Shapiro, Lifschitz & Schram

“They are among the finest construction attorneys with whom I’ve ever worked.”

Evans Barba – President and CEO, Barba Consulting


      On May 31, 2011, the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration issued a joint interim rule that incorporates “Green Building” concepts into the Federal Acquisition Regulations (“FAR”).  The Rule took effect immediately.  See 76 Fed. Reg. 31,395 (May 31, 2011), available here:

                Some highlights of the new Rule include the following:

·         95% of new contracts for products and services solicited by Federal agencies must be energy and water efficient, non-ozone depleting, and less toxic than other alternatives available in the marketplace;

·         Agencies must implement high-performance sustainable building design, construction, renovation, repair, commissioning, operation and maintenance, and deconstruction practices

·         “Sustainable acquisition” is defined as “acquiring goods and services in order to create and maintain conditions (1) under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony; and (2) that permit fulfilling the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations” and

·         Contracts for the procurement of weapon systems and other systems relating to national security are exempt from the new Rule.

The new Rule is hardly groundbreaking and indeed should come as no surprise to contractors regularly involved with the Federal Government.  In fact, the Government has repeatedly adopted green building and sustainability initiatives through agency action and Executive Orders in recent years.  Specifically, the new Rule is designed to implement two of President Obama’s recent Executive Orders,  No. 13, 423 entitled “Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management” and No. 13, 514 entitled “Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance.”  The new Rule does, however, mark the first time that the Government has directly incorporated sustainability requirements into the FAR.

It is clear that green building and sustainability are here to stay.  Contractors must take steps toward green building if they hope to have any success in competing for Government Contracts.  It also seems likely that LEED certification may become mandatory in all Government projects.  Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in March 2000, LEED provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.   For more information on LEED certification, visit the USGBC website at:

The FAR Council is accepting comments on the new Rule through August 1, 2011.

Did You Know . . .

Members of the SLS trial group have tried in excess of 50 jury trials and 75 bench trials?

The SLS construction group has worked on sports stadiums across the country including Orioles Park in Baltimore and Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati?

The SLS construction group has worked on power plant projects across the country?

In 2007 SLS was selected for an Honorable Mention as one of the Best Places To Work in Washington DC?

Ron Shapiro, Steve Schram and Judd Lifschitz have all been selected as SuperLawyers by Law and Politics?

The SLS office building is an historic townhouse constructed in the late 1800s?

SLS has been selected by Martindale-Hubbell as a Preeminent Law Firm?

SLS trial lawyers have argued appeals in the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal for the 4th, 5th, 9th, D.C. and Federal Circuit?

SLS trial lawyers have been lead trial counsel in cases in Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, and Virginia, - to name just a few?

Virtually all the cases that SLS trial lawyers mediated have been favorably settled at mediation?

The transactional group at SLS was lead counsel on one of the largest, most complex mixed-use projects in downtown Washington, DC involving 4 lenders and 6 property owners?

In appreciation for the outstanding efforts of each of its employees during 2007, SLS gave everyone (attorneys, paralegals, and staff) a 4 day/3 night expense paid trip to Key West, Florida?

The transactional group at SLS has represented tenants in more than 200 retail leases in the Mid-Atlantic region?

Every attorney in the transactional group at SLS has at least 15 years experience?

The transactional group at SLS has represented developers in the purchase, construction, financing and/or sale of more than 75 multi-family apartment projects?

The transactional group at SLS has represented real estate investors and developers with respect to property in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Michigan and the U.S. Virginia Islands?

Attorneys in the transactional group at SLS have represented eight national banks in commercial real estate loans?

Attorneys in the transactional group at SLS have represented the FDIC, the Resolution Trust Corporation and several banking institutions in loan workout transactions throughout the Mid-Atlantic region?

The transactional group at SLS has represented homebuilders and commercial real estate developers in work-outs of individual loans and also for work-outs of large portfolios involving dozens of properties in several states?

The trial lawyers of SLS have numerous reported decisions to their credit?