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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 "Trying a Construction Case"

Please stay tuned for further information about the committee’s regional one day program on “trying a construction case.” The current plans are to present this in June 2015 in New York City, and in October on the West Coast.  Specific time/date and location for the New York program will be published shortly.


Forum on the Construction Industry Breakfast

Come discuss the revised construction litigation model jury instructions. Co-sponsorsed with the ABA's Forum on the Construction Industry at their annual meeting, Saturday, April 18, 2015, at the Boca Raton Resort and Club, Boca Raton, Florida.


SAC Construction Programs

The Construction Litigation Committee is sponsoring two programs during the Section Annual Conference in New Orleans, April 16-18, 2015:

A Litigator's Guide to Arbitration: Best Practices to Maximize the Benefits of Your Next Arbitration

Multilateral Self-Defense in Parallel Proceedings:  Practical Steps to Take When the Government Comes Knocking on the Front Door, the Back Door, the Side Door, and the Windows

ABA Forum on the Construction Industry 2014 Writing Competition

Articles may now be submitted for the 2014 Forum Student Writing Competition. The Competition is open to all law students in good standing and attending an ABA accredited law school during calendar year 2014. The winning author receives a cash prize of $2,000, travel expenses, and registration for the next Forum annual meeting (where the winner will receive their first prize plaque), a one-year membership in the Forum, recognition in both the Forum newsletter, Under Construction, and on the Forum’s website, as well as the opportunity to be published in one of the Forum’s two publications, Under Construction or The Construction Lawyer. In addition to the first place winner, one or more authors may be judged a finalist and recognized with a plaque and in Forum publications.

Students may submit articles on any topic related to construction law. The format of the articles should resemble the articles published in either of the Forum’s two publications, The Construction Lawyer (law journal format with guidelines in the link below) and Under Construction (newsletter format with articles of 1000–2000 words).

Senior ABA Forum members will judge the submissions. Criteria for selection include creativity, clarity and precision of writing, strength of argument, novelty and timeliness of subject, and quality of research.

The deadline for submission of articles for the 2014 competition is January 15, 2015.

See rules and other information.

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:

As we approach the halfway point of the 2014-2015 bar year, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have been integral to the activities in which we have been involved and to seek your further assistance as we move on to the planned activities for the second half of the bar year.

For the second year in a row, the Construction Litigation Committee will present programs at the Section Annual Conference, which will be held on April 16-18, 2015, in New Orleans. Tom Dunn is the chair for the program entitled “A Litigator's Guide to Arbitration: Best Practices to Maximize the Benefits of Your Next Arbitration,” and Mike Gordon is managing a second program, “Multilateral Self-Defense in Parallel Proceedings: Practical Steps to Take When the Government Comes Knocking on the Front Door, the Back Door, the Side Door, and the Windows.” We thank both of them for their tremendous efforts in preparing the program proposals which were accepted for the Annual Conference.

Melissa Beutler and her troop of authors have finished their work on the second edition of the Model Jury Instructions for Construction Litigation, and it has been presented for final editing by the Section. We anticipate that this will be available in print in spring 2015. Eric Sparks and Bob Cox, as co-editors of the newsletter, provided an excellent newsletter at the end of September and are in the process of completing the compilation of articles and editing for the Winter newsletter.

Further, we offer our tremendous thanks to Karen Layng and Jeanne Barnum and all of the presenters who contributed to the valuable and excellently presented programs at the Construction SuperConference in Las Vegas, on December 1-3.

We have just completed our first Roundtable Conference call. We had more than 120 registrants for the call, which was an exceptional turnout! We thank Reza Nikain of Navigant Consulting for his participation and his excellent discussion of what is necessary to obtain an admissible expert opinion from the standpoint of the expert.

As we enter 2015, in addition to the programs that will be presented at the Section Annual Conference, we have been invited to participate at a breakfast program at the spring annual meeting of the Forum on the Construction Industry to be held in Boca Raton, Forida, on April 18, 2015.

We are in the process of preparing a set of regional one-day programs on the “Trial of a Construction Case.” The present plan is to hold these concurrently on the East and West coasts. Michael Gordon will be the program chair for the East Coast program, and Georlen Spangler will be the program chair for the West Coast program. We are in the process of selecting speakers. If you are interested in being a speaker or providing other assistance for either the East or West Coast programs (or both), please directly contact Mike (mgordon@manatt.com) or Georlen (gspangler@wwhgd.com).

We are also looking for membership assistance in providing web articles and News & Developments. We have made tremendous strides in updating our website but can only continue to maintain it as a valuable resource for our membership if we obtain your input. Please contact either of us or Patrick Greene (pgreene@pecklaw.com) with any articles or other materials that you would like us to consider placing on the Web. If you have any questions regarding the nature and type of materials and any requirements regarding the materials, please contact any one of the three of us.

Another edition of the newsletter will be published in the spring. We are looking at this time to have a theme focusing on green and sustainable construction litigation issues. If you have any interest in providing articles for publication in the newsletter, please contact either of us or Eric Sparks (esparks@gouldratner.com).

We look forward to seeing you at the Section Annual Conference. We will advise you of any social activities that are prepared for that conference. As we will also be participating at the Forum spring meeting, we will also keep you advised of any additional activities for that conference.

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