At the 2013 fall meeting in Washington D.C., the Forum held an exploratory meeting of participants to determine whether there was interest in forming a new Division devoted to Government Construction. Over 90 of the registrants packed themselves in to a room no one contemplated would be too small to hold the people who expressed interest, and many of them eagerly volunteered to work on the formal proposal that was submitted to the Governing Committee for consideration. At the Mid-Winter Meeting in Nassau, the proposal was unanimously approved and a new Division 13: Government Construction was born.
The Mission Statement for the Division 13 is “To provide a forum for the study and discussion of legal issues inherent in federal, state and local construction contracting.” An ambitious charter to be sure, but those who practice in this area believe that government construction lawyers needed a group devoted to their practice, as public construction law has grown vastly more complex over the last several years. Contemporary issues challenging government construction lawyers today include a multitude of legal issues that do not arise in commercial construction. For example a government construction lawyer must be versed in such topics as competitive negotiation and modern source selection processes, past performance ratings and appeals, socio-economic, race and gender based issues, false claims, P3 Projects, and numerous other topics unique to public construction contracting. It is hoped that our new Division can serve this group.
The Government Construction Division will be “up and running” at the Annual Meeting in New Orleans on April 10-12. We hope that those of you that practice in this area will attend the Division 13 lunch to meet with your colleagues and learn about the new division. The Forum will also have a sign up table for those members interested in participating in Division 13: Government Construction. See you in N’awlins!