Updated: June 2, 2023

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 sections@wsba.org.

Annual Report  |   Budget  |   Bylaws  |  Year in Review  |  Members Only

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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.

Vice Chair
One position open. 1-year term: Oct. 1, 2023Sept. 30, 2024.

Candidate: R. Bryce Sinner | Statement of Interest

Secretary
One position open. 1-year term: Oct. 1, 2023 Sept. 30, 2024.

Candidate: Travis ColburnStatement of Interest

Treasurer
One position open. 1-year term: Oct. 1, 2023 Sept. 30, 2024.

Candidate: Elizabeth Perka | Statement of Interest

At-Large Member
One position open. Remainder of current term ending Sept. 30, 2025.

Candidate: Evan Brown | Statement of Interest

At-Large Member
Three positions open. 3-year term: Oct. 1, 2023Sept. 30, 2026.

Candidate 1: John Leary | Statement of Interest

Candidate 2: William “Scott” NoelStatement of Interest

Candidate 3: William Young | Statement of Interest

Questions? Email sections@wsba.org.


 

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

Event Flyer

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

Tuition:

$150 – Construction Law Section Members
$185 – Non-member

Faculty:

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.

Order your print copy now.

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.

Other forms

Interim Lien/Claim Waiver

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 sections@wsba.org


Newsletters

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 sections@wsba.org.


Executive Committee

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

CLE Committee: 
Midyear CLE: (2023) Ron English, Bart Reed, Jennifer Beyerlein, (2024) Ron English, Geoff Palachuk
Road Show CLE: Paige Spratt, Allison Murphy
Winter Forum:
Bart Reed

Elections Committee: Todd Henry, Colm Nelson, Seth Millstein

Previous Past Chairs*

Alan B. Bornstein (2004-2005)
Ron English (2005-2006)
Bob Olson (2006-2007)
Andrew Maron (2007-2008)
Bryan Caditz (2008-2009)
Robert H. Crick Jr. (2009-2011)
Thomas H. Wolfendale (2011-2012)
Joseph Scuderi  (2012-2013)
Thomas P. Larkin II (2013-2014)
Scott Sleight (2014-2015)
John Evans (2015-2016)
Marisa Bavand (2016-2017)
Athan Tramountanas (2017-2018)
Jason Piskel (2018-2019)
Amber Hardwick (2019-2020)

* Nonvoting member

At-Large Members

Term ending 2023
Todd Henry
Bryce Sinner
Scott W. Campbell

Term ending 2024
Lena Holohan
Paige Spratt
Geoffrey Palachuk

Term ending 2025
Brian Guthrie
Erin Varriano
Masaki James Yamada

Legislative Committee: Jennifer BeyerleinBryce Sinner

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee: Masaki YamadaGeoff Palachuk

Social Event Committee: Travis ColburnErin Varriano

Law School Outreach / Lunch with Lawyers: Masaki YamadaColm NelsonEllie PerkaJonathan SchirmerSeth Millstein,   Travis Colburn

Newsletter Committee: Colm NelsonEvan 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 sections@wsba.org. For more information and to get involved with the section, please contact Section Chair Jennifer Beyerlein.