James P. Terpening III is a partner in the Tampa office of Shutts & Bowen LLP, where he is a member of the Construction Litigation Practice Group. James is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Construction Law.

James represents owners, developers, contractors, and design professionals in disputes involving, among other things, payment, construction defect, construction lien, insurance coverage, and bond issues. In addition to jury and bench trial experience, James has completed Florida court-appointed arbitrator training and served as an arbitrator in a construction dispute and successfully represented construction clients in arbitrations. Beyond representation of clients in disputed matters, James advises clients on avoiding litigation and resolving matters through alternative methods of resolution, including negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.



  • Emory University School of Law, J.D., 2009
    • Executive Notes and Comments Editor, Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal
  • University of Florida, B.S., Building Construction, summa cum laude, 2005

Bar Admissions

  • Florida

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida

Professional and Civic

  • The Florida Bar, Construction Law Committee
  • Hillsborough County Bar Association, Construction Law Section
  • Emory Law School Alumni Board, Board Member (2014-2021)
  • University of Florida M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Construction Management, Advisory Council Member

News & Insights


  • Presenter, Discovery in Construction Litigation for Paralegals, National Business Institute (2021)

  • Presenter, Career Tips and Tricks Hosted by Law and GBS Alumni, Emory Alumni Association (2020)
  • Guest Lecturer, University of Florida Construction Law Class, M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Construction Management (2019)
  • Presenter, Navigating Florida’s Anti-Indemnity Statute (Section 725.06, Florida Statutes), Hillsborough County Bar Association (2019)
  • Presenter, Troubleshooting Construction Project Legal Issues, National Business Institute (2017)
  • Presenter, Issues of Data Collection: The Benefits and Detriments of Self Collection vs. Third Party Collection, Law Tech Miami (2012)


  • Co-Author, Breach of Contract Defenses: Florida, Practical Law (2021)

  • Co-Author, Equitable Remedies for Contract Actions: Florida, Practical Law (2021)

  • Co-Author, Quasi-Contract Claims: Florida, Practical Law (2021)

  • All or Nothing: Properly Deducting Vehicle Ownership Expenses Under § 707(b)(2)(a)(ii)(i), 25 Emory Bankr. Dev. J. 565 (2009)

Practice Areas


  • Florida Bar Board Certified in Construction Law
  • Florida Super Lawyers, Rising Star, Construction Litigation, 2017-2019
  • Best Lawyers in America®, Construction Law, 2022
  • Florida Bar Board Certified in Construction Law

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Shutts & Bowen, established in 1910, is a full-service business law firm with approximately 300 lawyers located in eight offices across Florida.

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