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Brett D. Divers

Brett D. Divers

Managing Partner and Founding Shareholder
Direct Dial: (813) 769-4810
Fax: (813) 229-3502
bdivers@mpdlegal.com
Office Location: Tampa

Overview
Professional Involvement
Publications & Speaking
Community
Representative Experience

Brett Divers is one of the founding shareholders of the firm.  His practice is primarily devoted to complex commercial litigation, including business disputes, construction, fidelity and surety matters, professional liability, and appeals. 

Brett’s business litigation experience has involved a variety of business-related disputes.  These disputes have dealt with complex construction, surety, and fidelity matters, corporate fraud or theft, tortious interference with contracts, violations of restrictive covenants and non-compete clauses, whistleblower claims, banking issues, and the dissolution of corporations and partnerships.

Brett also serves as a mediator in select business and construction-related litigation cases.

A lifelong resident of Tampa, Brett is active in several civic, charitable, and social organizations.      

Practice Areas

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Appellate
  • Complex Commercial Litigation
  • Construction
  • Fidelity
  • Suretyship

Admitted to Practice

  • All Florida State and Federal Courts
  • United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Education

  • Dartmouth College, A.B., English, 1989
  • The University of Florida, College of Law, J.D., 1992, with Honors

Professional, Trade, and Philanthropic Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
    • Tort and Insurance Practice Section
    • Fidelity and Surety Law Committee
      • Vice-Chair (2002 - 2014)
      • Co-Chair, Membership Involvement Division (August, 2002 to 2009)
    • Litigation Section
    • Forum on the Construction Industry
  • The Florida Bar
  • Trial Lawyers Section
  • TheHillsborough County Bar Association
    • Trial Lawyers Section
    • Construction Law Section
  • National Bond Claims Association
  • Gulfcoast Fidelity and Surety Institute
  • Dartmouth Lawyers Association

Selected Honors & Recognitions

  • Best Lawyers in America 2016: Commercial Litigation and Construction Law
  • Florida Trend’s “Florida Legal Elite” (2004-2016)
    • Selected to the Hall of Fame in 2013 (commemorating ten consecutive years of recognition)
  • Law & Politics – SuperLawyers (2006-2016)
  • American Lawyer Media and Martindale Hubbell 2015 Top Rated Litigator
  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV Rated
  • “Top Construction Lawyer,” Tampa Magazine (2016).
  • Berkeley Preparatory School Athletic Hall of Fame (2009 inductee)
  • Berkeley Preparatory School Alumni Achievement Award Recipient (2012)

Selected Publications

  • Chapter 3, “The Rights to Which the Contract Bond Surety is Subrogated,” in The Contract Bond Surety’s Subrogation Rights (2013).

  • Co-Author, Chapter 2, “Who is Entitled to Recover,” in The Law of Payment Bonds (2d Ed. 2011).

  • Co-Author, Chapter VII, “The Indemnity Agreement and the Handling of Surety Claims,” in The Surety’s Indemnity Agreement (2d Ed. 2008).

Selected Speaking Engagements 

  • “The Fountain of Death? Enforcing the Collateral Security Clause after Great American Ins. Co. v Fountain Eng’g, Inc.,” Gulfcoast Fidelity & Surety Institute, Annual Conference, June, 2016 (Boca Grande, FL).

  • “Ethical Considerations When the Insurer Finds Itself on Both Sides of a Dispute,” ABA/TIPS Spring Meeting Panel Moderator, May, 2016 (Atlanta GA).

  • “Takeover: From Default through Project Completion,” Fidelity and Surety Law Committee Program Co-Chair, May, 2016 (Palm Springs, CA).

  • “Changes to Bond Forms, Admissibility and Reformation,” Fidelity and Surety Law Committee’s Mid-Winter Meeting, January, 2015 (New York, NY).

  • “The Rights to Which the Contract Bond Surety is Subrogated,” Fidelity and Surety Law Committee’s Spring Meeting, May, 2013 (Orlando, FL).

  • “Commercial Crime in the 21st Century: From Inception through Salvage,” Program Co-Chair, Fidelity and Surety Law Committee’s Mid-Winter Meeting, January, 2013 (New York, NY).

  • “Who is Entitled to Recover?,” Fidelity and Surety Law Committee’s Spring Meeting June, 2011 (Lake Geneva, WI).

  • “The Indemnity Agreement and the Handling of Surety Claims,” Fidelity and Surety Law Committee’s Spring Meeting May, 2008 (Kansas City, MO).

  • Frequent author and/or speaker regarding current topics affecting the construction and surety industries.

Community Involvement

  • Berkeley Preparatory School
    • Board of Trustees (1999 to 2013; 2015 to present)
    • Chairman (2009-2011)
    • Alumni Association President (1999-2001)
  • The University Club of Tampa
    • Board of Directors (2002-2014)
    • President (2010-11)
  • H.B. Plant Museum Board of Directors (2014-2017)

Representative Experience

In his construction and surety practice, Brett has represented owners, contractors, subcontractors, architects, engineers and sureties.  Brett’s representation has involved garden-variety construction claims as well as contract and commercial surety claims. These claims have dealt with disputes on public and private projects of varying types including apartment and condominium complexes, office buildings, electrical power plants, wastewater treatment plants, subaqueous sewer pipelines, seawall failures, United States Corps of Engineers projects, movie theatres, hospitals, public roadwork and schools.  These disputes have involved technical constructability, scheduling, design and payment disputes, and have ranged in size from thousands of dollars to several million dollars. The disputes have been on construction projects located throughout the Southeast, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and in the Republic of Panama.

Brett has also handled claims against indemnitors to recover losses suffered by the surety, and claims involving allegations of insurer bad faith and unfair claims settlement practices.

Brett has handled a variety of fidelity matters including claims involving employee dishonesty, employee theft and other commercial crime claims, claims against Banker’s Blanket Bonds, and claims against Financial Institution Bonds.  In this practice, Brett has been involved in both the investigation and litigation into the validity of the claims as well as litigating policy or bond exclusions and other coverage defenses.