Virginia State Bar

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Construction Law & Public Contracts

A Section of the Virginia State Bar.

Meeting Minutes - September 19, 2012

Minutes of the Virginia State Bar
Construction Law & Public Contracts Section
Board of Governors

I. Call to Order – 12:30 PM.  Present in person or on call: Kristan Burch (Immediate Past Chair), Brett Marston (Chair), Sean Howley (Vice Chair), Mike Branca (Secretary), Chris Hill, Scott Kowalski, , Hanna Blake, Christopher Boynton, Steve Test, Hobie Andrews, Mark Crawford, Spencer Wiegard, Dan Fitch, Dolly Shaffner.   Absent:  Shannon Briglia (Treasurer), J. Barrett Lucy, Jennifer Mahar, Hon. Robert M.D. Turk, Hon. J. Overton Harris and Hon. Robert Ballou.

II. Welcome to New Members – On behalf of the Board, Brett welcomed all of the new members (Mark Crawford, Dan Fitch, Spencer Wiegard, Randy Wintory, Judges Robert Ballou and Overton Harris)

III. Approval of Minutes from June 15, 2012 meeting.  Minutes were unanimously approved.

IV. Chair’s Report – Brett Marston indicated that he would be holding regular executive meetings in between the quarterly board meetings, the purpose of which meetings is to plan for the quarterly meetings.

One of the Chair’s main goals is to achieve larger membership involvement in the committees – the Chair tasked the Board with finding ways to get new and younger attorneys involved

Brett Marston reminded the Board that the Section was in the fourth year of the Five Year plan. Brett asked Mike Branca to take the lead on taking the current Five Year Plan and developing a new Five Year plan

Future Board meetings were identified: November 1, 2012 at the C&O Restaurant, April 17, 2013 (Richmond, call), and June 14, 2013 at Virginia Beach

V. Membership / Financial Report – Dolly Shaffner presented the report on behalf of Shannon Briglia.  Dolly Shaffner reported that the Section has a remaining budget of $11,092, and 755 members

VI. Fall Seminar 2012 - report by Brett Marston:

  • Flyers for the seminar have been sent out
  • Twenty-six rooms are left in the block reserved for the seminar
  •  Program sessions and speakers are set and it promises to be interesting and timely program. The speakers for lunch (sticks and bricks) were going to discuss the Silver Line (the new metro-rail from Tysons Corner to Dulles Airport); however, neither of the speakers remain involved with the project.   Accordingly, there is a need to fill the lunch program, and a general discussion ensued on ideas for the session.
  • The Speaker’s Dinner will be Friday night, November 2, 2012 at the Boars Head.
  • The next Board Meeting will be November 1, 2012 at the C&O Restaurant, from 6:00 – 7:00 pm. Dinner will follow.


VII. Committee reports

a. Handbook Committee (Scott Kowalski) – Scott Kowalski has received the last of the summaries. Mr. Kowalski reported that his intention is to make the Handbook searchable and he has been speaking with vendors who may assist in the process. One question is whether to convert the Handbook to HTML or leave it in pdf. Assisting Mr. Kowalski with the Handbook are Hannah Blake and Dan Fitch.

b. Newsletter Committee – A report was presented in the absence of Jennifer Mahar and Barrett Lucy. The Fall Newsletter has been prepared and will be ready to go by end of September. A continuing request was made for  any additional cases and material / articles for future editions of the Newsletter. Consistent with the recent change in the format, the abbreviated Newsletter was sent by hardcopy and balance will be linked on the Section’s website.

c. Summer Program Committee (Chris Boynton) – Chris Boynton started by reminding the Board that this past summer the Section partnered with the Local Government Section and presented on minority business issues. Mr. Boynton asked whether the Section should partner again with the Local Government Section or the Bankruptcy Section. Mr. Boynton indicated that the Local Government Section would like to partner again, perhaps on a long basis. Mr. Boynton solicited potential topics. The Board agreed to go forward with the Local Government Section. Mr. Boynton further reported that a dinner for the Board will be arranged again for the Thursday before the Friday program.

d. Membership Committee (Sean Howley) – Sean Howley reported that the goal is to reach out to other members of the Bar and to entice them to join the Section. Mr. Howley reported that, in the Spring 2012, Judge Viergg put on an ethics CLE regarding mediation, which produced a very good turnout, but only got two new members. Mr. Howley is considering a repeat of the seminar in March 2013 in Northern Virginia. The intent would be to follow up with non-Member attendees and offer a free one year membership. Mr. Howley reported that, out of the twenty Sections, the Construction Section ranks 10th in terms of membership (the largest section has over 3,000 members, and the smallest has 200). The Committee also includes Mark Crawford. Messrs. Howley and Crawford will brainstorm ideas to increase membership.

e. Publications Committee (Randy Wintory) – Randy Wintory reported that the Committee includes Hobie Andrews and Steve Test. The Section will publish articles in the February 2013 edition of the Virginia Lawyer. The deadline for articles is December 2012. Four articles will be published. Messrs. Wintory, Andrews, and Test will each provide an article. Ideally, the fourth article would be provided by a judge. Brett Marston suggested Judge Klein.

f. Five Year Plan Committee – The committee includes Mike Branca, Shannon Briglia, and Mark Crawford. The current Plan is in its fourth year, and the committee is tasked with updating the Plan. Mike Branca will circulate the current Plan to the committee and the Board.

g. Website (Kristan Burch) – Kristan Burch reported that she will post the approved minutes. Ms. Burch is also considering updating the password.

h. Old Business – Richard Smith will organize a golf outing on Thursday, November 1, 2012. The current budget includes ten scholarships at $100 each for $1,000. The Board will consider increasing the budget to $2,000 (10 scholarships at $200).

The Meeting adjourned at 1:15 pm.