V. James "Jim" Dickson joined Adams and Reese in 2010 following the firm's expansion into St. Petersburg. Jim has been practicing law since 1978 and is Board Certified in Construction Law by The Florida Bar. He is an Adjunct Professor at Stetson University School of Law where he teaches a course titled "Environmental Hazards Associated with Real Property".
Jim focuses his practice on construction law, environmental law and commercial litigation, representing owners, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers in all aspects of construction law, including bidding, contract preparation and negotiation, surety bonds, claim resolution, mediation, arbitration, and litigation. He further represents clients in a broad array of environmental matters concerning hazardous substances, contaminated property, Brownfields, asbestos, RCRA, CERCLA, and toxic torts. He also practices in land use, title, trade regulation, commercial litigation and general business negotiations.
Over his more than 30 years of experience in the fields of construction and environmental issues, Jim has litigated hundreds of cases, but he also believes that a well-prepared attorney can more often achieve a better result for a client through negotiation or mediation. He can draft documents that better anticipate and address issues that may arise on projects involving construction or environmental issues. Jim can also decipher the key economic and psychological issues between parties in a dispute or negotiation, and anticipate potential problems and suggest options to avoid such problems.
Jim is admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court, United States Fifth Circuit and Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States District Courts, Middle and Southern District of Florida.
His has been recognized in Florida Super Lawyers® 2006-2016, Best Lawyers® 2009-2016, and has had a AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale Hubbel since 1996. He is an accomplished author and lecturer, Jim has written and spoken extensively on construction, bond and lien law as well as environmental law. His works include Dealing With Delays on a Construction Project: Time is Money, Payment Bonds for Construction Projects in Florida; Understanding the Construction Contract, Construction Lien and Bond Law in Florida; Dealing with Dirty Dirt: Environmental Due Diligence and Evaluation of Risks Related to Contaminated Property; and What Every Business Should Know About Hazardous Waste, Hazardous Substances or Contaminated Property.
An active member of the bar and the community, Jim has been a recipient of the Florida Bar Pro Bono Service Award, St. Petersburg Bar Pro Bono Award, National Association for Community Leadership, Distinguished Leadership Award, the Leadership St. Petersburg Alumni Association Leadership Award and Chamber of Commerce Member of the Year.
Jim currently serves as the General Counsel to St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and as a member of its Executive Committee and its Board. He is also the President of the Community Law Program. He has previously served as a Board member Leadership St. Petersburg Alumni Association, St. Petersburg Human Relations Review Board, Gulfcoast Legal Services, Florida Legal Services, Community Law, Inc., the Community Alliance, City of St. Petersburg Police Advisory Council, City of St. Petersburg Committee to Advocate Persons with Impairments, Tampa Water Resource Recovery Project Task Force, Florida International Museum, and the Early Learning Council of Pinellas County.
He received his J.D., cum laude, from Indiana University in 1977, and his B.A. with honors, from Indiana University in 1972.
Among the people Jim admires most are Thurgood Marshall and Sandra Day O’Connor. As the first black and female members of the Supreme Court they had to break many societal barriers while preserving strong intellectual integrity to their core legal beliefs. He also admires Warren Buffet as an independent financial guru who has followed his own path, and Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist and Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City - he makes one excited to contemplate the imponderables of the universe.
In his spare time, Jim is an avid scuba diver that enjoys underwater photography. He has also developed a strong interest in Mayan Archaeology while exploring underwater cenotes in the Yucatan and photographing artifacts with an archeologist from the University of Merida. He also enjoys Dragon Boat Racing, shooting trap, biographical history and playing softball.