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Featured

2019-2020 Winners Announced - a/e ProNet David W. Lakamp AIA Scholarship

June 24, 2019

Design firms depend on a set of very important people to keep their businesses running smoothly: office administrators. These folks “manage, market, advance, streamline, protect, and regulate firms in the A/E/C industry,” according to Natalie Newman, current President of the Society for Design Administrators (SDA). At the SDA’s upcoming national meeting in Golden, Colorado–EdSymposium15 (October 8-10, […]

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Prevailing Party Perils: Attorney’s Fees’ Clauses in Professional Service Contracts
Prevailing Party Perils: Attorney’s Fees’ Clauses in Professional Service Contracts
August 17, 2015

In the world of claims-related contract clauses for design professional agreements, the indemnity and defense clauses get all the attention.  However, lurking in the shadow of the indemnity clause is a menacing cousin with potentially even greater and more frequent impact and risk:  the prevailing party attorneys’ fee clause.  Both clauses share the common risk […]

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Insurance for Design Professionals vs. General Contractors
Insurance for Design Professionals vs. General Contractors
August 11, 2015

When it comes to the world of construction contracts, there is no one-size-fits-all solution regarding insurance. The Design Professional’s insurance policies cannot and should not anticipate the needs and risks of a General Contractor, for example. This comes up all the time at the beginning of contract negotiations. You can sidestep disputes further down the road if […]

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How should a design-build project be structured?
How should a design-build project be structured?
August 06, 2015

Risk management best serves design professionals when it’s put in place prior to the acquisition of risk. Not damage control strategies, but damage avoidance strategies. In the case of design-build projects–arguably some of the riskiest in the business–this preemptive management of risk should include a number of questions asked by all parties involved. Among those […]

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2015 ProNet Scholarship Winners Selected by the AIA
2015 ProNet Scholarship Winners Selected by the AIA
July 13, 2015

The American Institute of Architect (AIA) has selected Alyssa Tope, Assoc. AIA, and Edward Palka, Assoc. AIA, to receive the 2015 David W. Lakamp a/e ProNet Scholarship. Both winners will receive $5,000 to use towards their tuition. Alyssa Tope, Assoc. AIA, completed her Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Sustainability at the University of Minnesota […]

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Managing Employee Benefits: A Three-Legged Stool of Protection
Managing Employee Benefits: A Three-Legged Stool of Protection
July 08, 2015

For many design firms, the ability to offer and maintain competitive employee benefit programs continues to be one of the keys to attracting and retaining the best available talent.  Yet, the regulatory and legal environment within which these benefit plans are being designed and administered is more complex than ever.  Not only are there ERISA […]

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The Keys to Keeping a Project on Track
The Keys to Keeping a Project on Track
June 23, 2015

In 1985, after five years prosecuting criminals as an assistant US attorney, I became deputy general counsel of The American Institute of Architects.  On my very first day, I was introduced to civil law.  In his gravelly voice, the general counsel explained to me that the key to success in my new position was to […]

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Drugs in the Workplace Study: Architects & Engineers Prefer Alcohol
Drugs in the Workplace Study: Architects & Engineers Prefer Alcohol
June 18, 2015

Compared with many other industries, the Engineering and Architecture community has a relatively low abuse/dependence rate (7.9%) on any substance, and alcohol is the substance these design professionals are most likely to be dependent upon. This is according to a 2010/2011 national survey completed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Coping with substance […]

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AIA College of Fellows Elevates Christ J. Kamages of California
AIA College of Fellows Elevates Christ J. Kamages of California
June 08, 2015

Churches, cathedrals, and temples have historically drawn attention for their architectural beauty. Sometimes these buildings took centuries to complete, employing tens of thousands of craftsmen, all to meet the original vision of a single architect, inspired by the great Architect in the sky. It would be a mistake to think that–with the exception of project length and […]

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Blog Love: Victor O. Schinnerer's Risk Management Blog
Blog Love: Victor O. Schinnerer's Risk Management Blog
April 24, 2015

Yes, we know. We’ve given them a shout-out before, but it’s well-deserved. Here’s an excerpt from their most recent post, an answer to a design professional FAQ: Why are some words in your contracts capitalized and others aren’t? I recently received a telephone call from a policyholder asking this question because of a minor issue […]

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