Arbitration vs. litigation: the endless debate

The Schinnerer professional liability program strongly supports alternative forms of dispute resolution. One method that aims to reduce the cost and time of a dispute is the use of arbitration. The arbitration of claims, however, is not always in the best interest of design professionals. In litigation, judges’ decisions are constrained by statutory and case... Continue Reading →

Jury or judge—which to choose?

Design professionals are often asked during contract negotiations to waive their right to a jury trial. For many years, this was not an issue because it was believed that judges reached better decisions in cases involving design professionals because the facts were too technical for a jury to understand. However, litigation in recent years has... Continue Reading →

Should you waive your right to a jury trial?

Although few disputes between clients and professionals are resolved through litigation, many clients demand that the design professional contractually waive any future right to litigate before a jury. Clients often want to set up a dispute resolution process that ends with a bench trial—allowing a judge to both decide the facts and apply the law... Continue Reading →

Does a commitment to comply with building codes change the standard of care?

In most jurisdictions and with most contracts the common law professional standard of care is used to analyze the performance of services by design professionals even though those services are performed in a contractual contest. Most professional service agreements impose various duties and requirements on the professional. As long as express warranties, guarantees, or other... Continue Reading →

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