Divisions United

AuthorBy John Marshall Cook
Published in The Construction Lawyer Volume 43, Number 1, ©2024 by the 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.
Forum on Construction Law The Construction Lawyer Volume 43, Number 1
Divisions United
By John Marshall Cook
If you are reading this column and you are not a member of at least one Forum Division, you are missing
some incredible content, great relationships, and plenty of fun.
My role as Chair focuses on working with the planning teams to execute the Fall, Regional, Midwinter,
and Annual meetings. As an organization, we take great pride in the quality of the national and regional
meetings. But those programs represent only a fraction of what the Forum does. Most of the Forum’s
work product emanates from the Divisions.
The Forum’s Divisions provide regular (often monthly) content through teleconferences and publications
on topics relevant to their members. They hold in-person meetings at our national meetings and plan
some fantastic social events. My struggle at national meetings is typically deciding which of the many
great Division lunch programs to attend. Here is just a small sampling of what the Divisions had on tap
for our Midwinter meeting in Las Vegas:
Divisions 4, 5, and 10 brought in a speaker from Bechtel to talk about the construction of one of
the most unique energy projects in the country–the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, the
world’s largest concentrated solar thermal plant;
Division 11 and the Young Lawyers Division presented a lunch panel focused on the risks and gam-
bles associated with the career decisions we all face as part of the profession;
Division 3 brought in a pair of architects to discuss the real and interesting risks associated with
projects that dump the architect midstream;
Divisions 1, 2, and 12 had a fun social activity involving some cocktails and learning to play my
favorite table game–craps;
Divisions 7, 9, and 11 explored the immersive techno-artsy playground at the Area 15 entertainment
district; and
Divisions 4, 6, and 10 were also at Area 15, offering an interactive art experience at Omega Mart.
The Divisions are doing exciting things at all of our national meetings and they are doing even more
between the meetings. Finances, work obligations, or personal issues may prevent you from attending
national meetings, but that does not need to inhibit your ability to make connections through the Forum.
Pick a Division, or pick two or three for that matter. Attend their monthly calls. Raise your hand to help.
Before you know it, you will have a Forum family—a group of people that you can call when you need
advice, a contact for resources, or to refer cases, get referrals, and exchange ideas.
Our Divisions are undoubtedly the lifeblood of the Forum. They have all aspects of construction law
covered. Their leaders work diligently, supported by devoted steering committees, to bring targeted
content into your areas of interest. Deciding which Division is right for you? Our current Division Chairs
can answer all your questions:

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