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Christian T. Van Hise

240 South Pineapple Avenue
10th Floor
Sarasota, FL 34236


Suellen Kerrigan
Direct941.366.6660, Ext. 2486

A multifaceted civil litigator whose practice is focused on commercial litigation, construction litigation, zoning, land use, and local government law, Chris has wide-ranging experience in the areas of eminent domain, zoning appeals, municipal code enforcement defense, pollutant discharge litigation, Florida Sunshine Law, and the vacating public rights-of-way. He has also served as an advisor and counselor for numerous land development matters, including project feasibility analysis, development strategies and permitting.

Prior to obtaining his law degree, Chris was a project management engineer with the Lee County Department of Transportation in Fort Myers, Florida, managing field construction and inspection for various projects including roadways, underground utilities, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, drainage improvements, and pavement management and resurfacing operations. His technical understanding of how projects are constructed, combined with extensive hands-on field construction experience enable him to deliver customized legal solutions in all aspects of construction, including contract preparation, prosecution and defense of construction claims, and risk assessment from contract negotiations through project administration and claims management.

Chris is a former Assistant County Attorney for Pasco County, Florida, where he handled matters related to public works projects, infrastructure development, procurement and bidding, construction programming, claims management, water resource and environmental permitting.  He also represented Pasco County on the Legal Advisory Committee of Tampa Bay Water, the regional water utility provider for more than three million customers.

A graduate of the University of Rhode Island (URI), Chris earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering. While at URI, he was distinguished by the American Society of Civil Engineers, placing first for his balsa-wood bridge design at the New England regional ASCE student design competition. Chris earned his law degree from the University of Dayton where he was a member of the Environmental Law Moot Court Team and a national semifinalist in the Chase Environmental Law Moot Court Competition.

Representative Matters

  • Successfully represented a subcontractor against a general contractor in a delay claim dispute on a major hotel project obtaining an arbitration award in favor of the subcontractor in excess of $2 million.
  • Successfully represented a property owner through circuit court trial over a disputed easement to secure permanent access rights to Sarasota Bay and a money judgment in favor of property owner client.
  • Successfully prosecuted a property owner’s development rights appeal under the Florida Bert Harris Act against the City of Sarasota to obtain permit approval for maximized development entitlements.
  • Successfully obtained rezoning approval for a major industrial project for a large construction contractor in the City of Venice.
  • Successfully obtained approval from Lee County, Florida to “privatize” all public roads within a large residential subdivision in a comprehensive rights-of-way ownership transfer process for homeowner association client.



  • American Jurisprudence Book Award for Civil Trial Practice, 1995
  • National Semifinalist, 1994 Chase Environmental Law Moot Court Competition
  • Finalist, 1993 Honorable Walter Rice Interscholastic Moot Court Competition

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • Junior Leadership Manatee County, Board of Directors
  • International Right-of-Way Association
  • Leadership Manatee County, Class of 2016
  • Leadership Sarasota County, Class of 2007
  • Sarasota County Traffic Advisory Council, Board Member (2002-2006)
  • Miracle League of Manasota, Volunteer Coach

Events and Presentations

02.12.2016Construction Contracts, Florida Swimming Pool Association 2016 Expo
08.26.2014The ABCs of Florida Construction Lien Law, Shumaker Construction Law Seminar
02.21.2014Construction Contracts, Florida Swimming Pool Association 2014 Expo
02.21.2014Florida Construction Lien Law, Florida Swimming Pool Association 2014 Expo
08.02.2012Lien Law & Impact of Leasehold Interests, Shumaker Construction Law Seminar
06.01.2000Public Construction Bonds in Florida
05.01.1999Annual Meeting of the International Right-of-Way Association
05.15.1998Procedures When Construction Ceases Before Project Completion, Ft Myers Construction Law Seminar & Symposium
08.01.1997Florida Construction Lien Law updates

Alternate biographies



  • J.D., University of Dayton, 1995
  • B.S.C.E., University of Rhode Island, 1990

Bar and Court Admissions

  • Connecticut, 1996
  • Florida, 1995