Executing the Forum's Strategic Plan: Building the Best Construction Lawyers

AuthorBy William Cary Wright
THE CONSTRUCTION LAWYER4 Volume 42 Issue 2 2022
continued on page 45
In 2012, under the leadership of
Adrian Bastinelli, the Forum took
a year to develop its rst ve-year
strategic plan, which was formally
adopted in 2013. This effort was
facilitated by Ava Abramowitz
and vetted at length by the Gov-
erning Committee and Division
Chairs at the 2013 Leadership
Retreat. The mission statement of that initial strategic plan
was simple: The ABA Forum on the Construction Industry:
Building the Best Construction Lawyers. The vision was
broad: “When people think ‘construction lawyer,’ they think
of the Forum rst.” The strategic plan was updated in 2017
in Wendy Venoit’s year as Chair of the Forum, with minor
tweaks to reect the name change from “Forum on Con-
struction Industry” to “Forum on Construction Law.” The
mission remained the same-- Building the Best Construc-
tion Lawyers. Under the leadership of Kristine Kubes, the
Governing Committee and Division and the Standing Com-
mittee Chairs began the process of reviewing and revising,
where necessary, the 2017 Strategic Plan. Once adopted, the
revised version of the 2017 Strategic Plan will become the
Forum’s 2023 Strategic Plan. It is anticipated that the 2023
Strategic Plan will be adopted by the Governing Commit-
tee at the Forum’s 2023 Annual Meeting in Vancouver. At
this juncture, I want to share a preview of the 2023 Strate-
gic Plan with the Forum’s valued members.
Based on the work done thus far, the Forum’s Mission
Statement will remain the same: The ABA Forum on Con-
struction Law: Building the Best Construction Lawyers. We
will achieve this through the three pillars of the Forum expe-
rience: People, Publications, and Programs.
The Forum currently has 5,477 members, comprised of
3,448 attorney members, 463 associate members, 758 law
students, and 808 paralegals and others. The Forum’s people
are in every state in the United States, as well as in a num-
ber of international jurisdictions. Our membership includes
litigators, transactional lawyers, in-house counsel, dispute
resolution attorneys, administrative lawyers, and more. As
with any organization, our members are our greatest asset,
and the talents of the Forum’s members extend well beyond
what you may expect. For example, as showcased at the
2022 Fall Meeting in Memphis, interspersed in the Forum
ranks was a wide array of musical talent, including Forum
members Eric Berg and Kevin Murphy.
The Forum’s Publications are second to none, and they
include Under Construction, The Construction Lawyer, and
books and treatises covering all aspects of construction law.
In fact, the Forum has published 55 books since 1997, start-
ing with Sweet on Construction Law. This year alone, the
Publications Committee is anticipating publishing three
books. Many times, as is the case this year, Forum books
play an integral part in our national meetings. The recently
released Construction Trial Deskbook forms the basis of the
trial practicums, which are being held the day before each of
our 2022-2023 national meetings and geared toward younger
attorneys and attorneys that have less trial experience. The
Construction Contracts Book,Third Edition, is the basis for
the 2022 Regional Meetings, which will be held in Washing-
ton, D.C., Dallas, Indianapolis, and San Francisco.
The combination of the Forum’s people and publications
results in fantastic Forum programs. The 2022-2023 bar year
is no exception. At the 2022 Fall Meeting in Memphis, the
topic was Building the Next Generation--Learning from the
Past. There, past Forum Chairs discussed the experiences
that had the most impact on their practices. These topics
included contract negotiations, presenting and defending
claims, and trial and arbitration tips. Other sessions included
Redesigning Design-Build; First Chair Wanted: How Do I Get
There; Doing Joint Ventures the Right Way (and the Wrong
Way); Lessons Learned: The FIU Pedestrian Bridge Col-
lapse, and many more.
The 2023 Midwinter Meeting will take us back to San
Juan, Puerto Rico. There, the program, Old World Meets
New World: New Solutions to Timeless Problems, will exam-
ine “Old World’ problems and consider how “New World”
solutions and innovations can help modern construction
lawyers deliver efcient and impactful results for their clients.
These sessions will include Rebuilding Puerto Rico – Chal-
lenges of Building on an Island; Remote Sensing: The Eye in
the Sky Difference Maker in Engineering Expert Driven Liti-
gation; And Who’s Going to Build This? Labor, Workforce and
Material Issues: If you Haven’t Seen Them, Ya Will; Adap-
tive Re-Use – Everything Old is New Again; and, Is Modular
Building and Prefabrication the Wave of the Future?
Cary Wright
by Cary Wright
Executing the Forum’s Strategic
Plan: Building the Best Construction

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