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Benjamin Taylor Lute


Ben’s diverse employment background, experience, and passion for the construction industry is utilized daily in his representation of clients with Trent Cotney, P.A.

Benjamin “Ben” Lute joined the Cotney Construction Law team as an associate attorney in 2016. Ben’s practice areas encompass everything construction law, including contract review and drafting, contract negotiation, lien law, bond law, OSHA defense, building code violation defense, employment claim defense, contractor licensing defense, construction defect litigation, and bid protest litigation.

Ben is a Polk County, Lakeland, Florida native. His mother ran her own print shop for nearly 20 years, while his uncles worked in everything from railroad construction to department store development. Ben, himself, spent years as a maintenance technician in Tallahassee, Florida, and spent his younger years doing everything from mowing lawns and detailing automobiles to selling firearms and fishing equipment.

Prior to joining Cotney Construction Law, Ben clerked for the attorneys at the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County, and before that, clerked for a renowned Tampa environmental and land use law firm. While at Stetson University College of Law, Ben served as a Notes & Comments editor for Stetson Law Review, as the Articles editor for the Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy, and worked as teaching assistant for numerous courses for the legendary Dean Bruce Jacob and Professor Lance Long.


  • Stetson University College of Law, J.D., cum laude, Certification of Concentration in Environmental Law
  • Florida State University, B.S

Work Experience

  • Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County, 2015, Law Clerk
  • Gramling Environmental Law, 2015, Law Clerk
  • Stetson University College of Law, 2014–2016, Teaching Assistant

Honors and Activities

  • Florida Trend, Legal Elite Up & Coming, 2020
  • Recipient of the Dean Richard Dillon Excellence in Real Property Award, 2016
  • Recipient of the Dr. Dorothy E. “Dotti” Bressi Memorial Scholarship, 2015-2016
  • Recipient of the Stetson Law Review Outstanding New Associate award, 2015
  • Notes & Comments Editor, Stetson Law Review, 2015–2016
  • Articles Editor, Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy, 2015–2016
  • TAMPA Magazine’s Top Lawyers – Voted #1 Water Law Attorney, 2018


  • Florida Bar
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida

Publications & Presentations

  • Immigration & Irrigation: What Employers Need to Know About the Form I-9, Pipeline, Vol. 16, Issue 3 (2017)
  • What Irrigation Contractors Need to Know About Medical Marijuana, Pipeline, Vol. 16, Issue 1 (2017)
  • Legal Update – What You Need to Know About the Clean Water Act (CWA), Pipeline, Vol. 15, Issue 4 (2017)
  • OSHA Defense for the Construction Industry (2016) – Co-Author
  • The Impact of the Legalization of Marijuana on the Construction Industry, Presented Sept. 21, 2017
  • Drone Use in the Roofing Industry – What Roofers Need to Know, Presented July 25, 2017
  • How Florida Lien Law Works for Irrigation Contractors, Presented Jan. 31, 2017

Associations and Memberships

  • Florida Irrigation Society (FIS) – General Legal Counsel
  • Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association (FRSA)
  • West Coast Roofing Contractors Association (WCRCA)
  • Tri-County Roofing Contractors Association (TCRCA)
  • Florida Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association (FRACCA)
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