Bill Cea is a Board Certified Construction Attorney and Certified Circuit Civil Court Mediator. He is a member and past Chair of the Palm Beach County Bar Association’s Construction Law CLE Committee.
With nearly thirty years of experience, Mr. Cea has handled a wide array of legal matters ranging from civil litigation to serving as an Assistant City Attorney and General Counsel for public agencies. He also puts his experience to use as a mediator where cases often involve multiple parties, claims and insurance coverage issues.
Mr. Cea concentrates his practice in the areas of construction disputes, public procurement and mediation. He has substantial experience representing developers, property owners, public agencies, design professionals, contractors and service providers in construction and public procurement matters, including construction defects litigation and bid protests. In his capacity as a mediator, Bill assists parties in resolving all types of civil and commercial disputes.
Mr Cea has served as lead counsel in high-profile bid protest cases and routinely represents private companies doing business with government agencies during the RFP, bidding, and negotiation and selection process. He has handled federal, state and local procurement matters in construction, military awards, design build and construction management, transportation, professional services, food and vendor concessions, towing, information technology, landscaping and property management, airport services, public- private partnerships and developments, veterans’ services, public housing, traffic cameras, and office services and equipment projects throughout Florida. Mr. Cea has substantial experience in handling matters involving the United States Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) and the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings (“DOAH”).
As a former assistant city attorney and general counsel, Mr. Cea has represented governmental bodies including the City of Winter Haven, The Winter Haven Housing Authority, The Community Redevelopment Agency of Winter Haven, The Town of Southwest Ranches, Collier County, The Village of Wellington and other public bodies on a case by case basis. He has assisted local government agencies with the drafting, amendment and implementation of purchasing ordinances, policies and procedures and solicitation and contract documents including invitations to bid, requests for proposals, requests for qualifications and implementation of the Consultants’ Competitive Negotiation Act (CCNA), Public- Private Partnership Statute, among other laws.
As a Board Certified Construction Attorney, Mr. Cea has handled multi-million dollar construction disputes, including defect cases on behalf of community associations, individual property owners, contractors, design professionals and developers. These matters include both the prosecution and defense of “turnover claims,” involving the transition of control of community association buildings and improvements from a developer to a condominium or homeowners association. Mr. Cea Has also handled turnover claims in the context of condominium conversions and commercial construction projects. His experience with construction matters includes drafting agreements, handling payment and performance disputes, navigating the Chapter 558 – Notice of Claims process, and defective construction and building code violation claims. He also routinely handles restrictive covenant disputes, including actions arising out of governing documents for condominium and homeowners associations.
As a Florida Certified Circuit Civil Mediator, Bill has assisted parties in resolving a wide array of disputes including construction, contractual, personal injury and property damage cases. Certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a mediator in 2011, Mr. Cea brings his unique experience as a public and private attorney to help facilitate the resolution of disputes, whether pre-suit or during pending litigation. Mr. Cea is an active member of the Palm Beach County Bar Association’s ADR Committee and has authored and lectured on topics such as successfully preparing for mediation and the differences between a certified and non-certified mediator in Florida.
- Successfully helped obtain a $38,832,000 contract award on behalf of Audio Fidelity Communications Corporation (d/b/a Whitlock) for Instructional Interactive Flat Panels Hardware/Software from the Palm Beach County School Board after defending a bid protest claim.
- Successfully protested multi-million dollar contract awards by the United States Air Force through the GAO, resulting in corrective actions taken by the Air Force.
- Procured a Final Summary Judgment on behalf of Premier Parks, LLC in U.S. Southern District Court of Florida, Case No. 15-62218, permanently enjoining the City of Ft. Lauderdale’s performance of a long term lease to a private developer entered into without competitive bidding.
- At the Palm Beach County School Board, secured and defended a multi- year, multi-million dollar contract for an education services client to provide supplemental academic instructional services, and overcoming a series of challenges at the Fourth District Court of Appeals, Division of Administrative Hearings, and at the School Board level. (DOAH Case No: 14-003232BID)
- Served as lead counsel on behalf of James A. Cummings, Inc., and successfully defended a challenge to Broward County’s award of a contract for the construction of the new Broward County Courthouse.
- Served as lead counsel on behalf of Limousines of South Florida, Inc. and successfully defended Collier County’s award of its Management Services Contract for the Collier Area Transit (CAT) Fixed Route and Paratransit Program (“RFP”).
- Served as lead counsel on behalf of Limousines of South Florida, Inc. and successfully defended Broward County’s award of its contract for Shuttle Bus Service at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. (Academy Express, LLC v. Broward County, and Limousines of South Florida, Inc., 53 So.3d 1188 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011).
- Served as lead counsel on behalf of Dallas 1 Construction & Development, Inc. and successfully protested and assisted with the award of the City of Tampa’s utility maintenance contract.
- Served as lead counsel on behalf of Severe Incident Recovery Team, LLC. and successfully defended the Florida Department of Transportation’s award of its towing and roadside repair contract for a portion of the FloridaTurnpike (DOT RFP NO-08/09-8005-EH).
- Served as lead counsel on behalf of Vision Marketplace, Inc. and successfully defended the Department of Veteran Affairs’ contract award for the provision of eye glass services to veterans in Broward County, Florida. (GAO File No. B-296231.2; B-296231.3)
- Served as lead counsel on behalf of Ikon Office Solutions, Inc. and successfully challenged the School Board of Orange County’s proposed contract for networked digital multi-functional devices, which preserved Ikon’s status as the incumbent services provider.
PROFESSIONAL / COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES
- Mr. Cea serves as the Chair of the Construction Law Committee for the Palm Beach County Bar Association. He has served as a chair for the annual “Raise The Bar” event in Palm Beach County, “Support Future Women Leaders” which provides support for the Girls Leadership Institute, sponsored by the Women’s Foundation of Palm Beach County.
- He is active in the Palm Beach County Bar Association, and has served on the Construction, Professionalism, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Bench Bar Committees.
- Mr. Cea lectures on topics such as Public Procurement, Public Records and Open Meetings in Florida, Public Construction Projects, Bid Protests, and Mediation.
- He has served as a Guest Lecturer on Public Procurement at the Shepard Broad College of Law.
- He is a member of the Knights of Columbus, Council, No.11241, in Boca Raton, Florida.