Virginia State Bar

An agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia

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Construction Law & Public Contracts

A Section of the Virginia State Bar.

Meeting Minutes - January 12, 2012

Minutes of the Virginia State Bar
Construction Law & Public Contracts Section
Board of Governors
(Via Telephone)

I. Call to Order – 2:00 PM.  Present on call: Kristan Burch (Chair), Brett Marston (Vice Chair), Sean Howley (Secretary), Hanna Blake, Jennifer Mahar, Chris Hill, Scott Kowalski, Hobie Andrews, Shannon Briglia, J. Barrett Lucy, and Webb Moore, Derrick Rosser, Greg St. Ours, Blair Lonergan and Hon. Robert Ballou.  Absent:  Todd Metz (Immediate Past Chair), Mike Branca (Treasurer), Christopher Boynton, Richard McGrath, Fred Kozak, Hon. Robert M.D. Turk, Hon. J. Overton Harris and Steve Test.

II. Approval of Minutes from November 3, 2011 meeting.  Minutes were unanimously approved with a few minor corrections which were incorporated into the final version of the minutes and forwarded for publication on-line.

III. Follow-up from Fall CLE 2011

A. Comments received on questions about expanding the CLE to Thursday.  The responses received for changing the structure and/or timing of the Fall CLE to include a Thursday night segment were not positive.  While there was a more positive response to a Thursday program that was coupled with some form of meal and/or open bar event, the general consensus was to not change the formula for the time being.  This issue will be looked at in the future to see if there may be some benefit to a “New Member” mixer or event on Thursday evening.

B. Comments received on Speakers and Topics at 2011 CLE.  Overall the comments received about speakers and topics were positive.  Many of the comments related to the ability to hear questions from the audience and how the presentations were made.  The more dynamic presentations were better received and the Committee was asked to try and remind future speakers of this.  We also discussed the need for more panel discussions. 

Some comments requested a more advanced set of topics for presentation.  The board will consider if it is possible to do more of a blend of easy and more advanced topics given that many who attend the program are new or young members.  One option was to highlight specific sessions on the program as being for beginner or advanced professionals.  Further, the Board discussed the possibility of a vetting process for the materials submitted by speakers that has not been done in the past.  Blair Lonergan from Va CLE indicated that would be a positive step from both a logistics and quality standpoint.  The Fall Seminar Committee will try and implement this approach for next year, reviewing submissions before they are submitted for inclusion in the written materials. 

All agreed that putting the “New Developments” section by Tom Wolf at the end of the seminar was positive and had added benefit of maintaining high attendance for the full seminar duration.  The possibility of breakout rooms was also discussed and will be considered by the committee for next year’s seminar.  The Boar’s Head may be able to accommodate up to 70 – 75 people as a maximum breakout so consideration must be made for attendance in breakout sessions.  Finally, the Board agreed that consideration should be given to bring back the “Sticks and Bricks” presentation during the lunch hour versus the more technical presentations that were presented this year.

Blair Lonergan explained the options for delivery of CLE materials to attendees so that the Board would be clear on the options when attendees ask questions in the future.  Attendees receive a discount if they do not want a printed copy of the materials.  If they want a printed copy of the materials, then they pay the same price which they paid before there was the option of not receiving a printed copy of the materials.

IV. Email from Blair Lonergan on another Construction CLE.  Blair updated the group that VA CLE is looking to sponsor another telephone seminar and/or webinar on a construction topic to follow up on the successful telephone seminar from last May with Brett Marston and Shannon Briglia.  Shannon has agreed to participate again, and additional volunteers are sought.  The thought was to do the seminar in the May timeframe again.  A suggested topic for the seminar was Insurance.  Shannon will coordinate with Blair for the final timing and topics.

V. Summer Program – Todd Metz/Chris Boynton.  The Board was informed that approaching deadline for Program submission will be met, and all is on track for a program related to Minority Contracting that will be cosponsored with the Local Government Section of the VSB.  In addition, Christopher Boynton will be coordinating a Board Member dinner on the Thursday evening before the seminar.  Details TBA.

VI. Membership – Spring Networking Event – Sean Howley.  The Board was informed that the Program is currently on track for April 17, 2012 (the next date for the Board to meet in person in Richmond) and the selection of a speaker is nearing completion.  A series of e-mails will be sent to board members, section members, and general members of the VSB.  Credit for one hour of ethics CLE will be submitted.  The topic will be Mediation Ethics and the general purpose of the event is to try and encourage non-members of the section to join a section member at a breakfast meet and greet where one hour of ethics CLE credit will be offered.  Program details continue to be worked out including the exact location of the event, but it is currently anticipate the event will take place at Board Member Webb Moore’s firm in Richmond.

VII. Joint Event with Maryland Bar Association – Jennifer Mahar.  The Maryland Construction Section meets every two months for a Happy Hour/Networking event.  They have invited the Virginia Construction Section to a joint networking event.  The proposed date is April 19, 2012 in Bethesda, MD.  The Sponsor of the event will be Nautilus Consulting who will contribute $750 towards the event.  Each Bar section will contribute $250 to the event.  The Board agreed to make the contribution and to authorize final arrangements for the event in April.  Board members, in particular the members from the Northern Virginia Area, were asked to make sure they attend this joint event.

VIII. Additional Judges to Join the Board – Brett Marston/Barrett Lucy.  Judge Robert Ballou of Roanoke has agreed to join the Board and participated in the Call.  The Board is considering other judges to approach for membership.  Any suggestions should be forwarded to Kristan Burch.

IX. Old Business.  The Newsletter Committee solicited any cases that may be of interest and the Handbook Committee updated the transition process form the old committee members to the new committee members.  Full reports on each of these committees will be provided at the April 2012 meeting of the Board of Governors.

X. The meeting was adjourned at 2:59 PM.