The decision in Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. v. Minnesota, 806 N.W.2d 820 (Minn. 2011) is a landmark construction law case. The Jacobs case arose out of the catastrophic collapse of the I-35W Bridge over the Mississippi river in August of 2007. The Minnesota Supreme Court held that Minnesota could use its I-35W bridge victim compensation fund as a means to retroactively revive claims against the companies that designed and constructed the bridge back in the 1960’s. In essence, the Jacobs decision eviscerated the engineer’s statute of repose defense more than twenty-five years after the repose defense vested.
As I write this, I just returned from the Forum’s annual planning retreat, held this year in Asheville, NC. As it has each time I have attended, the planning retreat recharged my enthusiasm for all the Forum does, and amazed me both as to the scope of our activities and the energy that the Forum’s leadership group brings to them.
I'd like to begin by thanking the Forum’s Publications Committee for choosing me to take on the role of Editor of Under Construction. For years, I have enjoyed reading the Forum news and practical articles published in Under Construction. Now, I’m excited about assuming an active role in delivering this information to you.
Two worlds of construction counseling come together in the historic city of Boston for the Forum’s Fall 2012 Meeting. Looking at issues from both the inside and outside counsel perspective, our program will address hot-button issues for all. Inside and outside counsel can’t afford to miss it. The two-day program precedes one of the world’s largest two-day rowing events, the Head of the Charles Regatta.
At the Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, NV, the Forum elected Terrence L. Brookie, of Frost, Brown Todd LLC in Indianapolis, IN, as its Chair-Elect, and four new Governing Committee Members.
Earlier this year, the Forum Chair appointed two search committees to find candidates for the open editor positions at The Construction Lawyer and Under Construction. The search committees received and reviewed scores of impressive applications, a tribute to the volunteer commitment of Forum members. Based on the recommendations of the search committees, the Forum Chair presented three candidates to the Governing Committee for approval.
On Friday, April 27th, 2012 the Forum Young Lawyers Section (FYLS) and ARCADIS sponsored and coordinated the American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry Community Service Event in Las Vegas, NV. Thirty attorney and consultant volunteers assisted the Nature Conservancy with the cleanup of the Eglington Preserve area.
The winner of the 2011 ABA Forum on the Construction Industry Student Writing Competition is Christopher T. Horner II, University of Virginia School of Law, for his article “Dispute Review Board Recommendations: Answers to Questions of Admissibility and Deference in Subsequent Proceedings.” Christopher received his first-place award at the 2012 Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, NV.
Construction Defects provides an analytical guide to the non-uniform construction defects law in the United States. Ten chapters cover the key issues that specialists in the field of construction law and construction defects have identified as most relevant to the subject to serve as a frame of reference for analysis of any construction defect issue.
During a recent conversation with a representative of an international organization in Latin America, the representative explained that her organization had decided to delete the provisions requiring a dispute adjudication board (DAB) when using the model contract known as the “Red Book” published by FIDIC (International Federation of Consulting Engineers), at least for some projects in the region. Surprised, I asked why. The representative told me she believed the organization considered the cost of a dispute board too expensive and a cost they did not want to incur. Too expensive? In my opinion, this may indicate a flawed conception of dispute boards.
At the Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, the Forum Young Lawyers Section (FYLS) conducted a donation drive for the Three Square Food Bank, southern Nevada’s only food bank. The FYLS raised over $2,300 at the Forum's event.
Some subcontractors and suppliers may be under the impression that being included as a named insured, additional insured, or loss payee under the owner’s builders risk policy protects their supplies, materials and equipment at the project and while in transit, and insulates them from subrogation threats. However, that is not always the case.