 54 (Fla. 2d DCA 2010) (Affirming dismissal of claims against real estate agent and broker)

Diaz v. Bowen, et. al., 814 So. 2d 1040 (Fla. 2d DCA 2002) (Affirmed directed verdict entered in favor of realtor and real estate agent accused of failure to disclose and misrepresentation involving a sinkhole.) Entered a ruling favorable to Gaylor Engineering. 

Gaylor Engineering, Final Arbitration in Des Moines, Iowa (Gaylor Engineering was accused of various breaches involving the design and start-up of an Ethanol Plant.  The arbitrator, also an engineer, entered a ruling favorable to Gaylor Engineering. 

Servco v. Commercial Asset Partners, et. al., Sixth Judicial Circuit in and for Pasco County Florida (Involved claims of negligence and misrepresentation against real estate broker and real estate agency.  Following settlement with plaintiff, obtained a judgment in favor or agent and broker against seller).

Tampa Bay Water v. HDR Engineering, Inc., 2013 WL 5305346 (11th Cir. 2013) (Affirming defense verdict in one of the largest engineering malpractice cases tried to verdict)

Wiggins v. Beggins Enterprises, Inc., et. al., Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in and for Hillsborough County, Florida, Case No.: 08-CA-19655 (Final Summary Judgment entered in favor of real estate agency accused of concealing material information from purchaser of a home)
 

News

May 31, 2018 NEWSSuper Lawyers 2018

The 2018 Super Lawyer's List is here, and we're excited to show you our latest Super Lawyers and Rising Stars!

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June 29, 2017 NEWSThe 2017 Super Lawyers List is here!

Super Lawyers, a rating service for outstanding lawyers that utilizes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations, has selected multiple Butler attorneys as "Super Lawyers" in their area of practice. View our attorneys who are on the 2017 Super Lawyers List:

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Key Points
Practice Area CASE TYPE
  • Construction Defect Litigation
  • Coverage - First Party Automobile
  • Fraud
  • Malpractice - Architecture
  • Malpractice - Engineering
  • Products Liability
  • Professional Liability