AuthorWilliam Allensworth, Ross J. Altman, Allen Overcash, and Carol J. Patterson
This text is unique in several respects, and we believe a word about its origins
is appropriate. Construction law is now a relatively well dened practice area.
The eld supports several journals, many scholarly treatises, and countless
continuing legal education programs. At the same time, construction law as
an academic subject is only now starting to enjoy the growth that the prac-
tice area has experienced over recent decades. The American Bar Association
Forum on the Construction Industry believes that the publication of this book
will facilitate the expansion of construction law education into law schools, as
well as provide a useful resource for construction law courses in other profes-
sional programs.
Several attributes of this book distinguish it from traditional law school
textbooks. Assimilation of construction law principles requires some working
knowledge of the construction contracting process, and the rst few chapters
of this textbook therefore focus on describing the business relationships among
parties to the construction process. The subject matters of these chapters do
not lend themselves to being taught through the standard casebook method,
and indeed the study of case law itself is not always a fruitful means of con-
veying information about how the parties to a construction project go about
doing business with each other. As a result, the text will be instructive to new
construction lawyers as well.
The book covers the many facets of the construction process—from initial
design through construction and concluding with the dispute resolution pro-
cess. Once the student has acquired some knowledge of the parties’ roles in
the more common project delivery systems, he or she can begin to study the
contracts that dene the parties’ respective rights and obligations, with special
emphasis on form contracts used in the industry. We have done this largely
through the prism of a typical small commercial construction project and the
American Institute of Architects contract forms that reect it.

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