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.
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
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.
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.
The latest edition of the Construction Litigation newsletter is now available.
Message from the Chairs
Dear Construction Litigation Committee Members:
We are pleased to announce that we have been reappointed as cochairs of the Construction Litigation Committee for the 2015-2016 bar year. This past year the Committee was able to accomplish a number of goals, providing valuable benefits to the members, including the presentation of multiple programs at the Construction Super Conference, the presentation of two programs at the Section Annual Conference and one workshop and a breakfast program at the Spring Annual Meeting of the Forum on the Construction Industry, a presentation of our first Round Table, the planning (unfortunately the actual presentation date was pushed back) for our regional programs on Trying a Construction Case, and most importantly the final publication of the second edition of the Construction Litigation Model Jury Charges.
While we are still in the process of developing full schedules for our activities and member benefits for 2015-2016, we have already scheduled a number of events: the New York City presentation of “Trying a Construction Case” will occur on September 9, 2015 and the San Francisco presentation is presently scheduled for March 4, 2016; we are again approved and will be making up to five program presentations at the Construction Super Conference to be held in San Diego on December 7-9, 2015; we are co-sponsoring the Forum on Construction Law’s Mid-Winter meeting and actively participating in the presentation of a plenary session entitled “Our Project Manager (and Key Witness) Just Left for our Biggest Competitor!” to be presented on January 21, 2016 (please go to the forum’s website for further information on the mid-winter meeting and membership discount information regarding the Program); and we are in the process of developing program proposals for the next Section Annual Conference, in Chicago on April 13-15, 2016. In addition to these events and programs, we are working on developing additional Round Tables as well as Sound Advice columns. If you have any ideas for a Round Table or Sound Advice program or are interested in participating in one, please contact us.
We are pleased to announce some changes among the subcommittee chair positions. As previously announced, Ken Levin will be chairing the newly formed Trial Practice Subcommittee. If you are interested in joining that subcommittee and participating in its activities, (you can review a description of the subcommittee above), please contact Ken. Karoline Jackson (Kari), in the Indianapolis office of Barnes & Thornburg, LLP, has been appointed as a cochair of the Programs Subcommittee. Joyce Hackenbrach of Philadelphia has been appointed as the chair of the Green, Sustainability and Regulatory Subcommittee. We are still seeking subcommittee chairs and look forward to hearing from you if you have interest in the Green, Sustainability, and Regulatory, the Membership, Diversity and Outreach (replacing Ken Levin), or the Website-Social Media Subcommittees, or want to be cochair of the Publications/Website/Social Media Subcommittee. Please contact either of us to express your interest in fulfilling one of these open subcommittee chair positions.
As always, we welcome your participation through articles for the newsletter or website, as well as your expressions of interest in speaking possibilities, active subcommittee involvement, and the development Round Tables and Sound Advice. Our goal is to provide our members with both the highest quality benefits, programs and publications as well as the opportunity to participate in programs, publications and other committee activities.
We look forward to working with you over the course of the bar year and welcome any comments or suggestions.
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: