By: Gregory L. Shelton
Job meetings serve many practical functions during construction, the foremost being coordination of sequencing, access, and the X’s and O’s of the work.
To the construction attorney, meeting minutes provide a succinct historical snapshot of the project. We can use the meeting minutes to show who was doing what, who knew what when, and what was going on where. For example, an owner may deny authorizing the contractor to perform extra work, but if the extra work was discussed at a job meeting attended by the owner’s representative, the contractor’s claim for compensation will be much stronger.
There are those contrarian contractors who huff about meetings being a waste of time. And there are those contractors who see themselves as rugged individualists who know how to do their job and don’t need to talk about it. The contractor secludes himself at his own peril. When things go wrong, it is much easier to scapegoat an empty chair. There are the stories from the east of the peasant farmers sitting for hours in communist party meetings until a traitor was identified. No one left early to beat the traffic.