Session Spotlight: Not So Risky Business | U.S. Green Building Council
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Posted in Industry
Published on
Posted in Industry
The scales of justice come in to play with green building (Credit: Eric the Fish via Flickr)

Lawyers are bringing a different kind of green to Greenbuild: we’re talking green law, and it’s coming to the 2012 Legal Summit being held at this year’s event. The summit is a catalyst for the emerging field of green building law and will add attorneys working in the sustainable real estate, construction and manufacturing fields to the Greenbuild mix.

Not a lawyer? Not a problem. The Summit has opportunities for lawyers and non-lawyers alike. For the non-lawyers, the session, “Not So Risky Business: Every Day Counseling Leading the Way to Reduce the Risk of Going Green” is a must. Two green building attorneys, Donald Simon, Partner at Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP and Stuart Kaplow of the sustainable business boutique, Stuart D. Kaplow P.A., will fill you in on the legalities of building green. Best of all, there will be no legal jargon, (and no hourly fee). Who can object to that?

Green building legislation will play a significant role in shaping the future of the green building industry, and it’s crucial that all sectors of the sustainability sphere have a clear understanding of policy developments and their implications. This session will clearly define potential risks specific to green building, and will arm you with the legal wherewithal to minimize them in an amazing diversity of LEED projects. Missing out would be a crime!

Need more proof that these guys will be able to answer all of your green legal questions (in plain English)? Read on.

What’s the topical focus of your session?

Donald Simon: Reducing legal risk associated with green building projects through practical solutions.

Stuart Kaplow: Reducing and otherwise mitigating the risks of green building.

What makes you an expert in this area?

DS: I'm a construction law attorney with substantial experience in the green building and contracting arena.

SK: I am attorney practicing sustainable business and green building law

Why is the topic of your session important?

DS: Legal liability is a scary topic for most owners and green building professionals. They often don't recognize potential risks or they over-react to them. We'll de-mystify the risks and provide practical guidance to help you address them with your eyes open.

SK: The session is hugely important to all involved in green building and sustainable business as a primer on reducing the risks of going green; and is geared to non-lawyers.

Why should Greenbuild attendees attend YOUR session specifically?

DS: Lawyers are often boring and have a difficult time speaking plain English. No one has EVER said that about me. This session is going to pack some serious punch. You'll leave much smarter than when you came in. Fear and legal ignorance will be replaced by a deeper understanding of what matters and what doesn't, together with practical solutions that enable you to better control risk and provide solutions to get the job done!

SK: With this session you can avoid hiring your own green attorney saving hundreds of dollars an hour! The two attorneys presenting will even answer your questions for free.

What’s the most interesting experience you’ve had in the green building/sustainability world?

DS: The most recent interesting experience, was co-chairing the effort to write and pass into law a new form of corporation that promotes eco-social values instead of only profits. Beyond that, my most interesting experiences have centered around strategizing ways to advance the green building and sustainability movement to overcome the challenges of the status quo.

SK: Making a LEED project presentation in Brazil in Portuguese (... a language I do not speak) through a translator. As LEED goes international that is where many of the opportunities will be.

What’s the most interesting non-green building related fact about yourself?

DS: I've been waiting and hoping for Greenbuild to come to my adopted hometown of San Francisco ever since I co-founded the Northern California chapter, and I'm dedicated to making sure everyone has a great time! So let's whoop it up here in November!

SK: I have trekked to some of the wildest real estate on the planet from Kilimanjaro to Everest, with many summits and mountaineering adventures in between.

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