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June 20, 2023 Message from the Chair-Elect

Message from the Chair-Elect

John Marshall Cook

My year as Chair-Elect is coming to an end and it has been quite a journey.  The Forum is powered by the hard work of amazing lawyer/consultant volunteers and the incredible ABA Forum Staff.  It has been a privilege to have the opportunity to work more closely with these folks as I advanced my planning efforts.  Many thanks to all those who have been, and will be, instrumental in the planning, marketing and delivery of these programs.  We expect those efforts will pay off with a fantastic 2023-24 Bar Year!

Our Fall Meeting starts off the bar year on September 27-29, 2023 in my adopted hometown of Washington, DC.  What better place for our program, titled “Navigating Government Construction: Don’t Make a Federal Case Out of It”.  The program will explore the secrets of successfully navigating government construction contracting to avoid ending up in the courtroom. We have a star-studded panel of in-house counsel, government lawyers, and outside counsel to provide insights on government contractor obligations, the claim process, sustainable building priorities, terminations, dispute resolution with the government, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and much more.  The practicum at the Fall Meeting will focus on Bid Protests.  The meeting will also feature a dynamic talk by Bob Kendrick, President of the Negro League Baseball Museum and host of the entertaining podcast, Black Diamonds. 

The Regional program is being reimagined for 2023.  The two-day Foundations of Construction Law program combines the legal fundamentals with the technical knowledge to provide that “foundation” for anyone looking to build their construction practice.  We will host the program in Philadelphia, Atlanta, St. Louis and San Francisco on November 2-3. 2023.  In addition to great CLE, we hope the two-day program (and the associated social activities) gives our newer attendees a better feel for the fun we have at our national meetings.

For the Mid-Winter Meeting, we are headed back to Las Vegas for the first time since my now 16 year old son lost his first baby tooth in the Bellagio Casino at a Forum meeting (it has been a while).  We will be upping the voltage in Vegas with a program focused on issues related to power projects.  Whether you are currently involved in power projects, you want to be involved in the coming influx of power projects of all types, or you just want to learn what lies ahead for the way we power the world – this meeting is for you.  Come join us on January 25-26, 2024 in Las Vegas to hear some great programming, win some money at the craps table, see a great show, and eat at some of the finest restaurants in the country.

On April 10-13, 2024, the Forum will return to New Orleans for our Annual meeting.  There, you will hear in-house counsel and outside counsel share their tips on effective litigation practices for managing and presenting cases.  At the meeting, you will also hear from jury consultants, judges and arbitrators about what makes a presentation powerful and impactful.  After the meeting, you will hear the amazing sounds of French Quarter Fest – a free music festival on multiple stages throughout the French Quarter just blocks from our hotel.  As with any trip to New Orleans, there are plenty of surprises in store.

The cities for the three national meetings are organized in ascending order of sin.  From the lying and cheating of DC, to the things that happen in Vegas and stay there, to the visible debauchery of New Orleans - all three cities promise great food and a wonderful time with our Forum friends.  I know the meetings will have great faculty and quality programming.  I expect the meetings will be filled with lively events and good fun.  I hope the warm and welcoming atmosphere at these meetings convince more of you to become Forum regulars and join this Forum family I hold so dear.  

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John Marshall Cook

Fox Rothschild LLP, Washington DC