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.

Minutes - September 14, 2011

September 14, 2011
Richmond, Virginia

Present at meeting (in person or by phone): Kristan Burch (Chair), Brett Marston (Vice Chair), Sean Howley (Secretary), Todd Metz (Immediate Past Chair), Jennifer Mahar, Hobie Andrews, Hanna Blake, Christopher Boynton, Chris Hill, Scott Kowalski, Fred Kozak, Richard McGrath, Webb Moore, Steve Test, Barrett Lucy, Dolly Shaffner (VSB), and Blair Lonergan (Va. CLE)

Absent: Mike Branca, Shannon Briglia, and Hon. Robert M.D. Turk

Chair Kristan Burch called the meeting to order at 12:15 p.m.

Minutes of the June 17, 2011 meeting amended to indicate that Mike Branca attended the meeting. A motion was made and seconded for approval of the minutes, as amended, from the June 17, 2011 board meeting. The amended minutes were approved by unanimous vote.

Financial Report
Kristan Burch reported on financial status of the Section. Expenditures to date total only $411.60. Remaining balance to date equals $11,363.40. The Board also discussed the possibility and process of transferring funds across Section operating accounts for scholarships. Currently, there is $500 in the scholarship account, but the Board would like to increase that by $1,000 for a total of $1,500.00. The Board’s intention is for section members employed by public agencies to benefit from this. Dolly Shaffner will write a short memo for the proposed transfer. Blair Lonergan will confirm that Va. CLE will match this, as it has done in years past. 1

Fall Seminar 2011

Rooms: still have 49 rooms left for Friday evening and 39 left for Saturday evening

Evaluation Form: Richard McGrath will send language to Blair Lonergan for evaluation form inquiring whether attendees would be interested in a Thursday afternoon session next year

Attendance: Some registrations returned already

Thursday Night Board Dinner

o Past chairs will be invited.
o The Board Meeting will occur Thursday evening before dinner.

Golf Thursday: Brett Marston will coordinate Thursday afternoon golf for those interested.


o A blast e-mail will be sent to section members with the brochure for the Seminar.
o The next Newsletter issue will include a half-page ad; ad copy to be sent to Jennifer Mahar for inclusion.

Kristan Burch reported that Shannon Briglia has all the summaries and expects the handbook will be finalized by September 23, 2011. The Board discussed that, although Shannon has not requested it, we may want to get a new Handbook editor in place because this position is very time consuming, and Shannon already has been responsible for this job for several years. Kristan will follow up with the Committee to determine who may succeed Shannon if she is interested in turning over this position.

Newsletter Committee
Jennifer Mahar reported that the next Section Newsletter will be a shortened paper version that will be sent via USPS to all section members and will include a table of contents, letter from chair, article summaries, and an article from Brett Marston. Separately, a blast e-mail will have links to all the articles and full cases. All submissions are due to Jennifer by September 30, 2011. Publication lead time is approximately two weeks for the printed version.

Summer Program
Todd Metz reported that the Local Government section, chaired by Rod Ingram, is interested again in teaming with the Construction & Public Contracts Law section. The topic is due by November 14, 2011. Chris Boynton suggested alternative project delivery methods. Todd requested topic suggestions.

Membership Committee
Sean Howley reported on a proposed plan for a regional meet and greet seminar (e.g. breakfast or lunch), to reach out to local section members to “bring a friend” with the goal to boost membership. The first regional gathering would take place in late winter or early spring 2012. The complete plan of action will be presented at or before the next meeting at the Boar’s Head in November with the hope that the plan can be announced to the section membership at the Fall Seminar. Sean requested ideas from the Board to boost membership. The committee’s stated goal is to foster increased membership by highlighting the most important benefit from being a section member: camaraderie, connections and business/personal relationships among like-minded/like-focused Virginia attorneys. An idea accepted by the Board was to provide free membership to newly licensed attorneys. The only financial impact to the Board for this would be postage.

Maryland Bar Joint Event
Jennifer Mahar will contact Anthony Vittoria (Ober Kaler) and Mike Pappas to explore this further.

Social Media
Todd Metz reported that utilizing services such as Linked-In is not really an option due to the restrictive nature of the VSB social media policy. As a result, LinkedIn would be little more than another delivery system for messages, like e-mail. The issue of implementing a list-serv was discussed and will be followed up with by Todd. Todd will continue to review the social media possibilities and revisit this issue with the Board in November.

Webb Moore reported that the Virginia Lawyer, October 2010, was successful with its focus on construction & public contract law. The next issue that will be devoted to the Construction Law Section will be the February 2013 edition. Webb solicited input on suggested articles and authors.

Five Year Plan
Brett Marston reported on the implementation of the existing Plan:

• Education efforts continue to be focused upon regional events and other efforts;
• Updating of the VA CLE construction deskbook is currently in progress;
• Networking efforts will continue to be progressed through current and proposed membership events and use of social media;
• The focus on continuing commitment is being accomplished by retaining board members after their terms expire through events like the Past Chair dinner, etc…
• Enhancement of existing relationships with sponsors continues to be a priority of the Board than should also be stressed to the members of the section.

Updating Committee Rosters
Kristan Burch needs updated lists of Committee members for the website.

Addition of Judge J. Overton Harris (Hanover) to the Board
Upon Richard’s recommendation, the Board approved the addition of Judge J. Overton Harris (Hanover) to the Board. Kristan Burch will follow up to determine whether ex-judges can fill the judicial membership positions on the Board.

Meeting Adjourned at 1:20 p.m.

1After the meeting, Blair Lonergan reported that the Director of Seminars and the Executive Director agreed that Virginia CLE could match an additional $500 contribution from the Section. However, “they were hesitant to agree to the full additional $1,000. If it turns out that we have 10 more government attorneys that are interested in the scholarship, they will ‘reevaluate.’”

She further reported that, “Virginia CLE does offer scholarships on all of our seminars for attorneys in need. The interested attorney fills out a short application, which is reviewed for approval by our office manager. The amount of the scholarship varies based on need. The scholarship applications are available for anyone that is interested, so please feel free to mention this to any other lawyers that might be interested in attending the seminar at a reduced rate.”

2Blair reported by e-mail after the meeting that there are currently 53 lawyers registered for the fall seminar.


Sean M. Howley