Keeping Up with the Divisions

Vol. 15 No. 4

Forum Divisions 2, 4, 5, 8, 10, 11, and 12 report on their activities. Here’s a chance to read about several Divisions and what to do if you’re interested in joining.

Division 2—Contract Documents

Mission:  To study, develop and improve contract documents for the benefit of the construction industry generally and the protection of the interests of all project participants.

Chair:  J. Andrew Howard, Alston & Bird LLP, Los Angeles, California

Projects:  We are making good progress on our construction clause database, but we are still looking for submissions from the membership.  As a reminder, we are compiling exemplars of commonly-negotiated clauses in construction contracts to make available to our members as part of our initiative to make division membership more meaningful to our day-to-day practices.  If you are interested in submitting some examples of negotiated clauses (like indemnity, liquidated damages, notice provisions, etc.), please contact Andy Howard at andy.howard@alston.com or Bruce Merwin at bruce.merwin@haynesboone.com.

Meeting Events:  Last month, at the Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C., Divisions 2 and 3 partnered to host a breakfast meeting where Bruce Merwin (Division 2) and Matt Ninneman (Division 3) gave us practical tips for revising lender's collateral agreements that affect architects, engineers and contractors. The night prior, we gathered at P.O.V. Lounge, overlooking the White House, for tapas and drinks. Thanks to Steering Committee members Brian Perlberg and Lauren Catoe for organizing this great event.

Our sights now have turned to the Mid-Winter Meeting in the Bahamas.  We will team up in the Bahamas with Division 6 for an informative lunch program; and with Divisions 3 and 9 for a fun social event that takes advantage of the amenities of the resort.  Check the Division 2 website for more information.

Opportunities to Get Involved:  Division 2 hosts monthly conference calls in months where we do not have national meetings.  Our next call is scheduled for November 21, 2013. Please join us as Deb Mastin discusses Dispute Boards and why your clients should consider including them in their projects, and new developments in drafting Dispute Board specifications. We are always on the lookout for speakers for the monthly calls, so if you are interested in speaking at one of our monthly calls, or if you want to get involved in one of our ongoing projects, please let Andy Howard (andy.howard@alston.com) know.

Division 4—Project Delivery Systems

Mission:  To provide a forum for the study and discussion of legal issues related to varying systems of construction project delivery.

Chair:   Arlan D. Lewis, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, Birmingham, Alabama

Projects:  Division 4 maintains a blog, the Division 4 Triclinium.  The blog provides a forum for members of the division to share ideas, news, and alert each other of important writings, programs, books, and articles that deal with Project Delivery Systems.  Check us out on the Triclinium

Meeting Events:   Division 4 regularly hosts breakfast/lunch programs at the ABA Forum Meetings.  During the 2013 Fall meeting in Washington, D.C., Division 4 teamed up with the Forum’s Young Lawyer Division for a joint breakfast program entitled “The Business of Project Development – Risk, Returns and Integrated Project Delivery.”  Bob Springer, a Senior Principal at Concurrent Technologies Corporation, explored the value, risks, and cash flow implications of integrated project delivery from the perspective of a project developer.

We also host Division 4 dinners at each of the national Forum meetings.  These social dinners provide an excellent opportunity for members to network, relax and enjoy a few laughs.  The details of our meeting events are usually posted on the Division 4 Triclinium as they are finalized. 

Opportunities to Get Involved:  Division 4 hosts a monthly national call, which often includes a speaker on a topic of interest to the Division.  Minutes of our calls can be found on our Division webpage hosted by the ABA.  Power points and handouts relating to the presentations can be found on our blog, the Triclinium.  During our August 2013 call, Michael Hager, Senior Counsel for AECOM and Terry Yeager, Director of Berkley Research Group, gave a presentation entitled “Delivering Advice:  Competing Delivery Methods for Contemporary Project Change Order Analysis” analyzing the pros and cons of a construction owner seeking change order advice from its designer, construction manager, or other independent consultant.

We encourage you to get involved in Division 4.  We are always looking for enthusiastic members with ideas to make Division 4 even more interesting, fun and effective.  Visit the ABA Forum website and sign up as a member of Division 4 so that you will be included on the list to receive our email reminders of our monthly calls and other Division 4 activities.  You can also submit ideas, brief posts and links, for publication on the Division 4 Triclinium.

Interested?  If you are interested in learning more about Division 4, please contact Arlan D. Lewis at alewis@babc.com or anyone on our Steering Committee.  Our Steering Committee members are listed on our ABA Forum webpage, and on the Triclinium.

Division 5—Project Performance

Mission:  Study of legal issues that arise for project stakeholders in the course of the construction process and the provision of practical advice on managing construction risks.

Chair:  Marilyn Klinger, Sedgwick LLP, Los Angeles, California

Projects:  Division 5 is focusing on two long term projects, separate and distinct from the division breakfasts/lunches and Dutch Treat dinners that we do at each national meeting.  The first project is what we call our “You Wouldn’t Believe What Just Happened; ______________, What Do We Do Now?” series.  The plan is to present half-hour discussions of situations that arise during the course of a construction project.  Examples include:

  • “You Wouldn’t Believe What Just Happened; One of Our Subcontractors Just Filed Bankruptcy, What Do We Do Now?”
  • “You Wouldn’t Believe What Just Happened; One of Our Workers Was Killed on the Project, What Do We Do Now?”
  • “You Wouldn’t Believe What Just Happened; We Bought Another Construction Company, What Do We Do Now?”

We hope to offer these presentations on a monthly basis during our telephone conferences and, ultimately, create an entire program based on the theme.

Our second project, semi-related to the first, is what we call “Survey Project.”  We plan to develop, prosecute, and report about a survey of construction company executives and project managers with the following two questions:  What are the top five things that keep you up at night?  What are you currently doing about them?

Meeting Events:  We are also very excited about the joint lunch planned with the YLD (Young Lawyers Division) at the Mid-Winter meeting in the Bahamas.  Rather than a so-called “talking-heads” speaker, we will present an InterActive Session on “Construction Contract Negotiation” using the ACE Mentor Program training module created by a number of our members; the audience will take on roles of the various players in the negotiation process.

Interested?   Please contact Marilyn Klinger.

Division 8—International Construction

Chair:  Danielle J. Cole, Peckar & Abramson, PC, Atlanta, Georgia

Mission: To provide education about the global marketplace and its impact on contracting, dispute resolution, and finance in the construction industry.

Meeting Events:  The International Construction Division Annual Planning Meeting took place on Wednesday, September 25, 2013, in Washington, DC, at the Forum Fall Meeting.

Also in connection with the Forum Fall Meeting 2013, several members of the International Construction Division spoke at the meeting on topics concerning international construction, including:

  • Workshop B, Lessons Learned on P3 Projects, Thursday, September 26, 2013, 11:45 a.m. to12:45 p.m., Jerry Brodsky, Peckar & Abramson, P.C., Miami, Florida; and Jim Janetos, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • Workshop D, FIDIC Forms of Agreement for International Projects, Thursday, September 26, 2013, 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Ashley M. Howlett, Jones Day, Beijing, China; and Richard W. Pearse, Vedder Price, PC, Chicago, Illinois.
  • Joint Breakfast Meeting | International Construction Division (8) and Corporate Counsel Division (11), Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Anti-Corruption Laws in Construction Contracting: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You, Friday, September 27, 2013, 7:15 a.m. to 8:15 a.m., Lori Ann Lange, Peckar & Abramson, PC, Washington, D.C.; Junaid A. Zubairi, Vedder Price, P.C., Chicago, Illinois; and J. Kimon Yiasemides, Warner Construction Consultants, Inc., Rockville, Maryland.

The International Construction Division also hosted a dinner in conjunction with the Forum Fall Meeting 2013, on Thursday, September 26, 2013, at the Lebanese Taverna, 2641 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC.

On Thursday, October 10, 2013, members of the International Construction Division hosted an outreach event at Towne Stove and Spirits in Boston, Massachusetts.  This event was organized in conjunction with the International Bar Association Annual Conference 2013, with an emphasis on welcoming members of the IBA/International Construction Projects group to join the ABA Forum.  It was co-sponsored with the COMAD, S.C., a law firm from Mexico City.

Opportunities to Get Involved:  The International Construction Division has a regularly scheduled conference call monthly on the third Wednesday of each month at 1:00 p.m. (EST).  The call-in information for the monthly teleconference is as follows:

For calls within the U.S., dial: 866-646-6488
For international calls, dial: 707-287-9583
Conference Code No.: 223-368-3852

Interested?  The International Construction Division actively recruits members and non-members to speak at Forum conferences and submit articles and participate in book projects within the international construction focus.  If interest, please contact Danielle Cole (404-872-4343, dcole@pecklaw.com). 

Division 10—Legislation and Environment

Mission: To assemble and publish to Forum members all pertinent existing legislation and recent case law dealing with both construction and environmental issues, with a special emphasis on monitoring the "green" or sustainable trends emerging in the construction industry.

Chair:  Edward B. Gentilcore, Sherrard, German & Kelly, P.C., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Projects: In addition to the annual Construction Law Update (described further below), and Division 10's quarterly newsletter, "2X4X10", Division 10 is in the homestretch in supporting the Forum's publication of "Green Building and the Construction Lawyer: A Practical Guide to Transactional and Litigation Issues."  Division 10 also has developed a "Deliverables Calendar" mapping out targeted objectives in programming, writing, presentation content and upcoming calls, events, etc.  This is available by contacting Ed Gentilcore at ebg@sgkpc.com.

Meeting Events:   Following the last Forum Fall Meeting in Washington D.C., Division 10 members toured the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED-Platinum Headquarters, a signature achievement of an organization dedicated to green/sustainable design and development. Immediately after the tour, we were joined by Susan Van Dorn, General Counsel to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), who gave remarks about risk management when pursuing green building, the USGBC's upcoming Greenbuild 2013 conference, and the anticipated launch of LEED Version 4.  Division 10 has a full Division 10 Conference Call scheduled for Thursday, November 14, 2013, at 5:30 p.m. (EST), and has social events and presentations in the works for the Forum's upcoming meetings in the Bahamas and in New Orleans.

Opportunities to Get Involved:  A great number of opportunities to participate, research, write and present are found within Division 10.  We are always looking for contributors to our quarterly newsletter, 2X4X10. Additionally, as noted above, Division 10 publishes the Construction Law Update on an annual basis, which includes State and Federal case law and statutory updates on construction law, federal contracting, and environmental issues. Authors are welcome and needed.  We also need two to three volunteers to run a new working committee for D10.  Our new "Social Committee" will address Division 10 events for Forum meetings, including dinners and other social get-togethers. These are just a few examples of options for getting involved with Division 10.  We welcome your energy, input and participation!

Interested?  Please contact Ed Gentilcore (ebg@sgkpc.com).

Division 11—Corporate Counsel

Chair:  Jeffrey R. Cruz, E. E. Cruz & Company Inc.

Mission:  Education of Division members on construction law issues unique to and from the perspective of corporate counsel; education of Forum members on construction law issues from the above perspective; and discussions among Division members of issues and needs unique to the corporate counsel practitioner.

Meeting Events:  Membership in Division 11 is limited to in-house counsel, but Division 11 regularly opens its doors to activities with outside counsel Forum members and the other Divisions.

  • At the 2013 Midwinter Meeting in Naples, Florida, Division 11 joined with the Human Resources and Workforce Management (Division 6), chaired by Erin Ebeler of Woods & Aiken, for a lunch presentation on employee wellness programs.  The panelists included Bill Quatman (in-house counsel for Burns & McDonnell), Greg Williams (chief executive officer of Nabholz  Construction Services), Andrea Woods (general counsel of Nabholz Construction Services), and Erin Ebeler.
  • At the 2013 Annual Meeting in Dana Point, California, Division 11 again joined with Division 6 (see above) for a lunch presentation by Jacob Monty titled “Employment in a Multicultural, Multinational, Multi-Immigration Status America.”
  • At the 2013 Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C., Division 11 joined with International Construction (Division 8), chaired by Danielle Cole, to host a breakfast program on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Anti-Corruption Laws in the Construction Industry.  The panelists included Lori Ann Lange (Peckar & Abramson), J. Kimon Yiasemides (general counsel of Warner Construction Consultants) and Junaid A. Zubairi (Vedder Price).

Projects:  Division 11 has three primary initiatives planned for 2013-14, which align with three prongs of the Forum’s overall strategic planning:  Membership, Programs and Publications, and Fellowship.

  • On the Membership front, Division 11 will continue to recruit Forum members who are serving as in-house construction counsel, but we will also target non-Forum ABA members who are corporate counsel and have identified construction law as an area of concentration.
  • Division 11 will look for every opportunity to promote the corporate counsel business perspective at the planning stages of the Forum’s Programs and Publications.  If you are involved in planning a national meeting, a breakfast or lunch program, or are putting together a book or an article for Under Construction or The Construction Lawyer, or you are working on a project for one of the Standing Committees, keep the Corporate Counsel Division in mind. The client’s perspective is relevant to everything the Forum does.
  • Division 11 members very often do not have the same opportunities for professional networking that our colleagues in law firms enjoy.  We do, however, have the same needs for sharing information, advice, support and camaraderie that all construction lawyers have.  Social networks hold great potential for helping the in-house construction lawyer keep in touch with other lawyers.  Over the next year, Division 11 will be developing its private LinkedIn page as a place for Division 11 members to share questions, ideas, articles, cases and comments.

Division 11’s monthly conference call are held the fourth Thursday of the month at 4:00 p.m. (EST).  If you’re an in-house counsel member of the Forum, please join Division 11, meet your in-house colleagues and get more involved in the Forum.

Division 12—Owner and Lender

Chair: Cathy Lilford Altman, Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal, LLP, Dallas, Texas 

Mission: To educate and provide practical advice on the unique concerns of owners and lenders in all aspects of the construction process.

Projects and Opportunities to Get Involved: This year, our monthly calls include a hot topic within our theme “The Year of the Client.”  Our November conference call will include a presentation by Sue McSorley regarding construction issues in the pharmaceutical industry.  In other months we will cover construction issues relevant to owners and lenders in industries such as healthcare, energy, multifamily, and aviation.  If you would like to present on a client industry from the owner/lender’s perspective during one of our calls, please let Cathy Lilford know (caltman@ccsb.com).

Monthly Calls: Division 12 holds a conference call for all members on the second Wednesday every other month at 12:00 p.m. (EST).  Please use the following conference call-in number and passcode for the call:  Dial In: 866-646-6488 / Passcode: 6135774053.

Meeting Events: At the upcoming meeting in the Bahamas, Division 12 will be hosting a joint luncheon meeting with Division 11 (Corporate Counsel).  We also are planning a dinner for Thursday night and a social event for Friday.  To get information regarding our social events, please contact Kristen Sherwin (KSherwin@winstead.com).

Interested?  Please contact Cathy Lilford caltman@ccsb.com).


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