If You Build It, They Will Sue: Condominium Projects – Part I
If You Build It, They Will Sue: Condominium Projects – Part I
January 27, 2017

Do architects owe a “duty of care” to the homeowners of a condominium project with whom the architects have no contractual privity?  According to the California Supreme Court, they do.  What does this mean in practical terms?  The answer is that architects are now more than ever exposed to potential future claims and lawsuits brought […]

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Indemnification Clause Templates for Architects & Engineers
Indemnification Clause Templates for Architects & Engineers
November 17, 2016

We’ve posted several times about the confusion surrounding so-called “standard contracts,” as well as the most commonly misunderstood clauses in design professional contracts. When reviewing a new contract for the first time, it can be helpful to know what sound contract language looks like. In February, we published an issue of ProNetwork News titled Template of […]

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Certificates of Insurance:  Why You Can’t Always Have It Your Way
Certificates of Insurance: Why You Can’t Always Have It Your Way
August 05, 2016

Design professionals are often asked by their clients to sign contracts that include comprehensive—sometimes unreasonable—insurance requirements and indemnification terms.  These are usually drafted with the goal of protecting owners, clients, contractors, or other project participants.  But how does this work when the required coverages aren’t found in the commercial insurance marketplace? Certificates of insurance (COIs)—which […]

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The Down-Low on Broker-Verification Questionnaires
The Down-Low on Broker-Verification Questionnaires
March 02, 2016

In what attorney Brian Stewart calls a “disturbing trend,” more and more project owners design professionals to procure separate questionnaires from their insurance brokers. These “broker-verification questionnaires” are meant to re-state or re-affirm the limits, exclusions, etc. of the relevant insurance policies to the project.  If you’re an architect or engineer who has met push-back […]

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Document Retention: More Paper or Paper-Less?
Document Retention: More Paper or Paper-Less?
February 08, 2016

Which is better, more or less documentation in your project file after the job is complete? Despite recent advances in technology, document retention has become a difficult, expensive and complex proposition. Computers have changed design professionals’ work flows and methods, greatly increasing efficiencies, but also exponentially multiplying the volume of data; e-mails, attachments, drawing revisions, […]

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How Effective is Your Risk Management Program?
How Effective is Your Risk Management Program?
November 18, 2015

Many design firms attend risk management training sessions and implement certain practices based on an industry trend or project claim. Other firms may only concentrate on contracts and insurance coverage’s as a risk management strategy, which only addresses a portion of an effective risk management program. As they say – “you cannot manage something that […]

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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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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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Construction Phase Services: Considerations for a Successful Outcome
Construction Phase Services: Considerations for a Successful Outcome
January 19, 2015

The construction phase is a dynamic time of a project and a design professional’s involvement is significant from a risk management perspective since it allows the design professional the opportunity to provide input during the construction of the project.  Since no designs are perfect (and, moreover, are not expected to be perfect to still meet […]

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The Design Professional in the Age of BIM: Things that change; things that don’t.
The Design Professional in the Age of BIM: Things that change; things that don't.
December 29, 2014

Seen any changes the past thirty years in the delivery of professional design services?  Sure, you have—particularly in the area of construction documents. Raised stools and drafting tables, pounce, and lead-darkened calluses on the middle finger of the draftsmen have, for the most part, yielded to CAD. Although CAD’s promise of error-free drawing may have […]

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