Cook, David R. Jr.
Address: 3330 Clumberland Blvd. Suite 325, Atlanta, GA 30339
Lawyer Firm: Autry, Hall & Cook, LLP
|Areas of Practice||Construction, Utilities, Business and Commercial|
David R. Cook is an attorney with the Atlanta-based law firm Autry, Hall & Cook, LLP. His practice focuses on four main areas: construction, utilities, cooperatives, and business law. By specializing in these four distinct areas of law, David has developed the expertise his clients expect from an attorney deeply rooted in their industries.
Construction: One of his primary practice areas is construction law, in which he represents owners, contractors, subcontractors, and others in connection with their litigation, dispute-resolution, and project-development needs. He assists clients with project development, including financing, security concerns, contract negotiation, and risk assessment. When disputes occur, David advises clients in the most cost-effective method to resolve them. But when necessary, he litigates before federal and state courts and multiple arbitration forums.
Construction Claims: David pursues and defends construction claims, including claims involving non-payment, recoupment, delay, acceleration, impact, disruption, interference, lack of coordination, project mismanagement, wrongful termination, design defects and deficiencies, and differing or changed conditions. He seeks recovery and secures collection for clients by federal bond claims (Miller Act), state law bond and lien claims, and insurance coverage.
His accounting background is a significant resource in assessing and calculating the financial impact of construction claims. With his familiarity of accounting software, records, and costs, he can identify and recover damages which would otherwise be forfeited by the claimant.
Construction Owners: David’s construction and procurement practice centers around owners – both public and private – and their unique needs in the construction industry. For public owners, he provides a broad range of construction and procurement advice. He provides guidance on each step of the public-works process, from the bidding and contract-negotiation stage through final project close-out. David ensures that public owners comply with constitutional, statutory, regulatory, local codes and ordinances, and other legal constraints in procuring public works and services, such as rules applicable to competitive bidding and requests for proposals. He has much experience in drafting construction, architectural, engineering, and other relevant contracts, including surety bonds.
David is a staunch advocate from the owner’s standpoint at every stage of a project. In the contract-negotiation stage, David helps owners avoid one-sided and onerous form contracts that place owners in a difficult position at multiple points during any project. He negotiates contracts that recognize owners typically do not have the same skill set as contractors, architects, engineers, and other service providers. Accordingly, his contracts emphasize the responsibility of those hired by the owner.
Many owners experience the “problem project.” David has been called upon by owners to bring these projects to completion through negotiation with stakeholders, while preserving owners’ rights against the responsible party — whether the contractor (including its surety and insurance carrier), architect, engineer, or other project participant. In connection with such matters, he ensures owners properly identify and document instances of defective work or other performance defaults, minimize arguments of spoliation and surety discharge, and preserve all claims against the responsible parties.
Business, Corporate, and Commercial:In his business law practice, David advises and represents businesses in virtually every type of transaction encountered by modern businesses. He handles business formation and organization, transactions, and litigation for businesses and their owners.
David has successfully handled many types of business disputes. For example, he has litigated or arbitrated disputes arising from promissory notes and loan agreements, security agreements, guaranties, power contracts, commercial leases, LLC operating agreements, management contracts, and franchise agreements.
David has set up numerous companies, both LLCs and corporations, based on the particular interests of the owners. He is well-suited to advise business owners and investors because of his business and tax experience. After listening to the objectives of owners and investors, he is able to organize businesses that fit those objectives in the most tax-efficient manner possible.
He has drafted transaction documents for many types of business transactions. These include, for instance, business formation (LLCs operating agreements and corporate bylaws), business acquisitions and divestures, asset purchase and sales, commercial leases and medical leases, promissory notes and loan documents (including guaranties, security agreements, UCC financing statements, security deeds, etc.), franchise agreements, subscription agreements, tradenames, employment agreements, nondisclosure and confidentiality agreements, and noncompete agreements.
Rural Utilities Law:In David’s utility law practice, he advises rural electric, telephone, and telecommunications utilities with their transactional, regulatory, and organizational needs. He also helps clients promote technological development, such as rural broadband, in their rural communities.
Utilities engage in critical transactions with third parties and need advice from attorneys experienced in such transactions. David has prepared multi-million dollar power-purchase agreements for wholesale power needs extending decades into the future. He has drafted, litigated, or advised utilities concerning a wide array of transactions and instruments, such as power pools, interconnection agreements, spectrum auctions, solar leases and partnership flips, easements, indefeasible rights of use (IRUs), and land-use agreements, and various security arrangements, such as guaranties, letters of credit, security agreements, and financing statements.
David places an emphasis on promoting economic development of his clients’ rural communities. So he understands the ever-growing demand and crucial need for bringing advanced telecommunications and information services to these areas. For example, he has advised and assisted rural utilities in their efforts to deploy broadband. In these efforts, he addresses funding, commercial terms, tax issues, and other concerns.
Rural utilities usually qualify for alternative systems of regulation. David advises his clients to stay within the bounds of — and flourish within — these regulatory systems. For example, he has advised clients on state and federal regulatory matters, including RUS, FERC, and state utility commission regulation of electric, telephone, and telecommunications; RUS financing questions; renewable energy tax credits and incentives, regulatory and tax depreciation, and environmental and pollution-control matters.
David also keeps his clients compliant in organizational and corporate matters. He advises rural utility cooperatives in connection with their state cooperative law, articles and bylaws, member relations, and capital credits. He has drafted, revised, and updated countless bylaws and policies for cooperatives and their affiliated entities. Many cooperatives’ bylaws are based on older forms that no longer fit today’s cooperative or member. As a result, a great number of electric, telephone, and telecommunications cooperatives have called on David to revise and update bylaws, along with other governing documents. In such engagements, David ensures the bylaws comply with federal tax requirements.
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