Nicholas J. Elder

  • The Florida Bar, 2006
  • The Jacksonville Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida
  • Board Certified, Construction Law
  • AV® Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, 2016-Present
  • Super Lawyers in Construction Law 2024
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star in Construction Law 2019, 2020 & 2021
  • Construction Lawyers Society of America, Fellow, 2019-Present
  • Florida State College of Law, J.D.
    • Editor- Business Law Review
    • Editor- Journal of Transnational Law & Policy
    • Student Bar Association- Executive Board Member
  • Rhodes College, 2003
    • B.A. Political Science, Cum Laude

Mr. Elder has served on various committees and volunteered for a number of local charities, including but not limited to the following:

  • Associated Builders and Contractors, 2015-2020 (Govt. Affairs Committee Chair)
  • The Florida Bar (Real Property, Probate and Trust/Construction Law Committee)
  • Jacksonville Bar Association (Construction Law Committee Chair 2020-2021)
  • Litigation Counsel of America
    • Diversity Law Institute
    • Trial Law Institute
  • School Advisory Council for PVPV Rawlings Elementary 
  • Sulzbacher Center Verified Volunteer
  • Freed to Run, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid Charity (Participant 2018-2019)

Construction Litigation

  • Represented a large Oregon Hospital in arbitration against its design-builder for various construction defects and critical path analysis delay claims. After over two years of litigation and over 20 depositions, a $2 million settlement was obtained for the hospital on the eve of trial.
  • Represented a general contractor in its dispute with a business partner and the State of Alaska during the construction of a multi-million dollar roadway bridge in Girdwood, Alaska. After 3 years of litigating, numerous depositions and extensive motion practice, obtained a favorable settlement for the client after recovering back-charges from the State.
  • Obtained a favorable settlement for a large national general contractor in a class action brought by the condominium association alleging numerous construction defects, and demanding over $10 million in damages.
  • Represented the largest tug and towing marine builder and shipping company on the West Coast in a $50 million breach of contract and construction delay claim pending in California Superior Court. Reviewed hundreds of thousands of documents and took the lead in preparing for 20 depositions of former employees, corporate representatives and non-party witnesses.
  • Obtained a favorable settlement for an Alaskan general contracting firm in its Appeal of a Contracting Officer’s Decision regarding a terminal taxiway enlargement project estimated at $3 million in additional compensation.
  • Participated and succeeded in bringing multiple bid protest appeals to the State of Alaska Dept. of Transportation on behalf of a large marine contractor for various vessel refurbishment projects in Alaska and Washington.
  • Represented a window subcontractor in class action for construction and design defects, building code violations and warranty claims for a condominium community in Jacksonville, Florida. The four year litigation was successfully settled during a jury trial after extensive motion practice, and over 30 depositions of corporate clients and experts.
  • Successfully defended that same window subcontractor in a class action lawsuit brought on a sister multi-building condominium complex alleging negligence, building code violations and breach of warranty claims. A favorable resolution was ultimately obtained following over 100 depositions and review of hundreds of thousands of documents.
  • Received a favorable settlement for a leading manufacturer of TPO single-ply roofing systems on a Westgate property in Orlando, Florida stemming from claims of construction defect, breach of warranty and design liability.
  • Assisted owner through all phases of the design and construction of $1.5 million dollar residential construction project following breach of contract and abandonment of the project by the general contractor.
  • Successfully defended a lumber subcontractor and supplier in a 5-year construction defect action brought by an Orlando condominium association alleging wood truss design/installation deficiencies in a multi-building complex.
  • Favorably settled a breach of contract and lien dispute brought by a general contractor against a West Palm Beach private school academy.
  • Successfully represented a masonry subcontractor in breach of contract and lien dispute with a general contractor/developer on a nursing home development in Jacksonville, Florida.
  • Prosecuted claims of a homeowner against his marine contractor and engineer for construction defects to a large residential seawall and dock along the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida.

General Liability

  • Obtained a complete defense verdict for the country’s largest retailer in a $2 million premises liability lawsuit following two years of litigation and a 5-day jury trial in Duval County Circuit Court.
  • Successfully obtained dismissal of a $1.5 million product liability and negligence claim for a leading auto-parts franchise for a nominal amount.
  • Awarded summary judgment for a nationally recognized general contractor in a wrongful death claim following a fatal automobile accident in Duval County.
  • Obtained summary judgment in federal court for the second-largest warehouse club retail store on million-dollar personal injury claim regarding a slip-and-fall in Jacksonville, Florida.
  • Represented the largest American multi-national retail corporation and was successful in defending thousands of personal injury lawsuits in both state and federal courts throughout the country.

Business Litigation

  • Obtained summary judgment in federal court for the nation’s leading insurer against a $5 million claim for third party insurance bad faith under an underinsured automobile policy.
  • Successfully prosecuted and defended claims of fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of contract, and tortious interference regarding the acquisition of a large dental implant company by an outside investment company.
  • Awarded summary judgment in federal court for a large national insurance company in a $2 million claim for first party insurance bad faith under a homeowner’s insurance policy.
  • Successfully defended a large national general contractor in a wrongful death action brought by the estate of a man killed following the 2016 Florida/Georgia game, which included claims of Dram Shop liability and negligent security.
  • Obtained a very favorable settlement for two members of a limited liability healthcare company who were sued after legally terminating a third member for failing to uphold company obligations and duties.
  • Successfully defended a West Coast software company against a developer on breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, tortious interference, defamation and fraud claims regarding computer software implementation in the company’s ongoing business operations.
  • Obtained a complete defense verdict for the country’s largest retailer in a $2 million premises liability lawsuit following two years of litigation and a 5-day jury trial.
  • Awarded summary judgment for one of the leading grocery stores in the nation in a $1 million premises liability action.
  • Successfully settled for a nominal amount in a $1.5 million claim for product liability and negligence for a leading auto-parts franchise in Jacksonville, Florida.
  • Awarded a complete defense verdict following a 3-day bench trial in a commercial landlord-tenant dispute.
  • Successfully prosecuted claims by a railroad car leasing company for breach of contract, unjust enrichment and breach of personal guaranty against a national railroad terminal corporation and sanitation company.
  • Represented the nation’s leading mortgage lender in successfully foreclosing on numerous commercial and residential properties throughout Florida.


  • Florida Construction Liens & Payment Bonds” Associated Builders and Contractors Education Series, October 2021.

  • “Stand Tall or Lay Low: Talking Politics in the Office”, Jacksonville Daily Record, November 5, 2020

  • “Unlocking the Hidden Value of Prejudgment Interest in Construction Defect Litigation”, Actionline Florida Bar Publication, Vol. XXXXI, No. 1. (Fall 2019)
  • “The Role of Prejudgment Interest in Construction Defect Litigation”, Jacksonville Daily Record, July 5, 2019

  • “Time is of the Essence: Be a Better Lawyer by Managing Your Schedule”, Jacksonville Daily Record, January 4, 2019

  • “2009 Product Liability Florida Compendium”, ALFA International, co-author.

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Nicholas J. Elder


Nicholas Elder joined Cobb & Gonzalez in 2020 following a decade of successfully litigating multi-million dollar construction delay and defect cases throughout the country.  Mr. Elder currently focuses his practice on construction law, real estate law, business litigation, and general liability matters. He is Florida Bar Board Certified in Construction Law and has significant experience representing large developers, general contractors, design-builders, subcontractors and owners in both state and federal courts.

Prior to joining Cobb & Gonzalez, Mr. Elder worked in the construction and business litigation practice groups for a large regional law firm, where he took the lead in handling high-stakes construction claims, commercial cases, and foreclosure matters.  He also gained extensive experience working with community associations on construction-related matters, compliance issues and payment disputes.

Mr. Elder spent much of his earlier career successfully litigating premises liability matters, multi-faceted contractual disputes and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. In every case, Mr. Elder assists his clients by providing crucial pre-litigation advice on potential dispute resolution, and employs calculated strategies once litigation becomes necessary. Mr. Elder has also spent much of his career successfully litigating personal injury, and wrongful death cases throughout Florida.  Mr. Elder works hand-in-hand with in-house counsel for large national and multi-national companies and regularly obtains defense verdicts or negotiates favorable settlements on behalf of these businesses.  For the past 17 years, he has represented and advised numerous Fortune 500 companies and small business owners against these claims and has faced off with many of the largest plaintiff firms in the country. 

Mr. Elder is committed to developing strong and reputable professional relationships in the community in order to provide the best service for his clients. Because of this, he has been recognized by his peers with an AV-Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell every year since 2016.  Mr. Elder was also nominated as a Florida Super Lawyer Rising Star in Construction Law for 2019, 2020 and 2021.  Mr. Elder is a noted author on construction law topics, having recently published articles for the Florida Bar publication Actionline and the Jacksonville Daily Record.  

Nicholas obtained his undergraduate degree in 2003 from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.  Thereafter, he graduated with his JD from Florida State University College of Law, where he was selected as editor of the Business Law Review and Journal of Transnational Law & Policy, and served as an executive member of the Student Bar Association. 

Nicholas moved to Jacksonville in 2006, where he now resides with his lovely wife Mirela and two beautiful daughters Riley and Isabella.  In his spare time, Nicholas enjoys coaching soccer and spending weekends with his family in Ponte Vedra Beach.

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