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Avoid the seven deadly sins of professional practice

If you want to minimize disputes with your clients and reduce the likelihood of litigation, avoid these “seven deadly sins” that represent the biggest sources of risk: Failure to carefully choose your clients and your projects. Client selection can help minimize the chances of a claim, especially since 62% of claims against design professionals in … Continue reading

Responsible for specifying a new product that fails and causes damage?

When new products fail and cause damage, a claim against the design professional will inevitably follow. A recent lawsuit settlement, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Inc., et al v. Weyerhaeuser Company, et al, highlighted concerns that specifying new or untried materials and products (which are often the keystone of sustainable buildings) comes with unique risks. By … Continue reading

Can a design firm rely on a manufacturer’s representations?

One of the issues faced increasingly by design firms is whether they have a right to rely on the information provided by manufacturers of products, materials, and systems. While the standard of care basically states that if the reliance of the design firm on a manufacturer’s information or representations is reasonable at the time of … Continue reading

Don’t be too creative in restructuring staffing arrangements

In an age of rising benefit costs and other constraints on the operations of professional service firms, some firms are turning to a range of tactics to reclassify workers to take them off the formal payroll and, therefore, lower their costs and administrative burdens. However, doing so may subject the employer to state and federal … Continue reading

To whom should you extend your indemnity obligations?

It seems that indemnity provisions are increasingly less likely to limit a design professional’s obligation to only the design professional’s client. We regularly review indemnity provisions that include the client’s parent company, affiliates, subsidiaries, successors and assigns, officers, employees, representatives and agents, the project’s owners, a county client, a state client, lenders, contractors, subcontractors, and … Continue reading