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Adams and Reese Partner and Construction Team Co-Leader Trent Cotney was interviewed in a Forbes article on procurement and bid protests, “Prevent Costly Procurement Disasters: 6 Science-Backed Techniques for Bias-Free Decision Making.”

Cotney said the structure of the RFP is crucial to determining the success of bid protests and accusations of bias. “Bid standards are normally delineated in advance including the process and procedures for selection. By participating in the process, bidders tacitly agree to the selection criteria,” Cotney said.

This makes it really important to assess the RFP and challenge it before engaging in the bid process. Regarding bias, a “standard used to determine if a bid award is improper is if the agency acted in an ‘arbitrary and capricious’ manner,” which can result from bias. But if “the procurement officials adhered to the stated selection criteria, a court would be hard-pressed to overturn a decision absent some overt evidence of fraud, pecuniary bias, or similar egregious conduct,” said Cotney.

Cotney, resident in the Adams and Reese Tampa office, is a board-certified construction lawyer by The Florida Bar and is licensed in eight states, and Washington, D.C. In construction litigation and arbitration, Cotney represents construction and infrastructure clients, including general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, manufacturers, architects, engineers, roofers, developers, and other professionals. He is an EU arbitrator for construction-related disputes. 

Cotney focuses his practice on all aspects of construction litigation and arbitration, including OSHA defense, lien law, bond law, bid protests, and construction document review and drafting.