Construction Law Section
Construction Law Section members share common interests on a wide variety of issues related to the construction industry. The Section promotes the education of members in laws, regulations, and administrative and court decisions and the sound development of relevant laws and regulations, cooperating in that endeavor with the American Bar Association and its sections while also promoting the objectives of the Washington State Bar Association. Section members engage in a broad spectrum of business activities relating to contract drafting and negotiation and bidding processes, as well as all varieties of dispute resolution including arbitration, mediation, litigation, and bid protest.
The Section provides benefits to members through an annual all-day CLE, special topic forums several times a year, a writing competition for law students, and a newsletter published periodically. The Section also meets several times a year for an informal discussion with a special topic speaker, followed by a social hour.
Construction Law Section members also enjoy the benefit of access to editable versions of the construction-related forms, documents, and agreements (see below), developed in collaboration with local construction law professionals, which include a sample design services agreement, model residential construction contracts, model residential design-build contracts, jury instructions, a lien/claim waiver, and a settlement agreement. Construction Law Section members can access this benefit by logging in to the WSBA website and visiting the Members–Only Resources page. If you are a current Construction Law Section member, but do not have your log-information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annual Report | Budget | Bylaws | Year in Review | Members Only
Section Executive Committee Elections
The Section is conducting elections for open positions on the executive committee.
Voting is scheduled for June 5-19, 2023. All voting members of the Section will be sent an electronic ballot from Survey Monkey via email on June 5, 2023.
Candidate Information, Open Positions, and Terms
For more information about the Section and its executive committee, please review the Section's bylaws. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order by position.
One position open. 1-year term: Oct. 1, 2023–Sept. 30, 2024.
Candidate: R. Bryce Sinner | Statement of Interest
One position open. 1-year term: Oct. 1, 2023 –Sept. 30, 2024.
Candidate: Travis Colburn | Statement of Interest
One position open. 1-year term: Oct. 1, 2023 –Sept. 30, 2024.
Candidate: Elizabeth Perka | Statement of Interest
One position open. Remainder of current term ending Sept. 30, 2025.
Candidate: Evan Brown | Statement of Interest
Three positions open. 3-year term: Oct. 1, 2023–Sept. 30, 2026.
Candidate 1: John Leary | Statement of Interest
Candidate 2: William “Scott” Noel | Statement of Interest
Candidate 3: William Young | Statement of Interest
Questions? Email email@example.com.
New! Hot Potatoes: Legal Considerations for Pass Through Claims
In-Person and Webcast - Register Here
Presented by the WSBA Construction Law Section in partnership with Lane Powell PC
When: 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Friday, June 2, 2023;
Where: In-Person at Lane Powell; 1420 Fifth Ave. #Suite 4200, Seattle, WA 98101
In-Person attendance is limited to 45 attendees on a first-come basis.
Credits: (Pending CLE Approval) 6 Law & Legal Procedure, 1 Ethics
$150 – Construction Law Section Members
$185 – Non-member
Chris Soelling, Soelling Law PLLC
Athan Tramountanas, Odgen Murphy Wallace PLLC
Andrew Gabel, Lane Powell PC
Chris Wright, Carney Badley Spellman PS
Lindsay Watkins, Ahlers Cressman & Sleight PLLC
Karl Oles, Stoel Rives LLP
Hon. Marshall Ferguson, King County Superior Court
Hon. Jim Rogers, King County Superior Court
Hon. Bill Bowman, Washington Court of Appeals, Div. I
Mike Grace, Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Meghan Douris, Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Kainui Smith, Absher Construction
Vanessa WIlliams, Ankura, Managing Director
Kandace Zimmerman, HKA, Director
Paul R. Cressman, Jr., Ahlers Cressman & Sleight PLLC
Josh Lane, Ahlers Cressman & Sleight PLLCRegister Online Now!
The Winter 2023 Edition of The Construction Law Newsletter
Read it here!
Order your copy of the Washington Construction Law Deskbook (WSBA 2019)
This single-volume ready resource on every facet of construction law was developed in collaboration with the Construction Law Section.
Editor-in-Chief: Ronald J. English
Editorial Board: Jennifer McMillan Beyerlein, John Evans, Brett M. Hill, Robert L. Olson, Thomas H. Wolfendale
Review table of contents and authors.
Subscribe to the online version.
Lunch With Lawyers
The Construction Council is pleased to announce a new program called "Lunch with Lawyers," designed to allow law students to connect with a practicing lawyer in the community and get a free lunch, to boot. The benefits are mutual. Law students now have a way to make connections with practicing attorneys and learn more about this area of the law. And the practicing attorney can get to know the next generation of great lawyers. We hope to make this a successful program. Construction Law has been an amazing practice area for all of us, and we're proud to share. Visit Lunch with Lawyers for our directory of participating attorneys.
Forms Available Online
Design Services Agreement
View the Construction Law Section's model Design Services Agreement.
Model Residential Construction Contracts
The Construction Law Section prepared these contracts as a public service to the construction industry and its residential consumers and contractors. For most people, their single largest asset is their home. Construction and remodeling of residences is a major industry in Washington. These model contracts were developed specifically for residential construction services.
The lump-sum contract, also known as a fixed-price contract: The owner agrees to pay the contractor a specified amount for completing the scope of work without requiring a detailed cost breakdown.
The cost-plus contract: The owner pays for the actual costs of the work, plus a fee for the contractor's services.
Model Residential Design-Build Contracts
The Construction Law Section is pleased to offer two new forms that can be used to provide a solid framework for projects in which a contractor performs both the design and build. These model contracts help homeowners and builders allocate risk and responsibilities.
Cost-plus contract: The design-builder estimates the project cost, but the actual cost is ultimately determined by the total costs of design services, labor, and materials supplied by the design-builder.
Lump-sum contract: One lump sum is paid by the owner as required by the contract.
Jury Instructions and Guide
Members of the WSBA Construction Law Section prepared the sample jury instructions as a courtesy, for section member use only. The sample jury instructions and index have not been approved by the WSBA Board of Governors as official WSBA policy or documents and should not be identified or disseminated as such. The sample jury instructions and index do not constitute legal advice or recommendations and there is no substitute for careful review by attorneys and their clients. The drafters, the WSBA Construction Law Section, and the WSBA are not responsible for any use of the jury instructions and index.
Settlement Agreement and Mutual Release of All Claims
Editable Versions of the Forms
Editable versions of the forms are available for Construction Law Section members via the Members Only Resources page. If you are a section member but do not have the log-in information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winter 2023 | Spring 2022 │ Fall 2020 │ Spring 2020 │ Winter 2019-2020 │ Winter 2018-2019 │ Fall 2018 │ Spring 2018 │ Winter 2017-2018
Archived issues are available to section members upon request. To request an issue, please email email@example.com.
Chair: Jennifer Beyerlein (2022–2023)
Chair-Elect: Bart Reed (2022–2023)
Vice-Chair: Seth Millstein (2022–2023)
Secretary: Allison Murphy (2022–2023)
Treasurer: Elizabeth (Ellie) Perka (2022–2023)
Immediate Past Chair: Colm Nelson (2022–2023)
Past Chair: Brett Hill (2022–2023)
Board of Governors Liaison*: Kevin Fay (2022–2023) and Serena Sayani (2022–2023)
Young Lawyer Liaison*: Travis Colburn (2021–2023)
Lifetime Achievement Award Committee: Todd Henry, Seth Millstein, Ellie Perka, Bart Reed
Elections Committee: Todd Henry, Colm Nelson, Seth Millstein
Previous Past Chairs*
Alan B. Bornstein (2004-2005)
* Nonvoting member
Term ending 2023
Term ending 2024
Term ending 2025
Legislative Committee: Jennifer Beyerlein, Bryce Sinner
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee: Masaki Yamada, Geoff Palachuk
Social Event Committee: Travis Colburn, Erin Varriano
Law School Outreach / Lunch with Lawyers: Masaki Yamada, Colm Nelson, Ellie Perka, Jonathan Schirmer, Seth Millstein, Travis Colburn
Newsletter Committee: Colm Nelson, Evan Brown
The WSBA Construction Law Section Executive Committee generally conducts meetings on the second Wednesday of each month, noon-1 p.m. You may attend by phone by calling 866-577-9294 and using passcode 5X01655#. Please contact committee members for more details on their upcoming meeting dates and locations.
Join Our List Serve
To join the section list serve and for general section questions, please send your email address and bar number to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information and to get involved with the section, please contact Section Chair Jennifer Beyerlein.