William D. Flatt, P.E., Esq

 
 
 
 

Direct Email
wdf@FlattDale.com

Direct Dial
404.400.2938

Law School
University of Memphis, High Honors; Law Review, Managing Editor 1991

Graduate/Undergraduate
University of Kansas, Masters of Science, Civil Engineering

Auburn University, Bachelor of Civil Engineering, First Alternate for Outstanding Engineering Graduate; Outstanding Senior Engineer

Practice Areas 
Construction Law, Government Contracts;, Surety Law, Litigation, Arbitration, Mediation, Sales and Leasing of Construction Materials and Equipment, Commercial and Complex Litigation, Trademarks; General Collections, Including Lien and Bond Claims

Admitted to Practice 
GA 1991

Honors
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2005 - 2009, 2012 - 2017, Top Rated Construction Litigation Attorney in Atlanta, GA

William D. Flatt, P.E., Esq. maintains a national and international construction law, litigation and alternative dispute resolution practice, which includes advising and representing general contractors, subcontractors, design professionals, manufacturers, suppliers and owners in aggressive prosecution and defense of claims.

Mr. Flatt has a wealth of construction experience as an engineer and attorney. He has written a number of articles on construction issues that have been published as chapters to books, in professional publications and national journals. Mr. Flatt also serves as general counsel to a number of trade associations serving various segments of the construction industry. He has been recognized and named as a Georgia “Super Lawyer” in the Atlanta Magazine and Georgia Super Lawyers publication.

Prior to practicing law, Mr. Flatt earned his Master of Science in Civil Engineering from University of Kansas in 1985, where he was a graduate instructor and recipient of the Wiley Fellowship. He received his Bachelor of Civil Engineering from Auburn University in 1982, where he was presented with the First Alternate for Outstanding Engineering Graduate Award. In 1991, Mr. Flatt earned his Juris Doctorate, with high honors, from Memphis State University, where he served as Managing Editor of Memphis State University Law Review and was recipient of the Sam Myar Memorial Scholarship. Although no longer a practicing engineer, he held professional engineering licenses in Georgia and Alabama and received the Quality Spotlight Award from former employer, Burns & McDonnell Engineering.

Mr. Flatt holds bar admissions in both trial and appellate courts of Georgia to practice law throughout the Northern and Middle Federal District Courts of Georgia and the Eleventh United States Circuit Court of Appeals.


PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENTS / AFFILIATIONS

  • Member, State Bar of Georgia
  • Member, American Bar Association (1992-present)
  • Bar Admissions: 
    • Georgia Supreme Court
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
    • U.S. Northern District Court of Georgia
    • U.S. Middle District Court of Georgia
  • National Society of Professional Engineers (1991-present)
  • Professional Engineers in Construction (1991-present)
  • American Society of Civil Engineers (1982-present)
  • Georgia Society of Professional Engineers (1991-present)
    • Member, Legislative Affairs Committee (1993-1997)
    • Member, Ethics Committee (1992-1997)
  • Associated Builders & Contractors (1991-present)
    • Member, Government Relations Committee (1992-present)
    • Chairman, Government Relations Committee (1994-95; 1998-99)
    • Member, Programs Committee (1996-1997; 2002-present)
  • Chi Epsilon (National Engineering Honors Society), Editor (1981-present)
  • Tau Beta Pi (National Engineering Honors Society) (1981-present)
  • Contributing Author: "Design Build Deskbook," Fourth Edition, American Bar Association, Forum on the Construction Industry, 2010

REPRESENTATIVE CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

  • Obtained order denying disappointed bidder’s attempt to secure award of its $218,500,000 bid and suspend performance of client prime contractor’s contract award with transit authority.
  • Secured final order barring any claim against manufacturer where claims asserted were $140,000,000+ arising out of new hospital and secured award of attorney’s fees.
  • Represented prime contractor in a $598,000,000+ public-private partnership project where opinion letter provided to intergovernmental entities concerning design, build, and finance agreement.
  • Successfully secured multi-million-dollar payment to prime contractor that was terminated and sued for $100,000,000+ by owner.
  • Secured order of $45,600,000+ in favor of contractor against developer for international project.
  • Successfully defended general contractor and its principal shareholder against $36,000,000+ asbestos contamination lawsuit.
  • Secured summary judgment for owner defeating prime contractor’s $15,000,000+ claim.
  • Obtained $8,387,000+ resolution for prime contractor on new water treatment plant that resulted in lawsuit with competing multi-million dollar claims.
  • Litigated subcontractor’s $4,300,000+ claim until prime contractor agreed to pay 95%+ of claim.
  • Secured favorable resolution and over $1 Million for general contractor and its surety where general contractor was terminated by governmental authority and faced multi-million dollar claim.
  • Successfully represented general contractor terminated by hotel owner and secured unpaid contract balance.
  • Secured arbitration award in favor of large school district that completely defeated asbestos abatement claim by general contractor.
  • Represented county and secured positive resolution of its claims against general contractor for workmanship and EIFS issues.
  • Represented owner and secured favorable resolution against general contractor for defective EIFS installation claim, which included an active fraud finding by the court.
  • Successfully mediated claim of owner against general contractor, design professionals and others for using improper materials to construct school.
  • Successfully defended general contractor against $2 Million claim by trade contractor by securing summary judgment in favor of general contractor that completely defeated claim.
  • Secured favorable arbitration award over $500k for international manufacturer against reseller involving claims for private label and custom manufactured devices.
  • Secured judgment in excess of $600k for manufacturer against sales representative for wrongful taking of inventory.
  • Successfully defended contractor against environmental contamination lawsuit by owner, which included masterminding a successful GUST fund claim.
  • Secured favorable judgment on behalf of supplier against contractor and its surety for failure to pay for materials supplied for jail project.
  • Secured favorable judgment on behalf of trade contractor against contractor involving a large automotive plant installation.
  • Successfully obtained the reinstatement of the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification for trade contractor.

PUBLICATIONS

  • W. Flatt, The Design/Build Deskbook (Georgia Chapter, American Bar Association, 2004, 3d ed.).
  • Co-author, Construction Business Handbook, Pitfalls of Subcontracts:  From the Subcontractor’s Point of View, ch. 7 (Aspen 2004).
  • W. Flatt, The Design Build Deskbook (Georgia Chapter, American Bar Association, 2000, 2d ed.).
  • W. Flatt, Who is Liable for Design Specs?, Concrete Construction, Vol. 44, No. 1 (Jan 1999).
  • W. Flatt, The Design/Build Process: A Guide to Licensing and Procurement Requirements in the 50 States and Canada, Georgia Chapter, American Bar Association (1997).
  • W. Flatt, The Design/Build Cookbook, Georgia Chapter, American Bar Association, Forum on the Construction Industry (1996).
  • Flatt, Who Is Liable for Design Specs?, Concrete Repair Digest, Vol. 6, No. 2 (April/May 1995).
  • Co-author, Who Is Liable for Substituted Materials, Concrete Repair Digest, Vol. 5, No. 3 (June/July 1994).
  • Co-author, ADR–A Practical Guide to Resolve Construction Disputes, Pre-Arbitration Discovery, ch. 11 (American Arbitration Association 1994).
  • Flatt, Don’t Let Looming Language Blue Your Understanding of a Contract Document, Professional Roofing, Nov. 1993.
  • Co-author, Construction, Mechanics’ & Materialmen’s Liens–Defending Against a Construction Lien Claim, Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia, Construction Law Seminar, June 4, 1993.
  • Co-author, When the Earth Moves and Buildings Tumble, Who Will Pay?–Tort Liability and Defenses for Earthquake Damage Within the New Madrid Fault Zone, 22 Mem. St. U.L. Rev. 1 (1991).
  • Note, The Expanding Liability of Design Professionals, 20 Mem. St. U.L. Rev. 611 (1990).
  • Case Comment, Who Bears the Burden of Proving an Alternative Measure of Damages: Nutzel v. Goodwin, 20 Mem. St. U.L. Rev. 465 (1990).
  • Co-author, Plan for Security During Airfield Construction Projects, Airport Services, Vol. 28, No. 12, 1988.
  • Author, monthly publication:  The Subcontractor, American Subcontractor Association, March 1994 to 1998 (co-author).

REported cases

  • Carter Concrete Structures, Inc. v. Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, 2016 WL 852738 (D. Md., March 4, 2016)
  • Archer Western Contractors, LLC v. Holder Const. Co., 325 Ga. App. 169, 751 S.E.2d 908 (2013)
  • Dalton Paving & Const., Inc. v. South Green Const. of Georgia, Inc., 284 Ga. App. 506, 643 S.E.2d 754 (2007)
  • Ellis-Don Const., Inc. v. HNTB Corp., 169 N.C. App. 630, 610 S.E.2d 293 (2005)
  • Ellis-Don Const., Inc. v. HKS, 353 F. Supp. 2d 603 (M.D.N.C. 2004)
  • Holloway Const. Co. v. Department of Transp., 218 Ga. App. 243, 461 S.E.2d 257 (1995)
  • Department of Transp. v. Fru-Con Const. Corp., 207 Ga. App. 180, 427 S.E.2d 513 (1993)

PUBLICATIONS CITING MR. FLATT'S ARTICLES

  • S. Mackie, Negligence of Design and Construction Engineer, 17 Am. Jur. Proof of Facts 3d 49 (2016)
  • A. Schwing, Expert Series, California Affirmative Defenses, Acts of God, 2 Cal. Affirmative Def. § 30:11 (2d ed. 2016)
  • Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 62, Ch. 2, Refs & Annos (Architects, Engineers, Landscape Architects and Interior Designers) (Commentaries) (2016)
  • T.C.A. § 49-8-602 (Earthquake Information Center) (Commentaries) (2016)
  • T.C.A. § 58-2-701 (Earthquakes) (Commentaries) (2016)
  • T.C.A. § 68-120-101 (Construction Safety Standards) (Commentaries) (2016)
  • M Faure, L. Jing, A. Wibisana, Industrial Accidents, Natural Disasters and “Act of God,” 42 Ga. J. Int’l & Comp. L. 383 (2015)
  • B. Simpson, Plunging into the Abyss: America’s Crumbling Infrastructure and the Future of Statutes of Repose in the Aftermath of the I-35W Bridge Collapse, Construction Lawyer (2014)
  • C. Daugherty, Who Needs Contract Law?-A Critical Look at Contractual Indemnification (or Lack Thereof) in FHAA and ADA “Design and Construct” Cases, 44 Ind. L. Rev. 545 (2011)
  • J. Bruggenschmidt, Asbestos for the Rest of Us: The Continued Viability of Statutes of Repose in Product Liability, 76. Def. Couns. J. 54 (2009)
  • Note, Walking the Line Between Contract and Torn in Construction Disputes: Assessing the Use of Negligent Misrepresentation to Recover Economic Loss After Presnell, 95 Ky. L.J. 145 (2007)
  • S. Mackie, Negligence of Design and Construction Engineer, 17 Am. Jur. Proof of Facts 3d 49 (2007)
  • C. Circo, Contract Theory and Contract Practice: Allocating Design Responsibility in the Construction Industry, 58 Fla. L. Rev. 561 (2006)
  • G. Hanks, Jr., Gazing into the Murky Crystal Ball: The Rise of Design Professional Liability for the Criminal Acts of Third Parties, 4 Hous. Bus. & Tax. L.J. 339 (2004)
  • R. Meyers, III, Risk Allocation from the Designer's Perspective, Designer: Professional Service Provider with Deliverables, 480 PLI/Real 147 (2002)
  • R. Meyers, III, Risk Allocation from the Designer's Perspective, The New AIA Contract Documents: What's Good and What's Bad from the Owner's Perspective, 467 PLI/Real 147 (2001)
  • R. Meyers, III, Risk Allocation from the Designer's Perspective, Designer: Professional Service Provider with Deliverables, 452 PLI/Real 129 (2000)
  • A. Milani, Oh, Say, Can I See--And Who Do I Sue If I Can't: Wheelchair Users, Sightlines Over Standing Spectators, and Architect Liability Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 52 Fla. L. Rev. 523 (2000)
  • R. Meyers, III, Risk Allocation from the Designer's Perspective, 443 PLI/Real 67 (1999)
  • Note, If You Build It, Can They Sue? Architects' Liability Under Title III of the ADA, 68 Fordham L. Rev. 137 (1999)
  • D. Binder, The Duty to Disclose Geologic Hazards in Real Estate Transactions, 1 Chap. L. Rev. 13 (1998)
  • D. Binder, Act of God? or Act of Man?: A Reappraisal of the Act of God Defense in Tort Law, 15 Rev. Litig. 1 (1996)
  • C. Fain, Architect and Engineer Liability, 35 Washburn L.J. 32 (1995)
  • M. Vardaro, Statutes of Repose--The Design Professional's Defense to Perpetual Liability, 10 St. John's J. Legal Comment. 697 (1995)
  • D. Thomson, Arbitration Theory and Practice: A Survey of AAA Construction Arbitrators, 23 Hofstra L. Rev. 137 (1994)

LECTURES

  • Doing Business in Other States, Associated Builders and Contractors, Atlanta, Georgia, February 20, 2014
  • Liens and Bonds: Protecting, Preserving and Asserting Your Lien and Payment Bond Rights in Georgia, Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, September 17, 2013
  • Doing Business in Other States, Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, August 22, 2013
  • “Killer” Contract Clauses-The Top Twenty-Five Killer Clauses in the Construction Contracts, Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, June 20, 2012
  • Avoiding “Death by Waivers”: Waiver and Release Forms-“Traps for the Unwary”, Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, April 10, 2012
  • Liens and Bonds: Protecting, Preserving and Asserting Your Lien and Payment Bond Rights in Georgia, Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, March 21, 2012
  • Doing Business in Other States, Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, January 19, 2012
  • Doing Business in Other States, Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, June 8, 2011
  • “Killer” Contract Clauses, Georgia Utility Contractors Association, Atlanta, Georgia, November 4, 2010
  • Working Your Way Into the SBA and Other Public Work Opportunities, Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, May 13, 2010
  • Where Do You Find Work in These Tough Times, Georgia Wall & Ceiling Industries Association, Atlanta, Georgia, May 6, 2010
  • Liens and Bonds: Protecting, Preserving and Asserting Your Lien and Payment Bond Rights in Georgia, Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, September 15, 2009
  • Avoiding “Death by Waiver”-Waiver and Release Forms-Traps for the Unwary, Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, July 9, 2009
  • 2009 Georgia Lien Law Changes, Georgia Concrete and Products Association, Winter Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, February 19, 2009
  • Protecting and Securing Payment in Tough Times-Procedures, Waivers and Remedies that Assure Payment and Protect Your Rights When Money Is Scarce, Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, April 14, 2009
  • Construction Lien Law in Georgia, Lorman Education Services, Atlanta, Georgia, July 29, 2008
  • “Purchase Order Tango”-How to Wage and Win the “Battle of the Forms” in Buying and Selling Construction Materials, Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, March 27, 2008
  • 2009 Lien Law Changes, Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, December 3, 2008
  • Doing Business in Other States, Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, March 13, 2008
  • Qualifying and Preparing To Do Business, Metropolitan Atlanta Rehabilitation Contractors Association, Atlanta, Georgia, November 8, 2007
  • Construction Lien Law in Georgia: Using the Sword and Shield Effectively, Lorman Education Services, Atlanta, Georgia, July 26, 2007
  • Price Escalation: Any Protection or Recourse?, 39th Annual Convention, Georgia Concrete and Products Association, Ponte Vedra, Florida, July 21, 2007
  • Additional Insured and Indemnification Requirements (and their ugly ramifications), Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia, Inc., Pine Mountain, Georgia, June 23, 2007
  • Prompt Payment Laws (Federal Prompt Payment Act of Georgia Prompt Payment Laws), Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia, Inc., Pine Mountain, Georgia, June 22, 2007
  • Controlling Runaway Costs-Price Escalations, Georgia Utility Contractors Association, Inc., Amelia Island, Florida, June 15, 2007
  • “Killer” Contract Clauses, Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, June 6, 2007
  • “Liens and Bonds”-Protecting, Preserving and Asserting Your Lien and Payment Bond Rights in Georgia, Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, April 20, 2007
  • Top Ten Things that Get Contractors into Legal Trouble on a Construction Job-And How to Avoid Them, Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, March 14, 2007
  • Price Escalation Issues, Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, February 22, 2007
  • How to Keep that Payment Flowing: Payment is the Life Blood of Every Contractor and When It Stops or Slows Down, Business Death is Not Far Away, Associated Builders & Contractors of Georgia, Inc., February 15, 2007
  • Lien Law Life-Protecting Your Interests and Rights and Avoiding Lien Exposure, Batson-Cook University, West Point, Georgia, October 27, 2006
  • Avoiding Death by Waiver, Associated General Contractors, Inc., Georgia Branch, Atlanta, Georgia, September 19, 2006
  • Surreptitious Recordings and Searches-Telephone Calls, Voice Messages and E-mails-Legally Permissible?, Georgia Concrete and Products Association, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, July 22, 2006
  • Performance Specifications-Do You Know Them When You See Them (and why some contracts may bite you); Associated Builders & Contractors, Greensboro, Georgia, June 13, 2006
  • Liens and Bonds-Property Preserving and Asserting Your Lien and Payment Bond Rights in Georgia, Associated Builders & Contractors, Atlanta, Georgia, May 10, 2006
  • Avoiding Death by Waiver-Waiver and Release Forms-Traps for the Unwary, Associated Builders and Contractors, Atlanta, Georgia, April 12, 2006
  • Purchase Order Tango-How to Wage and Win the Battle of the Forms in Buying and Selling Construction Materials, Associated Builders and Contractors, Atlanta, Georgia, April 12, 2006
  • Construction Delay Claims in Georgia, Lorman Education Services, Atlanta, Georgia, February 17, 2006
  • General Contractor License Application Workshop, Associated Builders and Contractors, Atlanta, Georgia, February 6, 2006
  • How to Succeed at Contract Change Orders and Claims in Georgia, Lorman Education Services, Atlanta, Georgia, January 27, 2006
  • “Killer” Contract Clauses, Associated Builders and Contractors, Atlanta, Georgia, January 25, 2006
  • How to Succeed at Contract Change Orders and Claims in Alabama, Lorman Education Services, Birmingham, Alabama, January 24, 2006
  • General Contractor License Application Workshop, Associated Builders and Contractors, Atlanta, Georgia, January 13, 2006