Dear Colleagues:

The Forum's 2011 Fall Meeting takes us to the progressive and growing heart of the South, Atlanta, where the Peach State hosts a program that is both timely and important.  The Fall 2011 Program focuses on strategies that can lead to both better results for our clients and results more efficiently achieved.

Sun Tzu warned future warriors that "those who do not know the lay of the land cannot maneuver their forces" and that "those who do not use local guides cannot take advantage of the ground."  These lessons remain relevant today, even for construction lawyers.  The ABA Forum on the Construction Industry invites you to a two-day seminar that will examine virtually all of the "grounds" upon which construction counsel do battle, presented by leading practitioners and adjudicators in each such forum.  From framing future controversies through strategic contract negotiations to presenting the issues and arguments before a tribunal hearing a claim, sound strategy creates a greater likelihood of success for those we serve.  Highlighting the importance of tailoring the approach to the "lay of the land," state and federal judges, renowned mediators, arbitrators, and dispute resolution board members, as well as those advocates who practice regularly before them, will provide their specialized knowledge and experience within the construction arena around the world.

In focused plenary sessions and workshops, our speakers will present their best practices for winning advocacy techniques in each procedural setting commonly encountered by construction lawyers.  Through the information provided in this program, methods on how to overcome some of the most stubborn obstacles to recovery or the presentation of an effective defense, will be addressed.  You will learn about procedures used in less familiar fora so that navigating previously uncharted terrain will be far less daunting when your practice takes you there.  From appellate practice in Atlanta, our host city, to the United States Board of Contract Appeals, to dispute board practice in Vietnam, you will be offered practical information and insight on various "swords and shields" that will undoubtedly be useful to you and your clients.

On Day 1, the speakers will examine the significance of contract negotiations as the most critical opportunity to define the parameters of the "battlefield" and will examine various technical points of arbitral, trial, and appellate advocacy.  Thereafter, on Day 2, seminars will be offered on various issues presented by more unique methods of dispute resolution.  The program will end with an ethics session exploring the relative obligations of the mediator and the mediating parties in connection with settlement discussions.

The 2011 Fall Meeting will be held at the Westin Buckhead in Atlanta, Georgia on October 13 and 14.  Attendees will therefore avail themselves not only to a top-flight educational program with advance accreditation for CLE, but also to a vibrant urban environment with world-class dining, shopping and entertainment.  Atlanta is home to the World of Coca-Cola, the Georgia Aquarium, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic site, and the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum, all within an easy drive of the hotel.  We hope to see you there!

Christopher M, Caputo, Esq.

Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, Memphis, TN

Jocelyn Knoll, Esq.
Dorsey & Whitney, LLP, Minneapolis, MN

G. Edgar James, Esq.
Polsinelli Shughart PC, Kansas City, MO