Keeping Up with the Divisions

Vol. 15 No. 2

Forum Divisions 3, 5, 10, 12, and YLD report on their activities. Here’s a chance to read about several Divisions and what to do if you’re interested in joining. 

DIVISION 3 - Design

Mission:  To provide practical knowledge concerning the problems and needs, risks and rewards, and duties and liabilities of each of the parties involved in the design process, with particular emphasis on design delivery and implementation, construction project development, and project economics and financing in both the public and private sectors.

Chair:  Buck S. Beltzer, Holland & Hart, Denver, Colorado


Hot Topic Calls

§  February 5, 2014:  Marion Hack and Glenn Turner discusses City of Victorville v. Carter & Burgess, which held that design professionals have a fiduciary duty to their clients.

§  May 7, 2014:  Topic to be determined.

Writing Projects

§  Matt Ninneman, Theresa Ringle, and Steve Scharr prepared a chapter on design for the Subcontracting book.  Expected publication in 2014.

§  Ben Cornelius and Michael Kamprath prepared an article on the topic of “Good Samaritan” laws in design/construction.

§  Mark Mercante and Doug Jeremiah are co-chairing a subcommittee to create a 50-state survey of licensing requirements for design professionals.   

Meeting Events:  

Breakfast/Lunch Programs

§  Joint breakfast meeting with Division 2 (Washington, D.C.):  Assignments of Design or Construction Contracts presented by Bruce Merwin and Matt Ninneman.

§  Mid-Winter 2014 Meeting (Atlantis, Bahamas):  Lunch event with Division 2, including a presentation on behind the scenes of the Atlantis Resort.

§  Dinner event with Divisions 2 and 9 (Atlantis, Bahamas):  Barbecue on the Beach

Outreach Events

§  Tour of Octagon Building (Washington D.C.):  Tour followed by a presentation of the new AIA BIM documents and networking cocktail reception

§  Meeting with EJCDC Representatives (Washington, D.C.):  Interested members of Division 3 met with EJCDC representatives to review and provide commentary on the EJCDC draft model concessionaire agreement for PPPs. 

Upcoming Meeting Events

§  Spring 2014 Meeting (New Orleans):  Division 3 plans to participate in the Ace Mentor program module with local high school students as the Division’s lunch program.

Opportunities to Get Involved:  Division 3 has monthly meeting calls that generally occur on the first Tuesday of each month at 2:00 p.m. (EST).  In addition, Division 3 routinely offers “hot topic calls” on which emerging trends, new cases, and significant happenings in the construction industry are discussed.  The Division also facilitates writing and speaking opportunities for its members.  Division 3 members are often solicited by other trade groups to contribute to the review or editing of standard form contracts and trade documents.  Anyone interested in joining Division 3 can contact Buck Beltzer at

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


Presentation Series:  “You Would Not Believe What Just Happened:  ________________.  Now What Do We Do?

Construction Company Survey:  “What Keeps You Up At Night? and What Steps Are You Taking to Get Some Sleep?”

Meeting Events:  

Looking Forward

On March 17, 2014, Mike Koger of the American Institute of Architects will present “You Wouldn’t Believe What Happened:  Our Only Person who Knows Construction Just Left and We Need Someone to Manage our New Campus Construction.  Now What Do We Do?”

In New Orleans, on Friday morning, April 11, 2014, Division 5 will join up with Division 3 (Design) for a presentation by New Orleans high school ACE Mentor students negotiating a contract pursuant to the Construction Forum’s Construction Contract Negotiation Module.

Also in New Orleans, on Thursday evening, April 10, 2014, Division 5 will have its famous Dutch Treat dinner at a location TBD, organized by Charlie Rogers of Smith Currie.

Recent Activities

In the Bahamas, Division 5 joined up with the Forum Young Lawyers Division for an interactive lunch session on contract negotiation using the ACE Mentor Construction Contract Negotiation Module prepared by the Construction Forum.  Division 5 also had its traditional Dutch Treat dinner at Mesa in the Atlantis Hotel & Spa.

On February 18, 2014, Jonathan Dunn of Sedgwick LLP presented:  “You Would Not Believe What Happened:  We Just Dug Up An Indian Burial Site/A Barrel Of Toxic Waste/Jimmy Hoffa!! – Now What Do We Do?  Differing Site Conditions.

On December 16, 2013, David Kirschbaum and Wayne DeFlaminis of Baker Tilly presented:  “You Wouldn’t Believe What Happened: The Project Manager Just Showed up in a Lamborghini!  What Do We Do Now?  Options for when you suspect fraud on the job site.

On August 18, 2013, Amy Iannone of DPR Construction presented:  “You Wouldn’t Believe What Happened:  My Construction Company Just Bought Another Construction Company.  Now What Do We Do?

Opportunities to Get Involved:  Division 5 has monthly telephone conferences on the third Monday of most every month at 6:00 p.m. (EST) to discuss upcoming events, the status of projects, the Forum goings on, and to listen to our “You Would Not Believe What Just Happened:  ________________.  Now What Do We Do?”  Presentation Series.

Interested?   Please contact Marilyn Klinger (

DIVISION 10 – Legislation and Environmental

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

Report from Division 10 — Legislation and Environmental —  for Winter 2014

Projects: We continue to advance to publication this year's edition of the annual 50 State Construction Law Update and the latest edition of Division 10's newsletter, “2X4X10,” which is just about to be released.  Division 10 also continues its support of the Forum's publication of “Green Building and the Construction Lawyer: A Practical Guide to Transactional and Litigation Issues.”  We encourage you to visit our newly updated Webpage,, view the new content available, and download a copy of the Division 10 “Deliverables Calendar” for this bar year.  This will help you keep in touch with the latest objectives/goals for Division 10.

Meeting Events: The Mid-Winter Meeting at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas was a very positive one for the Forum as well as Division 10.  In addition to our former Chair, Keith Bergeron, serving as a Program Co-Chair, we had many Division 10 members on key panel sessions throughout the Program.  We also had a very successful luncheon presentation, “Pipe Lines, Pipe Liens and ... Pipe Dreams:  Facing the Challenge of Securing Payment of Natural Gas, Oil and Alternative Energy Projects,” co-sponsored with Division 7 (Bonds, Liens and Insurance).  A big thank you to Division 10's Rhonda Caviedes and Division 7 (Dan King, Troy Miller and Pat Poff) for helping put this luncheon session together.  Another equally big thank you to Sam Laurin, of Bose, McKinney and Evans, for developing the content for and presenting at this well-attended program.

Right after the Mid-Winter Meeting, Division 10 held an Outreach Cookout Event on the West Beach of the Atlantis Resort.  With the assistance of Asha Escheverria and Bridget Miller, this event turned out great and was an enjoyable way to close out the Mid-Winter Meeting with some collegiality and style.  Keith Bergeron promises an equally unique and stylish dining experience in his hometown of New Orleans in April 2014, so register for the Annual Meeting now.

Please make sure to also join us for our next Full Committee Call to be held on Thursday, February 27, 2014, at 5:30 p.m. (EST) where we will discuss future events in more detail.  This is a revised date for the call, so please make a note of it.  More details will be posted to the Webpage in the next week and circulated via the ListServe.

Opportunities to Get Involved:  A great number of opportunities to participate, research, write and present are currently available.  We still need authors for our quarterly newsletter, 2X4X10 (repurposed articles welcome, too).  Please reach out to Erin Fallon at if you can assist us.  Additionally, as noted above, Division 10 publishes the 50 State 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 (contact Angela Stephens at for additional information).

We also still need two volunteers to run Division 10's new “Social Committee,” and plan future for Forum meetings, including dinners and other social get-togethers.  We have advanced key outreach and collaborative initiatives with a number of significant organizations having strong topical synergies with Division 10, including The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and the ABA Section of Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Law (PUCTL).  Your input and assistance would be most helpful in making these bonds with the AGC and PUTCL grow deeper and stronger.

The above are just a few examples of options for getting involved with Division 10.  We welcome and need your assistance and energy now more than ever!

Questions? Interested?  Please contact Ed Gentilcore (

DIVISION 12 – Owners & Lenders

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:  Division 12 regularly publishes valuable checklists for owner/lender counsel.  Check out our website at for a sample of our publications.

Meeting Events:   Join us in New Orleans for a joint lunch program with Division 10.

Opportunities to Get Involved:  Please join us for our monthly conference calls on the second Wednesday every month at 12:00 p.m. (EST) and we will get you plugged in.  Dial In: 866-646-6488 / Passcode: 6135774053.

Interested?  Please contact Cathy Lilford Altman at

YLD:  Forum Young Lawyers Division

Mission: Building the best young construction lawyers through fun, fellowship, and opportunities for leadership and professional development. 

Great Fun, Great Lawyers, Great Opportunities.

Chair:  Angela R. Stephens, Stites & Harbison, PLLC, Louisville, Kentucky

Projects:  Community Service Event (New Orleans):  Friday April 25, 2014, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Meeting Events:   Division Dinner (New Orleans):  Wednesday, April 23, 2014.  The Forum Young Lawyers Division (“YLD”) hosts a dinner and either a lunch or breakfast meeting at each national Forum meeting.  We again will host a YLD dinner on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, at the 2014 Annual meeting in New Orleans.  Contact Erik Raines at for details and to rsvp. 

Opportunities to Get Involved:  The YLD seeks law students, young lawyers, and lawyers beginning the practice of construction law (lawyers either younger than 36 or practicing less than five years in construction law) to join the Forum Young Lawyers Division.  If you fit either of these descriptions and are not yet a YLD member, please join us for free by visiting: and entering your ABA contact information.  The YLD needs you as we create new and fun opportunities for lawyers to become involved in the ABA Construction Forum.  The YLD has opportunities for speaking and writing, and is a great way to meet future Forum leaders.  Check out our webpage for opportunities:

Start getting involved by joining our conference call on the first Friday of the month at 11a.m. (EST).  Call 866-646-6488 (Access Code: 426-558-1843). And follow us on Twitter: @ABAConstructYLD.


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