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December 16, 2010
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Weird CricketApologies from the staff for things being a bit quiet here of late .... speaking for myself, I have been whipped by over-engagement.  A whirlwind tour of seven different speaking gigs from mid-October through early December, a busy case load and other intervening factors have jointly conspired to make posting a tough reach lately.

It has been a blast lately though, from the Green Legal Matters seminar in New Orleans to speaking on social media, my first webinar, a fun AIA event, moderating a very interesting Bisnow sustainability panel, to wrapping up at Eco-build.

We return into action today shortly with a repost from the Washington Business Journal and you can expect more regular action here again moving forward!

Have you heard the DC Zoning Commission is looking into adopting a new set of GAR requirements?  No, we're not talking about the kind of fish that eats every other kind of fish it can fit in its mouth, we're talking about Green Area Ratio ("GAR") requirements.  According to the report prepared by DC zoning staff, the GAR concept is not a new concept, but is a Low Impact Development best management practices tool used in major cities in Europe such as Berlin and Malmo.

September 10, 2010
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Our blog went live on September 10, 2010, so today marks our first anniversary.  We have enjoyed the conversations and appreciated being forced to keep up with the avalanche of technical and legal information that flows past trying to find good topics.

We are very enthused to announce that I have been asked to regularly post as a guest blogger with the Washington Business Journal.  WBJ is one of our very favorite sources of information, news and commentary regarding business, law and real estate.  The guest blog spots will be weekly and part of their Biz Beat page alongside posts by WBJ reporters.  Our initial post is an expansion of our previous discussions regarding how little stimulus funding for transportation has actually been spent.

We have a very high regard for WBJ and follow numerous WBJ reporters on twitter and publisher Alex Orfinger.  We regard being invited to serve in this capacity by the go-to information source as quite an honor.  For those not familiar or not as focused on the WBJ's offerings, we strongly recommend not only their print subscription, but signing up for their daily e-mail news alerts which contain critical updates for the business community.  We will keep everyone posted on further developments on this front here and invite you to check out the Biz Beat blog!

holding handsPublic service is a core value in my life. Part of the fun of social media is that it gives the chance to show the wizard behind the curtain a bit and exhibit the personality and values that drive you. This is a little oblique to construction law, but ultimately these topics intertwine for me in professionalism and community building.

April 6, 2010
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I just received an interesting and exciting e-mail I wanted to share with our readers.  Our friend Matt Handal has been involved with creating an iPhone application for the architecture, engineering and construction industries to share information and links.  He just passed along this note to me:

Dear Tim

As a courtesy, I wanted to let you know that your blog posts are now available to iPhone and iPad users through the AEC Info iPhone App. This is a free iPhone/iPad app available in the iTunes store. Your content is located under the Law category.

Users can read your posts, send them through email, share them on Twitter, and open your website up in the Iphone/iPad web browser (Safari). The app has been very well received and this should open up a whole new set of readers to you and your website. Go to http://www.aeciphoneapp.com to learn more.

The app offers the latest industry headlines and insight from across the web. All from one convenient mobile application. We selected your blog posts as important to the industry and therefore included them in the app.

Thanks for including us Matt, and best of luck with your new application!

February 16, 2010
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Yale Harkness TowerAward winning design does not necessarily translate to an effective, successful or liveable built environment.  My interest and passion for interesting design is somewhat tempered by my having seen the consequences of projects not matching constructability and coordination with interesting design.  As I have previously revealed obliquely in my post on How to Pick a Lawyer, I am a junky for interesting technology, construction and design.  I still think that instead of art for arts sake, our building environment is our living environment and at its best, design and construction integrate these two potentially disparate arenas.

I have spent a career of construction litigation crossing boundaries in the industry.  I cut my teeth defending design professionals, but I have since represented contractors and subcontractors.  I have worked with owners and product manufacturers.  Each camp has its own shorthand description of the failures of others.  I have heard the constant grumblings of the inability of contractors to follow the plans and specifications (or at worst even read them).  On the other side, I have heard contractors complain that architects draw pretty pictures but are clueless about how to put buildings together.  I have seen examples where each criticism was fair and others where they were totally unwarranted.

With well over two thousand bills filed for this session, I was curious to see what our local urban delegates and senators have chief-patroned this year.  So here's what they're up to:

Delegate Brink has patroned HB 1260, which proposes that the Uniform Statewide Building Code should also apply to buildings or structures built on state-owned property and that the Department of General Services would act as the building official for all such buildings.  He has also patroned HB 1314 which contemplates providing financial incentives equal to twenty percent of delinquent taxes collected by tax collectors, chargeable to the taxpayer in addition to the amount of the delinquent taxes.

December 24, 2009
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Crowd of Lawyers - Pakistan Rally NYWe are a bit over three months into our blog and also approaching the end of the year. This always makes me take stock and wax a bit philosophical.  Questions of why I do what I do, why I enjoy doing it, and how that compares or contrasts to the rest of the legal profession leads to the question of how clients should pick their legal counsel out of the crowd of lawyers.

The starting place for most would be that clients should look for lawyers with substantive expertise in the area of their matter.  This is easy enough to say, but it feels pretty misleading to me.  In my mind, being a great construction litigation attorney means first being a great litigator and a great trial attorney (we will leave the litigator versus trial attorney discussion for another time).  It is difficult for clients to judge litigation trial skills though.  Unless a client has tried a case with me or at least sat through a deposition with me, how would they know I can shred an opposing expert?

One of the more intriguing and rewarding aspects of our recent entry into the legal blogging and social media arena has been the rapid development of conversations and connections with interesting people.  Two of these friendships have led to cross-posts on a pair of our friend's blogs.

We have been friendly with Chris Hill at Construction Law Musings for some time before the launch of our blog.  Not only has Chris been a tremendous source of information, support, and helpful advice during our first fledgling steps, but we have enjoyed an extended dialogue on various topics, blog posts, and twitter.  Chris invited us to guest post at Construction Law Musings and you can see that post today, Yes, Virginia, Contract Terms Do Matter: Financing Term Offers Owner an Escape Hatch.