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. Although Jeff Cruz, the outgoing Editor and incoming Division Chair for Division 11, Corporate Counsel, will be a tough act to follow, I will do my best as the incoming Editor to live up to the Forum’s expectations. In keeping with the number one issue on the agenda of Andrew Ness, the Forums’ Chair Elect, I also intend to have fun editing the newsletter, working with Under Construction’s Associate Editor, Ridgely Jackson, and getting to know all of my fellow Forum members.
As the incoming Editor of Under Construction, I attended my first Forum planning retreat this past June. Although, I have been a Forum member for years, I’d never given much thought to the level of effort that goes into planning the programs, activities, and publications, and maintaining the Forum’s values and mission. At the retreat, George Meyer, a recent past Forum Chair, held a “boot camp” where he explained the various relationships among the Divisions and the Governing Committee as well as the Forum’s expectations of its leaders and editors. Meyer’s message was clear: the Forum takes its mission very seriously and demands that its leaders do the same. In addition, each Division Chair at the retreat reported on what that Division had accomplished this past year and the proposed activities and goals for next year.
I was inspired by the dedication and effort of the Governing Committee and Division Chairs to ensure each Division and publication provides value to the members. This is evident by the work that has gone into the upcoming 2012 Fall Meeting in Boston, Construction Counseling, Pulling Together For a Winning Strategy,and the Forum’s new publication, Construction Defects, both of which are previewed in this issue.
Since the planning retreat devoted considerable time to strategic planning, my first step as Editor was to visit the current objectives of Under Construction. Fortunately, Jeff had outlined Under Construction’s objectives in a best practice protocol. The objectives are:
Under Construction Objectives
- Publicize news of Forum activities and events.
- Notify the members of the activities of the nominating committee.
- Provide members with an outlet for publishing articles on practical and academic construction law topics.
- Publish articles of excellent quality and of general interest to the membership.
Here’s where you, the Forum members, come in: Your input is needed to achieve these objectives. I invite and urge you to submit articles and other ideas that fall within these categories.
You’ve probably also noticed that the newsletter arrives electronically via your email. The electronic format gives the Editors greater flexibility and will enable us to keep improving the newsletter’s value to you. Again, I welcome and urge you to let Ridgely and I know how Under Construction can be more useful to you. Please let us know if you would like regular reports from the Division Chairs, guest editorials, podcasts, illustrations, reader polls, and anything else that may interest you.
I would also like to introduce Ridgely Jackson, the Associate Editor of Under Construction. When I learned that Ridgely is both a practicing attorney and a legal writing instructor, I was thrilled. Not only am I looking forward to working closely with Ridgely, I’m certain that she will be a great benefit to the newsletter. Ridgely is an associate at DLA Piper LLP (US) in Chicago and practices both construction and real estate law. She also is an adjunct instructor at Loyola Law School in Chicago and has an active pro bono practice representing children entitled to special education services. I know she is as pleased as I am at this opportunity to help publish Under Construction for you.