Committee Chair Corner - Construction Law and Litigation Committee
Thomas Moore Buckley
Goldberg Segalla, LLP
Chairing the Construction Law and Litigation Committee, I have consistently been amazed at the breadth and depth of knowledge and expertise that the Committee members combine to bring to the table. Our Committee deals with a wide variety of issues, and its members have expertise that is similarly wide and varied. Construction defect litigation delves into the engineering and construction details that have to be mastered in order to protect our clients’ interest in these complex and potentially costly cases. The defense of construction injury and death claims requires navigating the maze of interconnected relationships among contractors, subcontractors, design professionals, developers, property owners, and regulatory agencies. Tremendous care must be taken in advising clients on safety issues and response to the requirements of OSHA as well as the myriad other regulatory bodies that touch on construction projects locally, nationally, and internationally. Committee members advise clients on construction contracts, development agreements, land use, and other complex transactional matters related to construction projects, as well as surety matters and the wide array of complicated and interconnected insurance questions that arise in connection with construction disputes.
As a Committee, our monthly calls give us the opportunity to take advantage of all of this wide variety of experience and expertise. Going forward, we anticipate taking specific advantage of this by means of a volunteer presenting on an issue of law of interest to the Committee at each of our monthly call-in meetings. In addition to that, this year our Committee will be continuing to share that expertise within the larger IADC community with a variety of articles and newsletter publications, interactive and informative Webinars, and presentations. We were very gratified to learn recently that we have been approved for two presentations at the Annual Meeting, one general session and another internal presentation, both co-sponsored with the Trial Techniques and Tactics Committee. These promise to be extremely interesting presentations of value not only to Committee members, but also to the larger IADC community as a whole, given the unique opportunity we have as construction attorneys to present on and discuss our experiences in complex litigation.
By their nature, construction disputes tend toward complexity. The sheer number of parties involved in most construction disputes by itself creates procedural complexity, and the technical issues are often complex and virtually always expert-intensive. In addition, there are numerous regulatory and state law requirements, as well as potential federal and international legal complications. Our hope is that the opportunity we have been provided to present at the Annual Meeting will give the Committee the ability to share some of its incredible depth and breadth of knowledge and expertise.
This year, we also plan to pursue specific initiatives in future publications and presentations to incorporate increased involvement of our corporate counsel representatives and insurance representatives. Our plan and belief is that this level of synergy in publications and presentations will benefit both attorney members and industry members, and we are very excited about increased efforts in this area. We also anticipate an increased effort in pursuing diversity initiatives, both in terms of traditional diversity efforts as well as efforts to increase involvement from younger attorneys. We are looking forward to an exciting year pursuing these efforts for the benefit of the committee and the IADC as a whole.
Finally, given the timing of this article, I would be remiss in not making a pitch for attendance at this year’s Midyear Meeting in Santa Barbara. I am personally looking forward to returning to my California home, and for those of you who have not had the opportunity to travel to Santa Barbara, it is an amazing and beautiful place. The Ritz-Carlton Bacara is a truly unique property that holds up well to the IADC’s tradition of fantastic meeting locals. The CLE program that Jim Rogers and his team have put together covers a wide variety of fascinating topics, and social and other activities promise to be fantastic.
I thank the IADC for the opportunity to serve as the Chair of this Committee and look forward to seeing everyone next month at the Midyear Meeting in Santa Barbara.