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 15, 2014

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

VSB Offices

I. Call to Order - Present (Sean Howley, Chris Hill, Randy Wintory and Dolly Shaffner (VSB Liaison).  Present via telephone call (Shannon Briglia, Secretary, Jennifer Mahar, Treasurer, Brett Marston, Immediate Past Chair, Barrett Lucy, Scott Kowalski, Steve Test, Chris Boynton, Mark Crawford and Dan Fitch)

II. Approval of Minutes from November 7, 2013 – the meeting minutes were approved.

III. Membership/Financial Report, 2014-15 proposed budget  – Jennifer Mahar reported that we currently have on hand a balance of $5,360.  This balance reflects charges since the last meeting including the November Board Dinner at the C&O Restaurant, issuance of the Newsletter and the Handbook updates.  Jennifer is projecting that we are in good shape for the balance of the year.  We currently have 767 members of which 741 are dues paying.  With regard to the proposed budget for 2014-15, Jennifer recommends moving more money into website maintenance since we have experienced more expenses for website maintenance since we have added the search feature to the Handbook.  Since membership and dues are relatively static, this will necessitate reducing other budget line items.  Suggested targets are the Scholarship and Newsletter line items.

IV. Fall Seminar 2014 –  Shannon Briglia reported that Mike Branca has developed and circulated a proposed program with topics and suggested speakers and that he was hoping to ask Chris Boynton and Randy Wintory to take over as program co-chairs since he will be busy with Section Chair duties.  Chris and Randy tentatively agreed to chair the program and agreed to schedule a meeting to go over the proposed program outline.

V. Handbook Committee  – Scott Kowalski reported that the update last fall went well, with the hyperlinked Handbook “live” as of November.  There was an additional cost of $625 to make this happen and Scott is searching for ways to reduce costs for future updates.  The next update will occur in early summer.

VI. Newsletter Committee - Barrett Lucy reported that he and Jennifer Mahar are looking for article submissions for the next newsletter – which will be needed by April 1.  They are shooting for a May 1 publication date.  Barrett thanked Sean Howley for forwarding cases for inclusion in the newsletter.

VII. Annual Meeting Showcase CLE Program  – Sean Howley commended Chris Boynton  on the monumental efforts invested by Chris to move our program forward, which required interaction and shepherding of five other VSB sections.  Chris reported that our joint topic, focusing on the tension between state and local representatives on PPP projects, will be presented in conjunction with the Local Government, Administrative, Real Property and Environmental Law Sections.  The program will feature a great panel, including Cynthia Hudson, Incoming Deputy General of Virginia, Virginia Senator Tommy Norment, Charles Wall of Williams Mullen, and Patrick McSweeny, Esquire.

VIII. Social Media – Chris Hill reported that there is nothing new to report on Social Media.  Dolly Shaffner reported that the Family Law Section now has a Facebook page and one member of the Boar monitors membership of the page.  The page is not used much.  Dolly asked whether Board members would like to set up a Facebook page or a Twitter account.  Scott Kowalski noted that what members want, and might use, is a listserve, where they can ask for advice.  Sean offered to follow up with Dolly about conducting an informal survey to gauge interest in setting up a Facebook page, Twitter account or Instagram page.

IX. Publications Committee – Randy Wintory reported that the deadline for articles for the next issue of the Virginia Lawyer is October 10, 2014.  Randy will need four (4) - 2,000 word articles.  His committee, including himself, Steve Test and Hobie Andrews, met and agreed to have a unifying theme among the articles, possibly one of the following topics:  Job Order Contracting under VPPA or Copyright issues on construction plans.  They solicited other theme ideas from the Board, requesting input by April 1.

X. Five-Year Plan – Sean reported for committee chair Mike Branca that the proposed updated Five-Year Plan has been sent to the Bar for review.

XI. Website – There were no updates on the website other than the discussion noted above concerning controlling the cost of updating the online Handbook.  The Board and the VSB will look for ways to reduce the costs of website maintenance.

XII. Old Business – there was no old business to discuss.

XIII. New Business – 

A. Jennifer Mahar reported that the Maryland State Bar contacted her to ask whether the VSB was interested in co-sponsoring a DC/VA/MD meeting similar to the cocktail affair held in 2013.  A consultant sponsor(s) will be solicited to pay for drinks, our contribution would be for food.  In 2013 we paid $325 and hosted over 60 lawyers.  The members in attendance agreed to pursue this opportunity.

B. Randy Wintory raised an idea that might generate interest in our section – a law student writing competition that would result in the publication of the winning article in our newsletter.  Some sort of nominal cash prize ($250-500 was suggested) would be awarded and the competition would be limited to Virginia law schools.  General interest in the idea was expressed, and a comparison of the idea with the current ABA Forum on Construction writing competition was made.  An informal subcommittee of Randy Wintory, Jennifer Mahar and Shannon Briglia was developed with the idea of researching the idea and presenting a proposal for the next Board meeting.

C. Membership – Allison Mullins was unable to attend the meeting but contacted Sean Howley before the meeting to report that she is planning a regional membership meeting to be held this Spring, likely in Roanoke.  More details to follow.

XIV.  Adjournment at 1:03 p.m.

Future Meeting Dates:  Wednesday, April 16, 2014  -  teleconference

      Friday, June 13, 2014 – VSB Annual meeting