Beyond the Build

Continuing Education

Best in Class and Knowledge for Success

Last week, I took a course called Practical Construction Law presented by Smith, Hancock and Currie. It was a great course for contractors, designers and owners alike, and highly I recommend it. They teach it several it times a year. I believe what made the course unique was the passion of delivery. These guys really bring it to life, and to me, this is important as the law is fairly dry.

Years ago, I attended a similar course taught by the founder of Smith, Hancock and Currie, Overton Currie. Overton was passionate and interesting.  A terrific story-teller and a great orator (sprinkled with a dash of preaching), as well as a sound lawyer who always made the time to talk to everyone, no matter their age or position.  Overton, a native of Hattiesburg, MS, first graduated Valedictorian from The University of Mississippi. He later received  his Bachelors of Divinity from Emory University, then on to Yale University to acquire a dual master’s degree (one in law and one in divinity), before finally settling into Atlanta to start the firm.   Overton was also dyslexic. Wow. Talk about rising to success. Overton was the glue for me.

Tom Kelleher, a senior attorney with the firm, continues the tradition of passion about the law and sharing sound knowledge in an interesting and insightful manner. Along with the support from Eric Nelson, John Mastin, and Joe Staack, fine lawyers and also making subject matter come to life. (Except for the topic of wind mitigation, which I’m not sure anyone is capable of doing.)

Great practical information shared, but the best takeaway for me was something that Tom said in his closing remarks: “After all the paperwork that you prepare, sign and read, the best advice is to deal with trustworthy people.

Sure, there will be bumps along the way, but my suggestion?  Start with Best in Class and Trustworthy.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.