The 2012-13 year was the most active year for the Construction Law Committee of The Jacksonville Bar Association since it was created about three years ago.
The committee is aimed at providing a forum for local construction practitioners to network and discuss recent industry trends.
The committee regularly invites construction industry specialists and experts to its meetings and events to discuss issues related to construction means and methods, water intrusion, design issues and licensing concerns.
In reviving the committee, membership requested not only networking events, but also "sticks-and-bricks" type presentations specific to the construction industry.
Just recently, Brett Newkirk of Alta Engineering presented common building envelope defects and water intrusion.
The presentation included PowerPoint and actual demonstrations on a "mock-up" of the effects of water and reverse flashing.
Next month, the committee will hear from Kenneth Roush on concrete construction, repair and concrete failures.
Not to be outdone by their guests, many committee members are excellent speakers and presenters in their own right.
This past year, four members of the committee were asked to present at The Florida Bar Construction Law Certification Review Course and Construction Law Institute.
Brian Rendzio spoke on Chapter 558 procedures; Barry Ansbacher spoke on condominium law; Reese Henderson presented on AIA construction contracts; and Brent Zimmerman presented on construction contracts generally.
In addition, Chris Mueller and I have been asked to present at a national conference in New York this September on surety and fidelity issues.
Having local committee members present at state and national events demonstrates the quality of the membership and continues to shed light on the Northeast Florida construction industry.
The presenter list for the 2014 Florida Bar Construction Law Certification Review Course has been released and the committee speaker presence will increase from the 2013 roster.
The rebirth of the committee is due in large part to Blane McCarthy, the immediate past chair of the Litigation Section of The Jacksonville Bar Association.
McCarthy noticed that although the Construction Law Committee was in existence and had a roster of members, none of the current members could remember attending meetings.
That is when he approached Charlie Jimerson and me to request we reinvent and rejuvenate the committee.
"The Construction Law Committee needed some new energy and perspective and because of their experience in construction law, the guys at Jimerson & Cobb seemed like a natural fit for the job," said McCarthy.
Meetings are conducted quarterly and are held at the Riverside office of Jimerson & Cobb.
Each meeting begins with about 20 minutes of networking during lunch and is followed by member updates before the featured construction industry presentation.
Committee members also have developed an informal email group where emails regarding case issues and requests for certain experts have been exchanged.
As part of the revitalization of the committee to provide some initial stability, The Jacksonville Bar Association approved the fairly uncommon request of having the committee chaired for two consecutive years by two attorneys from the same law firm.
This two-year structure of having the vice chair automatically follow into the chair position has provided a continuity of leadership and helped maintain the momentum necessary to revive the committee.
Accordingly, Charlie Jimerson will chair the committee next year and Bryan Rendzio will serve as vice chair.
Together they will continue the charge of reinvigorating the committee with the goal of making it one of the most active within The Jacksonville Bar Association.
Christopher Cobb, a board certified construction lawyer, serves on the Construction Industry Licensing Board for the state of Florida and is a partner at Jimerson & Cobb. He is the immediate past chair of the Construction Law Committee.