Recent ABA Forum on Construction Law held in Atlanta, Georgia

Mark Cobb, Georgia Mechanics Lien LawyerI just returned from the fall meeting of the American Bar Association’s Forum on the Construction Industry (held this year in Atlanta, Georgia), and it was an exciting time!  It was great to see old friends and meet some new colleagues from across the United States; it was also a great opportunity to share thoughts about current cases and pending legislation.  In short, it was a fabulous time!

While we were there, we got to hear some amazing speakers discuss very pertinent topics facing construction lawyers and our clients such as the following:

  • a panel discussion on drafting construction contracts; the panel didn’t limit itself to discussion of the drafting process as it also focused on how contracts may later be applied by the parties to the specific construction project and how others (including judges) will interpret the contracts;


  • we also discussed all aspects of forum and jurisdiction including a thought-provoking discussion on whether federal court or state court is the better place to be for construction disputes (if you can choose); there was also brainstorming about construction arbitration and mediation and its advantages and disadvantages;


  • a personal favorite topic for me was a seminar on the strategies of technical defenses; because Georgia’s materialman and mechanics lien statutes are statutory, every statutory requirement must be met as the rules are strictly construed against the lien claimant; this seminar confirmed the importance of meeting each and every technical requirement (and addressed the severe and unforgiving consequences for a construction claimant’s failure to comply with all of the requirements; as an aside, I must also say that the speakers were particularly engaging and dynamic–thank you Douglas Oles and Eric Berg for your great workshop!


  • the seminar also tackled a very difficult topic–handling big, complex construction cases, and the panelists did a fantastic job of reminding every construction law practitioner how to add business skills and strategic planning to such matters.

There were so many wonderful speakers, topics and events that you can rest assured, I am just passing along some of the highlights; there were a number of other informative lectures, workshops, and panel discussions which have also given me a number of ideas for future blog entries.


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