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November 2017

Peckar & Abramson is pleased to be a sponsor of the Third Annual Bark + Build Competition. The AIA Dallas and TEXO Association present the third annual Bark + Build Doghouse Design/Build Competition. The competition serves to foster relationships between architecture and contractor firms, raise awareness and support for SPCA of Texas' mission, and exhibit to the public the high-quality design and construction talent of the participating professional teams. The Housewarming Party & Auction at NorthPark takes place on November 19, 2017.

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2017 Construction SuperConference

December 04-6, 2017

Location: The Encore at Wynn in Las Vegas, Nevada

Steven M. Charney, Adrian L. Bastianelli, III, Melinda S. Gentile, Karla Pascarella, Stephen M. Seeger, Thomas J. Curran and K. Stefan Chin will speak at the 2017 Construction SuperConference on December 4 – 6, 2017 at The Encore at Wynn in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Steven M. Charney, Chairman of the firm, will provide introductions and serve as moderator and Karla Pascarella, a partner in the firm's Austin office, will participate as a panel member during the lunch and plenary session on Tuesday, December 5th. The presentation titled "Does Foreign Ownership of US Contractors Affect the Way they Do Business?". During this session, General Counsel from several of the leading foreign owners of U.S. subsidiaries or branches will discuss how they deal with these differences and how their own systems impact upon the operation of their U.S. subsidiaries and branches.

Adrian L. Bastianelli, III, a partner in the firm's Washington, DC office, will speak as a panel member in a morning session on Tuesday, December 5th titled, " Streamlining Your Arbitration: How to Avoid Reliving That Construction Project "Brick by Brick". In this session, the panel members will address among other things, understanding the best approach to managing a complex arbitration involving difficult projects, understanding what to provide to the arbitrator to make his job of deciding a case for a project with many change orders easier and understanding how to work with opposing counsel and arbitrators to effectively manage the process.

Thomas J. Curran, a partner in the firm's New York office, will speak as a panel member in a morning session on Wednesday, December 06th titled, "New Administration -- New Regulatory Environment?" In this session, the panel members will provide a detailed discussion of the civil and criminal regulatory posture of the Trump Administration, how its policies and initiatives may differ from its predecessors, and how local and state civil and criminal regulators may react to/compensate for any perceived lessening regulatory vigor.

Mr. Curran will also participate as a panel member in a morning session on Wednesday, December 6th, titled, "Construction Fraud: Hot Topics and Prevention Strategies – ABA". During this session, the panelists will identify common fraud schemes and key laws used to prosecute them, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the False Claims Act, and bribery/graft laws. This program will also educate attendees on the importance of having an effective compliance program to mitigate the risk of fraud, and on best practices for creating and maintaining a culture of compliance.

Melinda S. Gentile, a partner in the firm's Miami office, will participate as a panel member in a morning session on Wednesday, December 6th, titled, "Not Every Problem is a Nail: How Psychology and Bias Impact the Negotiation Process". This panel discussion will address the beneficial use of psychological principles to enhance the likelihood of success in diverse negotiation settings. This veteran team will describe how their approaches, including their own bias, have evolved over time and how it impacts not only case evaluations but also the manner that they address particular issues and diverse parties.

Stephen M. Seeger, a partner in Peckar & Abramson's Washington, DC office, will be a co-presenter in an afternoon session on Tuesday, December 5th, titled, "Strategic Use of Discovery in International Construction Arbitration". Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to obtain a basic understanding of the types of discovery common in International Construction Arbitration, the limits on the use of such discovery, and techniques for maximizing the benefit, while reducing the cost of such discovery; obtain a basic understanding of the changes (and proposed changes) many international construction forums are making regarding discovery in Intentional Construction Arbitration, including how such Tribunals and panels deal with the discovery of electronically stored information; and obtain the tools necessary to make more strategic discovery decisions, thereby limiting the cost and maximizing the benefit of such decisions.

K. Stefan Chin, senior counsel in the firm's Miami office, will participate as a panel member in a morning session on Tuesday, December 5th, titled, "Cybersecurity Risk Management and Best Practices, with a Specific Focus on the Unique Needs of the Construction and Legal Industries". This session will include a discussion of recent trends in cybersecurity including examples of hacking and social engineering attempts; recommendations for information security practices including Written Information Security Programs and Incident Response Plans; regulatory requirements and considerations; and cyber risk management through employee education and training, contract management, and insurance. A portion of the discussion will cover the specific risks applicable to law firms representing construction clients.

Event Link

Steven M. Charney
K. Stefan Chin
Melinda S. Gentile
Thomas J. Curran
Adrian L. Bastianelli, III
Stephen M. Seeger
Karla Pascarella


Frank M. Rapoport, a partner in the firm's New York office and Neal Sklar, a partner in the firm's Miami office, were quoted in a story by Law360 entitled “Miami Courthouse Project Highlights New P3 Ideas, Hurdles” published on November 13, 2017. The story summarized major issues discussed in Miami at the P3 Hub South Conference. Miami-Dade County is considering the potential use of a public-private partnership (P3) for its new civil courthouse, estimated to cost $360 million for design and construction and an additional $230 million in projected operating and maintenance expenses over 40 years. The story also referred to Florida being a fertile ground for P3s given the success of the Port of Miami Tunnel, Interstate 595 in South Florida and Interstate 4 in Orlando.


Lori Ann Lange, a partner in the firm's Washington, DC office, spoke at the HMS Insurance Associates, Inc. seminar entitled "Prevailing Wage in Construction: Tips & Traps" on Thursday, November 2, 2017. The seminar discussed local and federal prevailing wage laws and when they apply as well as tips on dealing with wage determination, best practices for record keeping and reporting and best ways to avoid common and costly mistakes in the prevailing wage arena.

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Peckar & Abramson is pleased to announce that Jamie Oberg has joined the firm's Dallas office as an Associate.

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