Comments from the Chair

AuthorBy Arlan D. Lewis
Published in The Construction Lawyer, Volume 41, Number 1, Winter 2021. © 2021 American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof
may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.
Welcome to 2021! Many of us anx-
iously awaited the arrival of 2021,
or, more accurately, the depar-
ture of 2020. Although many
2020 challenges carried over into
the new year, there’s something
hopeful about the calendar’s turn
to 2021. There’s a sense that the
new year brings new opportunities,
a fresh start, and a chance to take a new direction, set new
goals, and generally improve our lives in the coming months.
The Forum is no different, and we are excited about our plans
for 2021 and beyond.
Throughout the pandemic, the Forum has worked closely
with the ABA to evaluate options for navigating the seas of
uncertainty and taking measured, prudent action as we
plan our activities. When it became apparent that govern-
ment restrictions on travel and in-person gatherings would
remain in place beyond 2020, the ABA extended its morato-
rium on in-person meetings until further notice. As of this
writing, that restriction remains in place. It became apparent
that we needed to adjust our plan of action to provide a level
of certainty about a path forward for serving our member-
ship. After careful consideration (and in accordance with our
bylaws), the Forum’s leadership proposed that the current
Forum Governing Committee and Ofcers remain in place
for an additional 12-month period. The ABA Board of Gov
ernors and the Forum’s Governing Committee unanimously
approved the steps for implementing this proposal, and the
Forum leadership was therefore empowered to make and
implement plans for the coming year that would continue to
be impacted by the pandemic.
One result was that, on February 24–26, 2021, we pre-
sented our rst virtual conference, the Winter Warm-Up: A
Forum Fireside Virtual Construction Conference.
We are all excited about the return to in-person meetings
when it is safe to do so. Accordingly, we have several programs
that our dedicated teams of co-chairs, authors, speakers, ses-
sion coordinators, staff, and countless others have developed
and rened over many months.
September 2021 Regional Meetings
Boston, Denver, Nashville, Los Angeles,
Chicago, and Seattle, WA
Fundamentals of Construction Law
and Sticks and Bricks
We know that many of you look forward to the focused, in-
depth training provided during our Regional Meetings. While
the pandemic impacted our ability to hold these meetings as
scheduled, the return will be well worth the wait. This year,
the Regional Meetings will take place over two days and will
present two of our popular Forum programs. Moreover, we
have broadened our geographical coverage to include six cities.
These programs provide an opportunity for participants to
gain a solid foundation in both the legal and technical aspects
of construction. Stay tuned for more details.
2021 Fall Meeting
October 13–16, 2021, Seattle
Eective Project Management & Strategies
Initially scheduled as the Forum’s 2020 Annual Meeting, this
program is focused on project management and will explore
critical elements of successful projects, large and small, from
all stakeholders’ perspectives in the design and construction
dialogue. Speakers will present essential and universally use-
ful skills for managing projects. It’s been more than 20 years
since the Forum hosted a national meeting in Seattle, and
we are looking forward to a return to the Pacic Northwest!
2022 Midwinter Meeting
February 24–26, 2022, San Diego
The Business of Construction
The Forum will kick off 2022 with an increased focus on
providing value to our in-house counsel members. Whether
you serve multiple clients as outside counsel or a single client
as in-house counsel, you know that it is imperative to under-
stand the business aspects of construction and how those
considerations are affected by the legal issues at hand. We have
assembled an incredible line-up of speakers, including con-
struction executives, in-house counsel, outside counsel, and
consultants to address these issues from various perspectives.
2022 Annual Meeting
May 4–7, 2022, New York City
In-House Counsel Summit
The Forum will hold its rst-ever In-House Counsel Sum-
mit to provide practical tools for addressing key construction
issues. This program will examine what it takes for the con-
struction industry’s in-house lawyers to be successful in their
various roles and to provide outside counsel insight into how
best to support in-house clients.
Here’s to a safe, healthy, prosperous, and joy-lled 2021! I
hope you’ll join us for the journey!
Arlan D. Lewis is a partner with Blueprint Construction Counsel, LLP.
He is chair of the ABA’s Forum on Construction Law and is based in
Birmingham, AL.
Arlan D. L ewis
By Arlan D. Lewis
The Journey Ahead, Part II: Next Steps

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