The Art of Mediation

An infographic offering strategic mediation planning considerations.

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Relational Risk Allocation in D-B and P3s

Understand the various risks assumed by Design-Builder, Owner and Engineer Subconsultant in Design-Build and Public-Private Partnerships.

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An Engineer’s Professional Liability Case in New Hampshire

By Michael Coghlan

Design Professionals Do Have Choices
In a recent case against an Engineer performing residential home inspections in the State of New Hampshire, the court dismissed the case and awarded attorney’s fees against the Plaintiff Homeowner.

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Requirements for Establishing a Design Professional’s Liability

By Lauren M. Ippolito

In a recent decision by the New York Supreme Court in June 2014, the Court affirmed that expert testimony is a necessity in a case where is it alleged that a design professional failed to adequately perform its services or improperly performed its work pursuant to a contract.

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Project Management Firm Has No Implied Duty to Ensure the Safety of Subcontractor’s Employees

By Gregory Paonessa

The Massachusetts Superior Court (“Court”) recently held in Rodrigues v. Tribeca Builders Corp. that a project management firm whose duties are primarily logistical, managerial and administrative does not owe a duty to ensure the safety of project workers.

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In Case You Missed It: Sovereign Immunity Still (Mostly) For Sovereigns

By Lucas Blackadar, Esq.

Just this past spring, the Texas Supreme Court decided Brown & Gay Engineering, Inc. v. Olivares, 461 S.W.3d 117 (Tex. 2015), a case arising from the death of two motorists – one intoxicated and one sober – on the West Park Tollway in Fort Bend County, Texas. The key question raised in the case was whether Brown & Gay Engineering (B&G), the engineering firm retained by the Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority to design the signage and layout for the Tollway, could be protected under sovereign immunity. B&G was an independent contractor, so some on the Court felt that resolving that question was, more or less, a complete and utter waste of time. However, the Court decided to engage, swatted down most, if not all, of B&G’s arguments, and actually provided some helpful guidance in the process.

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D-B and P3s: Design Professionals Do Have Choices!

By David J. Hatem, PC

Design Professionals Do Have Choices

With much of the discussion of D-B and P3s frequently focused on the risks and liabilities associated with these methods, the discourse can often feel negative, leaving at least some of you thinking and asking:

“If D-B and P3s represent the dominant present and future trends for infrastructure projects and potentially other, vertical projects – are they, in reality, positive developments for design professionals and do I or my firm want to be a part of those trends, and do we actually have a choice? If we do choose to be a part of those trends, how should we go about it?”

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Uncertainty in the Design and Construction Process

In an attempt to understand the varying perspectives of owners, designers and contractors, McGraw Hill Construction released a report in September 2014 identifying aspects of uncertainty in the design and construction process.

The research was undertaken by McGraw Hill Construction Research & Analytics Group and surveyed over 2,500 owners, architects and contractors in an attempt to understand and initiate a conversation about uncertainty. While the study establishes the groundwork for understanding, the next step might be to determine how to accurately “handicap” a project as a contingency in consideration of project complexity, delivery method, project owner and design and construction team familiarity with the project type, project location, and other issues that impact a successful project.

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Defining the Zone of Foreseeable Risk

By Lindsey D. Smith, Esq.

Contracts

While architects and engineers understand that, by signing a contract to perform design services, they owe a duty to those with whom they contract, they may not be aware that the law extends that duty to others with whom they did not contract. Moreover, they may not be aware that courts in different states apply different legal principles to determine the scope of the duty owed.

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The Economic Loss Rule – Variations on Enforcement

By Lindsey D. Smith, Esq.

Courts in different jurisdictions come to different conclusions on similar legal issues, often, with vastly disparate consequences for design professionals. The economic loss rule—a doctrine preventing negligence claims seeking purely economic damages—is no different.

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