Attorney Cara Kennemer Presents at CERT Conference

On October 23, 2018, Cara Kennemer presented at the Consulting Estimators Round Table’s Fall Southeast Conference on the topic of Managing Receivables and Other Construction Law Issues for Consulting Estimators. 

Cara Kennemer and Richard Schellhammer Present on Commercial Construction Issues

On October 17, 2017 Cara Kennemer and Richard Schellhammer spoke to 25 lenders at American National Bank’s Collin County offices on commercial construction issues. Some of the topics discussed included:

·         Tools for monitoring construction progress

·         Best practices to prevent Mechanic’s Liens

·         Protecting interests in off-site stored materials

·         Releasing retainage

·         Critical project close-out documentation 

Fort Worth Attorneys Win Top Attorney Award

Top Attorneys 2017 in 360West Magazine is a nomination-based project in which Fort Worth attorneys vote for other attorneys who exemplify excellence in 45 different specialties. The Top Attorneys list provides a service to the Fort Worth community, giving them attorneys’ perspective on their peers. Four Underwood Fort Worth attorneys have made that list in 2017 include:

Construction – Cara Kennemer and Richard Schellhammer

Education – Janet Bubert

Business  – Mitchell Moses

To see a complete list of winners click here

Ft. Worth Chamber of Commerce Presentation

On May 24, 2017, Cara Kennemer presented to the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce’s Construction Services Group.  The topics included negotiating contracts, dispute resolution, and collection strategies such as filing mechanic’s liens and payment bond claims.

Lawyer Receives Construction Law Certification from Texas Board

The Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS) announced that Cara Kennemer has received Board Certification in Construction Law. Cara currently practices in Underwood’s Ft. Worth office.

Board Certification is a voluntary designation program certifying Texas attorneys in 22 specific areas of law. Board Certified attorneys must be licensed for at least five years, devote a required percentage of practice to a specialty area for at least three years, attend continuing education seminars, pass an evaluation by fellow lawyers and judges and pass a 6-hour written examination.

“This program is important for the public and for attorneys in our state. We’re focused on enhancing the quality of legal representation in an increasingly competitive marketplace. I’ve been involved with this program for more than 30 years and am continually impressed with TBLS members’ accomplishments,” said David Dickson, Chairman of the TBLS Board of Directors.

Kennemer and Schellhammer Present at State Bar Construction Conference

Cara Kennemer and Richard Schellhammer presented papers at the 28th Annual Construction Law Conference in San Antonio on March 5 and 6, 2015. Cara’s presentation was entitled “Public-Private Partnerships: How to Secure Payment” and Richard presented a paper entitled “Resolving Lien/Bond Claims-So You Perfected Your Claim, When Does the Money Arrive?” Over 700 construction lawyers attended this year’s Conference.  Copies of their papers are available for order by clicking here.

Kennemer Participates in the Basics Course in Construction Law

On October 23, 2014, Cara D. Kennemer participated in the Basics Course in Construction Law sponsored by theConstruction Law Section of the State Bar of Texas.   Ms. Kennemer discussed Tips on Avoiding Malpractice. If you desire some information on this topic, contact her at

Elected Council Member SBOT, Construction Law Section

Underwood Law Firm Shareholder, Richard Schellhammer, has been elected to the State Bar of Texas Construction Section Council and The Construction Section Foundation for a three year term.   He has been a member of both the State Bar of Texas Construction Law Section and the Dallas Bar Association Construction Law Section for 32 years.   Mr. Schellhammer is the managing shareholder in the firm’s Fort Worth office.

Arbitration Award Vacated for Delay

The grounds for vacating an arbitration award are very limited and primarily relate to the integrity of the process and not the result.   The Amarillo Court of Appeals recently expanded those grounds to include arbitrator delay in rendering a decision.

The Appellate Court said it found no other Texas cases that had vacated an arbitration award for being untimely but in the present case, the intent of arbitration to obtain a quick and inexpensive final disposition was defeated by the arbitrator’s excessive delay.  The decision was based on a finding that the arbitrator violated a provision of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code by issuing his decision so long after a trial judge set a new deadline for the ruling.

The underlying dispute was between two partners of a consulting firm and their settlement over royalties and copyright ownership from a book written during the partnership.  The original schedule for arbitration required a ruling 14 days after the hearing.  Months passed and the arbitrator refused to issue a decision without a court order, claiming his impartiality was compromised.  A trial court then set a 60-day deadline to issue a written award.  Over a year later, the arbitrator finally ruled in favor of one partner.

The Court then vacated the award on the grounds that the Legislature clearly and unambiguously requires an arbitrator to issue a decision within the time established by the parties or according to a court-ordered schedule. The partner who received the favorable ruling from the arbitrator plans to appeal to the Texas Supreme Court arguing that the proper remedy would have been to hold the arbitrator in contempt instead of vacating the award.

This column is published for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author’s law firm or its individual partners.