Forum Divisions 3, 6, 7, 10, and the Young Lawyers report on their activities. Here’s a chance to read about the Divisions and what to do if you’re interested in joining.
Division 3 - Design
Mission: Division 3, Design, focuses on the design aspect of the construction process for architects and engineers involved in commercial, infrastructure, and industrial projects.
Projects: Our members recently gave presentations on Boston’s Big Dig, P3 and lean construction, design-related risk in large construction projects, the crumbling statute of repose, the design professional’s duty to defend, and intellectual property in design-build projects. Our members also recently completed the ABA Book on Infrastructure.
Currently, we are working on a chapter for the forthcoming Subcontracting book.
Meeting Events: We also like to have fun. During our Denver planning retreat, our steering committee toured three breweries. We look forward to a fun event during the upcoming Forum meeting in Naples.
Opportunities to Get Involved: We hold monthly business calls and quarterly CLE-type teleconferences on current legal issues, present design-related programming during the larger Forum, and organize yearly industry outreach programs with engineers and architects local to a Forum program.
Interested? We have a lot going on in Division 3 and encourage you to join us! Those interested may contact the Chair of Division 3, Buck S. Beltzer, P.E., Esq., Holland & Hart LLP, Denver, Colorado.
Division 6 – Workforce Management and Human Resources
Mission: Division 6, the Workforce Management and Human Resources Division, works hard to bring to its members the employment-related issues that affect all of our clients on a daily basis.
Projects: During the Boston Forum, Erin Ebeler (Division 6; Woods & Aitken) and Andrea Woods (Divisions 6 and 11; Nabholz Construction) presented a workshop on E-Verify and Form I-9s. These topics are hot button issues for government auditors, and failure to comply with E‑Verify requirements can eliminate a contractor’s ability to contract with state or federal government entities in the future.
Currently, Division 6 is working on the Second Edition of the Construction Lawyer’s Guide to Labor & Employment Law. The focus of this book is to provide a helpful resource to lawyers who may not have labor and employment as their primary practice area, but who receive calls from their clients with labor and employment questions (i.e., almost every attorney in the Forum). If you’d like to assist with editing, research, etc., please let us know!
Meeting Events: During the upcoming Forum meeting in Naples, Divisions 6 and 11 will again pair up to present a program entitled: “Investing in Wellness: Commitment and Compliance.” This program will focus on (1) reviewing the legal compliance issues at issue with company wellness programs and (2) examining why companies (a.k.a. “your clients”) have incentives to have such programs in place despite potential land mines with the ADA, EEOC, and HIPAA. Bill Quatman is the general counsel at Burns & McDonnell, and Greg Williams is the Chief Financial Officer at Nabholz Construction. Both companies have extensive wellness programs in place, and Nabholz Construction’s program was featured on the HBO special “Weight of a Nation.” As such, this program will focus on a practical, real life view of wellness programs, the financial pros/cons of such programs, and the surrounding legal issues (including the Affordable Care Act regulations proposed in November).
Opportunities to Get Involved: Division 6 holds monthly teleconferences on the last Wednesday of each month at 12 noon EST, which are open to Division 6 members as well as all other Forum members interested in Division 6. Beginning in February 2013, there will be a ten to twenty minute “hot topic” discussed each month on topics similar to those described above. You’re welcome to join us! The conference call information for those calls is as follows: Dial-in Number: 866-646-6488 (Conference Code: 491 965 2344).
Interested? If you have any questions about Division 6, please contact Erin Ebeler at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-437-8516.
Division 7 – Insurance, Surety & Liens
Mission: Division 7, Insurance, Surety & Liens, studies developments and trends relating to insurance coverage, surety bonds and liens for the purpose of educating construction industry participants.
Projects: After conducting an early planning retreat in Indianapolis, Indiana on August 24, 2012, Division 7 has been off to a fast and active start this fiscal year.
In September 2012, Division 7 hosted the following Hot Topic Presentation: Natalie D'Amora spoke on the Pennsylvania case holding that union benefit trustees have standing to assert mechanics lien rights. The Pennsylvania Superior Court decision in the case of Bricklayers of Western Pennsylvania Combined Funds, Inc. v. Scott's Development Co. expands the class of claimants entitled to assert a mechanics' lien claim under the Mechanics' Lien Law of 1963 ("Lien Statute") to include union funds. We discussed how the expansion will impact the construction industry.
In November 2012, Division 7 hosted the following Hot Topic Presentation: Mary Licari, partner at Bates, Carey, Nicolaides LLP, spoke on the frequently disputed and litigated insurance coverage issues faced by additional insureds, including scope of coverage under ISO endorsements, applicability of umbrella/excess policies, duties imposed upon additional insureds to trigger coverage, the impact of "other insurance" clauses, and the right to coverage even when the underlying insured is not covered for some reason under the same policy. The presentation helped members to spot additional insured coverage issues and provided tips in drafting contracts to secure the best possible additional insured coverage for member clients.
Division 7 had an extremely large crowd at its breakfast presentation in Boston. Division 7 was privileged to have Dr. John B. Miller of the Barchan Foundation as its guest speaker. Dr. Miller presented on "The Changing World of Project Delivery and Financing-How will Life Cycle Delivery Influence Construction Industry?" As owners (public and private) become increasingly aware that long term operations and maintenance (O&M) costs are ten times that of initial delivery (design and construction), design and construction firms are increasingly participating in ventures with operators, equipment suppliers, and a range of financing partners. Our breakfast program considered and discussed how industry structure is evolving, along with effects on the nature of contracts, and the roles of sureties and insurers.
Division 7 is also very proud to be one of the few Forum Divisions that publishes a newsletter. Division 7's quarterly color newsletter is aptly styled "Insurance, Surety & Liens: A Newsletter of Division 7 of the ABA Forum on the Construction Industry." Copies of the Newsletter are served on Division members by email and disbursed to the general membership in hardcopy at Forum Meetings. Past copies of the newsletters can be found online at Division 7's website.
The Division's last newsletter was published and distributed in October 2012 and included the following articles: "An Important Risk To Consider When A Subcontractor 'Teams' With A Bonded Prime Contractor On A Federal Project," by Lawrence Lerner and Ryan C. Westoff; "The Eleventh Circuit Reignites Florida's Struggle to Define CGL 'Property Damage,'" by B. Claudette Goyanes; and "New Class of Lien Claimant Recognized in PA - Union Benefit Fund," by Natalie D'Amora.
Division 7's Winter Newsletter is scheduled to be published in January 2013 and will be distributed electronically and by hardcopy at the upcoming Mid-Winter Meeting on January 31-Feb 1, 2013, in Naples, Florida.
Meeting Events: Division 7 regularly hosts a division dinner and breakfast at the ABA Forum Meetings. At the Forum's recent Fall Meeting in Boston, Division 7 hosted a dinner for approximately twenty members at Sel de la Terre.
Opportunities to Get Involved: Division 7 regularly conducts monthly telephone meetings on the first Thursday of each month, beginning at 1 PM, EST. The call in number is 866-646-6488 (Conference Code 711 487 1942). Every other month, Division 7 conducts a Hot Topic Presentation during its teleconference.
Interested? If you are interested in Division 7, please contact the Chair, Patrick J. Poff, at Trenam Kemker, 101 E. Kennedy Boulevard, Suite 2700, Tampa, Florida 33602. Phone: 813-223-7474. Fax: 813-227-0481. Direct: 813-227-7481.
Division 10 – Legislation and Environment
Mission: Division 10 works to keep the Forum community informed and updated on relevant developments and trends in the legislative and environmental environment.
Projects: Division 10 members continue to publish in Forum and Division publications, both in print and online. Division 10 members also continue in their tradition of active involvement in the planning and production of Forum programs.
Division 10’s perpetual work on its Construction Law Update continues. The Update is an annual 50-state summary of pertinent existing legislation and case law relating to construction and environmental issues. The Division still seeks volunteers to provide information regarding federal developments and the following states: Alaska, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Forum members willing to volunteer should contact the Division's update coordinator, Angela Stephens, at email@example.com.
Division 10 continues to publish its newsletter, "2x4x10.” The Fall 2012 issue contained informative articles regarding the use of AIA documents on sustainable projects and proposed EPA regulations regarding coal combustion residuals (also known as coal ash), by Susan Van Bell and Lauren C. Rodriguez respectively. Forum members wishing to contribute to the Division's newsletter should contact newsletter editors Erin Fallon (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Hardy Roberts (email@example.com).
Meeting Events: Division and Governing Committee Member Chris Montez served as the Governing Committee Liaison for the November 9, 2012, "Infrastructure: Civil Works Projects for Lawyers" program in Atlanta, Denver, Indianapolis, Philadelphia and San Francisco.
Division Member, Angela Stephens, moderated a 90-minute live webinar and telephone conference on November 13, 2012, titled "Best Practices in Construction Litigation Case Management: the In-House Counsel Perspective."
Division 10 also looks forward to presenting a lunch program and dinner outing at the upcoming 2013 Midwinter Meeting from January 31 to February 1, 2013, in Naples, Florida.
Division Chair, Keith Bergeron, will co-chair the 2014 Mid-Winter Program with Andrea Woods. The location and dates will be determined.
Opportunities to Get Involved: In addition to the volunteers needed for Division 10’s 50-state summary (see “Projects” above), the Division also seeks volunteers for the following projects: (i) case note authors for the Division 10 website and submission to the Hard Hat case note editors for potential inclusion in The Construction Lawyer (contact Keith Bergeron at firstname.lastname@example.org); (ii) environmental authors and liaisons to interact with other construction industry organizations (contact Ed Gentilcore at email@example.com); and, (iii) assistance for the Forum's online presence (contact Matthew DeVries, Editor, Forum Online at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Interested? Hardy Roberts, Division 10’s publications liaison, authored this report. If you are interest in Division 10 or have questions, please contact either the individuals listed in “Opportunities to Get Involved” or Keith J. Bergeron, Counselor at Law, 755 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70130. Direct (504) 593-0789. Main (504) 581-5141. Fax (504) 566-4009. Email: email@example.com. Website: www.dkslaw.com.
Forum Young Lawyers Division
Mission: The Forum Young Lawyers Division (“YLD”) focuses on building the best young construction lawyers through fun, fellowship, and opportunities for leadership and professional development.
Projects: Please see our article in this edition of Under Construction describing our service project in Boston. The article, with photos, is titled “Pulling Together - To Preserve a Part of American History.”
Meeting Events: YLD continues to look for ways in which they can give back to their communities. For example, YLD will participate in the Food Bank Donation Drive at each national meeting, in the beach clean-up at the 2013 Annual Meeting, and in developing the Negotiation Module for the ACE Mentor Program.
You can also follow us on Twitter for latest news and events: @ABAConstructYLD or check out our webpage at http://apps.americanbar.org/dch/committee.cfm?com=CI780267&edit=1.
Opportunities to Get Involved: We hope you will get involved. The YLD has plenty of opportunities for speaking and writing. Members of the YLD are given opportunities to speak at Division breakfast meetings, to author publications for the Division newsletters, as well as participate in other Forum publications. You can check out our new webpage for current speaking and writing opportunities:
To learn more, please join us on our monthly conference call on the first Friday of every month at 11am EST. You can join the call by calling 866-646-6488 and entering Access Code: 426-558-1843.
Interested? YLD is looking for law students and young lawyers (lawyers who are 35 or younger or with five years of practice or less in construction law) to join the Young Lawyers Division. If you fit this description and are not yet a member of the YLD, you can join for free by visiting:
and entering your ABA contact information. The YLD needs you as we create new and fun opportunities for young lawyers to get involved in the ABA Forum.
You also may contact the YLD Chair, Angela Stephens, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 502-681-0388.