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August 03, 2020 Message from the Chair-Elect

Oh, the Places We’ll Go!

Arlan D. Lewis

Since this article was written, the Forum announced that the 2020 Fall Meeting has been postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions

COVID-19 has had an unprecedented global impact on individuals, governments, economies, companies, law firms, the construction industry, and the Forum. We’ve had to cancel events, reschedule routines, and reconfigure our lives. Considering that most of us haven’t “gone” anywhere in the past several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps a nod to Dr. Seuss provides a ray of hope as we look forward to exercising our freedom to “go” and to “gather” again soon.

A Wild Ride

While the pandemic has certainly brought its share of challenges, it has also presented opportunities for us to innovate. We’ve all become more familiar with “virtual” interactions, working “remotely” and generally figuring out different ways to do what needs to be done. Consistent with our mission of “building the best construction lawyers,” the Forum acted quickly to develop the “Leadership Roundtable on Impacts of COVID-19”- a free non-CLE multi-part webinar series allowing industry leaders and attendees to exchange information, learn from one another, and to identify options for response and risk management. The series began April 7, 2020, continued through June 2020 and attracted several hundred attendees at each session. The Leadership Roundtable is an excellent example of how, with strategic partners, the Forum serves as a valuable resource to the construction industry. I encourage you to explore the additional content in the electronic version of this Under Construction edition, addressing construction issues related to the pandemic.

Where are We Going?

While we continue to monitor and make necessary adjustments related to the pandemic, we are looking forward to an exciting year of programs. Our focus this Bar year is on increasing the value of Forum participation and meeting attendance to in-house counsel.  Our programs have been developed to address issues of particular importance to in-house counsel while allowing outside counsel to view these issues from the client perspective.  

For the first time, the Forum will meet in Memphis, TN, at the iconic Peabody Hotel for our Fall Meeting, October 21-23, 2020, where we will address the nuts, bolts, and nuances of The Art of Negotiation. Our Midwinter Meeting will be held January 20-22, 2021, in San Diego, CA. It will enhance the lawyer’s understanding of the business of construction from the executive’s perspective to help us provide more valuable advice to our clients.  Our Regional Program, Fundamentals of Construction Law, will be held on February 26, 2021, in Boston, MA, Nashville, TN, Denver, CO and Los Angeles, CA.  The Fundamentals program is always popular among those who are relatively “new” to construction law, or who deal with construction issues occasionally. Finally, we’ll finish the Bar year with our Annual Meeting in New York City, NY, on April 21-24, 2021, for the Forum’s first-ever In-House Counsel Summit aimed squarely at providing practical tools for in-house lawyers to use in addressing key construction issues.  

Please mark your calendars and join us for these valuable programs.  We look forward to the next opportunity to gather in-person with our Forum friends!

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Arlan D. Lewis

Blueprint Construction Counsel, LLP, Birmingham, AL