Skip to main content

The New Basics: Reexamination of Key Concepts for Construction Attorneys (2024 Construction Law Section Winter Program)

8:55        Welcome and Introductions

9:00        Strategic Considerations and Best Practices for Defending Against Multiparty Defect Claims

Melissa Dewey Brumback, Ragsdale Liggett PLLC, Raleigh
Sandra "Sandy" Mitterling Schilder, Ragsdale Liggett PLLC, Raleigh

Is there truth in the saying "misery loves company"? Having more defendants — and their wallets — in a lawsuit can only help your client, right? What are the risks and benefits of being "one among many" in a complex, multi-party construction defect lawsuit? In this session, we talk about the contractual roles involved in multiparty defect litigation, the pros and cons of crossclaims, tolling agreements, joint defense agreements, expert sharing, and empty chairs.

10:01      Construction Industry Insurance Primer – Legal Update on Coverage Issues and Trends

Peter J. Marino, Smith Anderson Blount Dorsett Mitchell & Jernigan LLP, Raleigh
K. Alan Parry Jr., Parry Law, Chapel Hill
Ed Smith, SIA Group Inc., Jacksonville

This presentation and panel discussion provides construction law practitioners with updates on important coverage issues under commercial general liability, builder's risk, and professional liability policies. The panel also addresses key trends in insurance impacting all segments of the construction industry — developers, owners, general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and design professionals. The presentation is geared to give the construction lawyer practical tips to assist clients in issue spotting and protecting against typical loopholes in coverage. In addition to experienced insurance coverage lawyers, the panel includes a renowned insurance broker, who provides his valuable perspective on these topics.

11:02      Break

11:12      Cybersecurity Considerations

Joseph A. Dickinson, Kaufman & Canoles PC, Raleigh
Lisa Prather, Sentinel Risk Advisors LLC, Raleigh

What would your clients do if they were completely shut out of their company emails, operating systems and electronic databases? Could they operate without these systems and data? What could happen if this data falls into the wrong hands? What can your client do to protect and regain access to their systems and data? In recent years, in addition to health care and financial services, the construction industry has been one of the most heavily targeted industries for cyberattacks. The costs and ramifications of such attacks can sometimes be substantial enough to threaten to put a company out of business. In this segment, the presenter discusses common and often-misunderstood vulnerabilities of the construction industry, what steps construction companies can take to protect themselves, and best practices should your client fall victim to a cyberattack.

12:14      Lunch Break

12:44      UCC Considerations and Competing T&Cs

Jacob D. Farrell, Maynard Nexsen PC, Greensboro
David A. Senter, Maynard Nexsen PC, Raleigh

In this presentation, we delve into the intricate realm of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) "battle of the forms," a critical aspect of contract law in the construction industry when dealing with the sale of goods. The UCC "battle of the forms" occurs when contracting parties exchange conflicting terms in their contractual documents, leading to disputes over which terms govern their agreement. To avoid the UCC's default provisions, construction professionals must counsel their clients on the importance of actually negotiating terms up front and must craft their contract forms carefully. We explore key contract clauses, such as clear acceptance and rejection procedures, choice of law and venue provisions, and specific dispute resolution mechanisms, which can help construction practitioners assert control over the terms of their contracts and minimize the applicability of the UCC's gap-filler provisions.

1:49        Sticks and Bricks

Joseph M. "Joe" Hatcher Jr., Metrocon Inc., Raleigh

We all understand construction law, but how well do we understand construction practices? This "sticks-and-bricks" session provides a summary of construction practices from licensed general contractors who know how to lay the foundation, brick by brick, for the construction law profession. Hear from the professionals as they dig into the groundwork necessary to develop a thorough understanding of the basis for claims construction law practitioners handle every day.

2:50        Break

3:00        Disciplinary Procedures Before the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors

Anna Baird Choi, Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe Garofalo LLP, Raleigh
Stephen P. Safran, Safran Law Offices, Raleigh

So, your client has a complaint filed with the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors (NCLBGC)? What happens next? This presentation guides attorneys through what happens during the complaint and investigation phase with the NCLBGC, all the way to the review committee and hearing processes.

4:02        Adjourn

‡ Indicates portion providing Technology Training credit

Thank you

Thank you for joining us for The New Basics: Reexamination of Key Concepts for Construction Attorneys (2024 Construction Law Section Winter Program).


The practice of construction law is constantly evolving. This program reexamines the new basics of construction law.


  • Andrew P. Atkins

    Andrew P. Atkins is an attorney at Smith Anderson in Raleigh as a member of the firm's Construction and Commercial Litigation practice groups. He is a seasoned construction attorney with significant experience in litigation and contracting. He also co-chairs the Real Estate Litigation practice at the firm. He represents owners, contractors and developers in multi-party disputes involving public and private commercial projects. He regularly counsels clients on risk management issues and claim development during construction.

    Andrew has significant experience in mediation, litigation, and arbitration and has been involved in projects across North Carolina, throughout the southeast, in Puerto Rico and in Eastern Europe. He has been involved in numerous cases with millions of documents produced in discovery and is able to assist clients in the development of strategies to efficiently process and produce large volumes of documents while minimizing discovery costs. Based on his experience, he serves as the firm's eDiscovery Partner-In-Charge. He also regularly represents clients before the various North Carolina construction-related licensing boards and counsels them on applicable laws and rules.

    Andrew is committed to public service. Most recently, he was appointed by Speaker Tim Moore to the North Carolina Rules Review Commission where he serves as 1st Vice Chair. He was previously appointed by Chief Justice Mark Martin as a Reporter on the North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law Justice. He has also served in several roles within the North Carolina Bar Association and the American Bar Association's Construction Forum.

    Prior to joining Smith Anderson, Andrew served as a Judicial Law Clerk to Justice Mark Martin, Supreme Court of North Carolina. He also practiced at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, United States Department of the Treasury (OCC), where he often worked with national banks on regulatory matters affecting their business operations and pursued enforcement actions on behalf of the OCC.

    Andrew earned his B.A. in Political Science, with honors, and Economics, with highest distinction, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his J.D., with high honors, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Andrew.

  • Melissa Dewey Brumback

    Melissa Dewey Brumback is a Partner with Ragsdale Liggett PLLC in Raleigh. With 23 years of experience, her practice is focused on construction law and business disputes. She primarily represents architects and engineers, advising them on contract proposals to limit risks and defending them when litigation does arise.

    Melissa's cases have included construction administration and management claims, plan defect claims, testing failure claims and delay claims. Her practice includes the defense of all sizes of claims, from private commercial buildings to large, multi-million dollar public projects. She defends clients in State and Federal courts as well as in binding arbitration.

    In addition to construction cases, Melissa handles commercial litigation, business torts, contract negotiation, medical negligence claims, product defect liability, premises liability, title insurance litigation, and director and officer liability.

    Since 2009, Melissa has written and edited the site Construction Law in North Carolina, which is dedicated exclusively to the design professional community. The blog is critically-acclaimed at the national level, and has been awarded the "Best Construction Blog" prize by Design and Construction Report.

    Melissa is a Panel Member of the American Arbitration Association in Construction Law.

    Melissa earned her B.A. from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Melissa.

  • Anna Baird Choi

    Anna Baird Choi is a Partner at Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe Garofalo LLP in Raleigh. Her practice areas include civil litigation and administrative law.

    Anna has served as counsel to the N.C. Licensing Board for General Contractors for over two decades. She advises the General Contractor's Board and eight other occupational/professional licensing boards, advising on all matters including licensing, minimum qualifications, rulemaking, disciplinary actions, and personnel issues. Additionally, she represents individuals and businesses before other N.C. licensing boards and agencies, including real estate brokers, plumbers, psychologists, licensed professional counselors, pharmacists, retail pharmacies, and licensed child care facilities.

    Anna is the former Chair for the Administrative Law Section of the NC Bar Association and remains involved in many aspects of administrative/regulatory law. Her consistent excellent performance has earned her an AV® rating from Martindale-Hubbell® and recognition by Best Lawyers in America® and North Carolina Super Lawyers® in Administrative Law, as well as named a NC Lawyers Weekly 2020 Leader in the Law.

    Anna earned her B.A. in Economics and Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. from Campbell University School of Law.

    Anna has also assumed leadership positions with the Junior League of Raleigh stretching back to 1994 and serves as State Regent for the Daughters of the American Revolution.

    Click here for more information about Anna.

  • Joseph A. "Joe" Dickinson

    Joseph A. "Joe" Dickinson is Of Counsel at Kaufman & Canoles PC in Raleigh. His practice focuses on information governance, data use, privacy, and cybersecurity. With more than 30 years of practice in the industry, his background in technology and cybersecurity is marked by numerous achievements, having successfully advised and guided clients around the country through the intricate landscape of data protection regulations and risk mitigation strategies. A recognized thought leader on data privacy, cybersecurity, and healthcare topics,

    Joe is Certified in Healthcare Privacy Compliance (CHPC®).

    Joe advises and defends clients faced with state, federal, and foreign governmental agency enforcement and compliance investigations, leads data breach response and data privacy/security risk assessments, information security compliance audits, and cyber investigations, including managing third-party forensic investigations. He also has led diligence efforts on all levels of business transactions that have identified and managed data-related issues having 7-figure potential impacts for buyers, sellers, investors, and insurers.

    Joe's experience covers multiple privacy and security issues facing entities in the private and public sectors. He has worked with clients in the development of data privacy and cybersecurity programs, global data breach response, cross-border data transfers, HIPAA, GDPR, GLB, security breach notification law compliance, and the cybersecurity and privacy issues related to government contracting. He regularly drafts and reviews technology licenses and transfer agreements, contracts involving data sharing, data flows, and management of the related legal risks and obligations, intellectual property and information technology, governmental privacy-related investigations, and corporate internal investigations. Joe also advises clients on the legal issues related to IoT risks, cloud services, AI, and big data analytics. He evaluates the software development process, privacy by design, and counsels clients on responding to software audit requests.

    Joe earned his B.A. from Malone University and his J.D., cum laude, from Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

    Click here for more information about Joe.

  • Jacob D. Farrell

    Jacob D. Farrell is an Associate at Maynard Nexsen PC in Greensboro as part of the firm's robust Construction Practice Group.

    As an accomplished military veteran and former Captain in the United States Air Force, Jacob utilizes his skills and experience in communication, problem-solving, and strategic planning in every matter. His unique background and dedication sets Jacob apart in his ability to address complex construction issues for his clients.

    Prior to joining the firm as an Associate, Jacob served in the U.S. Air Force as a Nuclear Missile Combat Crew Commander and most recently served as a Reserve Chief of Plans and Programming at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. Throughout his career in the military, he has been trusted with sensitive information, individual responsibility for multi-million dollar weapons systems, and has directly supervised airmen for nearly a decade.

    Jacob also worked as a legal intern in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina and as a Summer Associate at the firm, gaining significant experience in construction law, health law, and legislative matters.

    Jacob earned his B.A. in Criminology with an Aerospace Science Minor, magna cum laude, at NC State University while serving as Cadet Wing Commander in the Air Force ROTC. Additionally, he earned his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law, graduating with honors and serving in leadership roles for numerous campus organizations. While in law school, he conducted over 150 hours of pro bono service, was published in the North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology, and earned a seat as a national tournament semifinalist while on the Holderness Moot Court Negotiation Team.

    Click here for more information about Jacob.

  • Joseph M. "Joe" Hatcher Jr.

    Joseph M. "Joe" Hatcher Jr. is President at Metrocon Inc. in Raleigh. He has over 37 years of experience in the construction industry in company operations and management with expertise in large mixed-use projects, institutional projects, office buildings and retail centers.

    Joe is a member of the Construction Law section of the North Carolina Bar Association, and AIA NC/Carolinas AGC Joint Committee. He is a certified Mediator for civil actions in the North Carolina Superior Courts.

    Joe earned his B.S., cum laude, in Civil Engineering - Construction from North Carolina State University and his J.D. from North Carolina Central University School of Law. At NC State, he was awarded the "Outstanding Senior in Construction" award presented by the Carolinas AGC.

    Click here for more information about Joe.

  • Peter J. "Pete" Marino

    Peter J. "Pete" Marino is a Partner at Smith, Anderson Blount Dorsett Mitchell & Jernigan LLP in Raleigh. He has been practicing in the area of construction and public infrastructure law for more than 30 years and co-chairs Smith Anderson's Real Estate Development and Construction Law groups.

    Pete also serves as chair of the Freeways Division for the Regional Transportation Alliance. He has been integrally involved as lead legal counsel in some of the most significant infrastructure projects in North Carolina and the surrounding region, including, among others, the state's first Interstate toll road project and its largest single award design-build highway project, the state's first and second light rail projects, numerous international airport and land and airside projects, and a LEED-certified World Headquarters campus for a Fortune 500 company. In Chambers USA, clients say he's "truly an expert in the field," and "incredibly responsive and diligent" (Chambers USA).

    Pete's practice includes all facets of construction law arising out of public and private projects, representing owners, developers, general contractors, sureties, design professionals and large subcontractors, and serves upon request as an independent arbitrator in construction disputes. He regularly represents clients in various public construction bid, contracting and litigation matters involving highway and other public infrastructure and military projects. He has represented clients in connection with contracting, bid and claim disputes related to reconstruction projects in Iraq and Afghanistan, among many other national and international projects.

    Pete has served as past chair of the NCBA Construction Law Section, is a Co-Author of the North Carolina Construction Law Deskbook and has held various leadership positions in the American Bar Association's Forum on Construction Law.

    Pete earned his B.A. from Lemoyne College and his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Pete.

  • Jonathan W. Massell

    Jonathan W. Massell is a shareholder at Maynard Nexsen PC in Raleigh. He practices in the areas of construction law and business litigation. He frequently represents owners, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers on the front end by assisting in contract drafting and negotiations. When disputes arise, he has experience representing clients in a wide array of construction issues, including, but not limited to contractual disputes, defects, delays, and lien and bond claims. He also represents clients in land use and zoning matters, both at the early development and planning stage and in litigation.

    Outside of the construction industry Jonathan has broad experience representing clients in various commercial, collection and insurance coverage disputes, with a particular focus on trucking industry defense work. He has helped resolve many disputes at mediation, has argued numerous motions in state court and has federal trial experience.

    Jonathan earned his J.D., with high honors, from the University of North Carolina School of Law, where he was a member of the North Carolina Law Review and the Graduate Student Attorney General's Staff. He graduated with a B.A. in History and Spanish from the University of Virginia.

    Click here for more information about Jonathan.

  • K. Alan Parry Jr.

    K. Alan Parry Jr. is the owner of Parry Law in Chapel Hill. He has significant experience handling all types of civil disputes, whether in state court, federal court, or arbitration.

    Alan began his career handling complex commercial litigation matters for large corporate clients, first at a firm with offices around the world, and then as a partner at one of the largest law firms in North Carolina. He focuses his practice on commercial litigation, representing individuals and businesses in a wide variety of civil disputes. He also represents policyholders in a variety of insurance-related disputes.

    Alan is certified by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission to conduct Superior Court mediations, as well as mediations of estate and guardianship cases, and he serves as an arbitrator in a variety of civil disputes. As a mediator and arbitrator, he offers a balanced perspective based on his years of experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in civil disputes.

    Alan has been listed for many years in The Best Lawyers in America (Commercial Litigation, Bet-the-Company Litigation, and Litigation-Insurance) and has been named by Best Lawyers as a "Lawyer of the Year" in Raleigh on three occasions. He has also been recognized on multiple occasions by North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine and Business North Carolina Magazine's "Legal Elite," and he has earned an A-V rating from Martindale-Hubbell. He is frequently asked to author articles and speak to legal and business groups regarding litigation, dispute resolution, and insurance coverage issues.

    Alan earned his B.S., summa cum laude, from TCU and his J.D., magna cum laude, from Duke University Law School.

    Click here for more information about Alan.

  • Lisa Prather

    Lisa Prather is Client Executive at Sentinel Risk Advisors LLC in Raleigh. She brings a strong financial background culminated by years of experience working in large banks both internally in Corporate Finance roles as well as Commercial Banking sales. She utilizes her 25+ years of experience and relationship building to partner with her clients at Sentinel to develop risk management solutions that best meet their needs, while providing exceptional customer service.

    Through both her banking and risk management tenure, Lisa has earned the respect of being a trusted advisor to her clients, often driving them to become more intentional about elevating their success. This partnership allows her to provide appropriate risk management strategies and solutions to best protect her clients. Throughout her career, Lisa has been dedicated to serving her community through volunteer work and board services.

    Lisa earned her B.S. in Finance and Economics from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and her MBA in Finance from Goldey Beacom College.

    Click here for more information about Lisa.

  • R. Lee Robertson Jr.

    R. Lee Robertson Jr. is a Managing Partner at at Robertson & Associates PA in Charlotte and leads the Construction Group at the firm. His principal areas of practice are commercial litigation, construction law and employment defense.

    Lee is a member of the Real Property Section of the North Carolina Bar Association and also a member of the Mecklenburg County Bar Association.

    Lee earned his B.A. from North Carolina State University and his J.D. from Charlotte School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Lee.

  • Stephen P. Safran

    Stephen P. Safran is an attorney with Safran Law Offices in Raleigh. His practice includes representing contractors and design professionals in construction litigation, business litigation, and labor and employment matters.

    Stephen is also a member of the North Carolina Bar Association and Business Law sections.

    Prior to starting his own firm, Stephen served as corporate counsel for a large work site and utilities contractor in Raleigh overseeing both the legal and human resources departments.

    Stephen earned his B.A. in History from Campbell University and J.D. from Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Stephen.

  • Sandra "Sandy" Mitterling Schilder

    Sandra "Sandy" Mitterling Schilder is a Partner at Ragsdale Liggett PLLC in Raleigh. She is a senior litigator with over 25 years of experience. Her practice is focused on civil litigation primarily in construction and commercial liability.

    Sandy's previous experience as a plaintiff's attorney offers her invaluable insight in defending design professionals such as architects and engineers where she has managed hundreds of construction defect, negligence claims and contract disputes. She has worked on cases involving claims of all sizes from single family residential to multi-million dollar commercial, industrial projects and roadway projects.

    Sandy also handles complaints before state licensing boards for professionals and corporate clients of all occupations. In her employment law practice, she works with corporate and non-profit clients to ensure understanding of and compliance with state and federal regulations and advises on good policies including drafting employee handbooks. Sandy defends EEOC, DOL, ADA and other legal actions related to employment.

    Sandy is a member of the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys and the North Carolina and Wake County Bar Associations.

    Sandy earned her A.A. from Peace College, her B.A. from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Sandy.

  • David A. Senter

    David A. Senter is a Partner in the Raleigh office of Maynard Nexsen PC and is widely respected for his background in construction law, commercial litigation, and commercial collections. He has 35 years of experience delivering legal strategies and solutions on a wide range of issues impacting the construction industry and a wide range of large, complex construction projects.

    Since David joined the firm in 1984, clients have trusted him to handle routine and complex cases. David has been recognized in Construction law by Best Lawyers in America (Lawyer of the Year for Litigation-Construction/Greensboro), named Legal Elite by Business North Carolina, and as a North Carolina Super Lawyer. He frequently speaks before national and local audiences on topics related to construction law.

    David has authored many articles in bar and trade publications and has served in leadership positions for several professional associations. He is an Adjunct Professor of Construction Law at Wake Forest University School of Law. He is also a certified North Carolina mediator and a member of AAA's Large Complex Case Panel.

    Click here for more information about David. David may be reached at 336.387.5126 or by email.

  • Ed Smith

    Ed Smith is Executive Vice President at SIA Group Inc. in Jacksonville. Over nearly 30 years, he has been working on SIA Group's insurance and risk management team, specifically focusing on large construction risks. He provides Alternative Risk Financing Strategies, Analytics & Benchmarking, Captive Feasibility Studies, Loss Prevention & Safety Consulting, insurance coverage analysis, and assistance with complex claims.

    Ed began his career as a safety and risk consultant with national insurance carriers, Liberty Mutual Insurance and Bitco Insurance.

    Ed is a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter, a Certified Safety Professional, and a professional member of the American Society of Safety Engineers. He is often sought to explore and address how insurance, safety measures, job site operations, current legal precedent, and management techniques interact to develop risk navigation plans for construction clients.

    Ed earned his bachelor's degree in Environmental Health from East Carolina University.

    Click here for more information about Ed.

  • William C. "Casey" Vaughn

    William C. "Casey" Vaughn is a Partner at Smith Anderson Blount Dorsett Mitchell & Jernigan LLP in Raleigh. He represents owners, contractors, and subcontractors in all aspects of the construction process from drafting and negotiating contracts to advising on risk management and claims issues and litigating post-construction disputes. He also has experience representing clients in licensing enforcement actions and advising clients regarding public procurement requirements.

    Examples of Casey's representative experience include acting as outside construction counsel for an international airport authority; representing general contractors in asserting claims against NCDOT and municipal owners; representing contractors, subcontractors, construction managers, and suppliers in construction defect and delay claims; and representing owners, developers, design-builders, general contractors, and subcontractors in drafting and negotiating construction contracts, joint venture agreements, subcontracts, and other related documents.

    Prior to joining Smith Anderson, Casey was an associate in the Dallas office of a large international law firm where he worked on a wide range of complex commercial and construction disputes, including domestic and international arbitrations, multi-district class action litigation, regulatory investigations and antitrust disputes.

    Casey earned his B.A. in Peace, War & Defense and Political Science, with honors and distinction, from the University of North Carolina and her J.D., with honors, from The University of Texas School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Casey.

Click here to view Forms and CLE Policies, Terms and Conditions.

If paying by check, click here for a printable registration form. Please reference the live webcast program code 255RWC.

Certificate of Completion and Archived Video: Your certificate of completion and archived video will be available approximately two weeks of the program date and can be found in your CLE account. MCLE credit is available to registrants only on the day(s) of the live event. This archived content is offered solely for review purposes and is not a substitute for live attendance.

May 6, 2024
Mon 8:55 AM EDT

Duration 7H 7M

This live web event has ended.

For Technical Support
*for callers residing outside of the United States