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American Bar Association

Construction Litigation

Construction Litigation Committee


The Construction Litigation Committee strives to bring together litigators who primarily practice construction law. The committee sponsors programs on various topics at the Annual Meetings of the American Bar Association, the Section of Litigation, and the ABA Forum on the Construction Industry. One of the Section of Litigation’s strongest committees, our membership brings together more than 2,100 construction litigators from diverse backgrounds, levels of experience, practices, and geographical areas. The committee offers its members varied opportunities to participate in committee activities ranging from opportunities to simply attend and network at its programs to the ability to substantively participate by publishing articles for the committee newsletter, contributing web content such as News and Development and Sound Advice, speaking opportunities, and leadership roles as active subcommittee members and chairs. It is our goal to provide our members with valuable content, benefits, and mentoring that will support all aspects of professional growth and development at every stage of their careers.


Join this Committee


Regional Program Announcement: Trying a Construction Case

Please stay tuned for further information about the committee’s regional one day program on trial practice, entitled Yes, You Can Try a Construction Case: Planning and Handling a Construction Trial From Voir Dire to Closing Argument. Due to logistical problems, we will not be holding the regional program in June in New York. The New York program will be held on September 9. The west coast program will be held in San Francisco on October 13. Please mark your calendar and stay tuned for more specific information on each of these programs.


Formation of a New Trial Practice Subcommittee

The Construction Litigation Committee announces the formation of a Trial Practice Subcommittee. Chaired by Ken Levin of Pepper Hamilton in Philadelphia, this subcommittee will focus on developing articles, programs, Sound Advice recordings, and on litigation and trial practice involving construction practice issues. We anticipate that Ken and his subcommittee will address specific trial topics and techniques common in construction litigation including delay disputes, termination disputes, payment issues, and defects. They will work on developing further regional programs and roundtables focusing on best practices in handling these topics in court or ADR proceedings, as well as presenting trial technique articles for the website and newsletter for all construction attorneys from the novice to the 30-year practitioner. This is another opportunity for committee members to spread the word of their practice and expertise among our over 2,200 members and others. Please reach out to Ken to volunteer and offer your experience and thoughts as a member of this new subcommittee.


Construction Super Conference

The committee is in the process of obtaining approval on programs to be held at the Construction Super Conference in December 2015, in San Diego. We will be sending out specific information and registration materials in the near future.

Model Jury Instructions for Construction Litigation

Model Jury Instructions

We are pleased to announce that the second edition of Model Jury Instructions for Construction Litigation is prepared to hit the “bookstores” any day, now! Updating the original book published in 2001, this edition supplies modifications to charges where the law has changed, and provides additional caselaw support where courts have issued new opinions and states that have now taken an opinon. As with the original edition, the instructions in this book have been prepared to allow construction litigators to present proposed instructions to the judiciary that either track verbatim these model instructions or are based upon the instructions.

These models accurately and impartially present the elements and critical definitions of construction law in language that is understandable and familiar to the average juror. The instructions allow for easy adaptation to particular cases or points. The instructions cover: contract formation, contractor’s obligations prior to bidding, bidding, implied terms of contract, changes and extra work, breach of contract, other types of claims, architect and professional liability, defenses, and damages general securities law, strict liability, negligence, fraud, accountants’ particular liability.

Get Involved

Involvement in our committee is a great way to keep your practice up-to-date and get more involved in the Section of Litigation. In addition to seeking contributions to our newsletter and website, we are looking for help with our subcommittees. If you think you might be interested in contributing an article, news & development, or case note; joining a subcommittee; or getting involved in leadership, please let us know.

Construction Litigation: Winter 2015 Newsletter

The latest edition of the Construction Litigation newsletter is now available.

Message from the Chairs

Dear Construction Litigation Committee Members:

We are closing in on the conclusion of the 2015 bar year. It has been an extremely productive year for the Committee. We presented six programs at the December 2014 Construction Super Conference, two programs at the Section Annual Conference, participated in a workshop and presented a breakfast program at the Forum on the Construction Industry’s Annual Spring Conference. The second edition of the Construction Litigation Model Jury Instructions will be in print very shortly and represents considerable efforts by the numerous authors and Melissa Beutler, the primary editor.

We had hoped to hold a regional program on trying a construction case to a jury in New York City during June. Due to certain logistical issues, we have had to push the New York program back to September 9. We will be holding the same program on the west coast in San Francisco on October 13. Please save the dates.

As we approach the end of the 2015 year and commencement of the 2016 bar year, we are still looking for assistance in articles for the newsletter and website. We welcome any program suggestions for the Section Annual Conference in 2016. The SAC program proposals must be submitted during August, so if you have any suggestions or wish to offer your assistance, please contact David Kurtz or James Landgraf as soon as possible.

We are putting together the program proposals to participate in the Construction Super Conference for the third straight year. This year it will be in San Diego in December 2015.

Finally, if you are interested in volunteering for a subcommittee chair position, we will be reviewing the subcommittee structure in the next two months and will be very interested in reviewing interest by committee members in moving into a subcommittee leadership role. Again, if you have an interest, please contact David Kurtz or James Landgraf.

We thank all of the committee members for your continued interest and participation in the committee activities over the year. The Construction Litigation Committee remains one of the largest substantive committees within the Section of Litigation and strives to continue to provide our members with educational information and opportunities, opportunities to provide newsletter or website articles, speaking opportunities and general networking opportunities. We can only achieve this if you continue to stay involved and to provide us with the ability to get your individual messages, experiences and expertise out to our membership.

David Kurtz and Jim Landgraf

Cochairs, Construction Litigation Committee



Minutes from Committee Meetings



Our active subcommittees include:

  • Courts, In-house Counsel, and Liaison to ABA Forum and ABA Sections
  • Damages, Defects, Scheduling and Experts
  • Green, Sustainability, Regulatory
  • Insurance and Surety Claims


  • Mediation, Arbitration, Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Membership, Diversity and Outreach
  • Professional Education and Ethics
  • Publications, Website, Social Media

Find contact information for committee and subcommittee chairs:



Construction Litigation Leadership

Cochairs Web Editor Newsletter Editors

James Landgraf

Cherry Hill, NJ

M. David Kurtz

New Orleans, LA

Patrick J. Greene, Jr.

River Edge, NJ

Christopher McCabe

Philadelphia, PA


Bob Cox

Tysons Corner, VA

Eric Sparks

Chicago, IL