For this week’s Guest Post Friday, we welcome a good friend, Todd Metz. Todd is a partner in the Northern Virginia office of construction law firm Watt, Tieder, Hoffar & Fitzgerald. Todd is also Immediate Past Chair of the Virginia State Bar Construction Law and Public Contracts Section.
In two weeks the Virginia State Bar’s Construction Law and Public Contract Section, in coordination with Virginia CLE, will host its 32nd Annual Seminar at the Boar’s Head Inn in Charlottesville. The seminar offers a full year’s worth of CLE credits. The program begins with an ethics update by Thomas Spahn and concludes with the annual recent developments in construction and public contracts law by Tom Wolf. In between, this year’s program will focus on “Troubled Projects” from the perspective of the different project participants. The varying view points of counsel for owners, contractors, subcontractors, sureties, and insurers will be presented.
While the educational aspect of the seminar is certainly important, the renewing of friendships (and making new friends) is equally as important. The State’s Construction Bar is fortunate to have many lawyers that excel at their practices, and who also display the civility and professionalism that unfortunately is sometimes lacking and reported on in other practice areas.
The close knit nature of the group, and the dedication to practice, is reflected by the fact that the Section did a similar program twenty years ago entitled “Practical Advice for Handling the Troubled Project.” Presenters at that program included Bob Cox, Tom Wolf, and Chuck Williams. I have no doubt that they will be in Charlottesville in two weeks with a warm welcome and several kind words to veterans and newcomers alike. Virginia’s next generation of construction practitioners, including Kristen Burch, Brett Marston, Shannon Briglia, Sean Howley, Mike Branca, and Christopher Hill, will also be in attendance.
While the collegiality of the Construction Bar is a benefit to the lawyers, it is also a benefit to clients. Lawyers, when adverse, are able to work together to resolve their client’s differences rather than being roadblocks to resolution – unnecessarily driving up legal fees. It certainly makes things a lot easier to get things done. Your adversary one day may provide a referral or be your co-counsel the next. The Construction Bar is a good place to be. I hope to see you in Charlottesville.